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Preparing for your photo shoot

Photo Tips and Tricks for Watersports Athletes Kitesurfing / kiteboarding


Reflective Surfaces


Skin, equipment and clothing can make all the difference in the outcome of your photo shoot. 

Coordinate your colors:  You, your board, rig, kite, clothing, bathing suits

Place everything on the ground: So often, before we shoot we ask surfers to take everything they will be using and wearing and just place it on the ground in the sun.  Kitesurfing photography is supposed to be filled with color and be fun.  You, your sponsors and your fans want you to look great so coordinate your colors the way you want to be perceived professionally and differentiate yourself from others.  You want people standing on shore to know who you are from a distance.  Black is O-U-T.  Have fun with your colors. Example of Good Color Balance

Over 89% of Kitesurfers are in great shape according to a survey by major athletic sponsors, that's why they pick some kitesurfers over others.   Show off your best asset, “you”.  Picking the right bathing suit, shorts, bikini tops and athletic wear is not easy.  While performing, you need to make sure there are no “wardrobe malfunctions” but both men and women should try and look as fit, sexy, alive and vibrant as possible.  The editors of the top sports magazines, product sponsors and their websites want and need photographs that make people stop and admire your skills as well as the way you look.  You worked hard to get and stay in shape, that’s part of your image as an athlete and marketing brand.  Armature or professional, your overall image translates to wins, Men and Women's sponsorships and marketing revenue.   Use this to your advantage if you can.


Bring at least two wardrobe changes


The only way to tell if you've had one photo session, two or three is by what you're wearing.  To get the most out of each day we recommend at least two changes of clothing.   Bathing suits, shorts, t-shirts, bikini tops and bottoms, multicolored hair bands.  For beach shots before or after being in the water you can bring clothing that's even more flattering if you want a 3rd change.  If you want great beach shots next to your boards, remember your colors. Unless we are providing wardrobe, make-up and hair for your shoot, these are your responsibilities.  At times, sponsors bring products to the events, if you've got "the look" you might get a shot at a new sponsor.    


Look at the camera - Your fans want to see you

Knowing the time of day you’re having your shoot, you’ll know where the photographer will be to have the front of your body facing the sun.  Practice a few runs and don’t be scared to face the camera.  A smile can make for a great shot. Remember, we're shooting at 12 to 14fps, we can pick-up all the personality, fun and dynamics you want your fans to see. Cloudy days can make for "even",  "well lit" shots in tropical settings.  Embrace the clouds :)

Understand the basics of being on camera:  You’ll look better for it

Know your photographer, spend some time together before the photo shoot: Hi-end lenses are made to shoot at fixed and varied distances.  Chances are your photographer will be able to tell you before the shoot what the ideal distances will be with a particular lens or group of lenses they will be using.  Part of your day’s shoot could be broken up into acrobatics / freestyle, passing shots and even close-ups  on the water.  When on the beach to shoot fashion, equipment or beauty portraits, work with your photographer, learn how you’ll be seen in the lens, it will help you to become a more noted and better-photographed athlete that your fans can relate to.  Most of all have fun!  It's all about the Kitesurfing lifestyle

If you're a rider or photographer and need any advice, reach out, always happy to help those who are serious about their skills.


Tony Filson :)



Tony Filson


Jos Waterreus Kitesurfing in Aruba
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Photograph of Tony Filson

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