For Photographers

This page details opportunities for contract photographers to shoot for Essence Captured at the Paso Robles Horse Park, Central Coast Polo, or other venues and equine events.  All rates are subject to change with or without notice.  Please sign and retain a contract with us for any rate guarantees.

This is an opportunity for those who love action, horses, and photography to contribute to capturing memories for the athletes and their families.  The reward is the joy in watching and capturing the action and the moments, for all levels of competitors, and in being outside in the fresh air and sunshine (or possibly other weather!) and mingling with the equine crowd.  Another opportunity is increasing your level of proficiency with your camera and in post processing and Lightroom - adding hours to your experience, learning new things, and getting better and better.

We LOVE what we do, so ultimately we want people on our team who are also going to LOVE doing this.  If you're not excited just thinking about it, this is probably not for you.

If you ARE excited and interested, have read everything on this page, and are ready to see the event schedule and discuss your availability, fill out this form!

Link to FormLori Sortino

Shift Coverage

Shift coverage involves working a 5-6 hour shift where you are expected to cover competitor classes (action and candid shots) at an arena or similar assigned location.  You will edit and upload images after the event to our on line gallery following our guidelines and procedures. 

A split shift is where you cover approximately 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours at the end of the day.

You must be available to work your shift, have your own professional level camera(s) and lenses, be proficient in LightRoom, and have high speed internet for bulk image uploading.

You may accept as many shifts as you want during an event.  Some photographers take one shift, others take 4 or 5 shifts.


Shooter Only

Experienced Photographers may elect to shoot on our memory cards and leave RAW images with us for editing.  

Deb Hofstetter


“Associate Photographer”

Seasoned Professional Photographers who commit to shooting at every event and show consistent results and commitment to our business

Base Pay $150 per shift ($250 full day, $150 split shift) for shooting and $100/shift for editing & uploading

($30-$100 travel stipend for out of towners) 


“Contract Photographer”

(Photographers who occasionally shoot for us, have proven skills, but have other commitments and priorities)

Paid $75 per shift for shooting and $75 per shift for editing for first six shifts, then if proficiency & product has improved...

$100 per shift for shooting and $100 per shift for editing.

($30-$100 travel stipend for out of towners) 


“New Photographer”

(photographer who is trying us out and vice versa to see if we are a fit for each other)

Come and Float (no pay) and upload images to our gallery for our review.  We will provide feedback, assess, and discuss where you might fit and when you are ready to accept shift responsibility.  This process may be waived for photographers with horse show experience and an acceptable portfolio.



Contract Photographers are paid approximately a week after the event, via PayPal or Venmo

(or you may request a check be mailed to you instead)


Floating means you can come shoot at the event we are covering on your schedule, as long as we know when you're coming.  You can shoot as much or as little as you want.

You will edit and upload your images to our image gallery, where your submitted images will be curated.   If your images sell, you will receive a stipend (percentage of sales).



No base pay, bonus may be paid after sales are final based on image sales


If you're not at our level yet, love photographing horses, and want to be one of our photographers, we will train you.

Training fees are $100/hour  

You can earn your training fees back once you complete your training and start working for us.

Training sessions consist of alternating on location instruction and mentoring, and skype or zoom type video calls for post processing and editing instruction.

If you apply for and are awarded a scholarship, You have to commit to shoot for us at all shows for a year, without pay, in exchange for training and mentoring.

Lori Sortino
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