The way to win the hearts of those brands who are looking for outdoors influencers is through photography.
The outdoors industry lives in the space of visual communication. If it not for the magazines of old that told stories of hunting adventures or sharing pictures of fish caught around the Thanksgiving dinner table, there would not be the anticipation for the upcoming season or the next adventure. Now, the stories are told in the space of blogs and social media. Outdoors enthusiasts will scan through their social media to view images of hunting or fishing while they are sitting at their desks at work in anticipation the next time they are able to get outside.
Brands want to be sure that they capture the views of those people. But with the massive flow of images hitting social media from folks with a smartphone creates a big blur where no one stands out…unless the image is great! A fantastic photo on Instagram will cause a person to stop scrolling to spend time on the image.
But, how to get them to stop scrolling to look at your image and get the attention of the brands you want to be sponsored by?
Here are some tips to help you with that:
- Photography is all about telling a story. Hence the quote that a photo is worth a thousand words. Knowing how to tell the story in a photo is knowing how to set up the photo in composition. The composition is the elements in the photo that will replace the words of the story and showcase everything you are wanting to say. You could spend the time telling people what the image says by typing it all out but allowing people to connect with the photo on their terms and let the story permeate within them.
- There should not be any wasted space within your photo. The full frame of the photo all tells the story. From the background setting to the defined primary focal point of the photo all should be thought about when setting up your photo. Everyone has heard of a “photobomb” right? There is a reason that it is called that. It draws the attention of the viewer. Don’t waste any space.
- The value of a photo is how it is able to keep the attention of the viewer. An isolated shot is a fast reference image where if you were to take that focus point, like a product, and place it within a setting that causes interest it allows for more appeal to the product you are photographing.
- Visual hierarchy is the storyline of the story you are telling. Beginning with a focal point and then guiding the viewer to other parts of the image is how the story comes to life. By paying attention to things like contrast, focus, scale, etc. you are able to understand how the viewer will perceive your image.
- Learn how a person views an image. While you are wanting to take a photo, grab someone you are with and ask them what they see first and then what they see next. There are many factors that will determine how a person will view an image.
- If you are wanting to attract sponsors, you will have to know how to draw attention to their products. Brands want to see how their products are being presented by their pro staff and influencers. If their products are not being shown well, they are not likely to give you attention to sponsor you. But, if you are able to understand how to showcase their products with good composition, then it has value. And if you are not going into the photo with a plan, then it will be shown that you did not have the products focus on your mind.
- One of the biggest mistakes that many beginning photographers make is that they are not planning their shots. There is not a defined purpose for the shot that was taken. By developing a plan to ensure the success of the photograph you are able to tell a better story. If you know that you will be in a location for a certain time, plan how you will showcase the products you want to be sponsored by.
- You are the author of the image and it needs to show. By defining your purpose of the image you are able to ensure the composition to achieve the goals. You will be able to place the focus in the right setting and in the right action to tell your story.
- Know your audience. A story is only as good as its ability to connect with the right people. By telling a story about a bass fishing lure but placing it in the woods because you do not define your image, you do not plan it, and you do not think about composition, the image will be lost on both audiences: the hunter and the angler. Make sure that you are aware of the proper content for the right audience.