Since starting at OnlyAirsoft in October, I’ve become a bit of a workaholic! What can I say, I love my job and (not to sound too big headed) but I am incredibly grateful I am able to work where I do. However, when I do have a do off I do enjoy visiting sites and taking photos of you lovely lot. Photography is something that I slowly got into throughout my childhood, with many hours spent with a camera in my hands. Take it from me, flowers are soooo much easier to shoot than Airsofters!
After a lot of hard work, practice and tutoring from the Jedi Master of Photography himself; Stuart Manks, I am finally at the stage where I am slowly at a point where I like my work. But what is really like to be an amateur photographer in Airsoft? What properly grinds my gears about being an amateur photographer? Find out below!
“It can’t be that hard, all you do is just press a button right?”
WRONG! If I had a fiver for every time someone said that I would be a millionaire. There is a lot more involved than that, and I honestly don’t think people truly understand how many hours of work go into it.
Typically the majority of my work at the moment, it is taken at Halo Mill: Proving Grounds and Rift: Coms Site 3. Now if you’ve ever been to Proving Grounds from the Stevenage area, you’ll know it’s 3-hour drive! That’s a long way y’all! Once you arrive, then begins the part of the day that can only be described as “total wipeout”. After crawling and sliding around in the mud, going from objective to objective, being shot to shit, to take hopefully awesome photos. Then the 3-hour drive (maybe more if you get stuck in Sunday traffic) home just to sit at a computer for hours editing. Now thankfully, for my proving grounds photos, Stu does the majority of the edits but this isn’t always the case.
So why do I do it? I get it you’ve probably just read my mini rant and thought why do you put yourself through that? Well firstly, it awesome! There is nothing more satisfying than looking back at your work and thinking “I am so pleased with this!”. Secondly, it helps my stress levels and has a positive impact on my mental health. I feel at my most relaxed and freest with a camera in my hands shooting airsofter. Finally, I feel as if my photos help grow this community for the best because the players go home with cool photos and show their friends which encourages more people to slowly get into the sport.
WHAT GRINDS MY GEARS!
And now the part you’ve all been waiting for, Emma goes into full-on rant mode! If you ask any photographer in airsoft, they have probably experienced at least one of this list.
Getting messages asking if the photos are posted 20 minutes after leaving the game day
This has now happened to me on several occasions where I have been having a cheeky pint in the pub after a long day of airsoft and I get messages asking when the photos are going to be uploaded. To be fair to players, I don’t think the majority of them realize that most photographers have actual jobs and that the site photography is only a part-time hobby, which we don’t get paid for. All I would say if just think before messaging the photographer. You don’t know what’s going on day to day for them and editing photos might not be their top priority.
“Are there any more photos?”
After how many hours of painstakingly checking through each photo and editing the photos that have made the grade. You always seem to get that one message that goes along the general lines of this… “Is there going to be any more photos, as there aren’t any of me. I’m sure someone pointed a camera at me.” Ok firstly, I would only post photos that I am 100% happy with as it is my reputation and my work that will be judged at the end of the day. Secondly, yes the camera might have been in your general direction however the focus point could have been something else.
Ah man, this one properly sucks and it’s such a small thing today. As photographers, we utilize social media to promote our work to the world. It is absolutely awesome to us when our work is posted on different social media platforms by you guys! It shows that we have done an ok job 🙂 However, I sadly often come across photos I have taken without the adequate photo credit being given. It is incredibly frustrating as so much work goes into the photos that we produce. Now I am no angel, I have been done it in the past, but it’s not until you step behind the lense that you truly understand. So my advice! Credit your photographers and if you don’t know the photographer’s name, just drop a message to the site. They will be able to help you.
Cropping out watermarks
Following on from photo credit, we have cutting out watermarks. I haven’t had to experience this that much thankfully but I know friends that have. I do understand that different format sizing on various social media platforms does restrict how photos look when posting, however more and more images are having watermarks cropped out of them. Now 9 times out of 10 if you are really bothered about a watermark, photographers will have an unwatermarked version available (sometimes at for a small fee) that they will be able to send across to you. If not, just drop them a message and explain the situation to them. I would prefer the heads up, then just to come across it.
RANT OVER! Thank the lord! The end meaning behind this whole piece is purely to spread the message to respect and credit your photographer. They work extremely hard to make you look good and make sure you have a memory of the day that you can show off to your mates. Thank you for reading and see you on the next one!