The challenge of photographing bridge

“Your looks are laughable, unphotographical” wrote Rodgers and Hart in the classic song My Funny Valentine, “but you’re my favourite work of art.”

Is bridge also “unphotographical”? Such a thing matters little to us when absorbed in the game, but it is a bit of problem when publicising the game to others. How do you convey what bridge is all about, including the fun and the emotion of the game, with a picture?

Here are some of the problems we have encountered in our search for good pictures:

  • In a game of bridge, people are looking down at the cards, not smiling at the camera
  • If you photograph a game of bridge, at least one person will have their back to you
  • The interest of the game is hard to encapsulate in a picture. You have to explain what is going on


What is the solution? I am not going to pretend that this is a solved problem, but there are some approaches that may work better:

  • Photograph just one hand or part of the table
  • Don’t photograph people actually playing bridge. Photograph your lovely facilities, or people smiling because they are about to play bridge with the bridge tables in the background
  • Use a cartoon or drawing where the artist has freedom to make it look good

Of course photographers love a challenge, so maybe there are many creative ways to photograph bridge that we have not thought of. Needless to say we would love to see your photos or learn from your ideas.

We do also have some suitable pictures in our resource library for those registered to use this site, and we are about to add some drawings, so you will not be completely stuck when assembling publicity for your club or teaching course.

One final but important note: both common courtesy and the law require that people who are identifiable give their permission before you use pictures including them for publicity, including social media as well as printed publicity. Get written permission so there is no room for doubt.

2 thoughts on “The challenge of photographing bridge”

  1. For an immersive experience, how about 3D (360° or “sphere”) photos where the viewer can scroll around the table or room?

    In my view, from a marketing perspective the single biggest impediment to mass adoption of bridge, is the total lack of household name or “celebrity” involvement.
    A few non-bridge players may know Bill Gates plays bridge, or even Warren Buffet. But these characters are certainly not in the league of Omar Sharif. Bridge was more current, more in the news pre-80s. Possibly the fame and controversy of the Italian Blue team, Terence Reese etc helped keep things in the news. Bridge had respect as a game amongst lay people. Does it now?

    1. Thanks for your comment. The 360 is a nice idea but I am thinking of photos to put on leaflets, ads etc.

      Celebrity endorsements and news stories help, but we find that wherever an opportunity to learn bridge is carefully advertised, a lot of people do come forward. That suggests we can increase the number of people playing by tapping into this latent demand.

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