Dundonald Interview – part two

Mark Alexander discusses the marketing potential and business applications of golf course photography.

Dundonald Links is recognised as a must-play links course. Professional golf photographer Mark Alexander reveals his approach to capturing the natural beauty of this stunning Kyle Philips design.

Once you’ve captured a series of photographs and processed them, how do you convert your artwork into a marketing tool?

Once I’ve delivered the high-resolution and thumbnail images to my client, it’s up to them to utilise the images the way they see fit. This is something I can advise them on, but this could mean looking at a new website, using the images for media inquiries, creating social media content or producing art to decorate the clubhouse.

It’s important to note that golf magazines always find it very difficult to find good photography. So, if you have decent photography, you’re one step ahead of the pack. Editors want something that sparkles and prompts a response from the viewer, and if you are able to give them that, they’re far more likely to use it, especially on a big spread. With this kind of photography, you’ll often find that suddenly your course has been put on a more prominent page.

Likewise, tour operators and people who promote golf courses and destinations also struggle to find imagery that stands out from the crowd. So if you have a selection of professional images, they will be more inclined to proactively promote your club.

In addition, the images provide the potential to open communication channels to spread your messages. I often help my clients work through these opportunities, but from my side of the fence as a photographer, when I am creating the images, one of the key things is to capture a good variety of shots. To ensure that each photograph has a different atmosphere, I shoot with different lenses, at different angles and at different times of the day. For example, you can have highly architectural images which look at the movement of the land and the way the fairway changes, and you can also have images that look at the broader environment in which the course is set. So, by capturing a variety of shots, I ensure my clients have a selection of images that can be used to tell different stories.

When you are asked to provide a consultancy service, what is your first approach?

First, I like to sit down with the client and discuss their objectives; what they want to achieve, and by understanding their rational, we can work forward towards a clear goal. I like to explore different options like creating adverts, e-brochures, new websites or pamphlets. Whether the goal is to attract new visitors, get more coverage in magazines or go up in the top 100 lists, when I start to understand my client’s objectives, I can tailor the marketing strategy to suit their needs.

Stay tuned for an insider’s look at a day in the life of professional golf photographer.