Three Keys to Shooting Soccer

Are you enjoying the World Cup?  It’s a frenzy at our house, trying to watch 3-4 games a day, rooting for our favorite players, teams and countries.  It’s hard to fit in everything else in life while all this great soccer is going on.  It seems appropriate to share some keys to shooting great soccer action while we’re in the middle of World Cup.
Shooting soccer on a full sized field isn’t easy, but very possible.  If you’re trying to get action shots of a single player then it’s much easier than trying to get the entire team.  We’ll focus this blog post on how to shoot an individual player and I will try to follow up in the coming weeks on shooting the entire team, the goalie and posed photos.

Key #1 Equipment
Soccer fields are large as you know so this is a case where the bigger the lens the better.  A large lens can be very expensive, but on a sunny day even a f4.5 lens can get you great action shots.  I’ve had great luck with a sigma 50-500mm lens on sunny days and it’s even affordable.  If you position yourself properly and are willing to move more frequently even an 80-200mm can work.

Key #2 Where to Position Yourself
Let’s assume it’s a nice sunny day for soccer (not that my children had any sunny days this Spring) and you’re in place for the entire game.  The sun is your friend as well as your challenge.  You want your players face to be toward the sun so that it’s lit up and bright.  So, when only needing photos of one player I would probably shoot photos for just half the game.  The half when your player is primarily facing the sun which means the opposing goalie’s back is toward the sun, and your back as well will be toward the sun.

Key #3 Frame a Great Photo
The “beautiful game” certainly has lots of action both on and off the ball.  How do you catch the right action to ensure a great photo.  Be sure to capture the face and the ball in the frame.  Yes, that’s not easy, but your photos are always better with those two things.  The player without the ball just isn’t that interesting and if you can see the ball and not the player’s face your photo won’t be as interesting either.  Of the thousands of soccer photos we’ve sold 99%+ of them have included the players face and the ball.

See you on the pitch!

Scott

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