Q&A on Photography and Video


You own a gym, not a photography business, so media might not be your strength. Tom Fick of TJ Fick Photography shares his best media advice.

Why are quality photos and video important?

TF: Quality photos and video have been proven to hold the eye and attention longer, and thus keep the market’s attention on your product/Box longer. A quality photo is also more likely to be picked out of the crowd on social media platforms, like Facebook.

When you are taking photos, what are you thinking about?

TF: Lighting is the first thought in my mind. Where is the light coming from? Where does it highlight the athlete? Is there enough light? Is there a spot in the gym that has better light? Do I need to supplement the light with strobes? I once heard photographers being described as light painters, and I couldn’t agree with that statement more. Beyond that, I think about angles. Most people will take a photo standing up and center of the frame. But I look for interesting and unique angles.

How about for video?

TF: Very similarly to photos, lighting is key. When in doubt, I try to use as much natural light as possible. In video, the background is very important. Movement or a cluttered background can be very distracting.

What are your top three tips when it comes to photography?

TF: 1. Photos on almost any camera system will look better when taken outside.
2. When shooting sports, attempt to shoot at higher shutter speeds to freeze the action.
3. Think about getting into a unique position or location that shows the action from a different perspective than the way most people see it.

What are some tips when shooting on a budget?

TF: The best camera in the world is the one you have with you. Get outside if you can. Most cellphone cameras are on an auto mode that will perform poorly for sports in low-light conditions. Getting outside will help. If inside, look for an app or setting that says “sports” on it and try that out. Those settings will often prioritize shutter speed, resulting in better sports photos.

What are the top things you’ve learned since becoming a professional photographer?

TF: What really matters is your eye and the creativity that can result. Also, nothing can replace doing. Getting out and shooting every day will make you a better photographer in ways you couldn’t imagine.

Any other tips or tricks?

TF: A photo isn’t truly done until it is processed or edited in some fashion. Cameras don’t quite see what the eye does, and more often than not the photo needs a bit of help to look the way you originally saw it. Taking the time to learn a bit about editing can take your photography to the next level.

Tom Fick

Tom Fick

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.