Sports Shooter: A Photographers Story


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Learn a few simple phrases in the local language so you can at least say hello to people and ask if you can make photographs of them.

The Stories that Can be Told Through Photography

Some people have no problems with photography, and you should treat them in the same courteous and respectful way you would treat people at home, by engaging them and seeking their permission. Others have objections to photographs being made of certain individuals or groups. Some people object on religious grounds. Some feel that you want to make fun of them, to show their poverty or some other aspect of their lives to the world. Other people believe that when you make an image of them you are stealing their soul or in some other way taking something away from them.

They are right, of course. Photographers talk about capturing the essence or spirit of a person or place.

Inside Nick’s camera bag:

We do take something, and we profit by the taking. You should always respect people's feelings and beliefs. There are selfish reasons for this—you don't want to be beaten up or thrown in jail.

But the main point is that people are always more important than photographs. You don't want to abuse people, and doing something against a strongly held belief is abuse. And the photographs would probably not be very good anyway. You may be asked to pay for photographing certain people.

My advice is to comply with such requests. You pay for a postcard when you travel, why not for an image you make? It is usually not much money to you, but may be quite a lot to the people you want to photograph. If you do not want to pay, you can always move on. Wherever you are with your camera, always be on the lookout for those moments when a person's character shines though.

1. Learn the Sport

If you have a formal portrait session with someone, make some frames of him while he straightens his tie or while she brushes her hair before the formal sitting. Walk back to the car with her and shoot her on the street. If you are on a spring picnic with the family, look for that moment of bliss when your wife leans back, sated, to enjoy the caress of the warm sun. If you're on the street, look for the impatient expression on a pedestrian's face as he waits for the light to change. Always be on the lookout for the telling moment.

Every person has a story, and every picture should tell part of that story. Portraits are about people. Environmental portraits are about people and what they do with their lives. They are about the kind of house a person lives in and how they decorate it; about what kind of work they do and where they do it; about the surroundings they choose and the things they surround themselves with.

Environmental portraits seek to convey an idea about a person by combining portraiture with a sense of place. Group portraits are hard to do well, and the larger the group, the harder they are. It's not easy to get a good, telling photograph of one person, and the problems are compounded exponentially with groups.

Capturing Moments in Photography | Telling a Story with a Photo from Nikon

We have all had the experience of trying to get the family or the ball team to pose for a picture. Just getting all of them arranged so you can see their faces is hard enough. Then, of course, you want an image where everyone looks good—no one's eyes closed, no grimacing. Making group portraits takes imagination, patience, and diplomacy. Use your imagination. Find a way to relate the group to an environment that expresses something about what kind of group they are. Do it literally, humorously, dramatically, or by complete contrast. Get ideas from them. Our family members are the people we photograph most frequently.

We record the momentous occasions and the occasional moments. Albums full of baby pictures, first steps, Little League games, Halloweens, Thanksgivings, and weddings mark our passage through time.

How Sports Illustrated Photographers Shoot Football

These photographs are our memories made real and are probably the most important pictures we will ever make or have. You should apply thought and technique just as rigorously, if not more so, to photographing your family as you do to any photo assignment. I still earned my living shooting paid assignments and licensing stock images, but for the first time ever I made more money shooting paid gigs with my iPhone than with my Canon.

Sports Illustrated had been my main client since The year was not off to a good start. That was super fun. Caryn had been following my iPhone photography for a few years. With my iPhone. This was the first time the TOUR had ever hired anyone like me to just shoot for their social media platforms.

I spent a week down in Florida shooting 3, pictures with my iPhone 6s Plus. Besides having a chance to earn some desperately needed cash to pay bills that were way overdue, shooting this event for the TOUR was so much fun. Being able to work outside and look for pretty pictures, details, and moments with just my iPhone was so free and liberating.

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None of this would have worked if Caryn and I were not on the same page from day one. The agreement was that I would not shoot with my Canons. Caryn, a prominent sports photographer with 35 years of experience, has been managing the photo department at the TOUR for 11 years. All three of these photographers deliver the goods each and every day they are working at a TOUR event. Their jobs entail way more than shooting the action on the course.

Between portraits, sponsorship parties, charity events, etc. While he doesn't get the choice of subject in his commercial work, he says he still looks for the basic elements he seeks out in his personal work: a quality of light, a strength or subtlety of color, strong graphic composition. The seeking is not a task for Arthur, as photography is a lot more than a job—it's a passion.


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I love looking at pictures, looking for pictures and taking pictures. I hang out with photographers, talk shop with them all the time. I even once had a dream that was in the form of a slide show: an image would come up, then come to life, and then, click, another one would come and come to life His passion drives his personal projects, which pretty much follow his interests. Like his series of cowboy photos. I wanted to see what it was all about.

11 Easy Ways to Improve Your Sports Photography

Arthur's passion also includes teaching. Over the past ten years, he's inspired photography students from Florida to New Mexico, Tuscany to Mexico, and has even taught in China. I tell my students they should think about creating some kind of project or idea.

Then they're not just shooting randomly, and they're showing that they can focus on something and bring energy and continuity to tell a story. When they're shooting for themselves I tell them to shoot what they're interested in. Arthur Meyerson has been an NPS member since By clicking Sign Up, you are opting to receive educational and promotional emails from Nikon Inc.

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Sports Shooter: A Photographers Story Sports Shooter: A Photographers Story
Sports Shooter: A Photographers Story Sports Shooter: A Photographers Story
Sports Shooter: A Photographers Story Sports Shooter: A Photographers Story
Sports Shooter: A Photographers Story Sports Shooter: A Photographers Story
Sports Shooter: A Photographers Story Sports Shooter: A Photographers Story
Sports Shooter: A Photographers Story

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