There’s this moment in every Freerunner’s life where he looks at the photos of David Belle, Seb Foucan and all the other guys hanging on his bedroom wall and then he asks himself deep questions like: “How the fuck do I even look like when I jump?”
Well that’s at least how it happened to me.
The next day I begged my dad for his old DV-camera, ditched the tape with last years christmas footage and went out to film myself and my friends.
Almost 8 years later I make my living with Freerunning photos and videos. I’ve made all the mistakes and learnt a lot of stuff the hard way, but now I feel like I can give a little bit of advice :)
Keep in mind: There are no rules to photography or filming, simply guidelines. Keeping these guidelines in mind help me when shooting, but always trust your gut feeling over some rules you read on the internet ;)
Here we go, these are my 6 tips to making good freerunning photography:
First things first. If you take a photo of somebody doing a jump, you should show where he’s coming from and where he’s going. Make the viewer appreciate the difficulty of the action he’s witnessing.
Nobody can tell if he landed on concrete or not or how high his jump was, if you don’t show it. The Freerunner is doing the difficult part, so give him the credit he deserves ;)
Sometimes you want to confuse or puzzle the viewer by making something look surreal.
Always keep the position of the sun in mind and choose the time of day you want to shoot in wisely.
Photographers call the hour before sunset or just after sunrise “the golden hour”. The sun is low, all the shadows are nice and give the image a beautiful depth.
You get the best lighting if you keep the sun behind you!
If you want a silhouette shot, get the sun between you and the subject :)
Framing the Freerunner infront of a clear backdrop helps directing the eye of the viewer to where the action takes place.
Most of the time this can be the sky, but also a wall or even the floor can do, if you’re taking the picture from above.
Even from a few metres back the viewer should be able to tell what’s going on in the photo.
4. EXPLAIN YOURSELF
Before taking the photo you should tell the subject what part of the movement is important to you. Do you want the take-off? Catch him mid-air or have the focus the landing?
Explaining your idea and telling the Freerunner what you want, makes it a lot easier for him to adjust.
Sometimes you want to capture a natural moment or a mood. In this case it’s best not to be noticed, stand back and wait for the moment you want.
Woah, look how fucking Hipster I am, I just tilted my camera!!
NO!!! This is how you look like:
Seriously, keeping the horizon straight makes looking at a photo so much nicer. Why you ask?
Firstly you don’t have to tilt your head and having the horizon as a natural guideline helps the viewer to orientate himself and get a grasp of what is going on.
Sometimes tilting the camera can give a feeling of disorder or confusion. If you tilt the camera, think about the reason why you are doing it. If you can’t come up with one, you should probably keep the horizon where it naturally is.
Most of the time Freerunning will look good if you throw a wide-angle lens on your camera and keep close to the ground, but there’s a lot more to it.
Try to use perspective to create the illusion of a 3 dimensional scenery, although it’s a flat image. You can do this by putting something in the foreground, for example the hay in this picture of me jumping off a tree:
Another way is by finding lines in your environment and making them converge in the background. A perfect example is this photo Naim Chidiac shot of me in Kuwait:
Here we go, 6 tips for you on how to take good photos.
I hope I could help you getting started or maybe gave you some inspiration, if you’re doing this for a while already.
Anyway, feel free to message us on our Facebook-Page (click here) and let us know what you think or if you have any ideas on what we could write about next :)