Finding Your Niche: Is Sports Photography for You?


Do you enjoy a dash of adrenaline with your photography? If so, action and sports photography may be the niche you’ve been searching for! We’ve previously highlighted the steps to take before making the initial jump from hobbyist to professional photographer, but a solid business plan also includes the answer to this critical question… what’s your expertise?

Sports photography is noted as being both challenging and rewarding in equal measure. It requires practice, the correct kit, and a dash of luck. It goes without saying that if you’re interested in sports then this particular genre of photography is likely to interest you, especially if you’re already a freelance photographer. But, what do you need to know to get started?

Kit yourself out with the correct equipment

Every style of photography requires different kit, whereas you’d pack a small, wide-angle prime lens for street photography, you’ll need a telephoto lens to accurately capture the unpredictability of sporting action from a distance.

As well as a high-quality telephoto lens, you’ll also want to pack multiple fast memory cards, extra batteries and a charger, a camera strap to keep your most important asset close to your body on the move and a monopod – perfect for taking the weight off your arms from carrying a long focal length lens for hours and still agile enough to capture the action!

If you’re investing in brand-new equipment, don’t forget to fully cover yourself with Glover & Howe’s Professional Policy, with the option to add Public Liability, too,

Understand the sport you’re going to shoot

Studying the rules of the game and familiarising yourself with the sport beforehand is always beneficial. It helps you plan where certain opportunities may arise and where you’ll need to situate yourself to ensure you capture the perfect shot.

Experiment with shutter speed 

As you can imagine, freezing action is paramount to quality sport photography and only the correct shutter speed will get you there. If you’re used to shooting portrait, landscape or products, you may not have had to think as much about shutter speed, but your ability to master it will go a long way in what you’re producing.

Conversely, a slow shutter speed can also be used to illustrate movement. Take the time to experiment and think about which particular sports you’d employ which tactics for.

Capture emotion and interaction, too

Sport is an emotional journey, not just for the athletes but for the audience watching, too. As well as looking to capture an athlete’s mood before, during and after their debut, also turn your lens on the coaches, crowd and family spectating. What unique viewpoint can you showcase through your photography?

Keep practicing! 

After all, practice makes perfect. The best way to improve your skillset and develop your knowledge and how you like to work an assignment is to continue to practice. Get in touch with your local club to see if you can get media access to games to cover the action, and don’t forget to take the time to meet and learn from other experienced photographers on-site.

Don’t forget that you’ll also need to take time to further develop your Lightroom and Photoshop skills, too.

Whether you’re earning an income full time or part time from Photography, a Glover & Howe policy can cover your equipment all risk with the option to add Public Liability, Professional Indemnity, Employers Liability and many more covers available upon request. Call us to find out more on 01206 814500.




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