Learn to take great photos


Instructors: Christina Handley, Rachael Waller and Laura Cotterman
8 weeks, 4 Lessons, 4 assignments

Coming soon to a computer near you! Never before have the forces of equine photography aligned in a convergence this powerful. Horses everywhere are moving to the beat of this incredible creative energy. See the horse's true soul through the intuitive eyes and heart of Rachael Waller, find the magic moment with the patience, timing and vision of Christina Handley, become enlightened of all the fine nuances of this magnificent creature with the wisdom and insight of Laura Cotterman and infuse your post processing with creative genius and artistic talent.

What is the "Winter Edition"?
"Winter Edition" means special tips for shooting horses in snow and lots more artistic post-processing in Photoshop. The Winter Edition has special emphasis on editing and post-processing your work in Photoshop. Class will include tips and tricks for photographing horses in winter including getting great photos in snow.

You can be part of a learning experience like no other ... anywhere. The Essence of Equus is more than a photography class. It will reach inside your soul and grasp your vision and put it to paper. You will have 3 professional equine photographers which are at the top of the fine art world at your side as you make your way on your own personal journey. Christina, Rachael and Laura will be there to answer your questions, give you guidance and help you along the way.

The class will run for 2 full months and include 4 assignments. We will take you from planning your shoot, to capturing the images, to perfecting them in post production and finally to a complete fine art piece.

The Essence of Equus will focus on the artistic aspects of photography and post-processing.

Taught by three professional equine photographers in a collaborative effort, this class has a wonderful synergy. We are all friends, know each other and work well together. This experience will be uplifting, energizing and fun. Ride the wave of the creative flow with us.

This course includes FOUR LESSONS and ASSIGNMENTS.

Lesson One - The Essence of Equus

  • Finding subjects to shoot (horses in pastures, wild horses, Chincoteague ponies, sanctuaries, rescues)
  • Interactions that reveal the horse (with other horses, humans, cats, dogs, birds)
  • Snapshots vs images that capture the essence of the horse
  • Parts and pieces - Equiscapes - Coat patterns - Shadows - Manes, tails
  • Using shape, line, texture in image design
  • Go all the way to abstraction

Lesson Two - Movement and Gesture

  • The horse in motion
  • Learning to see horsey moments (behaviors like scratching, rolling)
  • Gaits (description of gaits, photogenic moments, breaking rules)
  • Thundering hooves (unusual perspectives)
  • Motion blur (low light, panning, painting)
  • Slow shutter speeds

Lesson Three - Post Processing

  • Software - Photoshop, Nik Filters, Lightroom etc.
  • Curves, layers, toning, composition
  • Global vs local adjustments

Lesson Four - Putting it all together

  • Image selection and editing
  • Identifying your audience
  • Testing your images on your audience (see what people react to)
  • Building series and triptychs
  • Printing your images on paper and canvas
  • Ink Jet printing (paper suggestions, resources)


  • DSLR Photography 101 or equivalent is a prerequisite for this course. Please take this class in advance if you are a beginner or need to get more comfortable with your camera controls.
  • You will need to have good access to loose horses to photograph outdoors for the first month of class unless you have a library of good horse images to work with.
  • You are encouraged to shoot new work for the first two lessons.
  • There is no specific camera or lens requirements for this course. You can use any digital camera. This class is not suitable for compact, pocket point and shoot cameras. A DSLR is recommended but not required. If you have any camera other than a DSLR camera and a telephoto lens 70-200mm, 70-300mm or equivalent then please email us at info@learntotakephotos.com for approval before you sign up.
  • Lesson Three teaches post process using Photoshop and a variety of plug ins. Trial versions are available. A current version of Photoshop Elements or CS is strongly recommended. Photoshop is not required but you will be responsible for translating the ideas and techniques to your software.
  • The lesson materials include videos and you will need a high speed Internet connection to view them. Videos are available on the website only and cannot be downloaded.
  • If you have any questions about any of these requirements, email us at info@learntotakephotos.com.


  • On the course start date you will receive an email reminder when the lesson and assignment becomes available on the website.
  • This course includes four comprehensive lessons in PDF and video format with detailed instructions and assignments. You will have two weeks including two weekends to work the assignments.
  • After completing each assignment you will upload your photos to the website by the assignment due date.
  • Your instructor reviews your photos and offers constructive comments within three days following the due date.
  • You can ask questions and discuss ideas with your classmates.


  • Indoor arena photography
  • Flash photography
  • Business discussions
  • Very basic camera skills, DSLR Photography 101 or equivalent is a prerequisite for this course.
  • Very basic Photoshop skills, you should be comfortable downloading and resizing photos

We offer a 100% refund before the course start date. Once the first lesson has been sent out no refunds will be given.

Course Overview
Price: $249
Includes 4 lessons & 4 assignments over two months taught by 3 instructors
Next session TBA

Your Instructor: Christina Handley
Christina Handley
Christina Handley is a full time professional freelance photographer with a career spanning over 19 years. She specializes in natural/available light photography. Christina is recognized world wide for her unique horse, agriculture and people lifestyle images. Christina regularly accepts assignments for commercial and editorial work. www.christinahandley.com

Your Instructor: Rachael Waller

Rachael Waller holds a B.F.A. and Masters of Fine Art in film from world renowned California Institute of the Arts, where she studied with distinguished mentors of light & cinematography. Ms. Waller has shown her award winning work internationally and nationally for the past 15 years. www.rachaelwallerphotography.com/

Your Instructor: Laura Cotterman
Laura Cotterman
Laura Cotterman is a professional freelance photographer located in Virginia's hunt country. Horses are her specialty. Laura has been around horses for over 30 years breeding and training race and sport horses. Her photos are regularly published in national equine and consumer publications. www.lauracotterman.com
Learn To Take Photos is an online photography school run by professional photographers. Our online photo courses are fun and motivating.