9 Photo Tips for Capturing Your Kids' Sports and Activities
Ballet, soccer, T-ball, tap—whatever activities our kids are involved in, we're right there with our cameras, snapping away. Photographing sports and hobbies can be challenging, but there are tips on how to capture memories you won't want to forget.
Invest in a zoom lens.
Coaches and instructors aren’t going to be thrilled with you running the field with your child to get a good close shot. If you’re taking photos from the sidelines and you want to be able to distinguish your child from all the other players, you’re going to need to be able to zoom in.
Come early to classes, practices, and games.
Arriving early allows you more freedom to get creative shots. This shot was taken in the middle of the soccer field, and I was crouched down to the ground. If it was a real game, I would have been trampled!
For indoor settings, seek out good lighting.
For my daughter’s first ballet class, the studio wasn’t lit very well, but I noticed a great window with beautiful natural light. I asked the teacher if I could open the blinds and get a few good shots at the end of class.
Exchange e-mails with your child's teammates' parents.
Let other parents know you’ll pass on any good photos of their children that you happen to capture. They’ll most likely be happy to do the same for you.
Capture the crowd.
Our children might be the focus when photographing extra-curricular activities, but don’t forget to capture the crowd—the loved ones who showed up to cheer a game or applaud at a recital. During my daughter’s ballet recitals, I always remember to take a photo of my husband watching her.
Shoot in black and white.
For indoor settings like dance studios and gyms, sometimes the lighting can be unflattering. Shooting in black and white (or converting when you edit photos) can not only solve this problem but add a classic, timeless feeling to your photos.
Don't forget to photograph little details.
Capture creative close-ups of important details such as uniforms, ballet shoes, baseball caps, and cleats. And look beyond the field to capture other memorable details like concession stands and score boards.
Use high shutter speed.
Most sports and hobbies have our kids quickly running and if you want to capture everything, your camera has to keep up with the game. Use a high shutter speed and continuous shutter mode (where holding down the shutter takes several shots in a row) to ensure you capture the action.
Include coaches and teachers in your photos.
Your child will love looking back someday and recalling the important people that were there from the beginning of their athletic passions. Take photos of football huddles, coach pep talks, and your child holding hands with her ballet teacher on that first day of class.
Kelle Hampton is a mom, photographer, blogger, and author who lives in sunny Florida. To learn more about her, visit Enjoying the Small Things.
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