All images by Ryan Courson. Used with permission.
To be able to capture the best photographs of animals the photographer needs to understand the nature and behavior of the specific animal which he intends to photograph. Working in the horse industry and witnessing the beautiful horses every day, Ryan Courson has turned his love for horses into magnificent animal portrait photography.
Ryan Courson revealed to us that his journey in photography started seven years ago, and what inspired him to pick up photography was the desire to share with others the beauty, power, and personalities of the horses he witnesses working in the horse industry. Horses have become such a huge part of Ryan’s life and he hoped he could instill a sense of awe and admiration for horses through his photography work. In order to accomplish this, Ryan further emphasized that he pre-visualized his images to look the certain way they look with specific lighting effects, poses, and composition, without resorting to heavy post-processing to achieve the “painting quality” look.
One of the main reasons why Ryan Courson was able to shoot such incredibly beautiful portraits of horses is his keen knowledge and deep understanding of the horses he was deeply inspired to shoot. He has spent enormous amount of time on location with the horses just to watch how they interact, and to learn their distinct personalities. This is the classic photography tip of “knowing your subject” thoroughly in order to bring out the best characters in photography. The horses in Ryan’s images appear to be perfectly in their natural state, either just standing around relaxed or running elegantly, which was no easy feat in animal photography. Some of the portrais were taken with dramatic lighting, as if they were shot in a controlled studio environment, but Ryan claimed those were taken at the right place and time. It was as if Ryan has mastered the art of capturing the decisive moment in equine photography.
You may find out more of Ryan Courson’s animal photography work at his portfolio site here.