We all know moms are the heart and soul of any family. That’s especially true when your family includes kids who play sports. She cleans and scrubs uniforms, manages practice and game schedules, helps with team snacks and organizes team fundraisers. In addition to all that, moms also tend to take on the role of family photographer (usually because everyone LOVES those photo books and calendars she sends out at Christmas every year, am I right?). So, in honor of sports moms everywhere, we have a list of five tips that will hopefully remove some of the stress from her hectic life, at least when it comes to taking pictures at her kids games.
SCHEDULE “PHOTO GAMES”
The whole point of taking pictures at your kids game is to capture the fun, emotions and action of the overall experience, right? Well there’s no law that says you have to shoot photos at every game in order to do that. And since moms are masters of managing a range of schedules for the whole family, working in 3-4 “photography games” where she’s not responsible for snacks or picking up/taking home teammates or dropping off the dog at the vet will be fairly simple. Having only a handful of games set aside for picture taking will keep the process fun and seem like less of a chore, which is always a good thing.
As we’ve discussed here and here kids sports photography can be challenging. One way to remove some of that burden is to recruit family and friends to lend a hand. Ask hubby, grandparents or friends if they’d be willing to watch your other kids, pass out snacks or be the team mom while you take pics. If they’re all busy, consider hiring a neighborhood teen for a couple hours. After all, it doesn’t just “take a village” to raise kids, it takes one to get photos of them too.
USE PRACTICE TIME
One of the things I love best about all the modern photography tools available these days is the number of awesome photo editing and cataloging apps to choose from. Many of them have both desktop and mobile version available. We can't go into details about all of them here but one of my favorites is the Adobe Photography Photography plan that gives you access to the desktop and mobile versions of Adobe Lightroom CC, a ton of online storage space as well as Adobe Photoshop if you want to get really creative. They even have a free trial so you can try it out before buying. If you don’t like subscription plans, Affinity Photo has a version of their desktop app available for your iPad for only $20. Point being, there are tools available that will allow you to take advantage of all that downtime during practices to review, edit and share the photos you took at the last game. You’ll be surprised how much you can get accomplished on in iPad or even a phone.
DROP SOME HINTS
There’s one problem that’s universal to husbands and kids everywhere: no one ever knows what gift to get mom. Sure, we all know mom will smile politely no matter what you get her but family members most generally would love some ideas about what what she really wants. Rather than make everyone guess, this Mother’s Day why not ask for some new camera gear? At the very least, ask for Amazon or eBay gift cards that you could apply toward a new or gently used camera, lens or maybe just a larger memory card. Not only would it make things much easier for your family, it’ll provide you with some snazzy new equipment that will make your photos even better.
SHARING IS CARING
Remember how we talked about asking for help above? You can do the same thing with your photography as well. Are there other parents taking photos during games? See if they’d be interested in a sharing arrangement. If you’re really ambitious, you could even organize a small photography club where everyone agrees to share their photos on a team Facebook or Flickr page. Having more photos to choose from is never a bad thing.
When it comes to kids sports teams, moms do it all. But it doesn’t have to be that way when it comes to taking pictures. Your family and friends all enjoy the benefits of all you do so don’t be afraid to ask for a little help so they can help contribute to the fun and enjoyment.
What do all the moms out there think? Did I miss something? Do you have other suggestions we can pass along? Drop us a line and let us know. We’d love to hear from you.
Learn about the action mode, burst mode and other helpful camera settings for taking sports photos of your kids and family from HP and pro photographer and mom Tracey Clark.