I know it’s early in the season, but it’s never too early to start sharing those all-important de-motivational moments that speak to football photographers in a way that only moments of non-greatness can. I hope you enjoy this series I created with some of my most non-glorious moments.

Above: Commitment. It has three “m’s.” It’s sticking with it, even if you know it’s wrong. It’s following the running back without second-guessing. It’s going where the Quarterback leads. It’s what makes #6 in my series of De-Motivational Posters. 

Above: A lesson in sports photography or a lesson in life? Why can’t it be all three?

Above: I call it, “Courage.” If you take away the C and the e and the g, it’s oura. Creepy, right.”

Above: Remember, Focus is more than just a word â” it's a five-letter word. Think about it.)

Above: Imagine isn’t just a song. It’s a word, too. I created Number 3 in my series of de-motivational posters to inspire you to soar high to greater heights of towering highness up really high in the skyness.


Above: I created #4 in my series of de-motivational posters in hopes that it inspires you to inspire others about inspirational aspiration of inspiring impassioned inspiration and the perspiration that comes with not using deodorant.

I’m off to Los Angeles for my seminar Wednesday, so I’m out. I hope you have a totally motivating day of motivational motivationalness!

About The Author

Scott is a Photographer, bestselling Author, Host of "The Grid" weekly photography show; Editor of Photoshop User magazine; Lightroom Guy; KelbyOne.com CEO; struggling guitarist. Loves Classic Rock and his arch-enemy is Cilantro. Devoted husband, dad to two super awesome kids, and pro-level babysitter to two crazy doggos.


  1. You know the refs wear those striped uniforms to throw our sensors off and collect the focus. How many football shots do we get where that ref way to one side or the other is tack sharp? :)

  2. Keeping the fun in photography and not taking it too seriously! Wonderful blog!

  3. Nice to see it happens to the Pros too.

  4. If you take the “C”, the “O” and the “U” out of “Courage”, you get “Rage”. Many photographers walk that thin line everyday.

  5. Thank you, Scott. Now I can start my day as demotivated as possible! Have fun in LA!


  6. Just love this series. Wicked!

  7. Scott … my gosh, you’re human after all! :-) Love the series … still laughing! Have a Great time in LA. Good thing you’re not here in Denver with the Debate going on … they’re closing I25 from downtown south to I225! I’m glad I’m retired! :-)


  8. Scott, these are always funny. :) I was hoping to get to see your good shots from the Bucs/Redskins game. Don’t lie and say you didn’t get any good shots. Hopefully you’ll still post them.

  9. Thanks again for these posts. I love that you don’t take yourself too serious.

  10. If you say courage backwards it spell egarouc which is welsh for “oh bum”

  11. Nobody, but nobody captures the essence of the referees like you do. You will go down as THE “Referee Photographer”. Where can we buy these prints? Take that, McNally! See you in Los Angeles for more hints on your specialty.

  12. Every time you get one of those ref shots…realize that you had the perfect vantage point…the ref thought so, too. Arggh!

  13. I can so relate to the focus poster! This past weekend was homecoming – great group of kids standing in front of some awesome fall folaige – yep, you guessed it – the trees look nice and sharp!!

  14. I would totally buy and proudly display one of these de-motivation posters. : )

  15. I thought the refs were there so you can set proper white balance and set correct highlight and shadow values off the stripes!

  16. Being from Wisconsin, you can imagine how much we *love* our replacement refs. Thank you for the humor Scott. I can’t wait to see the shots that did turn out. Oh and I’m still living in Milwaukee. :-P

  17. You’re a continuing inspiration. I thought everyone beside me always gets the shot…

  18. This works for Ultimate Frisbee photography too–just replace the words “football” with “Ultimate” or “disc” as appropriate and “refs” with “observers”…

  19. truly inspiring work mr kelby. I think ill use my bye week this week to print off these and hang them in my office. actually as im typing this, i relise that, if I could get prints of these, I actually would hang them in my office.

  20. I was inspired to try some different shots after watching your training session on shooting football games with Dave Black. This 76 year old hobbyist decided to get that shot of players breaking through a paper banner as the team was introduced. I got this shot a split second before # 69 bowled me over. LOL. Hey I did get the shot!

  21. How about a tutorial on creating a Photoshop action to remove headless repalcement refs?

  22. Fun Stuff… Love your honesty and ……

  23. I love the creativity. I know that you’re excellent at what you do…

    However, i would like to make a suggestion. Perhaps you should find a way to put a GPS on the Referees, so that you can get a warning before they interrupt your line of sight. Can i suggest a shock collar, or some sort of beeping noise. If this is not possible, at least we can all look forward to the next segment in de-motivational posters.

  24. Thank you thank you thank you for making us laugh out loud every football season! You are a great photographer and we admire your skills and we soooo appreciate your highly developed sense of humor. Awesome.

  25. i’ve been shooting my boys high school football and rugby games for the past few years. i can personally GUARANTEE that i’ve done every … single … one of those shots. awesome!!!!

Leave a Reply