Exclusive: Proponent Group’s Guide to World-Class Marketing Photography

Apr 14, 2021 | News

Here Are the Keys to a Great Photo Shoot for Your Teaching Business 

1. Photos should be updated every 2-3 years including headshots, teaching shots, shots of your swing, facility shots and any other photos of your programs that you may need for promotion.

2. Wear a bright solid-color shirt (yellow, red, orange, peach or light blue all work very well) and midtone khaki or gray pants. Avoid black, white, brown and green in shirts or pants as the backgrounds in golf are green and you won’t stand out if you’re wearing green.

3. Try to have your photographer shoot with all sky or all grass backgrounds whenever possible. This can be done when demonstrating on an elevated tee with the camera set low or when you’re in the low portion of a fairway and the camera is set high.

4. Shoot swing and drill demonstration shots on a tee on the golf course where the grass is in perfect condition, do not shoot on the driving range if you don’t have to. It is likely to look worn or messy and your backgrounds will tend to include buildings, carts or cart paths.

5. Don’t wear a hat or sunglasses unless that is part of your trademark look. Hats create shadows on your face and hiding your face is a big no-no when trying to create your brand image through good photography. You are the brand, so don’t make it harder for people to feel like they are getting to know you through your photos.

6. Your photographer should concentrate on “bracketing” the light exposures for each picture and making sure your face is well lit. Ask in advance if they will be bringing a reflector or strobe to sufficiently light your face.

7. Budget enough time for your shoot so you don’t have to rush. Schedule a backup day so you can postpone if it’s cloudy.

8. Best time to shoot is from 8-10 am or 4-7 pm during summer season. (Do indoor shots before or after these times.) The light is softer and the shadows less harsh early or late in the day and the top magazines always shoot instruction photos during these time frames.

9. Give plenty of thought to the student models who will be in the photos with you. Choose people that have fun, smile and are generally relaxed. Sometimes models become very self-conscious and look stiff and uncomfortable on camera.

10. It’s important that all models sign a release that says you may use their picture. Most photographers will have a release form you can use for this purpose. Note that the Proponent Group members’ website has sample model release forms for your usage.

11. For your website, brochures and flyers, make sure you have a man, woman and child model available for the shoot as you’ll want to use different combinations of these models for various programs you will be promoting.

12. Make sure you have a complete shot list on paper before you start, so that you and the photographer can check off each shot as it is completed (a sample list is provided below). Without a list, you will inevitably forget at least one critical shot that you will need later for a brochure, your website or wide horizontal slots such as the top of your Facebook page or website homepage.

13. Keep costs down. Consider bartering services with an area photographer who has some experience shooting outdoor sports and plays golf. A lot of teachers will trade a series of lessons for a 2-3 hour photo shoot straight up.

14. Make sure you have the photographer frame key photos both in a horizontal and vertical composition as you will need different compositions for different social media platforms and your website. Make sure you get some extra wide shots that can be used.

How to Get ‘The Magazine Look’ 

This action shot for an instruction book and magazine article highlights many of the keys mentioned above. For example:

• Teacher is wearing a bright, solid-color shirt, mid-tone pants and no hat.

• Photo taken in early morning light to create a warm golden tone.

• Camera is low and the golfer is on an elevated tee to create a clean, blue-sky background without distractions.

• Golfer is swinging into the sun to create best possible lighting on his face


Like what you’ve seen in this blog post?  Looking for complete A-to-Z coverage of visual marketing for golf coaches? You can find our new, improved Guide on the Proponent website under the Branding and Marketing menu block. Click on it, scroll down, and at the top of our list of Guides is one that’s titled: “Marketing Through Photography and Video.”