Mastering Sports Photography

Posted on Oct 27, 2016

There’s more to sports photography than simply setting your camera to “sport” mode. Like all types of photography, it’s a combination of skill, precision and patience. Sport is constantly moving and completely unpredictable, so one has to have the right background and equipment in place in order to be able to capture the right moments as they happen.

We chatted to our main man, Gareth Gilmour once again, about the intricacies of this art form.

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Sports photography has changed quite a bit over the last few years as agencies have ramped up the requirements of a brief. As a team of sports photographers, we usually take on projects from a corporate perspective and have specific deliverables to meet. We’ve been hired by numerous big brands in the past, and each brief has had a very unique requirement also pertaining to different sports.

Some of our core clients in this area are:

  • Investec
  • Vodacom
  • Nedbank
  • Supersport

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Investec Sports Photography Brief

If we are hired by Investec it will more often than not be to photograph a soccer game or cycling event. They sponsor downhill cycling and mountain biking, horse racing and the Investec Derby. They are also the sponsors behind South African swimmer and Olympic gold medalist, Cameron van der Burgh as well as the South African women’s hockey team.

Vodacom

Vodacom has a large focus on soccer as they sponsor the Bucs and Chiefs. If we get a brief from them, we will generally go to a game and capture some of the prime action shots, but we’ll also go to the hospitality events and shoot the more relaxed “behind-the-scenes” happenings. The photographer on the job will also go and take various shots of the stadium and all associated branding.

Nedbank

Nedbank sponsor a lot of running and cycling events, as well one of the biggest soccer tournaments in South Africa, The Nedbank Cup. These are always riveting events to shoot as there’s endless action from start to finish.

Supersport

We’ve already posted quite a bit about the sports photography we do for Supersport. We use our green screen technology to shoot the player introductions. We also do the video clips for their moving introductions too using green screen.

All of the above brands use us because we know how to promote their brand at a sports event. There is a lot of know-how that goes into positioning yourself in the right place, setting your camera to the right shutter speed and also understanding what’s going to happen next in the game.

We will usually set up on the sidelines of the field or track with a massive lens and try as much as possible to be in the right place and right time. In order to do so, one needs to have an understanding of the sport in question, but you also need to know who the hero players are so that you can get shots of them in action. You can position yourself almost anywhere within the rules of the stadium and without blocking any advertising billboards etc.

Top Tips For Any Aspiring Sports Photographer

  • Stay focused all the time, not matter how enthused you are about the game or sport
  • Know the sport
  • Know the key figures and anticipate the hot spots for premium photographs

If you’re looking to hire a trusted, professional and experienced sports photographer with years of experience, you can get in touch with us here.