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Preparing for your photo shoot

Preparing for your photo shoot

A Few Photo Tips and Tricks for Watersports Athletes – Kitesurfing / Kiteboarding

Reflective Surfaces: Your skin, board and clothing can make all the difference in the outcome of your photo shoot.

Wetsuits & Blacks: So often we see surfers / kiters in black wetsuits and for a photographer it’s not ideal nor are the majority of the shots flattering, the black wetsuit is boring with the exception of some that are very thin and decorated with colorful markings. The traditional black wetsuit can cause a lack of definition that takes away from the action. The shadows and blacks can also cause banding or noise and removing them even with high DR cameras and skilled post production is not always successful. If you must wear a wetsuit they now come in colors and very thin materials with fun patterns. If you need a wetsuit based on cold water / weather conditions or sharp coral / rocks you now have choices. You don't have to look like a stuffed sausage with sponsor tags on every square inch.

Silver, White or Mirror Surfaces: Another condition not good for flattering pictures can be too many reflective surfaces that overexpose or clip causing a total loss of color. These clipping issues are just as bad if not worse than heavy blacks or shadows as “clipped” or “over exposed areas” are almost impossible to recover. Try and keep your gear, jewelry and accessories away from being mirror-like. Too much white clothing or too many white surfaces are not ideal. Balancing your skin tone, removing shadows, cutting heavy back-lit sky all require attention and balance by your photographer during and after the shoot in post-production.

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 what you to look great so coordinate your colors the way you want to be perceived professionally. 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

Men and Women: 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, sponsorships and marketing revenue. Use this to your advantage if you can.

Bring at least two 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 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, sometimes: 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 12fps, 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’s equipment: 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, passing shots and even close-ups on the water. Then you can move to the beach and get some 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.

Remember your photo shoot is supposed to be fun and rewarding.

Best regards,

Tony Filson -

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