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Livestock Today

RSS By: Sara Brown, Beef Today

The Livestock Today blog is your place to learn the latest production news for the livestock industry.

Cattle Photography 101

May 11, 2012

Put me in a pasture with a camera and some cattle, and I’m happy. My family and neighbors know if they see my car parked at the gate, or Dad’s pickup in the pasture, that I’m out there somewhere, just trying to get the best shot that I can. 

It’s not just cattle—I’ll often switch over to hogs, wheat, or row-crop and hay equipment. But I always come back to the pasture. Cattlemen know what I mean. It’s just so peaceful watching cattle graze.
My other new fascination? Checking the listings at Have you been to the site? Thousands of cattle for sale, in every class and breed you could imagine. It’s addicting—and a great way to find new people to profile for our magazine.
When my publisher asked me to do an instructional video to help cattle producers get good photos of their animals on the site, I was excited. With the help of Sara Schafer, our video genius, here is the finished project. 


A quick hit list of the tips:
  • Choose the right equipment—a digital SLR camera with a zoom lens suits most people well.
  • Have a bag of feed cubes or grain with you so cattle don’t move away too quickly.
  • The same animal handling rules apply when photographing cattle—be calm and quiet.
  • A good idea is to take profile pictures of the best cows and bulls in the group, as well as an overall group shot of the animals. If you are selling only one animal (a bull, for example) you may want to halter the animal to get that "heads up" look.
  • The best time of day is early to mid-morning, and mid-afternoon. Be aware of the effect that shadows have on dark cattle.
This will help you get started, but remember it may take some time to get just the right photo. Do you have any more tips to add? Post them below so I and others can learn too!
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