Fundamentals of Sports Photography
Whether it’s a game-winning touchdown, knock-out punch, or celebration after a sunken putt, most of us probably have a favorite iconic sports image that still gives you chills. Sports photography is fast-paced, exciting, demanding and frustrating. A game can offer many opportunities to get great shots and provide the same opportunities to miss what could have been an amazing moment. But with lots of practice, you’ll become more comfortable working quickly and knowing what to look for to get professional-level sports photos.
In this three-class workshop, learn to be confident on the sidelines of the game knowing you’ve got everything covered. In the first online class, you’ll have the opportunity to learn the basics of sports shooting techniques, what to look for in a sports photo, and how to tell the story of the game through a variety of scene-setters, action, “sportraits” and detail frames.
For the on-location shoot, we will meet up in Dallas at an outdoor game or team practice to put into action what you learned in class.
The third class will be an online image review with a supportive critique and group discussion. We’ll end with a virtual gallery exhibit of selections from everyone’s images.
What you’ll learn
- Timing: What and when to look for peak action; understand the game and learn to anticipate the play (Even though kids are unpredictable, follow the ball!).
- Camera settings: Auto focus, burst mode, and back button focus are the must-haves for sports photos! Feeling comfortable with your exposure settings are your camera is key (ISO, F-stop, shutter speed). For this workshop, shooting in Manual mode is preferable for the most control.
- Environment: How to control your environment and when you have absolutely no control over subjects or the outcome of the game.
- Composition, cropping, and storytelling: Getting your eye to the action ASAP and giving your subject somewhere to go.
- Ways to make sports interesting: Game action can get dull. That’s when portraits and environmental photographs of the crowds and sidelines can add pizazz.
- Equipment best for sports photography: Renting is great for big ticket items!
You should already be familiar with your camera and comfortable shooting in manual exposure mode and have a basic understanding of ISO, f-stops, depth of field, shutter speed and motion blur. If you’re a beginner (or have been shooting for a while but still aren’t comfortable with these concepts) you can take our Beginner Digital Photography series or some other equivalent training.
All photos featured on this workshop page are credited to Steffenie Burns.
- Cost per person is $75 early registration, $85 late registration.
- Login in to the Zoom meeting at least 15 minutes before the class starts to become familiar with the program and work out any technical issues that may occur.
- The first class will be ONLINE via Zoom from 6:00pm-8:00pm CT.
- For the on-location shoot, you’ll meet up with the instructor at a specified location in Dallas. We’ll spend two hours shooting an outdoors team practice or a game. Time TBD.
- The image review will be ONLINE via Zoom from 6:00pm-7:30pm CT.
- Advance registration and payment is required.
- Maximum number of students is 15; minimum number to make a class is 8.
Q: Do I need to wear a mask for the on-location shoot?
A: Masks are not required while outdoors during the on-location shoot. You can view our COVID policy and procedures here.
Q: Are there previous requirements for this workshop?
A: You should already be familiar with your camera and comfortable shooting in manual exposure mode and have a basic understanding of ISO, f-stops, depth of field, shutter speed and motion blur. If you’re a beginner (or have been shooting for a while but still aren’t comfortable with these concepts) you can take our Beginner Digital Photography series or some other equivalent training.
Q: How will the online sessions be different from being in the classroom?
A: Like in the classroom, the online sessions are demonstration classes where you do not need to have all your gear in front of your.
Attendees will be on mute but can ask questions through various methods on Zoom, such as the chat feature. If there is a specific question the instructor can answer those questions after the session has ended or by email.
We encourage you to use the video feature when you join the Zoom class! It will help us feel connected and engaged as a class, even though we aren’t all in one place. To use the video feature, you will need a webcam.
Q: Where is the class held?
A: The first and third classes will be held online using Zoom. The second class is an in-person shoot in Dallas. The instructor will provide more information about the specific location that you will meet.
Q: How will I know if the class makes or not?
A: If the class doesn’t make and has to be canceled, you will receive an email no later than the day before the scheduled class date.
Q: What if I have to cancel?
A: If you cancel 3-7 days ahead of the scheduled date of the class, you will receive no refund or 50% transfer credit toward another similar class within 3 months of the cancellation date. There is no refund or transfer credit for cancellations within 48 hours of start time of the class or workshop. Full details on cancellations are on our Policies page.
Steffenie Burns recently moved from to the Dallas-Fort Worth area from Atlanta, GA in July of 2020. While in Atlanta, she worked as a Sr. Live Content Correspondent for the National Football League, as well as holding independent photography contracts with the Atlanta Falcons (NFL), Atlanta United FC (MLS), Atlanta Braves (MLB), USA Today Sports Images (IMAGN), and many others. Now living in Dallas, she works as a product photographer for an e-commerce manufacturer. She has had the opportunity to cover 2019 Super Bowl events in Atlanta, MLS championship games, Pro Football Hall of Fame Week in Canton, OH., as well as dozens of collegiate-level sports and championship events. Her work has been seen by millions on social media and billboards in the Atlanta area, and featured in numerous online and print publications. She specializes in capturing the energy and emotion of players and the game, while giving corporations the best representation possible through strong imagery and passion for sports.