A Behind the Scenes Look at Sports Photography

I wanted to share a video I recently watched of a photographer shooting a college football game. As someone who spent a season shooting football on the college level, I have a lot of appreciation for this video because it shows a lot of great technique and it brought back a lot of good memories.

Watch the video first and then I’ll point out a few things for you to pay attention to…

Alright so you’ve watched the video of the match up between Kent State and UMass. Now let me point out a few things that the photographer does that I think you can really learn from…

  • This photographer is using a great lens for the game. Usually in football photography, you can move around the sidelines and into the endzone. That means you can stay generally close to the action that is going on on the field. He is using a Tamron 70-300 lens that allows him to get some action closer to him, as well as some of the action that’s going on farther away down the field. Lens selection in sports photography is very important, and I like a good all in one lens that keeps you light and fast on your feet! Watch for how much zoom the photographer uses for different types of shots.
  • The photographer is constantly following the action on the field. Those of you who get car sick might have noticed this, but in all seriousness, take note. Always follow the action on the field. You never know what might happen in the flow of the game. The second you take a break, something huge could happen!
  • Take note of the type of shots he’s getting. He’s not just shooting game action. He’s looking for individual players, coaches, and reactions. There is always a story to every game. Getting reaction shots or individual shots allows writers and photographers to tell the story of a game.
  • Most importantly: always know when to bail. Sports photography can be really dangerous. There’s one point in the video where the quarterback is rolling towards the sideline near the photographer. The photographer gets the shot of the action but then knows when to stop and bail. No photo is worth getting trampled by a defense.

Now, watch the video again and pay attention to everything that I just went through. Learn from examples like this so you can take better shots next time!