Starting a Sports Photography Business
Sports photography encompasses every type of photography that covers sport or athletic events – from the classic ones like basketball, football, soccer, hockey, and baseball to other sports like swimming, gymnastics, cross country skiing, and running to athletic events like track and field. The realm of sports photography spans from high school and college athletics to local sporting teams, all the way up to professional sport and mega sporting events.
For photographers passionate about sports and working with athletes, this type of photography can be exhilarating, fast-paced, and always changing. You never quite know what you are going to get.
To get started:
- Get involved in your community – scour social media and newspapers for upcoming sporting events that you can cover.
- Work freelance by photographing sports in your hometown and the surrounding areas, whether that is soccer, football, hockey, basketball, swimming, track and field events.
- Cover high school sports as a great jumping-off point to kickstart your career in sports photography.
- If you are in a mountain town, look to familiarize yourself with mountain sports, like skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, and mountain bikes.
- Live near a beach town? Then get to know sports like open-water swimming, surfing, paddling, and triathlons.
- Understand the sports you’re planning to photograph. Different sports will require different sets of lighting, aperture, and settings.
- Network with other sports photographers and industry professionals, work hard and show off your photography skills through your online portfolio.
Sports are unpredictable, fast-moving, and challenging to predict, so to be able to successfully follow the play and capture the monumental moments or celebrations can be a challenge. Having a baseline understanding of the event or sport you are covering is important in helping you know what you can and should be looking to capture. Plus, the more comfortable you are shooting different sports, the better quality photos you are going to be able to tell. Ultimately, it will really allow you to better tell the story of the game to the world.