How to Take Rodeo Pictures

Taking rodeo pictures is a great way to earn some extra cash while improving your skills in photographing live action. The quick paced action with intense emotion associated with rodeos makes it a challenging event to capture on camera. Here are a few steps to making the experience more worthwhile.

Step 1: Do the Research

Read books and magazines on rodeo events or watch shows on television which accurately document the event. Analyze what goes on with the event. Map out where the animals and riders come out as well as where the audience will be sitting. This should help you plan what to bring, determine the best areas to put up the camera, and know what to expect and when to take the shot. Location and timing are critical with photographing rodeos.

Step 2: Prepare the Equipment

Bring as many memory cards and batteries as possible, more than what you think is necessary for one event shoot. In case one set of these accessories fails, you can quickly find a replacement without worrying if here is enough space for more photographs. Expect to photograph from a significant distance away from the action. Bring the longest lens available. Lenses measuring 70 to 200 mm will work well in most events.

For more professional photographers, it is better to bring more than one camera. This will allow you to carry other lenses and switch settings quickly without having to replace the lenses again. Bring a polarizing filter. This will help in reducing the amount of glare when photographing during the daytime. Too much sunlight can reduce the vibrancy of colors, making the image look washed out. Bring a tripod or monopod to stabilize the camera while taking the photograph. It also reduces the amount of pressure on the hands and shoulders, making it easier to follow the action. Bring flash devices in case a fill in flash is necessary.

Step 3: Arrive Early

Get to the arena early to get the best areas and to have enough time to set up the equipment before the event starts. Ask around if there are any limitations as to where photographers can safely go and take shots. Some events may only allow photographers up to a certain point or may not permit the use of certain equipment. This will verify if any changes to the original plan need to be made. Take a few test shots and adjust the settings accordingly.

Step 4: Location and Timing

Move around quickly within the allowed areas. With the information gathered during the research and planning stage, it will become easier to know what shots to take from where and when to take the shot.

Step 5: Do Not Stop Shooting

Take as many photographs of the event as possible. Photograph the action on the arena as well as the reactions of the crowd to create variety. More photographs increase the number of great shots at the end of the day. Photographers who choose to sell these photographs will have more to offer potential clients than photographers who were selective in shooting during the event.