Official Photographer Business Model

I am interested to hear about the different policies of horse show management in regards to photography or videography at the horse show. Do most shows now allow private photographers, even though they have “official photographers” at the show? I do slow-motion video “reels” (not full rounds) and am interested in starting a business. I feel that I am not really competing with the show photographers or videographers since I have a different product. However, I seems that some shows will not allow any filming other than the official videographer. I think at WEF there is a private photography pass for $800 a week and am wondering if most shows now are following this business model.

A lot of shows, unless they have livestreams on ClipMyHorse, don’t even have videographers any more. I’d definitely be interested in what you’re offering and agree that there’s little competition.

1 Like

I am interested in selling short 1-5 minute slow-motion films made from a compilation of footage from pre-show preparation, schooling or lessons, in the show ring, and post-show footage. It would be made up of about 10 different clips edited together with a title and soundtrack.

1 Like

might want to talk with Jon May, he owns HORSE TV GLOBAL, I know Jon from having Morgans… his production company does similar products


1 Like

Thank you

I’m definitely starting to see some private show photographers offer video (not sure about standalone, but as part of private photo packages). I think there is a big market for this as social media moves away from static photos to prioritizing video content. Everyone wants a nice reel to post… Mavis Spencer is the pro that is really on top of this.

The official photographer at an unrated local show last weekend even offered video for IG reels this weekend as part of a photo package! Don’t know how good the final product was but… there’s interest.


Is there a market for longer “reels” like 1-5 minutest long? Like this Flight Escape or thisDreaming of Horses or this

1 Like

Jon is a nice helpful man, very friendly…he has competed with his carriage Morgans at the top level

my son is an artistic photographer , his “horse” photo end up being, well not of the horse but of the art

such as that he took at a New York jumper competition


Personally, I found the whole thing being in slow motion very boring. In addition, I got some slow motion close ups of rider anatomy I didn’t need to see quite so slowly or so closely.

The 5 minutes of slow motion is a definite no for me.

I watched until I said “Ok, that’s enough” and that time for me was 47 seconds.

Perhaps I have a short attention span though, and as I don’t have an instagram or tiktok or twitter, you might disregard me as not being up with the times, too. That’s more than fair.


This concept sounds incredibly time consuming. For 5 minutes of usable video you are probably filming at least 30 minutes of footage, which you then need to review, over & over, to find the clips that work well together… and that’s before you even get to the editing suite & its rendering times. And then there’s all the time spent waiting around for your client to do something worth filming, which means you are not free to service other clients. I’d hazard that 5 minute video will take about 5 hours of your time, and I’m not sure you could charge enough to make that math work.


Doesn’t sound very cost effective for you, given the time you’d have to invest. As a horse show mom, I know I like going with my daughter either at the end of a show day or at the very end of the show to see the photos and maybe purchase one or a package. If there were someone doing high quality reels set up somewhere near the photographer’s trailer (or well marked elsewhere), I’d definitely consider it. I take video on my phone so she can see her patterns and review with her trainer but I’m just using a phone and at the mercy of where I find a spot to film from. ETA to clarify, I’d be interested in short clips, like 15 seconds to 1 minute or so…

1 Like

I think this type video sounds more like an educational tool used from schooling sessions


No, I personally would want 10-15 second clips for social media. I always have a groom/friend/trainer taking the video that I’d use for sale or something serious, so this would just be for fun.


Love this photo! Reminds me of standing on the bridge at WEF, watching the Grand Prix. I loved that perspective of watching the horses walking underneath me. It was like drone footage. Does your son have a website? I would love to see more of his work.

1 Like

@Tha_Ridge Hypothetically, would you want slow-mo 10 sec closeup clips to purchase as MP4 files so that you can edit yourself (add overlays, soundtrack, etch) and post on IG?

@mfglickman This is definitely what I would love to do, however some of the shows are not allowing this because they feel that it competes with their official photographers. My challenge is showing the horse show management companies that I am not really competing with the resident photographers.

@173north Are the reels just taken from the cell phone?

@dags It is very labor intensive!! You are right. It is over an hour of work per minute of footage. I will need to rethink the business model. If I shorten the videos to one minute, I think it would be much more marketable since that is about the maximum average attention span for slow-motion viewing before it becomes monotonous. However, I don’t want it to be too short, like an Instagram reel, because then I would be competing with that space and everyone with a cell phone can do that.

@hoopoe I feel that it can be a great instructional tool since slow-mo hides no mistakes. If you look good in slow-motion, you’re a great rider!

Sure, if the quality were comparable to what I see others post. Here’s one from Mavis Spencer, like @173north mentioned:

Awesome! I have been following her on IG and am wondering if she has her own marketing team since she is posting videos almost daily.

here is

and during COVID lock downs they were in Norway scouting locations for a client but were able to catch one of the last flights back to New York, so made a short Youtube series called Camp Quarantine

his wife is very talented, she is from Norway they met as she was a model for one of his clients

1 Like

WOW!!! That black and white cinematography in the Madonna video reminds me of Hitchcock, whom I love. I have to watch more of that Camp Quarantine video. It’s funny, but unsettling at the same time. Again, reminds me of Hitchcock. Suspense with a sense of humor! Great work!

that is their farm in Pennsylvania. They bought that before COVID as a retreat from NYC

son got into photography from horse shows, he was the only one of kids that was not a great rider but he learned enough to be confident .