Sports photos

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I am not a sports fan, but as a girl with a healthy competitive streak and a love of snapping pictures I’ve found that I *do* enjoy games and taking action shots. That said kid sports = entirely different from snapping photos at a professional baseball or football game!! This is my rookie year as a soccer mom, and as such I’ve been really enjoying taking photos of the team.

After the games I sit Elizabeth down and we talk about the things she did great (and the things we’re going to work on) and love looking at them all. In doing this for five weeks now, I’ve found some things that I thought I would share with you today.

  • shots that show all the action/players on the field are boring. Take a few, fine, but spend time zooming in and focusing on individuals and interesting angles.
  • Get down! I get a good workout in squatting for most of the game. Putting myself lower to the ground gets me more on eye level with these girls (probably not as big of a deal with older kids)
  • Move! I walk all around the areas I can, careful to stay behind other parents and well out of the coaches and players way but still moving and getting different perspectives

  • Snap in bursts! I like to snap about 4-6 at a time quick as I can – this gets me some interesting stuff for sure – and sometimes sets up a great sequence.
  • Play with focus. I really like to get as micro of a focus as I can – I much prefer a very sharp subject and very blurred background when I can. That said – be careful that with each shot you make sure your subject is the focus!! I’ve had some great shots ruined because I wasn’t checking!
  • Auto mode is where I live. Oh, I’ve played with some manual stuff and even the ‘sport’ mode, I find I get better photos on straight auto.

Share! So far I’m the only one on the team sharing (also only one with camera attached to head during all games) – but I know it’s appreciated. We have a private team site where we can share photos, and order prints as well. Speaking of team – I crop or ‘blur’ other kids faces if I’m posting photos online.

My final thought is to think about what photos you save, treasure, and love and focus on taking those kinds of pictures. Don’t worry about capturing a complete detailing of the game, or every single time your player gets the ball. Sometimes when they do NOT have the ball is a great time to take their photo!

do you have tips to share? Ideas and things that you really like to do/use when photographing kid sports? Please feel free to share!

I will share one more thing – and that is that I totally recommend Bella Blvd “Making the Team” for a themed sports craft projects. It manages to be specific and more all-purpose all at the same time! Scrapbook.com has most of the line. (below is the soccer paper + their logos) – I just LOVE it!!

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11 responses »

  1. If I had only known this when Taylor was playing soccer – great tips. Finally found the Caramel Apple Pops at Joann’s – Oh happy day!

  2. So do you just have a compact digital or a fancy one? I’m seriously wanting to do a food blog, but all I have is a Canon compact digital camera. Love your shots. You’re right; there is a serious lack of cameras out there. I need to start remembering my camera. I have two in soccer (5 and 7 yo) and one in bowling (9 yo). Have a great weekend!

    • You can get great shots from any camera – it’s more about knowing HOW. 😉

      That said – I have a Nikon D60, but I do not have (yet, I WISH) a super-zoom lens.

  3. Something I use sometimes for my son’s soccer or rugby games is to put the camera on a low shutter speed and follow him with the camera as I snap. The the background is blurred and he is in focus (or most of him as the fast moving bits will also be blurred.) Gives s a sense of speed.

    I join you in seeing all his games through my lens. One day I left my camera at home on purpose and it was quite odd to see the whole field all the time! People wanted to know if I was sick cos I was missing a limb!

  4. My son played baseball (8 years worth…) and after the advent of a good digital camera in 2004, I would make a CD for each player on the team. We didn’t have photo sharing sites back then :). I would pick out a selection of “team photos”: good group photos such as conferences on the pitcher’s mound or them lined up in the dugout plus a couple of photos of each child at their respective position(s) and a few of them batting and also a few good coach photos. Those photos would be on every CD. Then I would fill the remaining of the CD with the best photos I had of whoever’s CD that was. I would crop, color correct, etc all the photos.

    For several years, I also did the same with my daughter’s dance recital.

    I am planning to do the same with my son’s cross country friends (not the whole team because, yes, it is so much work). He is a senior now and there are a few guys he has run with the entire four years. I think it will be a great graduation present.

    If you subscribe to the theory that the more photographs you take, the more you learn..that is enough reason to take tons of sports photos! The photos of your own children will improve. 🙂 Practicing while other children were batting during night games helping me to be more comfortable with the settings on the manaul side of the dial!

    Many people either don’t take photos, have cameras that were more of a challenge for taking great photos, or some people just don’t have the knack for the candid shot or good angles. I have to say that I received *many* thank you’s when I gave out the discs. Most people would even thank me the next season after they had time to go home and look at the photos.

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