Are you a sports photographer? 10 tips for sports photography

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15 Mar 2022

A sports photographer has to know how to capture the movement of each athlete. He must know the sport he is photographing to perfection in order to be able to anticipate the moments of greatest emotion. And he must also be very careful to capture moments that will last only a few seconds, but which will be unique and unrepeatable.

If you want to become a great sports photographer, here we are going to give you some tips for high-impact sports photography sessions.

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“A good sports photographer has to be: fast, bold and creative, to make a unique sports photograph”.

What is the job of a sports photographer?

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The mission of a sports photographer is to keep a close eye on every event that may occur at the sporting events he or she attends. To shoot at the right moment when a particular action is taking place. And to be in the right place, whether it is cold, hot, rainy or sunny.

If you want to become a professional sports photographer, we’re not going to kid you. Sometimes you’ll have to climb high mountains, go on long hikes with athletes, or get up at 7am on a Sunday morning.

But the truth is that if you are passionate about attending competitions and sports photography is your thing, none of the above will matter too much to you.

In any kind of photographic session, the photographer has to be very attentive to every gesture or movement of the protagonists, but it is precisely in sports photography sessions where the speed of the camera and the expert eye of the photographer will ensure that an unrepeatable moment can be captured by the lens.

How to make creative sports photo shoots?

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The first thing you need to do when planning any of the sports photography sessions you attend is to prepare the photographic equipment.

Depending on the type of sport you are going to photograph, you have to see whether it is going to be held in an indoor or outdoor venue, whether it is an individual sport or a team competition, etc… Depending on all these parameters, the photographic material you choose will be one or the other.

Another fundamental aspect of good sports photography is to know the terrain very well before the competition, especially if you are just starting out in this discipline. It is important to take a thorough look at the place where the competition is going to take place, look for the best angles and, if there are more sports photographers coming, get up early to ensure the best positions 😉.

Now that you’ve got up early, take advantage of those moments before the competition to boost your creativity. Look for elements that are related to the sport you are going to cover (for example, a football, a mountain bike or the empty street of an Olympic swimming pool) and spend some time taking more creative photographs. Taking these images will help you get ideas before the competition starts.

And when the sporting event starts, keep an eye on the participants, glance from time to time at the audience, the coaches and the other people behind you.

10 extra tips for any sports photographer starting out

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As you can see in sports photography sessions, you can’t miss any detail. You have to be well equipped for the competition, study the terrain beforehand and be very attentive to every detail when the starting gun goes off.

If you’ve been a sports photographer for years, you’ll already know this, but if you’re new to the discipline or are considering taking the plunge into professional sports photography, here are 10 extra tips to turn this great hobby into a profession.

10 tips for your next sports photo shoot

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1. Know the sport you are going to attend as a sports photographer very well

It is important to be aware of the dynamics of the sport in question in order to be able to anticipate the most exciting moments.

2. Control ISO

Especially when you are just starting out this parameter is not usually touched, but when you have a few “flying hours” experimenting with it will help you in moments when the lighting is not favourable or you want to gain depth of field. Your photographs will change dramatically.

3. Look for perspectives close to the ground

In this way, you will be able to give more prominence to the athletes and create photos with a greater impact.

4. Never stop taking photos

During a sports competition is not the time to look back at the pictures you have already taken. If you do, you are sure to miss a highlight. That’s why it’s important not to stop during the whole race.

5. Peripheral vision

It is important that you learn to see what is happening in a competition with one eye, while you keep shooting with the other. And if you add the rest of the space to the image, your sports photographs will tell several stories at once.

6. Burst shooting and autofocusing

For high-speed sports, being able to shoot hundreds of shots in a short time with the confidence that you won’t lose focus will allow you to get very powerful images on the move.

7. The monopod and the equipment belt

Your best allies when it comes to tackling multi-hour sports days.

8. Try new techniques

If you really want your sports images to make an impact, try new techniques, research your camera settings, look for different shots and add elements to your images.

9. Learn from the best sports photographers

They will teach you new techniques and more creative images.

10. Practice

This is essential, in this complex discipline, if you don’t practice you will never achieve a style of photography that is out of the ordinary.

Examples of sports photography

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In Arcadina more and more sports photographers are encouraged to create their website and their online business selling images with us. In the following article we have put together a compilation of 5 sports photographers who make the most of their sports photography sessions.

>> 5 success stories: Selling sports photography

Become a profitable sports photographer with Arcadina

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With us, in addition to having a professional website where you can show the latest photos of your sporting events, we also offer you a professional space where you can privately share your reports with, for example, the organisers of an event. This space is called client area and in it your clients and event sponsors will be able to: select, buy, send, download and request photo printing orders in professional formats (Arcadina Labs).

>> The best professional photo labs in Spain

And if you are thinking about how to make a day’s session at a sports competition even more profitable, a great idea could be to make the photographs of the event publicly available for sale through your online shop. In this way, all the participants, fans, public and lovers of this discipline will be able to buy your digital images with the option of direct download or order prints in more exclusive formats.

>> Want to know how to boost your photography business with Arcadina?

>> Arcadina Labs now available in Europe

Yes, the good thing about Arcadina Labs is that it is now available in Europe and you will be able to offer all the participants* of the sporting events you attend, even if they live abroad. With the convenience of being able to place orders by accessing your website from anywhere in the world and with the possibility of receiving their printed photographs at their homes outside Spain.

* The Arcadina Labs service is currently only available in European countries belonging to the Eurozone.

Today we want to share with you the experience of Eli Mora, a great sports photographer.

>> Eli Mora, sports photographer: “my clients value their private spaces”

And to say goodbye, one last question: Which sports photographer do you admire the most? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Arcadina goes with you

Creativity goes with you, offering you the best service goes with us

Fulfil your dreams and develop your professional career with us. We offer you to create a photography website for free for 14 days so that you can try our platform without any commitment of permanence.

Arcadina is much more than a website, it is business solutions for photographers.

If you have any queries, our Customer Service Team is always ready to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We listen to you.

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