3 Reasons Why you should care about (professional) photos
Okay, so I may be a bit biased, but how else am I going to explain to you that photos are worth buying? This blog is about the worth of photos. Race photos, landscape photos, commercial photography for your business, etc. I’m talking about high res, high quality professional photos done by someone who does it for a living. A professional who cares passionately about (and is good at) the art of photography and editing, because the two go hand in hand. I’ll start by highlighting landscape art, then move onto race photography before wrapping up this post with commercial photography. Hey, it's what I do!
Those tasty ‘scapes
Ok, so we all see them everywhere. Photos of the world around us. Those totally grammable porch views, mountain views, and beach vistas. Why should we , the general population, care about buying these types of photos? Well, you’ve heard of home decor, right? Wall art? Instead of buying a cliche, mass produced painting at Home Goods or wherever, how ‘bout you look into some local landscape art? If you love where you live (and I hope you do), I am positive that there is a local photographer or artist that sells amazing work on his or her website. How about you show them some love and display their work on your walls? If you own an AirBnB, public office, dentist or doctor office or basically anything else, these types of works look amazing on your walls. ESPECIALLY if it’s local. It adds a special flare to the space and shows your clients/guests some neat places that they might want to check out on their own. It’s also way more interesting to look at and sets a vibe for the place.
Ready, set, go! Race Photos!
Race photography is usually a seasonal gig and almost every race will have one or more professional photographers on course. It's (part of) how these photographers make their living.. Who doesn’t want a close-up of themselves doing something awesome?! Well, for starters, some racers aspire to go pro. Or at the very least, get some sponsors if they aren’t sponsored already. For the aspiring sponsored racer, you’ll need quality content to get noticed. So, spend the ten or twenty dollars and buy a race photo after each race. Coupled with some podiums during race season, you’ve got yourself a pretty decent portfolio. Booking a private rider portrait shoot is always a good investment too;) For the sponsored racer, you have expectations. Social media posts, quality content to submit, blogs, etc. Even if you’re an average Jane like me, and love to run or ride in races, you can still show off a little with a sick shot of you in action. And they will be more impressed at a professional photograph than by a blurry iPhone shot!
Let’s get down to business
For a business, professional photography is a MUST. It makes people take you more seriously, engages the consumer, and leads to higher sales. I don’t want to look at a grainy, under or over-exposed photo of something you’re trying to sell. I don’t even want to look at a photo if the model obviously had bad hygiene or whatever. Gross! The point of trying to sell things through images is to make the viewer want to BE that person or USE that product. Or to just sit there and look pretty. Really! To think; “I can see myself wearing/using this. I must buy!”. Don’t believe me? Consider these numbers (the first three came from efelle creatives e-commerce marketing blog).
-75% of consumers rely on product photos when deciding whether or not to purchase (Adams, 2018).
-20-30% of returns happen because the product did not look as advertised.
-High quality visual content is 40% more likely to be shared on social media.
Another fun fact: Hiring a professional photographer when selling or renting your home will lead to a larger sales price and faster selling time than if you didn’t hire one. Make the investment, it’s worth it in the long run and it SAVES you time. You can be sure your competitors are using professional quality visual content.
Just one more little tip for the business owner/marketing person:
Race photography is always a good low-committal investment to market your business or service. Especially if you are an outdoor apparel company, or a sponsor for racers. Often, the photographer has commercial rates for each of his/her images. Contact him or her to find out what this is if it isn’t listed, and enjoy the benefits of a lower cost option before investing in commercial photography in the future. I sell mine for thirty-five dollars per image or fifty dollars for a set of up to 5 and you get a Royalty Free Commercial Use License with it. There are also options for downloading entire galleries for commercial or personal use.
How to add flare to your race photos
It’s February, and many of you reading this have already had your first race of the year. Whether that be xc cycling, Enduro, or even running, race season is underway and I’m here to help. There are usually professional photographers on the course capturing the moment, and they work hard on the process of shooting, editing, delivering. There’s nothing more disappointing than to finally look at your picture and find out you basically blend in with the background! If nothing stands out or you don’t think you look good, what’s the point of buying a photo? Well, read on to find out what you can do to maximize the shot.
Wear bright colors!
Usually, races are outside where the colors of each background are green, brown, or even blue (if the race is above treeline). So, don’t wear those colors! Blue is ok, as long as it’s a bright Or royal blue. My favorite colors that I see on racers that make the photo pop are highlighter yellow, white, red, lime green, royal blue, and pink. Own a pair of zebra pants? Bring em out on race day! Not only will you stand out, but your photo will too! A lot of times, people think that if they wear a bright yellow shirt with bright blue pants (or insert clashy combo here), they don’t match or it clashes. While that might be true if you’re out in public, that’s totally not the case in the woods!
Exaggerate your form
Ever see a photo on Instagram and the person looks ahhmazing? Everything about that photo is top notch. Well, as talented as we may be as photographers, we can’t REALLY make the subject look good if he or she has bad form or looks terrified, stiff, etc. So, if you happen to see the photog ahead on the course, think about exaggerating your form. Most likely, they are around a turn, at a jump, or at the bottom of a steep section. So, point that knee out, move those hips, and look fierce! Throw some steeze, get low, whatever would make you look like you own that section. Most of the time, doing this will make you ride or run better anyway, so why not? If it’s a running race, a lot of people have that “signature move”. It could be a crazy jump, finger guns, or basically anything else. But let me tell you, as awesome as those moves are, being totally in the zone creates an amazing shot too.
I know it’s kind of a given, but if you exude confidence or even fake it, chances are you will look confident! Looking confident on a bike will show through the photos, and it will make you ride your best! It also really shows through the eyes. So, another small tip; wear clear goggles! Being able to see the eyes in a close up shot will connect the viewer to the photo/rider. It almost makes the viewer feel what you’re feeling. Confidence is key! If you’re a runner, work on taking up space. I don’t mean gain weight, I just mean stand up straighter, move those arms, give me one of those signature poses. Want to know a quick empowerment pose? Stand taller, widen your stance, chin up, and put those hands on your hips. 10 seconds of that pre-race start and you’re ready to take on the world.
In conclusion, if you’re a racer and you actually care about those race photos, practice the three points I mentioned above. Don’t give a hoot about photos? Well, wait until my next blog to find out why most of you should. Until next time, shred on!