Upcoming fashion and sports photographer, Yannick Wolff has generously taken time to offer some of his tips for executing energetic action photos as seen in his Swimming story with German Olympic swimmer, Yannick Lebherz. Yannick kindly shares his best tips for those who want to be successful in sports fashion photography:
1) Be familiar with the models sporting background, he says “You really should inform yourself about your model and especially about the sport the model is doing.”
2) Get resourceful and creative to make your pictures stand out, “You have to add something special (for example smoke, water, great angle of view…) in your picture what makes the difference between your pictures and the work of other photographers, especially if you don´t have a mind blowing location.”
3) Engage with the model to capture his or her sporting spirit, “You have to capture the passion that your model/athlete is following.”
4) For photographers starting out who are interested in getting into sports fashion photography, Yannick recommends that you should inform yourself about different sports to work out what you like and to be able to relate to a range of potential clients in the sporting industry.
5) Yannick suggests that you visualize and have some framework around how you want the shoot to look like. Think about what could be interesting to take pictures of. How can you make that sport look interesting?
6) Networking plays a big part in booking shoots. According to Yannick, speaking the athlete’s managers or even the athletes themselves is achievable and doable. He says, “Athletes and their management are quite cool, so just give them a call and ask for an athlete to shoot a free/personal project with.”
7) Practice makes perfect. When asked how much time needs to be taken to become proficient in sports fashion photography, the photographer pondered on the question and said “That’s quite hard to say. I think it depends on how often you are able to shoot some athletes. Of course you have to try different things in lightning and other stuff. Some upcoming photographers need 8 years, some of them just 2-3”. So it’s a matter of persistence.
8) The skills that you gain from sports fashion photography can translate into other areas of photography regardless of experience in the field.
9) Get equipped and use short flashes to capture action shots. I asked Yannick what photographic equipment he used to create his “Swimming” story with German Olympic swimmer Yannick Lebherz he answered that “We had to use a flash with a very short flash duration. The Elinchrom Ranger was the perfect equipment for this shoot. The story was shot with my Nikon D700 right before I bought the D800.”
10) Find your voice & get inspired. Yannick’s last secret to share about sports fashion photography, he imparts these last words “Be different and get yourself some inspiration of other photographers work.”
To find out more information about Yannick Wolf’s “Swimming” story check out our interview with him in this article or look up his website (www.yannickwolff.com), there is a small behind the scenes video of this shoot as well(posted above) as well as his Facebook Page (www.fb.com/yannickwolffphotography). What do you think of Yannick’s tips? If you would like to comment or include one of your own please post it in the comments section below.
Photographer: Yannick Wolff (www.yannickwolff.com)
Athlete: Yannick Lebherz (German olympic team/London 2012)
Assistant: Kai-Philipp Nosper / Roman Paeske