Sports photography is much like winning at sports. Its all about preparation and performance. Athletes prepare and practice to win, training and preparing their bodies and minds to overcome their rivals.
Sports photography is much the same. Its about getting the one-of-a-kind photos and those happen by accident. It takes preparation and practice. Here are a few of the best sporting team photography tips.
Know the Sport
This means understanding the sport well enough to know the point of the game and the strategy. This does not mean that the photographer needs to play the game, but they do need to understand the rules and what is considered excellent performance. It helps to start out specialising in one or two sports so that the photographer can really understand those sports before moving onto others.
Focus on One or Two Players
There is a lot of activity during a game, so focusing on one or two players can help get a good shot. There will be many shots that the photographer will miss, but by focusing on just one or two players, the photographer raises their chances of getting a good or even great shot.
Always Be Ready
The opportunity for the money shot will happen without notice, so the photographer cannot get caught unprepared. The last thing a photographer wants to happen is to get caught with the lens cap on. A photographer is really not there to attend the game. They are there to get pictures.
This makes a difference in how they watch the game. They should always have their camera in their hand, lens clean, and battery fully charged. They should have their camera bag close by in case they need to change lenses.
A photographer needs to also pay attention to the environment. Is it raining or sunny? Rain can add water to the field which can make for some great shots, but sun can add glare which may mean the photographer may need a filter.
Location is Key
This can make the shot! The photographer should never get so caught up in the game that they miss the shot! If the team is heading downfield for the touchdown, the photographer should be running full speed to the end zone to catch the player as he runs over the goal line. That’s the money shot!