A kids sports team is kinda like a neighborhood. In an ideal world, everyone would be friendly and get along but in the real world, it’s usually a quirky—sometimes volatile—mixture of cliques, controversies and confusion. On the surface, none of this would seem to have anything to do with your photography, right? But if your team is like most, coaches and parents are probably interconnected through a web of various social media platforms. If you happen to post some of the awesome action shots you’ve taken of your son or daughter—and maybe one or two of their closest friends on the team—things might just get tricky.
Think about it. If you have family or friends with kids, their social media accounts are plastered with pics of their kids, am I right? Go to any public event with kids and you’ll see parents staring into their smartphones, snapping pic after pic of their mini-me’s that will be uploaded and shared endlessly. The one activity you won’t see represented very often in those overflowing online galleries is sports. Mostly because getting good sports action shots is a lot tougher than getting a picture of a kid making a funny face while eating a grilled cheese. Most parents have tried and likely been disappointed with the results. But that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t LOVE to have super cool shots of their kids playing sports. And that’s where you come in.
Given the fact that you’re reading this blog, I’m guessing you’ve invested a bit of money into decent camera gear (even if it’s just a good compact camera) and taken the time to learn a few tips and tricks. You’ve probably already captured some pretty amazing sports action photos and shared them on social media. And since you’re following—and being followed—by the other parents on your son or daughter’s team, you’ve just painted a HUGE target on your back. You’ve essentially announced that you have the rare, magical skill of capturing awesome sports photos. And trust me when I tell you, other parents won’t be shy about asking if you’ll take pictures of their kids too. Before you give an answer, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of saying “Yes.”
Taking on the task of photographing multiple players or even an entire team is a huge job but it can also be very rewarding. It’s definitely not something to take lightly but if you’ve considered all the factors and decided you’d like to give it a try, my best advice is to communicate clearly and directly with any parent making the request. The main messages to cover should include:
Obviously, you may want to add or delete messages according to your specific situation but if parents agree to your conditions and you’re willing to give it a try, then I say, go for it.
Do you have thoughts/opinions on this topic? Maybe a funny, scary or frustrating story to tell about your experience with photographing your son or daughter's teammates? Drop us a line. We'd love to hear all about it.