7 Sports Photography Tips For Parents

7 Sports Photography Tips For Parents

We are all proud of our kids and we love sports photography action photos, from the time they are in the park running right up through their sports endeavors. The best gear in the world doesn’t help to create a professional quality image, but rather a little bit of technique magic can happen. It doesn’t take much, just a few small adjustments and you can take those pictures to the next level and create something that can really stand out with photographs you’ll enjoy it for years to come!

1. Stay Low

Create star athletes of your kids by shooting at their level or maybe even slightly up toward them. Shooting downward can even diminish a pro athlete, so when it comes to your little one, that downward angle can make them microscopic. We want our athletes larger than life. That’s particularly hard for children but if you stay low, it will have a massive impact on your photo.

Some images representing time on the field. Loving it!

2. Perfect Focus

Your picture must be sharp. That means, among other things, being in focus! There are some camera settings like servo mode that you need to use and learn. A great sports photograph starts with those eyes so make sure they are in focus.

3. Freeze The Action

In addition to being in focus, you need a fast shutter speed so that your athlete is frozen in time. That is essential to making sure that your picture looks professional, high quality and a pleasure to look at.

To that point, be sure to open your aperture as far as you can. The wide-open aperture rule can be adjusted depending on the circumstances-but most of the time sports images utilize the widest aperture to help in two areas: the fastest possible shutter speed as well as the softest background, so you can achieve two beautiful goals in one setting.

4. Follow The Ball

Almost every great sports photograph tracks the ball…well if there is a ball in that sport. The sport is not about people waiting for a ball, it’s about the action. You can have the personality and character photos too, but a sports photo tells a story of the game, and 90% of the time that game involves a ball. So, follow the ball. This takes anticipation, timing, planning and understanding of that sport.

5. Eyes

Whether it’s two eyes and a ball or four eyes and a ball (if there are two athletes), eyes are the windows to the soul; the emotion, the intensity, the character and the person. We want those eyes to give the ability for your sports photograph to stand out!

6. Peak Action

We look for the defining moment in a sports photograph, something we refer to as “peak action”. We want the moment that matters the most. This is the actual shot! Not the batter in a batter’s box, the pitcher getting ready to pitch, the defender waiting for the other team to approach, and so forth. Rather we look for the exact moment that defines the game. Not the moment that happens before or after, but the defining moment.

That isn’t to say that we don’t also take sports portraits on the field. They are easy, and anyone can do it. Still, when it comes to the iconic sports photographs, they involve the moment that defines all things.

7. Jube & Dejection

We said a moment ago that we aren’t looking for what happens after the moment, bu there’s one key exception: emotion. The emotion of success, of jubilation or complete and utter sadness. That can happen a fraction of a second after the moment is over and as a photographer, we don’t want to take our hands off the camera so we can capture everything meaningful on that field. This is one of the most important ways of standing out when it comes to sports photography.

Here’s our Youtube Video for these 7 Tips for Sports Photography

This is just the beginning of understanding sports photography It is a craft. an art, a technique and a style. When it comes to learning this craft, however, this will get you started.,

If you want to learn more about sports photography, there is a way! Mark Nicholas has teamed up with Sports Illustrated photographer Peter Read Miller and they will be teaching how to take the best sports photos!

Go to www.manhattanbeachstudios.net or check out our workshops! We will be sending out more things over time.

And if you’re looking for a photographer to shoot your child at their next game, contact us today @ 310-727-2900 or check out our website at www.manhattanbeachstudios.net

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