Monday, March 23, 2009
Ultimate Sports-Action Tips
How to shoot—and think—like a pro sports photographer
My goal as a professional photographer and your goal as the “resident photographer” are very similar, if not identical. Our collective goal is to capture the best photos that show both action and emotion. So I’d like to share a handful of shooting tips based on my experience as a professional sports photographer that should help you prepare for the events you’ll photograph—and hopefully make you a better sports photographer.
Know The Sport
It’s important to understand the sport you’re photographing if you really want to improve your chances of capturing a moment in time. Some of the best ways to accomplish this may sound simple and obvious, but they work. Read as much as you can about the game and understand its ultimate objectives. Most kids play youth soccer, but that doesn’t mean that most parents understand the general rules of the sport.
Understanding the sport will help you better position yourself to get a better photograph. It will help you understand where the action is going, not where it has been. Anticipation comes through understanding of the sport and allows you to position yourself where the action will be before it gets there.
Know The Players And Their Positions
One advantage I have as a professional sports photographer is that many of the players I photograph already have reputations for their style of play. This makes it easier for me to anticipate what certain players will do or where they will be in certain situations. However, I still have to do my homework and learn as much as I can about every player on a team and on the field.
It will be difficult to understand the “habits” of the players on your kids’ team because they’re too young to have developed a pattern that’s repetitive and easy to follow or anticipate. This is why understanding the “responsibility” of their positions will help you anticipate where each player “should” be during a particular play. For example, if there’s a player on first base and your child is playing shortstop, you may want to focus on or near second base, anticipating a steal or potential double-play photo opportunity.
Page 1 of 3