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Golf Tournament Photography Austin – Hire Experience!

Golf Tournament Photography in Austin; Hire experience!

As event photographers, we photograph a wide variety of events including golf tournaments. These types of events are some of my favorite to photograph! I mean, I get plenty of sunshine and fresh air while breezing around the course taking team images before heading back to the club house to print them out for the after tournament banquet. Recently, I had an experience that reminded me why its so important to hire experience.
As I was working my way around the course photographing the teams, I started to hear grumbling from some of the players about having “another” team picture taken. Another team picture? How can that be? I am the only team photographer on the course, right? Well, as it turns out this particular tournament coordinator thought it would be a good idea to send a couple of girls out with a camera to capture candid images of the sponsors and action shots of the players. Somehow this turned into them taking “team” photos as well.
As anyone with experience in golf tournament photography well knows, the players are there to play golf, not pose for pictures. My mission is to be respectful, patient and and above all fast.
It wasn’t long before I came across the two other “photographers” on one of the holes. We were there with the sponsors and another team that I had just photographed. The girl without the camera rounded up the other team I was on my way to get. The girl with the camera said she would like to get a “team” photo and proceeded to pose them. She directed and moved them for the better part of a minute and finally came to the conclusion, in her words. “I don’t like this, there’s something wrong.” The team was posed like a boy band, one person in front and the others in a back up formation. It was silly. After some more adjusting she was almost ready.
She proceeded to back up from the team to take the image, she must have needed a lot of space around them because she was so far back she actually said I was in her picture and asked me to move. I was about 15 ft away from the team and standing off to the side. I was surprised that I was even in the picture but out of respect I moved further back and out of the way. The team looked uncomfortable but they were being good sports for the photographer. I noticed that she had her flash pointed toward the sky and at this distance, in this bright condition, she would need to have something much more powerful to bounce the light off the clouds.
You may wonder why anyone would use a flash outdoors on a bright sunny day. The truth is that its a really good idea. When used correctly, the flash will lift the shadows off the faces creating a more balanced appearance instead of one with a bright background and shady faces, especially when they’re wearing hats. You could of course, turn the players towards the sun, however you end up with squinty eyes or players in sunglasses, neither of which is a good option.
So once they were done, I stepped in and said “Guys, I need to take your official team photograph.” One said, “I thought we just did that.” I said “I think those are for PR, this one is for you to pick up at the banquet later.” They started to get back into that awful position and I said “no, just line up for me and place your clubs here.” “Look here and give me a nice smile”.
8 seconds and 2 pictures later, I was finished with them. One player said “I like him better! That was a lot faster and easier!”
It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does not to be consistent. A professional understands this and is able to quickly adjust to the environment to provide consistent images. If we relied on the camera, there would be no such thing as consistency. A camera’s metering system is constantly shifting because it wants to make everything it sees into 18% gray. Meaning that if a team was wearing black shirts then the camera would try to make the shirts 18% gray and the same thing would happen if the team was wearing white shirts. The exposures would be all over the place. Some would look great but others would be washed out or too dark.
Decisions regarding your events are all important including what photographer you use, so do yourself a huge favor and hire someone who has the experience to make you and your event look awesome!


Get The Picture has proudly specialized in golf tournament photography as well as many other types of events for over 15 years in and around the Austin area. We are Texas’ Best Event Photography!

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