Unveiling the Story Sponsors Want You to See

Unveiling the Story Sponsors Want You to See… The image I captured this weekend is a perfect example. We all saw the large "Master Power", but did anyone truly notice the other brands/partners/sponsors?

Let’s break it down shall we :

  • Signature 330LX,

  • Century Avionics,

  • Lightspeed,

  • Garmin,

  • Alton Engineering,

  • Dynamic Propellers

  • Capital Sounds

  • Absolute Aviation

  • Ecko UnLTD (on the back of the plane)

  • SV Aviation plus one other I really can’t make out…

  • and last but not least the "Thanks Dad" message that has a special meaning…

These companies (and people) invested in Jason's performance, but without photographers like ourselves, their contribution becomes a blink-and-you-miss-it moment.

Please understand that I am NOT referring to Jason here, this was just a great example to use to bring the message across. Everyone saw Master Power as it is the main sponsor and clearly visible… But let’s take a closer look.

This, is a photographer's plight in today's world. While competitors bask in the spotlight, photographers are the silent storytellers, immortalizing not just the action but the brands that make it all possible. Sponsors deserve their due exposure, and frankly, the "free picture" mentality is shortchanging everyone involved.

Here's the math: you, the race driver, riders, cyclist, pilot, runner, competitor, really anyone that deals with sponsors (yes, all sports), stand to gain from thousands, even millions, in sponsorships. It’s your duty to make sure their name is seen!

So if a photographer charges a reasonable fee to compensate for their time and expertise, why the haggling? It's an investment, not an expense! If you find something online and you remove watermarks or don’t even credit the photographer…shame on you! No really!

Think about it this way. Using an image you haven't paid for or have permission to use or you alter it, is essentially stealing someone's time and talent. It's like taking a food from his table without him being able to replace it…

Jason doing what he does best!

On the upside, NOT EVERYONE is guilty of this. Someone like Jason understands the commercial value. He is always one of the first people to engage whenever we post something about him at an airshow. He makes sure the world sees his “Personal Brand” as well as his sponsors and has never asked me for anything for free. He understands the value of your own branding and for that, I want to thank him.

So, the next time you hear yourself saying, "Hey, send me the picture" consider this:

  • Who truly amplified your sponsors' message, Who placed their names in front of a larger audience? The photographer, not you. Before you argue that it was you, I promise you that nobody in the crowd can read everything that is on a plane, car, motorcycle, cycle etc. They are usually far away from you and moving quite fast. Can you name ALL of Max Verstappens sponsors without having to look at a photograph? Exactly!

  • Who deserves compensation for that exposure? The photographer, who invested their gear, skill and resources.

Sure you can argue that without “you” there would be no image, but that means “you” are not getting what “you” wanted and you would not have been there in the first place…

To my fellow photographers, battling the elements to capture these moments, I raise a metaphorical glass. You are the unseen heroes. I applaud you!

And to those with "deep pockets and short arms," a gentle nudge – a little appreciation goes a long way. Consider the value a photographer brings, and compensate them fairly.

Let's move beyond the surface and acknowledge the stories behind the scenes. Let's give credit where credit is due, not just to the competitors, but to the photographers who bring their sponsors' visions to life!

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