For most kitesurfers the moment they get their first kitepicture is a very special one. Even if (like it was in my case) it’s a blurry shot on which you are just the size of an ant, you are proud like hell – and of course you want to post it on facebook, insta etc. immediately!
Amazing kitepictures: simple, but effective tips
But the longer a kite career lasts, the more demanding one gets in matters of kitepictures. If you are active on instagram and Co., then you’ll know what I am talking of. Let’s be honest: Everyone would be happy if he has the chance to get some real nice shots from his kitesession – not taken from a super far distance!
Some make it via Gopro, others have a kitebuddy who takes pictures or even a photographer. However, let’s come straight to the point: If you want to have awesome shots, you shouldn’t just rely on the knowledge of the photographer or the performance of the cam. You have to keep in mind some tricks – very simple ones, but super effective though!
Just to explain: Here I only give tips for riders, not for photographers (however, if you are a beginner in making kite pictures they may help you; also they are useful if you give advice to the riders you are shooting).
How to look better on kitepictures – what to keep in mind
Wear the right things
Putting on flashy waterwear can’t be wrong if you go for pics. Maybe not something blue (except it’s a very bright, intensive blue), cause it’s not the best contrast on the water. But colours like red, yellow, light green or pink can look awesome on a kite shot! Bikinis or Boardshorts usually are colourful anyway – just watch out that everything remains in place ;).
But if you kite in cold conditions and only have a black wetsuit, you can put a colourful lycra above it. Also consider the colour of your equipment – harness, board, boots – when choosing what to wear! If everything is full of patterns, it might be too much and you look like a clown. Too many pattern- and colour-mixes make pictures just more chaotic, but not better.
Sometimes a flashy harness or board is enough to put the right dash of colour into a pic.
Laugh … or scream!
It doesn’t matter as long as you are in bigger distance of the lens. But if you go close, it does matter: Cause at the latest when you see your impatently awaited photos, you won’t be superhappy if you look like a blowfish on every single shot. Or as if you wanted to kill someone while doing a trick (which is my very own speciality). Ok, ok, it’s funny – and of course everybody should be able to laugh about himself!
Nevertheless we want some real great pics with a cool/nice (whatever – at least somehow controlled) facial expression, right? For those who are used to do shootings it’s normal to think about their expression during the cam is on – all the others have to keep it in mind. So, smile or put a neutral look on your face while the focus is on you! Might not be the easiest thing during a hard trick, I know…
Here’s another tip: What you can do is to scream during you do a trick (not super loud, or you can make it without noise too ;)). Sounds strange – but sometimes this is easier than looking serious or laughing – and believe me, it can look super cool on the pics! Just try what works best for you.
Keep it simple
A lot of kiters think that they can’t be a good photo motif if they are not very good riders and can’t do a lot of or even no tricks. But this isn’t true! Especially if the photos are taken in the water, it can look cool if you just pass by close to the photographer, maybe put a hand off the bar, lean back or ride switch, and – important – smile into the cam!
It’s a fact: In matters of moves very often the simple ones look better on a picture like the super complicated tricks. Cause if it’s not about a series no one sees if you do thousand rotations or a three-fold air pass. A normal jump can look very impressive if you combine it with a grab and/or tweak! Before you take off, think about what you want to do with your legs and body – bend or stretch, one or both – and where to grab the board.
If you do unhooked moves like a railey, keep in mind to stretch your arms – and the shot will look way more impressive. But also don’t be too dissapointed if you don’t land every trick – in matters of pics it’s the style in the air that counts. The landing is not on the picture 😉
Communicate with the photographer
This is especially important if the pics are taken directly in the water (which makes the best shots, if you ask me). For example it would really be a pity if you give everything – and in the end you are not close enough to get proper pictures. Ok, if the photographer is experienced, anyway he will tell you what to do and where to take off. If not, just ask.
It might be super frightening at the beginning to pop really close to the person with the cam, but you’ll get used to it. My hubby usually wears a helmet if he takes pictures in deep water with a lot of kiters around (cause then the people see him earlier – and if someone sees him to late or crashes on him, he’s better protected).
One advice if you want to jump over the photographer: In this case you should be well powered and be able to make a proper pop to get high enough (to avoid a landing on the photographer’s head).
Go in every weather
Of course pics of kiters surrounded by turquoise water and light blue sky look amazing – and for most of us these are the conditions we are wishing for every session. But in reality not every kitesurfer has always the opportunity to kite in lab conditions (like here in Austria, ha ha ;)). Nevertheless bad weather is not limiting the chance for stunning shots – on the contrary, I’ve heard a lot of times that these pics are even more impressing (if the poor photographer doesn’t have to swim inbetween three meter waves in the open sea at 40 knots and in pouring rain).
One thing you should keep in mind: In heavy conditions vanity is misplaced. For example what I absolutely hate is wearing my drysuit when someone takes pics (cause I feel like a Teletubbie in it), but let’s be honest – in the end it doesn’t matter. Even if you are tucked in tight in warming stuff which may look unflattering pictures show that you did it and give you a lasting memory of an adventurous cold water sesh.
Here’s a final tip: These neoprene lined Haubinger surf beanies add some colour to your pics even when everything around you is grey in grey 😉
So what about your experiences with kitepictures? Do you have any further tips or did I forget to mention something important?