Freelance Photographer Tips: Children's Sports

As a freelance photographer, it is important to be ready for almost anything. Regardless of the subject being photographed, the weather conditions, as well as a host of other factors, professional photographers must be able to find the right settings and equipment to do the job. Photographing children's sports poses a different set of challenges. The size and nature of children and the situation will require more thought and consideration. Here are a few steps to taking photographs during children's sports, to make the process a less daunting task.

Step 1: Understand the Sport

It is important to know what sport the photographer will be taking photographs of. Depending on how they understand the sport, photographers will be able to better anticipate what shots they can expect to take and when. Getting great shots is all about timing. There are instances where photographers can prepare and wait for the right time to take the shot, while there are also situations where a bit of luck may be required.

Step 2: Prepare the Gear

Take lots of batteries and memory cards or film for the event, more than what is initially assumed as necessary. It is better to have more than enough memory cards or film than to find out that there is no more space left for any pictures. This eliminates the need to delete pictures and saves time. The same goes with batteries. Photographers may need to use flash for certain weather conditions and should have enough batteries for the event. Bring tripods as well. This creates a more stable base for taking pictures and reduces the chances of having blurred or shaky pictures.

Step 3: Arrive Early

In most instances, photographers are only allowed in certain areas for taking pictures. Arriving at the location early will enable the photographer to know which areas the gear can be set up, as well as have a general idea of what equipment and settings to use. This is also a great time to take shots of the children preparing or photographs of the team.

Step 4: Crouch Down

When photographing kids doing sports, it is important to take it at their eye level. It may be necessary to kneel or crouch down. Taking the shot from an adult's eye level will make them look smaller and distorted. Play around and experiment using other positions and angles. Photographs taken from below will make kids look taller and more important.

Step 5: Photograph Relationships

As the photographer will be required to take photographs of all, if not most of the kids participating in the sports event, it may be impossible to photograph each one on its own during the game itself. Instead, take solo shots before or after the match, with their friends or as a team. This way, the same shot can be given to several clients or families. Remember to take shots of the children with a small group of their friends, a maximum of three if possible. This saves time and disk space while giving families a photograph of their child up close.