10 Tips for Better Sports Photography

February 16, 2012 | Mark Goldstein | Photography Techniques | 47 Comments | |
10 Tips for Better Sports Photography Image

5. Off Camera Flash

This is a cool technique if you want to create dramatic sports portraits or sports action photos. Sometimes keeping your flash on camera can really give a stunned look to your subject. A few years ago, I started shooting using off camera flash, and created some fantastic photographs. It takes a bit of getting used to, and you need to understand your flash as well as your camera, but once you've cracked it, the results can be brilliant and unique.

6. Work With Your Subject

If you want to photograph athletes, it's always a good idea to speak with them first and let them know what you are trying to achieve. Maybe show them some of the examples which you found during your 'inspiration research'. This will enable them to work with you, in order to capture the sports photographs that you have in mind. It really does help, and you'll be surprised at how much more creative your photographs and ideas will become.

10 Tips for Better Sports Photography

7. Plan Your Angles & Locations

If you're planning a photo shoot, it's important that you consider and plan the backdrop to your sports photographs. In my experience, this is just as important as the subject itself. I often head out a few weeks prior to a photo shoot, in order to work out the location, take a few sample shots, and figure out the best angles to shoot from, especially with regards to the sun. If I am shooting abroad, and am unable to plan to this extent, I usually research the locations online.

10 Tips for Better Sports Photography

8. Shutter Speeds

Photographing sports does not always mean that you will be using high shutter speeds, which freeze the action. Try to experiment with slower shutter speeds which can help to emphasise movement and speed. It's great fun to work with, and you can create lots of cool effects, which vary depending on the shutter speed, or how fast your subject is moving.

9. Tell a Story

One thing that I always try to do when photographing sports, is to tell a story. As temping as it may be to concentrate solely on the action, sometimes it's the wider selection of images which are needed in order to build a good, strong body of sports photography. Try photographing portraits, close ups of equipment, sports lifestyle photographs, or scenes which are associated to the sports which you are working with. Basically you want your images to read like a book, and engage the viewer.

10 Tips for Better Sports Photography

10. Try Something New

Don't be afraid to try something new. Maybe use a different lens than you normally would, or maybe even utilise a selection of creative filters. To create a stunning sports photograph, you need to think outside of the box. There are a lot of excellent photographers out there, all creating outstanding images, each and every day. How are you going to be different?


This article was written by Jordan Weeks, a professional sports photographer from the United Kingdom.

Jordan has worked with sports photography ever since picking up a camera. He specialises in adventure sports such as cycling, running, and surfing. His vibrant and creative sports photographs have been sourced by many companies across Europe, and his work is regularly featured in various magazines, books, and travel guides.

You can see more of Jordan's photography on his website at www.jordanweeks.com

You can also stay connected with Jordan via the usual methods -

    • Twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/jordanweeks_com
    • Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jordan-Weeks-Photography/247225148625009
    • Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/jordanweeks
    • Google+ - https://plus.google.com/u/0/110214096088801092869/posts

Or you can subscribe to his sports photography blog at - http://www.jordanweeks.com/subscribe.html

Entry Tags

photos, photo, photography, sports, how to, tips, sport, surf, surfing, swim, swimming, cycle, cycling, hike, triathlon, hiking

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47 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 steve johnson

Thanks for sharing very useful information.please check also auto approved Article.webmafia.in article site.

3:38 pm - Thursday, February 16, 2012

#2 Leah

Great and inspiring tips!!! Worth full Information for those who are into the sports photography. It would be better if you provide some photo editing tips. This will probably more helpful.

6:11 am - Friday, February 17, 2012

#3 Tony Sale

Great tips here, i love the very low angle shots very dynamic results.

10:58 pm - Thursday, February 23, 2012

#4 Eric Spears

Those are great tips to improve sports photography. But what about the sports themselves? Here are my suggestions to improve sports: http://daisybrain.wordpress.com/2010/02/04/how-to-improve-sports/

1:59 am - Tuesday, February 28, 2012

#5 Andy A.S Photography

As a Commercial Photographer i have not taken the step into much sport work but i am starting to cover more of the even side. What i find hard is getting creative shots during live sport like football matches when you have no control over the action. Any tips?

11:20 am - Friday, March 2, 2012

#6 daniel

Very nice shots; I like the wide lens idea.

5:35 pm - Monday, March 5, 2012

#7 Behind Scene Crew

Thanks for posting this! I will refer this article to my friend who is a photographer and he wants to find more techniques he will used for the improvement for his photographs.

10:37 am - Wednesday, March 14, 2012

#8 Jon M Photography

I just loved the tips. I am a wedding photographer and sometimes struggle with other areas. I love reading helpful tips to be a better photographer. Thanks

5:33 am - Saturday, April 14, 2012

#9 Heidi

You used to need long lenses and a lot of expensive equipment to shoot great sport images and you may still need that for editorial content, but for stock photography, all things have changed, or so it appears. An iPhone will do now, as getting in close and keeping it real are key:


3:16 pm - Monday, May 21, 2012

#10 Russell


Great pictures!


