We spend a lot of our time fishing but also spend a lot of our time taking photos and videos as well. Fishing is certainly our passion but capturing the moment in words, as an image or video is something that we all strive to do as well and is obviously the backbone of lureandfly.com. It would certainly be easier for us to go fishing but we recognise the importance of some of these fish that we capture (both with hook and line and as an image).
The ABT fishing tournaments is where we have had the opportunity to refine our photography skills, as thousands of anglers have passed before our lens, we have improved our skills, our perspective and how we frame a fish but I thought I would provide some insight into what it takes, why we do it and what we ask of you.
What does it take:
I’ve been to my fair share of tournaments, where I have been engaged to take the photos of the fish during the weigh in. While you get to weigh your fish, pack up your gear and head back to your accommodation, I’m generally still there snapping away. I love it and there are certainly perks (I generally hear how they’ve been caught, where they’ve been caught and jump the queue to weigh my fish first) but keep in mind that I have had days where I’ve caught nothing, yet still have to turn up and click away, while you rub in my face, your daily success (yes, I get jealous).
There is a bit of preparation involved too, mostly understanding the lighting, getting my gear there, listening out for the good limits or big fish that pass by the weigh master or even add some value to the sponsors of the tournament or even angler’s sponsors but the biggest challenge is to add some “flavour” or “creativity” to the “grip and grin”. I’ve done the “five/three fish” stack, the “scale” shot, the funny facial expressions and countless other variations but it’s great when an angler actually acts like they are happy to have caught a limit or a great fish. Too many times, I need to remind anglers that they’ve worked hard to catch a limit or land a fish and they should at least act like they’re happy (read: smile). There are anglers who are photogenic and I don’t mean male models (yes, that is you Ross Cannizaro), I mean the guys who are genuinely happy and willing to work with me to capture a great image.
There is also the photography gear too, this generally gets slimy and salty after about 5 minutes but I also need to have batteries charged, memory cards formatted and back up cameras, batteries, memory cards and lenses at the ready too.
Why we do it:
Yes, content is king when running a blog site like lureandfly.com but the guys at ABT rely on these images to add value to the event and series sponsors. They do a great job in running these events, they acknowledge our efforts and support us where they can (free meals go a long way, hint hint). They are also important for you, the angler. If you have a good fish or limit, we are generally there to capture it. It doesn’t matter if it is you first limit that happens to be the smallest limit of the day, we’ll still snap away because it is important to you.
We do it for traffic to lureandfly.com. You know where to find an ABT gallery after an event, you know who to come look for when you want a photo taken and you know who to email when you want a copy of that photo. As much as it is for us, we need you to catch the fish and smile as well.
What we ask of you:
IT’s pretty simple, be happy that you‘ve caught your fish, smile and maybe try something creative. If it doesn’t look good, we’ll tell you. Follow our directions, if we ask you to hold the fish away from your chest, it isn’t about making it look bigger, it’s usually about making sure you look comfortable without your elbows looking like chicken wings (try it, hold your hands away from your chest versus close to your chest. What do your elbows do?). I might ask you to raise your left hand or right hand, I might ask you to turn a fish or tuck your fingers in (big fingers make fish look small), this will help us to capture a good image.
Keep grip of the fish because there is nothing worse than hearing the thud of a fishing hitting the grass. If they’re black bream, they don’t wriggle that much. If they’re a yellowfin bream, you might want to hang on. Shake the fish to get it’s fins to stand up and try and brush off any grass or dirt. The quicker we get this part done, the better it is for the fish.
Take your sunnies off as well, your eyes are a window to your soul… or something like that. We smile through our eyes and there is plenty of emotion relayed through them too. I’ll remind you to take them off but please, please don’t resist because if you do, odds are, that image won’t make the final gallery. The sunnies off thing is also so I don’t have to spend hours trying to photoshop my reflection or flash out of your sunnies.
It’s a Victorian thing but there is no need to kneel before me. I am not royalty of any kind. When I take photos, the sun is generally at my back, that casts a shadow towards you holding the fish. Kneeling makes it even harder to dodge that shadow but also makes it harder to get the flash to bounce into the shadow from your hat. Shooting from a lower angle, makes it easier.
Once the galleries are published, feel free to share them with your friends, feel free to use an image as your profile pic on Facebook, feel free to contact us for a better quality version for the pool room. That is what they are there for. What we ask you DON’T do is edit our images in anyway. If you don’t like the watermark there, contact us for an unwatermarked image. We are happy to provide them…. conditionally.
Yes, we will ask for something from you if you do want an unwatermarked image. Not because we are greedy or want to make money off you but because we think it is only fair. We will ask you to make a contribution to the charity that lureandfly.com support, Cancer Council. We feel that it is the fair thing to do and as of yet, we have had very, very few complaints.
Generally, there is in the vicinity of 6-10 hours of work in each tournament gallery and if we can work together, it’ll mean better photos for all of us. Come say hello at the next tournament but please don’t be offended when I shuffle off, chasing an angler who has a good fish or limit. I’m just trying to get a good image.