Creating Powerful Sports-Themed Pictures with Platypod Ultra

By: Gilmar Smith

What do you do when you get booked for a family session, but each one of the family members has a different theme in mind?
You create themed pictures! I want to show you how I recently used my Platypod Ultra to create themed pictures. So many photographers use Platypod for Landscape Photography, but I wanted to show you that there are endless ways to get creative with Platypod in your toolkit -- and you don't even have to leave your home! 

As a photographer and creative, I absolutely live for themed pictures. If you're looking for a family portrait of everyone wearing a white t-shirt under a nice tree in the local park at sunset, then you're definitely talking to the wrong photographer. Believe me, I've tried that look, but I die a little bit inside when I'm not being creative or pushing pixels in Photoshop. 

I like to set up a meeting with each client so that we go over their likes and dislikes and create an inspiration Pinterest board. In my case with the family session, there were four boards to create: Mom is a Hair and Makeup artist, and she wanted glam pictures and beauty shots; the youngest of the boys is into soccer; the oldest is into football; and the girl showed up with roller skates, a million changes of clothes and asking for colorful, joyful pictures. (Totally my style!)

For the family picture, they wanted an 80s hip-hop vibe. Now, if I shot in location, this would have been hard to accomplish. I would have been driving all around town to get all the pictures they wanted in the right environments. Instead, I decided to do what I do best. I pulled out my lights and my gray seamless in my home studio, and photographed them one by one and then took them to their own magical places in Photoshop. I didn't have to rely on the weatherman or beg the clouds to move and show me a beautiful sunset. 

My Platypod Ultra has become the greatest conversation starter. Every time I take it out, people start asking all kind of questions about "that little genius plate!" I have with me. This time, my Platypod was the greatest tool to make powerful-looking sports portraits. You know, that low-imposing angle I told you about on my last post, "Low-Angle Portraits in a Studio Setting." 

Even though I was shooting in my home studio, the concept I had in mind was to isolate the subject, so it was just him, the game and a very dramatic sky. To get that kind of shot, you have to shoot from ant's view. 

Here's a look behind the scenes: 


I know that many photographers have different photography styles and workflows. When I'm shooting, I always have my final image in mind; that's the way my brain works. It's also why I rely so much on post-production, because it allows me to bring those images in my head to life. Here's a look at my before and after shot:



Next time you're in the studio, shooting a wedding, shooting corporate portraits, fashion, whatever! Take your Platypod Ultra out of your back pocket (because that's the coolest thing about the Platypod Ultra; it fits in your pocket) and try getting a few shots with it. You'll be surprised at the fantastic shots you would get if you challenge yourself to give your photography a different approach. It will definitely boost your creativity. 

Gilmar Smith is an Orlando-based photographer, content creator, Photoshop addict & social media junkie! Visit her at and be sure to follow her on Instagram