Freelance Sports Photography


Freelance Sports Photography

You have mastered the art of taking outstanding photos of sports events? Now, you want to get down to the real business and maybe sell your pictures or have them published in a trendy magazine or online. For a beginner in this field, it may seem a daunting task. Here are some ideas on how to get your freelance sports photography business started.

Expensive Equipment? Not Necessarily…

If you think that you need the latest camera models to get started, then you probably have to think again! For beginners anyway, standard digital SLRs have sufficient capability for most shoots. In any case, making such a hefty investment at such an early stage hardly seems wise. Most expert photographers agree that, while the equipment is an important tool, it is not the most important success factor in sports photography. Skill, talent, and other personal abilities have a greater share in making a great shot.

Internship with a Professional Photographer

Sports photography is not taught anywhere. Some universities (and they are very few) offer photojournalism courses, which are not exactly the same. Hence, most sports photographers are self-taught. A good way to get hands-on experience is to arrange for an internship with a professional photographer. Many photographers take interns as assistant photographers. The pay may be low, but it is an excellent way to learn the trade. Getting an internship will generally mean contacting the photographer and showing him your images.

Getting your photos published

Magazines are always looking for new ways to depict sports. Build a portfolio of excellent photographs and have it sent to various editors. If your photographs suit that magazine’s needs (in general, in relation to articles that they write) you are sure to get a call. Once you start publishing, you will soon make a name for yourself (if you maintain a standard of quality). Some photographers write their own articles in order to make their photos more saleable. This makes the work of the editor easier and provides you with a better chance of getting published.

A word of warning…

The photography industry has undergone tremendous overhaul since the advent of the digital camera. Digital cameras enable almost anybody to take pro-like pictures with very little effort or investment. The equipment costs little and the cost of marketing the pictures is also insignificant with the internet. Thus anybody can take shots and have them published on the Net, gaining access to clients worldwide. Professional photographers have therefore sprung up by the millions in the last few years. Competition is thus severe.

Thus, to be successful there is a need to differentiate from these millions of “pro” photographers. This can be achieved by developing a unique style. Once your clients get used to this style, you will be able to set the price for it. Alternatively, you can specialize in a sport that is relatively underserved by others. This will enable you to produce photos others are not. Of course, if the sport is little known, the pay will also be meager.

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