Southwest Equine Photographer

Capturing the heart of your horse story.

Horse Show Photography Etiquette

Horse Show photography etiquette

I recently saw another show photographer post a video about people screenshotting their images and I responded with “you wouldn’t steal from a feed store, so why would you steal from your photographer?” One user responded with “it’s easier”. I. was. shocked. Education is the best way to help people in this situation.

Show season is right around the corner and I figured now would be a good time to refresh on show photography etiquette.

Show photography etiquette - what should you do with your photos?  This is a photograph of a chestnut appaloosa in English tack trotting through an arena in a desert.


Did you know that under copyright law, photographers own the images that they create? We own the copyright for our entire life plus 60 years after our passing. We can sell the copyright, but it means that we can no longer use the images as we wish. Because of this, selling a copyright has a hefty fee associated with it.

Photograph of a girl riding a grey horse around a barrel in a covered arena in Tularosa, New Mexico.

Screenshotting is theft

There’s a reason why we have obnoxious watermarks across our photos. You are taking money from us when you steal. If you steal an image through screenshotting or sharing without purchasing, you are subject to an invoice of $150.  If it is not paid within 30 days, you will be blacklisted from my services and I will not photograph your run. 

There is an obnoxious watermark for my show photos (you can see it on my gallery here) to help deter theft.

I have a referral program for people catching thieves – screenshot the stolen photo + the username of where it’s posted, and I’ll give you a free web resolution photo at your current or next show!

I personally don’t mind if you share the image with a family member to ask about purchasing, but you will not be posting screenshotted images online without purchasing them. It’s always best to ask your photographer if you have questions or concerns.

Photograph of a cowgirl wearing a yellow slicker jacket herding cattle from horseback in Sunland Park, New Mexico.

Web resolution vs. high resolution

The best compliment you can give to your photographer is to purchase your photographs.  We don’t get paid to show up to your show – sometimes we have to pay to be there.  The money we make is through the purchase of photos. But what resolution works best for you?

Web/social media-sized images are for personal use only.  They contain a small watermark generally off to the side.  You don’t have to tag your photographer, although it is very much appreciated.  These can be shared with family members and posted on social media.  It makes us happy to see you buy our photos and use them as profile pictures!

In my case, I offer personal license photographs for a higher fee. These are high-resolution photographs that you can print up to 8×12 inches. They make great gifts for family members!

Please don’t crop or otherwise edit our photos. It’s a misrepresentation of our work.

Photograph of a cowgirl riding her horse around a barrel in El Paso, Texas.

Got questions?

You can always reach out to me via DMs on social media or email me using my contact form. I love answering questions!

February 6, 2023

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