Sports and artistic expression are two topics that aren’t typically forged together. However, sports photography is a relevant and budding field that emphasizes the importance of visual arts. For individuals who hold a passion in both of these areas, a career in sports photography is an attractive option. But just how does one make a name for themselves in this industry?
What Type of Education Is Needed to Become a Sports Photographer?
Photography is one of those fields that doesn’t necessarily require a degree or formal education but can certainly benefit from it. Many aspiring sports photographers pursue some sort of traditional degree or certification in photography or even journalism. A four-year degree may be suitable for some, while others enroll in a one-year intensive program dialing in on their photography skills.
What Does a Sports Photographer Do?
Sports photographers may seem to lead an amusing career, but their craft requires much dedication and attention to detail. Given the fast-paced nature of many sports, these photographers have to keep their heads in the game, using their artistic eyes to find the best angles, behind-the-scenes moments and monumental plays. While some photographers may be employed by a certain company or team, many of them work as freelance photographers.
Freelance sports photographers will likely have to invest in their own equipment to haul to these events. On top of photographing the sports event, they’ll be expected to find job opportunities, test their equipment and shots prior to the game’s start and learn the ins and outs of editing these images to produce a final result fit for publication. If not working under an employer, these freelancers will also have to obtain a press pass to get a close perspective of these sports. Oftentimes, this can be obtained through the event staff, which requires prior paperwork and the occasional fee.
How Will a Sports Photographer’s Work Be Used?
Some sports photographers go to an event on assignment, while others capture images and later try to sell them. If working for a team or organization, your photos will be distributed how they see fit. As a freelancer, however, you’ll need to hit the ground running in selling your action shots to publications and sports enthusiasts. The competition can be intense in this market, but it is yet another reason to commit yourself to your work and make your work stand out from others.’
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