How to help your photographer get the best possible pictures

You’ve allocated precious budget to grab great course images. So what do you need to do to ensure you get the best possible results? Andy Hiseman, of Magic Hour Golf, reveals all. There’s more to taking a great course image than meets the eye. You might think, once you’ve decided to spend the money and hire a photographer, it’s merely a matter of sitting back and waiting to receive some stunning pictures that show off your course – and make visitors flock to play it and members want to join. But there’s a huge amount of time and preparation that the professionals put in to ensure a shoot is a success. Every one at the club, from the manager to the part-time staff, may need to play their part. Andy Hiseman, who runs Magic Hour Golf, has a long list of satisfied customers including GCMA members Berkhamsted, Wildernesse and Surrey Downs. It’s because of the diligence and effort he puts into every shoot – starting months before he’ll ever set foot on a course. From sending a hugely detailed email outlining every possible aspect of the process, to arranging a pre-shoot phone call, he’ll then spend up to 14 hours a day on the course, over multiple days, if conditions demand it. Here he gives some key tips to help you plan ahead and ensure you receive some stunning images that will last for years… The key factor is time If we’re talking about a UK shoot, where the golf course is a big part of that shoot, it’s timing. There’s a short-ish window to do this properly in the UK. If you are looking for autumn colours, or something wintry, then fair enough but, generally in this country, the leaves all come back on the trees in May. It’s timing and thinking about it. Do I want my course to look green or yellow? If you want it to look green, try not to schedule a photo shoot too far into July because a lot of the time you’ll find that a lot of the fairways are quite yellow by that stage. My recommendation is to think about May and June as your key times for photography. September is also a fantastic month. I’ve done an awful lot of shoots in July as well, which have been fine, but if you are booking this in advance, you’ve gone to the committee or the owner of the club, you’ve agreed you’re going to spend some budget on it, that discussion usually happens quite a way before the shoot takes place. “Say you are lucky enough to get a great sky and a lovely sunrise or sunset. A red or a blue flag becomes virtually invisible as light levels go” If, for whatever reason, the course won’t be ready before July, I’d still go ahead and book a photo shoot but clubs need to be prepared for a little bit of postponement if it’s been a really hot spring or early...
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