Rare Breed Livestock and Animal Photography West Sussex | English Goat

Rare breed animal photography is something I really enjoy. I find rare, specialist, and native animal breeds fascinating. The problem is that some of these species are endangered. We have some beautiful farm stock out there and it’s a privilege to photograph many of these gorgeous animals.

The portrait below is an English Goat. I personally think these goats are stunning, especially the males which can have very long and thick coats. They are hardy and docile, although today’s subject had a distinctly playful and regal air about him. A bit of a poseur in fact. And who wouldn’t, if you look that good? I’m pleased to say these animals are not endangered and represent one of several native breeds. However when I say ‘not endangered’ this is down to diligent and dedicated breeders who’ve helped to tackle the problem of crossbreeding which diluted the stock. The aim is to preserve the gene pool so that the breed remains true.

How you present your portraits is incredibly important. And I will say something now to those photographers who are convinced they need zillions of megapixels in their cameras. This photograph was taken in 2011. One of the cameras I used back then was the Canon 40D. As some of you will know, this is a 10 megapixel machine. And yet professionals like myself managed to create lots of wonderful pictures which were blown up and printed at a large size. The key thing in making a large print is the quality of the capture. This means very accurate autofocus, accurate exposure, appropriate depth of field and framing. The framing aspect on this occasion was the biggest concern as I couldn’t get as close as I wanted to (this goat was being rather playful and wanted to chase me). I had to hang back behind the fence and then hugely crop the finished photograph. I still keep a fabulous 36 inch framed headshot in my dining room.

Back to presentation - because this is a very regal animal and an almost mediaeval and painterly style photograph, I decided to print this to rough cotton canvas. It was then framed in a vintage gilt frame. It’s one of the most dramatic wall pieces I have, friends and clients often comment on it.

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