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How to Photograph Your Kid’s Sports Match

boy batting baseball near catcher beside gray fence

It’s a proud moment when you watch your kid take to the sports field. Whether it’s your daughter playing her first competitive game of basketball, or your son taking his first steps up to bat, these are milestones that will linger in the memory forever.

Or even better, they’ll linger in a photo book forever! Whether you want to make a sports-themed square photo book, or simply include sports pictures in a great big yearbook, it’s important to bring the smartphone to your kid’s sports match and take as many pictures as possible. 

If you do so, not only will your kid have something to take into school and show off to their friends, but they’ll also have a way to look back at their first sporting memories for the rest of their lives. 

But talking of taking pictures, how exactly do you photograph your kid’s sports match in a way that really portrays the excitement? Sports photography isn’t so easy, after all. For one thing, everyone’s running around, which makes it very hard to keep them in the frame! Secondly, you don’t want to be on your phone for the whole game trying to take that perfect picture. You want to be in the moment!

With this in mind, we thought we’d compile a few tips to help you out, ensuring you take some great pictures while also being present to cheer your kid on!

Talk to the Other Parents First

The first thing we should note is that, unless your kid has invented a new, strange sport, there’s going to be more than just your child on the pitch! 

Ordinarily, every parent is taking photos and videos during a school sporting event, but if you want to be extra considerate, speak to other parents and see if they’re okay with their kids popping up in the frame. The chances are they will be, but it’s always good to remember photography etiquette and get the lie of the land before you start snapping.

Choose the Right Settings

A lot of people say it’s the photographer who takes the picture, not the camera itself. And while this is true, the camera can play a big role in a situation like this. If you want to get the shot, for instance, you’ll have a far better chance if you switch to ‘burst mode’ – capturing as many pictures as possible in a short amount of time. 

Similarly, if you don’t want any other kids in the background of your picture, you can switch to ‘portrait mode’, effectively blurring the background while enhancing the foreground. This is a great way to get a statement shot of your kid in action, with a long exposure or an AE/AF lock also giving you a way to sharpen the focus.

Capture the Story

One of the best things about a sports game is the context. By that we mean, you don’t want to come away with only pictures of your kid on the field. When you upload these pictures to a photo book maker, you want to be able to know what’s happening. 

Which side is winning? What’s the emotion like? How tense is it? To capture this story, you need to take pictures of the ‘in-between moments’ – the kids having a huddle, the audience furrowing their brow, the weather starting to turn. Make sure you take pictures of the whole event and not just a singular part of it, and you’ll be left with photographs that shine all the brighter.

Find the Details

If you’re a photographer, you’ll know all about seeking out the details of a particular scene, and in this case, it’s no different. Sometimes it’s the detailed, scenery shots that are more impactful than the ‘action shots’. 

A wide angle of the venue, a close-up shot of the basketball hoop, a black and white image of the whacked and dusty baseball – all of these images can help to display the finer details of the day and give your photographs a more artistic flair. 

Picture the Aftermath (No Matter the Outcome!)

Of course, your kid’s first sporting event isn’t guaranteed to be a positive one! In sport, you either win or you lose, and it’s possible that your child will be on the wrong end of the result at the end of the day. No matter the outcome, however, make sure you take photographs after the final whistle. 

So long as you comfort your child after a sports loss, they’ll be alright. This is all part of the learning process, after all. Once your kid has played a few more games – and hopefully won a few too – they’ll be more than happy to look back at the first regardless of the result. So take pictures of them holding the winner’s trophy or the runner-up trophy, and round off the day with a more choreographed photography session!


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