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ZOZI Advance is the fastest growing web-based reservation, payment, and customer management platform used by thousands of activity, tour, and event merchants.

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Cyndy Willis-Chun

As a sports rental company, you’re not just loaning out equipment by the hour—you’re providing customers with an experience.

But one of the biggest mistakes rental companies make is not portraying that experience online. For sports rentals, this should start with exciting and inspiring images.

Luckily, you don’t need expensive equipment or a professional photographer to take photos from "so-so" to "spectacular." Here are seven easy and effective tricks for taking better photos with your iPhone:

1. Use the Rule of Thirds

One of the easiest but most overlooked photography techniques is the "rule of thirds." It works by placing the object along one of three intersecting lines—the "thirds."

The key is to situate primary and secondary focal points along the grid’s intersections. In the example above, it keeps the horizon level and creates balance.

It’s easy to do if you enable the grid on your iPhone camera. Simply...

  1. Go to your iPhone's settings

  2. Scroll to "Photos & Camera"

  3. Enable the camera grid.

Voila! Now the grid will show up automatically, making it easy to practice the rule of thirds.

2. Follow the Action with Burst Mode

Another challenge sports rental companies face is that many of their best images are action shots featuring hard-to-capture movement.

The result? Blurry photos that do nothing to boost your brand. The solution? Burst mode. Where photos capture static moments in time, and video captures the action in its entirety, burst mode takes a series of stills that follow a motion.

To shoot in burst mode, hold down the shutter button until the phone begins taking continuous shots. You can then view all photos in the series, delete the ones that turn out blurry and post the ones with a real "wow" factor.

3. Switch to Manual Focus

Most of the time, the iPhone's automatic focus is a real lifesaver. But when the camera auto-adjusts to spotlight the wrong thing, it can be a real frustration. Using manual model lets you take control, drawing attention to particular areas within a frame.

To switch to manual, just tap the screen and hold on the spot you want to use as the focal point. A small box will appear to confirm your selection. Once it's set where you want it, just snap and go.

4. Lead the Subject with POV Shots

Want to make people online feel like they are experiencing your activity? Shoot from the perspective of the subject.

For example, this photo makes a viewer want to see what’s coming through the eyes of the rear kayaker:

Using point of view, you can help customers imagine what it'll be like to invest in an experience—putting them directly in the driver's (or paddler's) seat. 

5. Leave a Mark with Geotagging

iPhone photos will record exactly where a picture is taken, if geotagging is enabled. And while privacy issues are involved when dealing with shots that were snapped in, say, your kitchen, tagging your photos with towns, roads and sites can gain the attention of locals and visitors alike when you're out exploring the world.

ZOZI Instagram Geolocation.jpg

And if you're wary of geotagging all your pictures, you can always tag your photos on Instagram, which allows you to add them to a photo map or set your business as a permanent location with its own name.

6. Capitalize on Contrast

Even lackluster photos can benefit from an HDR (High Dynamic Range) filter that dramatically improves detail. While the originals shown below are just fine, they're nothing to blog about. But just run those photos through a filter and see what happens:

When getting ready to take a photo, HDR is at the top left of the camera app. Choose Auto, On, or Off. It works best when a picture has contrasting colors with areas of brightness and darkness, giving an epic feel to any image.

Bonus: Didn't think to turn on HDR? Running your photos through filters can give them the same magical quality. Two of our faves are Snapseed and eyeEm.

7. Pair inspirational copy with inviting photos

Whether sharing your photos on Instagram, Facebook, or your own website, think about how the text can complement and add excitement to your image.

Two Men on a Jetski.jpg

For instance, what adds more interest to the photo above?

“A pair having fun on our jet ski.”

Or

“Steve and Jon having a blast and breaking waves with our jet ski yesterday! Way to go, can’t wait to see you out there again!”

Add excitement to your photos by including text with action words, authentic emotion and, yes, exclamation points (but try not to go overboard).

Wondering how to get started on social media? Take a look at our 10 Social Media Marketing Tips for Tour and Activity Operators.


Remember, you’re selling an experience! Pictures convey the excitement and value of offered services. Get out there, get your iPhone ready and make the next photos you post spectacular.

About the author:

Cyndy Willis-Chun is the Senior Production Manager for ZOZI. When she's not being a content marketing wizard, she enjoys looking at manatee gifs on the Internet and having meaningful conversations with her schnauzer Brodie. 

Cyndy Willis-Chun

Cyndy is the Senior Production Manager for ZOZI. When she's not busy being a content strategist ninja, she enjoys looking up manatee gifs on the Internet and having meaningful conversations with her schnauzer Brodie.