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Horse Illustrated Photographers' Guidelines

Updated June 2015

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Welcome to Horse Illustrated, one of the nation’s largest equine publications. We pride ourselves on providing quality illustrative photos to our readership. We are pleased to offer our photographers some of the most competitive rates in the equine industry. Horse Illustrated strives to have images that are unique to its pages.

HORSE ILLUSTRATED is a magazine directed toward adult horse owners. Please study a copy of the magazine before making your submission. That way you won’t be sending us photos that are inappropriate for our content.

Safety and responsible care are the keynotes of our editorial content. Therefore, photos must depict healthy horses (unless submitting photos for a particular article on unhealthy horses), well-appointed riders (no tank tops, shorts, bare feet or other inappropriate riding attire) and horses, and handlers using safe practices.

Hunt-seat riders, show jumpers and dressage riders should be wearing up-to-date safety helmets in good condition with chinstraps and harnesses properly adjusted and fastened. Please learn the difference between an ASTM/SEI approved helmet and a "for apparel only” riding hat or hunt cap. We will not be accepting any photos of hunt caps. There are a few exceptions where traditional attire or competition rules permit other types of headwear. Western riders and trail riders must be wearing western hats or helmets. Photos of bare-headed riders or riders in baseball hats cannot be considered. (NOTE: If setting up your own shoots, it's a good idea to invest in an attractive, up-to-date, low-cost schooling helmet to put on your subject.)

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC SUBJECTS: Select individuals who are attractive, with well-groomed, fit horses wearing clean, up-to-date tack and equipment. We know that in the real world, a lot of riders grab their grubbiest clothes, whisk a little dirt off their pasture-kept horses, saddle up and go. Magazines, however, are not "reality TV.” We want to show our readership how to put their best foot forward. We are reporting on trends. We do not want to show dated apparel, worn out tack and sloppy appearances.

For your location, select an attractive, uncluttered background. Move the collection of broken jump standards out of your shot. Tidy up the barn aisle before shooting. Grab a pitchfork and get the manure out of your frame. These little details don’t go unnoticed by the reader. Ask yourself if the horse, rider and background are worthy enough to be in your shot.

STOCK: We are always on the lookout to update our files with digital stock. We draw from these files for every issue. (We will assume CDs of digital images need not be returned, unless otherwise indicated.)

Stock needs include: general and seasonal horse care; grooming, equine nutrition and feeding; horse health, veterinary and farrier care; trail riding, English and western show and schooling shots; as well as photos that illustrate the horse/human bond.

We are often in need of photos of horses demonstrating problem behaviors for our training columns, and medical ailments for our veterinary column. If you are shooting "naughty horses,” you must submit a model release with any photos taken on private property (i.e. not a show).

Rates & Payment:
$250 – cover photo (poster)
$250 – centerspread; two-page spread
$150 – partial-page spread (a photo that is larger than a full page and goes across the gutter of the magazine but is less than a two-page bleed)
$ 100 – full-page color
$ 65 – partial-page color
$ 25 – if a photo used in a feature is also included in the Table of Contents

A specific photo needs list is available upon request. When photos are submitted for a particular use or article, they are reviewed during the production schedule for that issue. If we are interested in using your photos, we will send you a contract. Contracts need to be signed and returned to our office before we can publish any photos.

Payment is made upon publication. We buy non-exclusive rights for one North American edition of the magazine (print and digital replica edition) and one of each foreign language edition of the magazine.

What to Send
High-resolution digital images are our preferred format. Professional-grade equipment is a must to achieve the size and quality image we require. Only tack-sharp images will be considered. JPEG format is the easiest for us to work with. Please submit digital images according to the instructions below.

  1. Acceptable submission methods include a link to an online gallery, lightbox or file transfer service like Dropbox or similar. We will also accept submissions via CD, or flash drive.
  2. CDs and flash drives must be accompanied by a color thumbnail printout (digital contact sheet).
  3. Organize your submission so that we can easily browse a gallery folders. Use descriptive file names to help us identify what's shown, or include a caption list with the information.

Professional-grade equipment is a must to achieve the size and quality image we require. Only tack-sharp images will be considered. JPEG format is the easiest for us to work with.

Please do not send scans of slides—the color and quality are generally not up to par compared with digital images. We will consider exceptions for photos that can’t be easily found, such as famous horses and riders of the past, rare breeds and other very specific photo needs.

We no longer accept submissions of slides due to the time and liability involved in handling them.

How and Where to Send It
With each submission, please include correspondence that details what article your work should be considered for. Please include your social security number (or taxpayer ID) on your correspondence to expedite payment. Each image or CD should be labeled with your name, address and phone number.

Information about the subject (breed, event) should also be included. Please mail submissions to us at:

P.O. Box 12106
Lexington, KY 40580-2106
Attn: Elizabeth Moyer, Editor

We will assume CDs of digital images need not be returned, unless otherwise indicated. If you would like your digital submission returned, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with enough postage to return your photos. We cannot be responsible for lost or misdirected mail.

Rev. July 2015

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Reader Comments

Olivia    Dawsonville, GA

10/18/2016 7:03:49 PM

I just wanted to know if you were maybe interested in using my blm mustang filly that I trained for the youth extreme mustang makeover. I would really love this opportunity. My email is if you. Plus get back to me that'd be awesome! Thank you!

Ashley    Georgetown, TX

7/2/2015 8:52:50 PM

I love Horse Illustrated so much. I especially like the articles on the different equine journeys that take place in exciting places around the world. I have an article that I wrote that I think would be good to put in a horse illustrated along with some photographs. LETS BE HORSE CRAZY!

I...    ..........., PA

12/9/2014 1:39:59 PM

I took some good photos with a digital camera that I've been thinking of submitting. I know you said that we have to use "professional grade" equipment. Would I still be able to submit photos taken on a digital camera?

Bill    Paso Robles, CA

11/16/2014 8:59:51 AM

This lady Leslie Schmitz is going to send you pictures of Bryce Baker's Piece of Me Miniatures in Paso Robles, Ca. I think before you publish any of those pictures you should know that my horse died of neglect at the hands of Bryce Baker and Shawn Hester owners of that ranch. Before any pictures are published you should know this case is being investigated by the state of CA.

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