On the Trail with a Professional Downhill Mountain Bike Photographer

When you think of a professional photographer, you probably think of a clean-cut person wearing slacks and a nice button-up shirt or blouse who owns a large studio and a hundred pieces of expensive photography equipment. You may also think of them as treating their job like a science, knowing where and how to pose every person, what exact lighting to use, and what angle to use for each shot. Well this is not always the case. Photography is not a perfect science, and neither are photographers like scientists. Take Daniel Ronnback, for instance. He takes a seemingly relaxed approach which helps him foster great relationships with his clients:

Some Ideas to Consider When On a Shoot

  • Act Like a Friend, Not Like a Boss. If you want truly natural shots from your subjects, they’re going to have to be comfortable with you. Try getting to know your clients by talking to them and being friendly. If you’re on an extended shoot with a model, think about taking a day just to get to know them, without bringing your camera.
  • Experiment. Even the most knowledgeable photographers experiment. No two photo shoots will ever be exactly the same so you can’t treat them all the same. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new angles, lenses, and techniques. Not everything you try will work out, but you won’t know until you do it.
  • Observe Before Shooting. When tasked with shooting something you’re unfamiliar with, whether it be a fashion show or a horse race, observe your subjects and surroundings before you start shooting. If there’s a practice run or dress rehearsal, attend these so that you gain a better understanding of what to expect during the actual event.
pro mountain bike photographer

Rönnbäck shoots with both tele and wide angle lenses

pro mountain bike photographer

“Biking, skiiing, or snowboarding, or shooting a model, or whatever, you can always find a new perspective or a new angle.”

“When you play around and have fun, that’s when the good stuff is happening. When it’s too strict, you just kill your inspiration.”

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