Daily Archives March 4, 2020

Photo By Matt May/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

How Do You Become A Sports Photographer?

First, thank you to Scott and Brad for this opportunity to share a bit of my journey as a photographer. It’s my honor to be a guest on here!

As a photographer in the NFL, the title of this post is by far the most common question I receive about my job. While it is the most common, it also happens to be the most complex question to try and answer. Unlike other professions, there’s no clear-cut formula to reach any specific level of professional sports.

To be fair, it’s not a “dumb question.” Photography is a strange profession at times, and wondering how someone got where they are is perfectly normal. Often times when I meet a new shooter, I ask how they got their start or what lead them to where they are, because hearing others’ journeys is truly fascinating.

While there are no specific steps to becoming a professional sports photographer, I can offer some stories from my short career that may help when navigating this crazy business as an up and coming photographer hoping to break into the industry. 

Photo By Aaron Doster/NFL

1. Just Keep Shooting (With Intent)

Original, right? Never heard that one before? I thought not.

This is my number one answer to the question, “How do you become a sports photographer?” Not only is it because that question is way too complex to answer via Instagram DM, but it is also sneakily the most obvious answer.

Repetitions and muscle memory are two small keys to succeeding in sports photography, and they are things that just happen over time. So, if you just keep shooting with intent, you’ll end up just fine. Shooting with intent varies from “just shooting,” because shooting with intent shows that you have a direction you are traveling or something you’re trying to achieve.