21 Football Photography Tips


21 Football Photography Tips

FootballOutdoor sports photography is photography. The main goal is different from other sports. A football photographer should capture the most dangerous and difficult moments of the game. Attention must be paid to the small things.

(*21*)1. Learn more about the Game

american football photography

Photographing football games requires that you know where and what you should shoot. That’s why visit the field in advance. The knowledge of all rules is a big advantage. You should know where the judges should be. Learn interesting facts about the players and teams. If it is a children’s league, visit several training games to prepare the basis for your pictures.

(*21*)2. Pick the Place for Shooting

To get to the stadium before the teams arrive, I recommend arriving earlier. That’s about 1-1.3 hours before the game starts. You will have a chance to capture high-quality shots while players warm up. Take some practice shots, and then choose a location to photograph. Change your location depending on how the game is going.

(*21*)3. Use a Professional Camera

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The camera should capture emotions, energy, and movements of the players during the game. When active AF is turned on, the continuous focus mode allows you to track the player’s movements. A fine noise reduction system makes for great football photos. You should choose a camera capable of shooting 10 frames per second.

  • Learn MoreThis article will discuss the best cameras for sports.

(*21*)4. Use a Telephoto Lens

Telephoto lenses are best if you wish to capture more details of football players. Professional football photography is best done with lenses between 200 and 600mm. Depending on the focal length, the lens will help you to define your shooting area.

For good shots, however, I recommend using a lens that has a focal length of approximately 50mm if you are near the action. A lens must have an optical stabilizer system. An optical stabilization system is provided by a special mobile lens unit with gyroscopic sensor.

The lens unit detects vibrations and suppresses them by moving in the opposite direction. This results in blurred pictures.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens is recommended for capturing dynamic moments near you. Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.56L can be used to capture game moments in various areas of the stadium.

(*21*)5. To Free Your Hands, Use a Monopod

tips for shooting football

Since the average football game lasts for at least an hour, it is important to have a monopod. This will allow you to concentrate on the most important moments without tiring your hands. It will also be easier to maintain stability and avoid blurring when you use a telephoto zoom lens. If the lens and camera weighs more than 4.5 pounds, it can cause fatigue and make it difficult to take crisp and clear shots.

  • See more budget tripods.

(*21*)6. Bring Only the Most Necessary Items

You should always have everything you need for any type of sports shooting. To keep your camera and you dry, I recommend having extra batteries and lens wipes for football game photography.

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(*21*)7. Pick a Fast Memory Card

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The recording speed of your card will affect how quickly your camera can save images. Also, the time between saves will be shorter. Cameras record the photos first into the buffer. Only then can they be saved to the card. To avoid missing great football action shots, I recommend using a fast memory cards.

(*21*)8. Set the Appropriate Aperture for Definite Lighting Conditions

Set the aperture to f/2.8 when shooting in bright daylight. This value won’t let much light hit the sensor of the camera. This value is useful for capturing a specific moment in a sport when the player is not present. If you want to capture more complicated moments of a match, such as one that features several players, I recommend increasing the aperture value from f/4.

(*21*)9. Change ISO when Shooting in the Evening

Outdoor games will have lighting changes that can be seen during the match. The match will begin with great natural lighting before sunset, but it will end in darkness due to poor stadium lighting. That’s why you have to increase the ISO. If ISO 400 is fine during daylight, then you need to increase ISO to 1600 for football photography at night.

(*21*)10. Adjust the Shutter Speed for Better Shots

For the best shots, set the shutter speed at least to 1/160. When it gets dark, decrease the shutter speed until it is about 1/800. After that, let the camera choose the aperture. Increase the shutter speed gradually until blurred images are created.

(*21*)11. Try Burst Mode

football pictures

Sometimes, football has moments where all the players are running away quickly in different directions. Tracking burst mode is useful in such situations. This will allow you to capture as many quality frames per second possible. By using just the burst mode, you won’t get a decent result. You can be sure that your camera will take all the pictures you need with the tracking burst feature.

(*21*)12. Don’t Forget About Autofocus

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Autofocus can be used to capture multiple players in a game. You can track players even while they are running with autofocus. You can also track the player that you are following with your camera. You can adjust the settings to make sure all participants in the action are visible in the shot.

(*21*) 13. Capture the Beginning of the Game

football team photography

This is a very popular idea for football photography. For the perfect perspective, it is important to choose the right position. To get the best effect of the opposition, stand at a perpendicular angle with the players. In such cases, I recommend setting the shutter speed to a fast pace and using the burst option.

(*21*)14. Take pictures of the Stadium Arena

good football pictures

Photograph the grandstand, arena or stadium with large crowds. These shots can be taken during the break between the quarters. In this way, you can capture the fans and don’t miss the highlights of the game. These shots can be captured with a 30mm wide-angle lens or less.

(*21*) 15. Take Pictures of Original Fans

best football photography

Football wouldn’t be so popular without the game’s devoted fans. They are a great addition to your American football photography. One of the best ways to capture a unique photo is by photographing them.

(*21*)16. Capture the Referees’ Actions

football photography ideas

Football is a contact game, which means that the referees’ actions are very important. These individuals are responsible for the outcome of the meeting, as well the mood of all the observers. Sometimes the captured emotions of the referee are quite captivating.

(*21*)17. See Pictures of the Cheerleaders

football support

You can photograph cheerleaders when the game has ended. This will allow you to take amazing photos of how the support group helps the team win. They will turn towards the main stand at such performances and I recommend that you get as close as possible to it. Photos of the support group are particularly appealing when they’re taken straight and in full-length.

(*21*) 18. Photograph Tough FootballMoments

football action shots

Shoot controversial moments in football to capture great photos. These photos will show strong emotions.

(*21*)19. Take a Team photo

american football team photos

It is an excellent idea to take a group photo during a football photoshoot. This is the best time to take a team photo, especially during meetings and training. You will be able to capture the unity of the team if you closely follow the game.

(*21*)20. Focus on One Player

individual sports photography

Another great idea for football photography, is to concentrate on a specific football player. It is important to know the names of the team’s leaders in advance. If you have high-level players who are constantly surrounded by others, your individual actions can produce stunning results.

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(*21*)21. Photograph the Moment of Triumph

football team photography

It is important to capture the emotions of the winning team in a photo football game. For such a photo, you may shoot both the team’s celebration after the match and the first seconds after the final whistle. The more emotions you capture, the better the shots.

Freebies for Football Photography

These tools can help you enhance your football pictures. Editing football photos will be much easier.

(*21*)Dramatic Effect

This action will enhance the quality and appeal of your football shots. This action will add more color and dynamics to your shot.


This overlay will adjust the saturation. It can be used to add bright or contrasting tones to dull images.

(*21*)Kodak Look

This preset makes it easy to add color and visual appeal to photos. This preset can be used to edit both static and dynamic soccer photography.

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