You only get one shot of making a great first impression. Francine shares how to do that with martial arts photos that demand attention.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:
3 keys to taking epic martial arts photos
Why every martial arts school owner needs professional photos
How simple smartphone photography can boost retention
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It's quite difficult to take martial arts photos. Some of my clients that I go to regularly, they've mentioned that a lot of them have had someone take photos, but they just weren't good. Because even sports photographers struggle. Martial arts is so specific and so intricate that you really have to understand the arts, the movement. You got to be a mover yourself. You got to be a martial artist almost yourself.
GEORGE: Good day, everyone. George here from martialartsmedia.com and welcome to the Martial Arts Media business podcast. So, an awesome guest with me today, Francine Schaepper. How are you, Francine?
FRANCINE: How are you?
GEORGE: Very good. I'm going to give a brief about Francine, but she'll fill in all the gaps. So, Francine is from Switzerland and is a professional martial arts photographer. So, Francine's taken 15,000 plus martial arts photos. When you look at the photos that Francine takes, you can't help but do a little gut check and think, “Well my photos aren't that great.”
So, we're going to chat a bit about photos, why they're important and especially for you as a martial artist, why do you need professional photos? We'll get into that, but first welcome to the call, Francine.
FRANCINE: Oh, thank you. Sorry my kitten's distracting me. She's trying to climb up on me. Yeah, some of you know me. I'm Swiss, I've been here for awhile. In the first place, I'm a professional photographer and the martial arts snuck its way into it and we'll probably talk about that a little bit. So, that's what I do for work. That's a quick overview, really.
GEORGE: That's super quick. Well then, go into how did the martial arts part fall into place?
FRANCINE: Okay, well look, when I started photography, I think I started photography about 10 years ago. So I've got a corporate background, business marketing background. I've always loved cameras, I've always loved it, but then at some point decided, okay, I'll just make this my business. God knows why, but I've done it.
Well, it actually started at uni when I was studying photography and we had to put together our final folio. We had to find photos that we wanted to kind of copy to showcase that we could do it. Obviously as a martial artist, I thought I want my front page to be a really cool martial arts shot.
So, I started Googling and looking around and it was really hard finding any decent martial arts photo. I'm not talking about somebody standing there with a gi. I was looking for something more commercial looking, something if you think of like Nike, or Adidas campaign, something of that kind of matter. It's something really dynamic with a lot of elements that will make it look good.
I literally almost gave up. I just found this one guy in the States who does amazing commercial photography. He did a test with a very quick, a very fast camera and super fad, and they chose martial arts because it's very dynamic. They took a series of really cool shots, and that was literally the only four shots I could find, and I Googled for weeks.
I felt personally we're representing martial arts the way I thought it should be represented. That got me into this whole thinking of, well, why does nobody take photos of martial arts the way I think they should take them? So then I went down that avenue and started taking photos for the kung fu school that I was training and teaching at, and got into it that way. So that was why, so now that's a niche standing on its own because it's a very sp…