How does a Professional Approach Team Sports Photography?
Your team sports photography should not be tackled by a rookie photographer. For the winning shots every team wants, a professional photographer is able to capture the team and individual players at their best so you’ll look back on them with fond memories for years.
It can be tricky to capture larger groups on a 3:2 frame, especially those teams that have varying heights. Knowing how many players that will be in the team shot and what to expect for background or site location environments is essential for planning team sports photography. A professional sports photographer will put on her own game face and call out clear and concise instructions so you can capture everyone together before players start getting bored.
Teams like youth soccer or little league baseball can be arranged with 5 or 6 players in each row while a lacrosse team with first and second string can have up to 30 players will have ten in each row. Position these team members on a multilevel surface like bleachers or stairs. It’s important to be aware of light sources and visual angles so a single player doesn’t stand out and the team sports photography looks symmetrical or uniform.
Team Sports Photography Includes Posed Sessions and Action Shots
After the big posed group shot, next is the opportunity for some action shots that really highlight the skills of each individual player. This is where some of the players may need some extra encouragement or direction from the team sports photography mastermind. As a photographer, it’s important to understand some different sports terminology. Ask the softball left fielder to reenact a legendary catch or the lacrosse “middie” to demonstrate a behind the back pass. Poses with their soccer ball, softball bat, or baseball mitt add authenticity to each action shot with the player feeling more comfortable in front of the camera for their sports team photography.
Tips for Team Sports Photography by Sport:
- Team Sports Photography: Baseball
With about 12 to 15 players posing for their team sports photography, youth baseball should have their group shot on the bleachers or on the baseball field. Position 5 to 6 players in each row with taller players in the back and a coach on each side. As part of their action shots, take the classic batter swing or sliding into home. If the home stadium has any notable features like the scoreboard or dugout, be sure to use them as the background for nostalgia purposes for everyone down the road.
- Team Sports Photography: Softball
Softball will also have 12 to 15 on the team and can be very similar to the baseball group shots and individual actions poses. However if the softball team wants their team sports photography to be distinguishable from the baseball team, be prepared to offer some alternative shots. For example, ask the taller players to kneel in the front row or the players arrange their mitts and bats below the front row. Be sure to snap some perspective shots of the softball itself, or aim the camera’s gaze down the length of the bat.
- Team Sports Photography: Soccer
The number of players on a youth soccer team varies by age group. For ages 6 and under, there are usually only six players on the team while a high school soccer team will have up to 18 players. This is where a little homework will make your team sports photography more productive giving you more time to wrangle and pose all the players for their group shot. There are a couple of classic individual shots that can be done: standing with one foot on the ball or kneeling with the soccer ball in front of the player. Feel free to get creative or ask the player what their favorite move or trick is and snap away!
- Team Sports Photography: Lacrosse
Lacrosse team sizes can also vary by age group with up to 30 players on a Division 1 team or 10 to 15 on a club team. For the larger teams, start with the first row made up of the shortest players and then arrange the second row of the next tallest members standing in between each person in the front row. Individual photographs for larger teams don’t allow for the same photographic creativity so you might set up small groups to pass the ball to each other and take shots on the goal for some action team sports photography shots. Posed individual shots can include their gear (helmet, gloves and cleats) and their stick.
Natalie Roberson Photography Covers Team Sports Photography for Youth, Travel, and High School Spring Sports!
Team sports photography can be difficult but the sports photographers at Natalie Roberson Photography believe it is also a rewarding experience. Capturing the special moments: action shots, candid individual shots, and posed team shots, is special for the team as a whole and for each player. Trust our professionals for your team sports photography; contact us to discuss session options today!