I sometimes wonder whether I call myself a commercial photographer, although I have clients that most likely consider my work commercial for their purposes. Being a sports photographer is definitely something I want to pursue. Being a team photographer for London Beefeaters football team requires me to produce a large number of photographs from each game or event. These photographs are then used to promote the team, the sports club or particular functions that pertain to the club’s activities.
While my current market is for my team, the audience includes individuals beyond the team members. When I began working with the club, my audience was limited to a group of people affiliated with the club’s work. In the recent years, I notice my audience grew beyond our city and I get the recognition for my work beyond our province. Thanks to that, I can reach out to organizations and agencies that I want to communicate with in regards to potential sports photography assignments.
My dream is to photograph on the sidelines of Canadian Football League and next step, the ultimate one (it never hurts to dream high) is the American National Football League.
How can I get there? Chasing my dreams is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. I look at it from a two-fold perspective:
My skills have to be at the top level.
In order to do that, I need to practice and I need to continue to improve my work. This is very important. During the off season I catch up on reading about sports photography. I look up and follow the work of top sports photographers on social media. I look at my work from the season before and ask myself – if you were on the field now, would you make this photograph? Or would you make it differently? With practice, the technical skills improve. I look at different equipment. I try to look at photographing football from a perspective of a bystander, a photographer mom, a mom of a football player, a coach. Each of these people would look at the game with a different set of eyes. I want to build my visual language using these eyes.
I can’t achieve everything on my own.
Team work is the core of success. If it wasn’t for my son, I would most likely not photograph football, let alone develop a passion for the sport. If it wasn’t for my son’s coach, I wouldn’t be on the sidelines photographing our university team. If I didn’t build that library of photographs and proudly displayed them, my photographs wouldn’t be seen by people from London Beefeaters and I wouldn’t be the official team photographer. Because of work for London Beefeaters, my photographs have made their rounds through social media through Canadian Junior Football League. Last season, one of the players asked me what is my ultimate dream as a photographer. When I told him that being on the sidelines in Canadian league is my dream, he recommended a connection to one of the Ontario teams.
I will add another important thing – persistence. This is something that I sometimes lack and definitely need to improve on. How many times I doubt my work? Probably more than I should. But if I don’t believe in myself – why would others?