Picking Apart The Perfect Shot


While most have my posts have been about how to build your brand and what to do with your content, I chose to give a couple pointers in regard to sports photography.  The best part about this post is that you don’t need any formal education to figure out the basics.  As long as you have the motivation and determination to succeed than everything will be fine.

As long as you know how to operate your camera, then the rest of this post will help hone your skill of shooting sports photography.  Positioning is a big factor with this topic and a problem for most trying to get the best content possible.

Furthermore, taking photography in the sports industry might be harder than it looks.  While most take pictures of a baseball player hitting a ball or a football player making a catch, there’s only a select few that have the skill that gives them the step ahead of people to get the pictures people want.  Having a general sense of where to have your camera pointed is significantly bigger problem beginners have.

However, the only gap in knowledge that separates these people is that they are photography aficionados who lack going the extra step.  The rest of this post will give you some tips and pointers that will close that gap between you and the best.

  • Positioning

Where you are on the field is a simple yet effective strategy that will make your photos stand out among the rest.  While you want to see where it’s falling because every case is different, you can’t go wrong with having the sun to your back or over your shoulder.  Also remember that, as I stated before, sports fans love to follow narratives.  At a cousin’s football game, for example, be in the corner of the home end zone with the sun over your shoulder and the home crowd on the edge of the shot.  When all things come together, if your cousin makes a game-winning catch, you have him, the crowd, and the referee in the shot.  This gives you an aesthetically pleasing shot that shares a feeling rather than just a shot.

  • Don’t Chimp

For those who don’t know the term, “chimping” is the act of checking every single photo on your camera after capturing it.  This could be the single worst thing to do especially as a sports photographer.  The shot that you need could be a matter of parts of a second and you need to be on your toes and alert at all times.

  • Do your research prior to the game

This might, in fact, be the best the most important tip regarding sports.  Sports media and fans create storylines and narratives around any league: Messi or Ronaldo; MJ vs LeBron; Will Ovechkin ever win a cup? When you’re setting up for the game and have your camera ready to take pictures, knowing the narrative for that specific game will separate you from the rest of the pack.  For example, if two players are feuding, a baseball player is ready to hit his 500th home run, or the moments immediately after a result might be the most crucial.

Any tips for other beginners out there?  What do you have to offer?