If you’re a female athlete or rider looking to capture the attention of a possible sponsor to help grow in your sport, the SheShreds Team is always ready to to extend a helping hand. But before you approach a possible sponsor, it’s important to have your ducks in a row, including some attention-grabbing images and videos to share with them and make them go “WOW!”
To get those attention-grabbing photos, good photography is paramount. Although, before you think of spending hundreds or thousands on hiring a photographer try it out yourself first. Good photos will get your resume noticed and convince sponsors that you are the female rider they’re looking for. If you aren’t capturing your riding skills well, bad photos could turn sponsors away based on your skill level and ability to perform. Below we have some helpful tips to get you some of the best photos from an amateur photographer like parents or friends.
Setup: Your Gear
Before you get your plan for some rad photos together, be sure to have your gear ready and the best options available for the types of photos you’re looking to take.
- Smartphones. If you are planning on using an iPhone or Android, be sure to check the settings to see if you can switch to HDR (High-def resolution) and burst mode (multiple photos in seconds). Also, be sure to have the right case for the phone to prevent damage if dropped on the ground or in water.
- GoPros. If you are using small action cameras like a GoPro, be sure to have the right cases for protection and different mounting options for various angles. Action cameras are a good idea to have rolling while you’re snapping other photos. The various settings can allow you to get multiple angles and perspectives. You can grab a GoPro from our partners at BackCounty.
- Digital Cameras. If you have a Canon or Nikon SLR camera, you may have the ability to change lens for various set ups. Whether you want a close action shot or a wide angle perspective, be sure to have the right gear and settings ready to capture the moment.
No matter what photography gear you are using be sure to always CHARGE it before you use it. The worst feeling is “getting the best shot” and realizing you’re staring at a blank screen on your camera. Now let’s get snapping.
Starting With You: The Athlete
- Plan your tricks. Pick tricks that you've got down solid. In photography, it's better to look stylish with a less advanced trick than flail your way through something difficult - all the camera will capture is the flail, not the level of difficulty.
- Consider not spinning off jumps. Unless it's a clean, stylish 180 with a nice grab, spinning can produce weird still images. Inverted tricks, however, tend to get the point across on film, if you've got any good ones.
- Plan your feature, if you're using one. Try to find something that you feel comfortable on, but that is photographically interesting.
- Tell your photographer what you're planning and remind them of your natural stance. Make sure they're not standing to your back.
- Lap it. Try the same trick multiple times. Shoot it until you get it right.
- Think about what you're wearing. If possible, aim for colors that stand out on film.
- Do tricks that are fun for you. Nothing is better than a shot where you're smiling while nailing something!
Check out some of the great shots our sponsored athletes are getting when their hitting the slopes and features!
SheShreds Sponsored Athlete, Snowoboarder Livia Molodyh
SheShreds Sponsored Athlete, Pro Wakeboarder Taylor McCullough
Behind the Lens: Photographer
- Plan a special day for shooting photos. Shots from competitions are great, but you'll get better photos if you're both focused on what looks good in still photos.
- Think about timing and weather. Ditch the photo shoot if the weather isn't right.
- Talk to your subject, discuss tricks, which direction they'll be facing, and where you should position yourself.
- Look at the work of professional photographers in your chosen sport. Pick simple, easy to replicate shots and try for similar angles with your shots.
- Consider your background and what the athlete is wearing. Will they stand out or blend into the background? Don't stand where you'll be capturing an athlete in dark colors with a background of pine trees.
- For jump shots, find an angle where you can capture the takeoff, and at least have a feel for where the landing is. This will give some the shot some perspective, and will be less confusing than a shot of a girl flying through the air with no context.
- Burst mode is your friend. Most cameras today are able to shoot many photos in quick succession. (On an iPhone, hold down the camera button continuously to initiate burst mode). Start shooting as the athlete approaches the feature, and don't let off until they're done. It's better to have 40 photos to sort through than one ill-timed shot.
- Try some fun angles - get in close to a rail, shoot skate bowl shots from below, lay down on the ground to exaggerate the height of a jump. Then shoot the same shot again from a normal angle, just in case.
Remember you want to make the image simple, yet powerful. Pictured: Taylor McCullough. Photo cred: Bradlee Rutledge
Having simple photos, can say a lot. Pictured: Livia Molodyh
After Your Shred It, Edit!
If you didn't get great photos, don't share them! Look at your images with a critical eye before submitting them to sponsors and sharing them on public athlete pages. Ask these questions:
- Is this photograph demonstrating a skill that is on par for an athlete in your category/age group?
- Is the trick or skill in the photograph properly demonstrated, and did the photographer capture it at the right time? (yes, that means no Tindys or Tailfishes)
- Does it look like you landed the trick?
- Is the shot confusing? Would someone be able to tell what is happening in the shot?
Once you are ready to start taking some photos, be sure to remember one thing, HAVE FUN! A photo can speak a 1000 words, and if you aren’t having fun your potential sponsors will see that. Be yourself. Be bold. And have fun!
Connect with Virginia on Twitter @BueWho and share your #SheShredPhotoTips!
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