Tips for Taking and Storing Sports Photos

Women's volleyball
Sports shows us the highs and lows in one shot; Photo by Vince Fleming, Unsplash

Sports are an important part of life in the U.S.

Even if you’re the softest couch potato in your neighborhood, you likely have a friend or relative who plays in a rec league, for a school, or hoofs it to the stadium.

It only makes sense that some of our fondest memories are focused on sports.

Were you living in New England when Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl? Did you snap photos of you and the family watching the game?

Or, you might not like Tom Brady. Did someone get a picture and capture your disappointment when he won his most recent Super Bowl?

Just recently, golfer Phil Mickelson became the oldest pro to win a major tournament. Did you get your dad’s or husband’s reaction?


What are the best ways to take good sports photos?


Know the rules, what key moments might occur, but more importantly know the mindset of your player or spectators.

We’ll make sports photography tips on this blog post cover a range of possibilities. You might have a child playing a sport, but great moments can come at a stadium while watching a game and you can also have memories watching an event on TV.

Once we take those photos, then it’s time to safeguard the pictures with a permanent cloud storage solution.


Capture the Eyes

The eyes do reveal what someone is thinking. When your son is standing in the batter’s box, or your daughter is waiting at half court to enter the game, get a close up on their face. See what they’re thinking.

Does their natural confidence come through?

Maybe their lack of confidence seeps out?

Get a close up of their face without seeing any of the other action around. This frames them specifically.

Then get a mid-shot for more context.

If you’re with family or friends and watching a game at home, live at a ballpark, field, or stadium the same rule applies. Capture the intent in the eyes. Try to use the background to provide context.

Find the tension if you can because it’s the tension that draws an audience in.

Here’s an article with a good tip on capturing the eyes in a shot: How to Get Sharp Eyes in a Portait via Photography


Take an Almost Action Shot

Junior is lining up behind the offensive tackle while the quarterback calls signals. Jessica is waiting in front of the net as her teammate lines up for a corner kick.

In each sport you can think of—from tennis to volleyball to kart racing—there are tense moments right before the action happens.

You can take shots here and still tell a story because you know what’s about to unfold.

Baseball diamond at night
Wide angle shots are okay, but get close up of players or spectators, too

Technically, your smartphone camera or other digital camera will capture the moment before the action much more clearly than when the action begins. The shots may come out more blurry than what you’d want.

Remember that when you see those amazing shots across the Internet or in the newspapers, that sports photography is a specialized niche.


Find a key moment

During the action, there are key moments that occur like a forward waiting for a pass or a player returning a serve in volleyball or tennis.

Girls chasing soccer ball
A sports photo worth saving is a photo that means something to you; photo by Don Simkovich

Watch your lighting

Make sure the glare from the sun or lights doesn’t ruin what would have been a perfect picture. Try to have lights at your back and streaming onto the subject.


Organize Your Photos

Once you have your shots, choose which ones you like the best and delete the remaining ones. You may have a dozen or more shots from one game, so how do you choose which ones to keep and which ones to delete?

Start with the photos that you like the best.

Remember that we’re going to be able to store these online for next several decades or longer so they’ll be a small part of someone’s complete life story. You don’t have to take a large number of photos to tell a story, but take pictures that reveal key moments and show someone’s personality.


Store Photos Digitally and Permanently

I’ve been a photo coach for 26 years and I’ve always been on the lookout for the best possible solutions to use for my clients. I offer a trusted service that converts all of your old media to a digital format and allows you to store the files in online albums.

For how long?

A lifetime, plus 100 years.

You can share a link to the album with your kids, your grandchildren and they can share the links, too. You can make the albums public or private.

The length of time in storing your memories is possible because there are fees used to cover the storage costs and a portion of those fees is then invested in research and development. That way, it’s possible to stay up to date with changes in technology.

Storing your photos using a trusted service is the best way I’ve found to safeguard your memories.


How can I Help?

I’ll be glad to answer any questions you have regarding:

  • Organizing photos
  • Converting old media
  • Permanently storing pictures online

And, if you’re interested in a business that’s needed today, then I’ll share how I’ve mentored others in running a photo-coaching business.

Contact me and let’s set up a brief chat time. We can do it online so you can live anywhere in the U.S.

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