The Right Place at The Right Time by Sports Photographer Vincent Rush
I am constantly preaching angles and anticipation are a huge factor in becoming a great sports photographer versus a picture taker on the side lines.
I had a client ask me to get some shots of their son playing football in Monroe, Ohio recently.
Trevor Pittman, seen in this shot, started the game for the Eaton Eagle at Quarterback.
While working the sidelines and watching where the holes had a tendency to open up on the line, I positioned myself in his potential passing lane on a 3rd and long situation, and was rewarded with this capture.
His Mom told me, upon seeing the picture, that it was his first and only passing attempt, to date, of his early career.
I feel that God blesses me with an ability to somehow, always be in the right place at the right time.
I was looking at some of my, so-called, local competitions web offerings recently on their site, and noticed a particular sport, that had something like 30 galleries and more that 5000 photos.
While some of the photographs were outstanding, they were like Easter eggs, hidden in a corn field, among countless unedited photos of the athlete in awkward body positions, either facing the camera or not, sometimes “floating” in air, with not subject matter, etc….
The sad part is, this individual could actually be a pretty good photographer if they understood this simple concept.When your moto drive is snapping off 8 frames a second, you’re going to get some show stoppers in the 8-900 shots you shoot at a game. The secret is, not to bury them in the site with the 700 bad ones.
A $5000 camera and a $6000 lens, will get smoked every time by a parent with a Nikon D90 and a kit lens, that does understand that concept.
I saw a photographer for the Hamilton Journal News in Hamilton, Ohio, shooting Little League tournament photography with a very high end Canon and a 400m 2.8 lens recently and most every shot they presented for game coverage was sub par and no better than some of the parents pictures from the sidelines with cameras from Best Buy.
One of the other Proverbs that I often recite is “Thou shalt protect thy brand and thy brand image”
As a sports photographer, if you want to continually get calls for high paying gigs and be able to charge premium prices, you have to understand marketing and how an audience thinks.
We are a microwave society today. A few years ago, a successful site on internet, subscribed to something called a “3 Click Rule”, that essentially stated, “If a visitor to your web site can’t find what they are looking for in 3 clicks, they bounce off the site.
If you’re shooting a game of any sport and you “dump” 144 photos on the site in a gallery, with a good portion of the photos, unflattering to the subject or awkward looking, you’re going to cheapen your brand and never really be able to command top dollar for your work. You’re also going to lose a lot of potential customers that grow weary in searching for the Sports Illustrated shot of their son or Daughter.