Sports Photography Blog

17 May 2024 in

Behind the Scenes - Sports Photography

My personal enthusiasm and love for sports photography stems from witnessing the joyous reactions of the student-athletes and their parents when viewing the images. When photographing sports, there are a lot of factors to consider. Understanding how to take pictures of the sports you are interested in is just as important as understanding how to use a camera. To get the most effect out of a photograph, you then need to be aware of the key locations and read the action that is occurring. Sports photography requires a different eye than other projects so I'll give you an inside peek at how sports might be covered.

Key Elements

The eye is one of the primary focal points for pictures taken for any sport. Humans are instinctively drawn to any image that has eyeballs. Making sure you can see the eye in the photo and selecting a position are two ways to be successful. As we all know, rules can be broken. Since photography is an artistic medium, you should personalize it as much as you can. Create an emotional connection with your audience by telling a tale via your eyes. Arkansas PBS covers many high school state championship games including volleyball, baseball, softball, basketball and football. In my opinion, one of the most challenging sports to shoot is volleyball. However, there are so many other great sports across the state that deserve coverage just as equally!

The Spots

Choosing the right spot is very important but varies from sport to sport. Understanding the sport, you are shooting can be crucial to capturing key moments during a game — let me give you a couple examples. When a runner is on third in a baseball game, it's a good idea to move to catch them as they sprint or slide home. You want to be ready for the best-case scenario. You can capture them celebrating with their teammates as they joyfully run back to the dugout. Another sport we can examine is football; for illustration, let's use a touchdown. In addition to being able to read that there is a chance for a touchdown, you also need to be able to place yourself in one of the corners and make an educated estimate as to which one it is, particularly if you haven't seen the team before. This will create an amazing action element and could position you in the right spot for celebrations.

The Shots

There are so many photos I am so proud of, and I’ve shared a few here. Being able to work with other talented photographers is such a privilege and ’I’m excited to help cover games for Arkansas PBS and support the athletes as well. The pictures themselves capture emotion and action of the game for the athletes, parents and those not able to make it to the game.

Typical Day in the Life

Long days shooting sports is obviously an essential part of photography, depending on the sport you cover. The fact remains true; there are times when games take much longer than expected. I like to arrive early because there are non-starters who also need photos because they are just as important as the starters. Warm-ups allow you to photograph those players in action! Then as the game starts and throughout the game, I like to share a few photos so that the social media team can update the score graphics to help keep viewers informed. Lastly, I then capture the trophy and team photos before going back up to edit. Finally, I post-process the images and send them out to be downloaded and shared for families, schools, players and fans.


Arkansas Activities Association

About the Author
I'm a 21-year-old senior marketing student and sports team photographer at UCA. I also do freelance work at the University of Arkansas, and I shoot for so many high schools across the state.