There isn’t a whole lot of expertise that goes along with photographing your goats, but it does take practice and patience. Remember that you are setting up your goat to show it off to its advantage; the judges will be evaluating the showmanship, not the handling. The examples I’ve provided here all show the goat being “handled”, but if you have good candid photos that meet the requirements, you can use those too. There are 4 required poses for your pictures, plus a foreudder shot if your doe is in milk. Our model is Fiona, and these are photos taken for a V-show from 2017.
Fiona is standing naturally here. She is not stretching out her neck or over-angulating her hind legs. Her front legs are lined up and set directly under her shoulders. Her rear legs are aligned under her hips.
2. Front shot
The photographer could have been a little more centered with this shot, but Fiona is positioned well. Her legs are straight and in-line with each other (both side-to-side and front-to-back). Her neck is up and shown to her advantage.
3. Rear Shot
Again, having the feet in-line with each other is important here. You will also want to show the width between the hocks, but DON’T spread the hind legs unnaturally far apart. It’s also important for the tail to be up in order to adequately judge the escutcheon. If in milk, make sure your doe has a full udder. In Fiona’s case, she was in heat and would not “udder up”.
This shot is taken to show the goat’s spring of rib and barrel width. It’s important to get as centered over the top as possible. Try to get the neck in the photo so the judge can see the whole line of the body and how it blends. If your goat is an adult, it is easier to get this picture while standing on a chair.
5. Foreudder shot (does in milk only)
In this instance, I forgot to take a foreudder shot during our shoot, and had to snap one later at milking time. Do your best to get all your photos at the same time for continuity, but we understand that sometimes it isn’t possible. Sharp eyes will notice Gloria in the background (cute, but it may be distracting for the judge).
A goat can photograph really well, but look terrible on the move; the opposite can also be true. We feel that a video submission will give the judges the most information to make a decision. It will be a new experience for most of us, so we are giving some grace here. Please keep your videos as short as possible, but include an angle that shows the goat approaching the camera, walking away from the camera, and shown moving from the side. In this video, trusty Fiona is the model. She is 3 years older, and you can see how she is more mature. The only thing I would change is to have more of her moving from the side. For reference, this was shot on an iPhone while the photographer was squatting.
Once you have all your photos and video, fill out and submit your entry form. You will be prompted to submit your photos/video at that time. Please make sure to send $5/a head entry fee to firstname.lastname@example.org (friends and family).
-Try to photograph your goats on an overcast day. The lighting will be in your favor.
-The photographer should be level with the goat when taking pictures. Shooting pictures from above will foreshorten the picture and make the goat look weird.
-TRIM HOOVES. Overgrown hooves not only look untidy but will cause your goat to stand and walk unnaturally.
-Clip your goats as necessary. This time of year, many goats do not need to be clipped at all. However, a dairy clip (the udder and surrounding areas) will help the judges assess the mammary area. If your goat has long or thick hair, clipping her will help the judge see her angles and build.
-Photograph your goat on a level surface that leaves the feet visible. A judge can tell a lot about a goat from the feet.
-Be patient and have fun! Your goat will pick up on your attitude.