6 Biggest Mistakes New Sports Photographers Make

When you are first learning a new skill, you are going to make mistakes along the way. It is simply part of the process. But there are some mistakes you can (and should) avoid to help you become a great sports photographer right from the start. These are classic mistakes that many sports photographers make but that can be easily avoided.


  1. Reviewing your photos after taking a shot

This is called “chimping” and it is a big no-no for sports photographers. Chimping is when you check every photo you take on your LCD after you’ve taken it. The reason you should not do this in sports photography is that it takes your eyes off the action. You never know what could happen next at a sporting event so you want to ensure you are keeping your eyes on the action! There will be plenty of time to review the photos after the game.

2. Stopping when the whistle blows

Even though the players stop after the whistle blows, it doesn’t mean you need to stop shooting. A central part of sports photography is capturing the story and emotions of the moments and those emotions often come after the play has been made. Keep shooting during time outs or after the action has stopped. You never know what emotion or moment you can capture.

3. Not knowing the venue and the rules of the venue.

It’s always important to be somewhat familiar with the venue of your sporting event and the rules you need to follow while you’re photographing. Depending on the level of the sport, there may be certain areas you can shoot from or certain places you are supposed to stand. You definitely want to be aware of your surroundings and the rules.

4. Using a flash

Flash photography is strictly prohibited. It is incredibly distracting to the athletes and will automatically give you away as a “newbie” photographer. You can adjust your settings to help you brighten up your photos.

Women's Basketball vs Dayton

5. Sticking to one angle

In sports photography, there are many different angles and ways to capture the moment and tell the story of the game. Great sports photographers understand the need to experiment with angles, anticipate action and move throughout the event to show many different aspects of the game.

6. Worrying about getting the perfect shot

It’s easy to do. We all want to capture the best shot of the game but when you worry or try to anticipate the best shot, you might end up missing something spectacular. Stay in the moment and stay in the action and keep shooting. During the editing phase, you can access the results but during the game, have fun, stay in the moment and relax. You will end up having much more fun and probably capturing better photos than if you were worried!

Wrestling vs EdinboroReady to improve your sports photography skills? Sign up for a class with DC Sports Photography Academy! You can choose one game to try it out or book multiple games to really enhance your skills. We offer classes for all levels. Our classes are live college sporting events where you can shoot the game with a professional, learn new skills and capture photos for your portfolio while having a blast! It’s an exciting and one of a kind photography class that you won’t find anywhere else!

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