Sports Photography Jobs

Great shots can be on any field!

Are you interested in sports photography jobs? Sports and photography have always been entwined together. The desire to get the winning touchdown is similar to the desire to get the best shot of the winning touchdown.

About Sports Photography Jobs

As with other styles of photography, there are many different careers that a sports photographer can specialize in.

Types of Jobs

There are many different sports that photographers are used for and not all photographers will excel at all of them. There are certain sports photography techniques that are more suited for one style or another. Being good at photographing a youth soccer match doesn't always mean a photographer will be good at shooting professional tennis games.

Different levels that sports photographers can work on include:

  • "Kiddie" or youth sports
  • Junior high school
  • High school
  • College
  • Farm leagues
  • Professional

Every level of sports requires a few good action photography shots and a few good photographers to take them.

How to Break Into Sports Photography

One of the first steps for any photographer is to build up a portfolio and experience. This is especially true in the world of sports photography, as many photographers would love the chance to take photographs of their favorite sports. Begin by photographing as many events as you can, such as children's baseball games or high school football games. Shoot any sport until you build up a strong enough portfolio. If possible, try to intern with a sports photographer or a magazine with a sports section. If you're still in school, try to become a sports writer or photographer with the newspaper. Many sports photographers start as general assignment photographers with newspapers.

Another great way to break into sports photography is through freelance work. Freelance photography is a great way to make a small sum of money while at the same time building a portfolio. Sites such as Allfreelance.com or Photographyjobsfinder.com can help you to specifically find photography freelance positions. Traditional job sites such as Craigslist can help you find freelance work too.

You can also begin to sell your sports photographs to stock photo sites to try and make some money along the way.

The Works of a Sports Photographer

Sports photograph jobs involve taking photographs of sports action, but there are definite advantages and disadvantages to consider before entering this career field.

Pros

  • Doing something you love. Sports photographers tend to love both the sports they're shooting and photography itself.
  • For more established sports photographers, the profession can be a well-paying and steady job.
  • There's no greater feeling than seeing a photograph that you have taken reproduced on a newspaper or other similar media. Great sports photographs may even be remembered for years to come.
  • Some sports photographers are also photojournalists and will write articles to accompany their shots.

Cons

  • Fast-paced action is common. Sometimes the difference between a great picture of a superb catch and an empty-handed receiver can be a few-thousandths of a second. Photographers interested in more still photography (such as flowers) might find sports work difficult.
  • Sports games--especially on the professional level--can occur in any climate. Many stadiums are outdoors and games are not delayed in certain sports because of snow, lightening, rain, etc. It can be hard for photographers to adapt to these conditions.
  • Not all sports games are great. Sometimes photographers will be assigned to games that have no real action. It can be hard to get a great, sellable shot when nothing of value has happened in the game.
  • Sports photography requires telephoto, quick lenses. Unfortunately, these also cost the most.

Final Thoughts

For those who love both sports and photography, being a sports photographer is a chance to combine two passions. The field is not easy for the novice to break into, but for those up to the challenge, the job can be one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable positions out there.

Sports Photography Jobs