Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school and social media


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Oct 5, 2009
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These are obviously highly stylized, Instagram images but they're being used to market a new BJJ school and have gotten a good reception from the intended Facebook audience. I took some and am seen in the others, but I cropped and edited all in Snapseed on the iPad or iPhone and then uploaded to Instagram. Several were from a buddy's Nikon DSLR and the others were taken with an iPhone 5. Trendy and relatively low tech but they serve our social media purposes. Just throwing them out there for consideration.

If this is of any interest at all, you can follow us at Instagram

Interesting you say that. The first image has more random shares than any of the others. The second gets a lot of interest, largely due to the state in the foreground. #5 is out of context without text but it represents a proud, new female student starting her martial arts journey with her first white belt.
The first image is the only truly visually compelling and well-executed shot of the bunch. I mean no disrespect when I say that, and I think the number of "shares" the images has received speaks to the strength of the first image. Two windows, two combatants, classic ground grappling, GOOD picture!

Shots 3 and 4 are really hurt by all those overhead fluorescent tubes....those just kill any foreground interest. It might be one of the most distracting backgrounds possible to get in that gym. I can also almost hear the hummmmmmmm of the wonky tubes!

The last shot, the close-up, has a simple composition. I wish the turtle emblem were not right on the edge of the frame, but still, this shot is probably the second-strongest compositionally.
Good points, Derrel. Agreed on the overhead lights and though our lights don't actually hummmmm you almost feel as if they do from the photo. That actually captures the feel of the austere conditions under which BJJ is often practiced. That may resonate with some of our audience but doesn't do anything for the composition of the image. I could probably minimize their impact processing in LR. Also a good point about the turtle in the final image. When going to square format I had made a tight crop but there was space outside the turtle. Adding the frame in Snapseed crops the image further and I clearly didn't account for that. Lesson learned, or it's something I can fix if I ever need to upgrade this image.

Thanks again for the feedback.
I spent a lot of time growing up in wrestling rooms where the doggone overhead fluoro's hummmed...bad memories I guess!

Yeah...the gotta-crop-to-square issue with Instagram...I used to shoot my Instagrams with "their" camera, which showed me only the square, right on-screen on the phone, and I really,really LIKED that version of the app, since I could SEE the actual crop I would get, and it then also immediately saved the high-rez file to the camera roll AND automatically saved a full-sized Instagram .JPG to the Instagram folder but did not automatically share it.... But yeah, the way things end up when a rectangle is cropped down to an Insta-square can be irksome many times.

DAMN, I wish they would have kept Instagram just like that! Anyway...the top photo is very strong, very graphic, and is well-filtered. I personally think that the Instagram ethos is the right way to promote MMA. MMA is new, and the people who like it are open-minded, and many are younger, and I think Instagram and heavy filtration effects are the way to go.

In Lighrtoom, I have a preset called Ultimate Fighter, which I kind of like too.
Really like it.
Certainly the first one.

It's difficult to make martial arts photos interesting. You do it how I like it.
Just a few more. All are very low resolution versions but the first 3 were edited in LR and the final 2 in Snapseed and Afterfocus on an iPhone.


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