9 Challenges

Sports photography is the most difficult photography to master.  You are faced with a myriad of challenges.  As with any challenge those that overcome the greatest obstacle gain the greatest reward and thus it is with sports photography.  Read our list of top nine sports photography challenges:

Where Venue/Location
Sports photography does not let you choose the location of your shoot.  You don’t get a choice on where the competition or event will be held.   You are stuck with where the event is being held whether it’s an old musty school gym, an outdoor field with next to the freeway or a performance halls.  You as the sports photographer will have to adapt to the venue and figure a way to make it work.

As a sports photographer you will not be able to choose the time of day that you take your photos.  You must shoot the competition when it’s being held which means you may be shooting at 6:00am in the morning or 11:00pm at night or anytime in between.  It’s not always a time when it’s convenient for you, but the only way to capture those great photos is to be there.

You obviously can select "who" you want to take photos of, but you don’t have control over the team they are competing against, when that individual participates, and where in the even they participate.  The quality of the event is often determined by the skill of the competition, some athletes may not participate the entire event and may be in the back or a position that makes them difficult to photograph.


You’ve got to love those old school gyms with lousy lighting.  School gyms are typically quite dim, never with sufficient light and often have a harsh yellow tone from wonderful florescent lights.  Your challenge, capture photos that are bright enough, without blur or unnatural colors.


Sorry, they won’t reschedule that championship match for the weather to improve.  You will be at the mercy of whatever weather is occurring.  You will be dealing with wind, dust, rain, mud, snow, cold and heat.

Have you ever bought "obstructed" view seats?  They don’t make for good photos.  As a Sports Photographer you will want the best position possible to take photos, but that’s not always easy to come by.  There may be physical obstructions hindering you including people and depending on the event there may be rules that will prohibit you from the ideal positions.

All cameras are not created equal, those point and shoot cameras are just not going to get the job done when shooting sports photography.  In fact, many cameras will not work well for shooting sports and you will need special lenses to assist you.  In addition to quality lenses and camera bodies there are many other accessories you will need.

Framing your photos for sports photography is not easy!  Unlike portrait photography you don’t get a chance to pose your subjects.  You don’t get a to tell the athlete’s to STOP, do that again when I’m ready.  Not only that but your subjects are moving and not remaining in once place so you have to anticipate when and where the action will be. 

Once you see the great sports moment it’s too lake to capture it.  Sports photographers must be ready at every moment and even anticipate the action and great moment to have a chance at capturing it.

There are many challenges to being a sports photographer, but they are all worth it when you capture those great sports moments.  You can learn to do it like the pros by following guidelines and techniques found on this site.

ProPix Photography
The Sports Photographers

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