4:14 pm - Sunday, June 10, 2012

#11 liam smith photography

great shots, wedding is my main subject but keeping inspiration fresh is where its at. i always loved bob martins work for a different spin on sport (bobmartin.com) his paralympics work is brilliant

10:34 am - Saturday, June 16, 2012

#12 canvas photo

thank you for the great info and brilliant tips i hope i can apply them to my shots and they looks as good as yours thanks

8:49 am - Friday, June 29, 2012

#13 canvas photo

great shots thanks for the tips i hope my photos come out as well as yours

9:10 am - Thursday, July 26, 2012

#14 Eye Fly Media

Great tips here. It’s really important to understand the sport before photographing. You will know which part is the most exciting and anticipated by the audience and readers. Sports photography is slight different from the others, try to look for more sport photos and get the rough idea before starting. Anyway, thanks for the superb article!

3:31 pm - Friday, August 24, 2012

#15 Sports Action Photography

thanks for giving me to grate tips about sports photography. i have also specializes in capturing the special moments for every player.

7:44 am - Tuesday, August 28, 2012

#16 Baitul Ulum

These are the techniques that I should learn more, although I’m not a good photographer, but I often work in designs project. Photography is really important. Thanks for the tips.. :) http://bursadesain.com

8:59 pm - Saturday, October 13, 2012

#17 joe

Great photography skills, benefited

12:48 am - Monday, February 18, 2013

#18 Cy

Excellent article!  I incorporate many of the tips into my own work at : http://www.cycyr.com

5:22 am - Friday, March 8, 2013

#19 James @ Youth Sports Photography Guide

So much great information here. I love how you couldn’t afford telephoto lenses so you just took awesome shots with wide-angles. Great inspiration. Thanks a lot for the article.

3:01 pm - Saturday, July 6, 2013

#20 Kyree Sharma

Thanks for the lovely pictures, The signs are clear: fall is fast approaching. While fall brings with it many wonderful things, fall also brings with it the chance to capture your little ones doing what many of them love most: playing sports. With such a variety of lighting conditions, events, and obstacles, sports photography can be one of the most challenging subjects to capture effectively. All great sports photographers are knowledgeable about the sports they are shooting.

7:21 am - Friday, September 13, 2013

#21 Daniel Jenks

I’m doing a Foundation Degree Photography Course at Newcastle College and trying to find out what the journey’s have been like for photographers. Things like how you started your journey and what have been your favourite locations.

10:55 pm - Sunday, December 8, 2013

#22 Alrazaak

This photography blog is cool and honestly speaking i learn a lot from this

3:12 pm - Monday, February 17, 2014

#23 Travis Bright

Just following up on point no. 2 about “Understanding your camera”, using a camera helmet mount like Camera Demon really helps in getting the right sports action snap. http://www.proporta.co.uk/camera-demon-helmet-camera-mount I have found this to bring a whole new lease of life to sports photography, both for my personal use but also for others.

2:58 pm - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

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8:32 am - Saturday, June 28, 2014

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8:35 am - Saturday, June 28, 2014

#27 alan ranger

great article, well done

12:50 pm - Monday, September 1, 2014

#28 Loker Malang

I have tried many times to do such those techniques. But i failed. Haha..  Great work!

8:00 am - Saturday, November 8, 2014

#29 werkblad composiet

I was looking for something like this…I found it quiet interesting, hopefully you will keep posting such blogs….Keep sharing.

10:19 am - Tuesday, November 11, 2014

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Very nice shots; I like the wide lens idea.http://www.customcanvasonline.com.au/

3:28 am - Friday, December 26, 2014

#31 Qmobile

i like cycling photography. Amazing art.

5:18 pm - Saturday, February 28, 2015

#32 IPL 2015 schedule

I have tried these things in home last night ..haha

5:19 pm - Saturday, February 28, 2015

#33 Kevin Peter

Mark, as am into Horse riding, I’d love to capture the realistic end. But always do fail. Got a basic DSLR and need to upgrade the lens. Any suggestions?

3:44 pm - Tuesday, March 10, 2015

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This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. I like this kind of blog. Thanks for sharing informative information with us

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5:57 pm - Thursday, July 23, 2015

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i just added your site to my favoites.I really enjoy reading your posts.Thanks for your great post.Looking forward to read your next post.

11:47 am - Saturday, August 15, 2015

#37 download

i like cycling photography. Amazing art.

12:00 pm - Saturday, August 15, 2015

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7:21 am - Thursday, November 5, 2015

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10:20 pm - Friday, September 23, 2016