During the past week, I took photographs in Costa Mesa, California for a sports photography workshop called Sports Shooter Academy with a number of other students and professional photographers.
The workshop focused on teaching sports photographers how to see a game or event differently and make images that do not simply show the action.
One thing I learned over the course of the workshop was the importance of telling more of the story when photographing a sport, rather than the action going on during a game. For one of my images, I photographed a group of cyclists at a velodrome through a reflection in a motorcycle’s mirror. I did this to show that motorcycles play a role for cycling coaches — namely, to pace cyclists as they train. Through this action shot I was able to include an important aspect of training at the velodrome that would not be shown in a normal action photo.
I also learned the need to show moments in a game that don't necessarily have action. In another one of my photos, I made an image of a soccer player drinking water at halftime. While the moment itself is not that exciting or unusual, I like it because of the beautiful light falling on the player and that it is something that happens during every game that is rarely shown.
The most important lesson I learned in photographing sports for a week is the importance of hustle in sports photography. A great image will rarely happen right in front of a photographer. It takes constant movement and working different angles and ideas. While many photographs I take during a sporting event are simply bad shots, if I try as many different ideas as possible, I am more likely to take a photograph that stands out. For all of the sports photos I am proud of, I have dozens and sometimes even hundreds of different versions of the photo that I worked on until I was satisfied with the result.