Do you have an athlete in your house? Do you struggle with sports photography? I have hockey players, baseball players, golfers and hockey referees in my house so I have a few different sports to capture memories of in different seasons. Each sport is a little different to photograph. Let me share what I have learned through the years and seasons.
Get In Close
One thing I have learned is to get in close to capture the athlete. Sometimes it is difficult to zoom in on your camera when the action is occurring because you can’t always anticipate where the action will be. I take a wide angle photo and then zoom in on my computer. This sometimes creates a lower quality photo, but I think it is okay for sports photos to be a bit edgy or grainy.
It is always important to get the athlete in action! Athletes LOVE to see themselves in photos competing in the sport they are passionate about.
When shooting action shots it is nice when you can get the ball or puck in the photo as well. This gives your photos action or movement when the blur of the ball is in the photo.
Athletes are most proud of themselves in their uniform when they are representing a team or school. A posed photo is sometimes the way to go for this type of photo.
I love the photos taken from behind as well to show their jersey numbers and their name that they wear so proudly.
Fencing, Netting and Glass
These obstacles can all be a challenge when photographing sports. I love when I get to a ball field and there is a low spot on the fence where I can get my camera above the chain link fencing. Our home hockey rink has a spot where there is no glass by the penalty box so I usually park myself there for a bit to grab some clear photos. Then there is the danger of me or my camera getting hit so I really have to be paying attention to the play and what is happening behind the play. Recently I was photographing a ball tournament and I went inside the fence for a little bit and I got some great photos!
Getting those exciting celebration photos are so important to the athlete. My word of advice is to have your camera set on a fast speed (multiple frames per second) and hold the shutter button down. All of those happy moments need to be captured!
The medal photo is an important one to capture too!
Friends and Family Moments
Capturing those moments spent with friends, coaches, family, family as coaches are so important in sports. I only want my children to do their very best, make good and lasting relationships and play fair. It is fun to win but learning to lose is important as well and doing both graciously is most important.
Sometimes quality has to be sacrificed to capture a special, once in a lifetime moment.
My husband is a hockey referee and this was a special game for him as he was refereeing his 500th game in the major junior hockey league. It took him 20 years to get there so this needed to be documented with some photos. I was quite high up in the stands, so everything was going against me for great photos. Hockey rinks are one of the most difficult places to get clear photos. You need to turn your ISO up high to let enough light in, keep your shutter speed quite fast – 400 is a good place – to freeze the action and put it on the lowest f-stop your camera will allow. You most often are going to get grainy or noisy photos, but don’t let this stop you, capture the memories!
Black and White
Black and white edgy sports photos are also so fun to capture. I always take my photos in colour and then play around in my editing program until I get something I like. Here are few of my favourites.
The last thing I am going to share is SHARE YOUR PHOTOS! I love to share my photos with my children’s friends and their parents. If you have captured a special moment for another athlete share that photo with them. It will make you feel good and they will treasure that memory!