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Five reasons why you should hire a pro photographer for your next big game

Must be nice.

This thought has probably passed through your mind at some point looking at another team or club.

And that rival team or club has someone sitting on the sideline holding what looks like an uber expensive camera, taking pictures of the competition in which your child or teen is participating.

Camera envy is real.

So is the desire to have your own team photographer.

Two girls soccer players compete for the ball.
Hiring a pro sports photographer means that photographer is working for you.

But your team might not have someone. Or if they do, it's a well-meaning parent whose images are so-so; or that parent is taking pictures only of their family member and no one else.

How do you get pro-level action shots of your child or teen that are affordable? How does your team or club get a whole collection of action images to use on your social media platforms?

It's easier than you might think.

If you're not sure about hiring a pro photographer for your next big competition, your next rivalry game, your child or teen's next milestone moment in their athletic career, then I have five simple reasons why hiring a pro photographer is so worth it.

Ready? Here we go.

Smartphones from the stands just don't cut it

Smartphone camera technology has come a looooonnnngggg way. But it still doesn't quite cut it for sports action. Not yet, anyway.

Images seem to be taken from too far away. They might be blurry. They might not be so good at night or inside a basketball gym.

Even if we're talking about traditional cameras and lenses, a lot of well-meaning parents try but might not know how to get the right angle, the right settings to freeze action, to get images that go from meh to must-have.

A pro's coming with all the gear. Like sharp telephoto zoom lenses and fast camera speeds.

High school basketball players reach for a rebound.
Experience means you can have high confidence in the photographer you hire.

A pro's coming with training and experience.

All the stuff we need to get you the images you've always imagined having of your child or teen.

And we're experts in knowing how to use it all.

Imagine that gear and expertise being put to good use for you.

You can put your trust in an experienced pro

Sit back in that sidelines camp chair or on the silvery bleachers. The photographer you hired's got it all covered.

Hiring an experienced pro means you can have a high level of trust that your money is well-spent.

Check out a photographer's image gallery. Is it consistent in terms of style? Does it make you excited to imagine the athlete in your family in that image? What does the image gallery tell you about the photographer you're thinking about hiring?

A baseball coach talks to his son during a game.
Check out a photographer's portfolio before you hire someone. If it's consistent in style, then you can have high confidence you'll get what you pay for.

It might seem a leap of faith to hire someone you don't know to create game action images, but if it's an experienced pro, then you can breathe easy.

Based on that photographer's consistent image style, you have a good general idea of what you're going to get for the investment you made.

That matters. No one likes to waste money.

The news is (probably) not coming

I hear this a lot. The newspaper never comes out to our games.

Unless your child or teen plays for a handful of high-profile schools (like the large school districts with huge news subscribers), the news is probably not coming to photograph your game.

Plus, not only is the number of news photographers significantly smaller than they used to be, if they actually do show up, they aren't working for you.

Silhouette of a third baseman during a local youth softball game.
Don't depend on the news or anyone else showing up to photograph your child or teen's next game.

Sure, they want to create a photo that will get you to buy or subscribe. But their incentives are for their employer, not you.

If your child plays youth, club or for a school team that might not be in contention, then forget it.

However, you can hire your own pro sports photographer. Someone who works for you and your team. Someone who's incentivized to get you a whole collection of action images just for you.

Every game is a story (and not just on the field)

Action shots are amazing. Especially when the photographer nails that perfect moment, glory frozen in an image for all time, the score or block or fist pump or leap with pure celebratory joy in the arms of their teammates.

But there's more to game action coverage than just what happens between the sidelines.

The story is also told away from the plays. On the bench. In the stands. The little details. The friendships, the camaraderie, the achievements, the heartbreaks.

Girls softball players bang a fence to rally their team.
Every game is a story. Look for a photographer who's also a storyteller.

The job of a professional sports photographer is to cover the whole story for you. And many of my most popular, best selling game coverage images aren't action images at all.

They're a smile on a bench. A moment away from the play. Shenanigans among teammates. An image that showcases what being part of a team or playing a favorite sport means to the athlete in your family.

Added to all the action photos in your collection, it tells the whole story of that game or competition.

It's a sign of how much your family's athlete means to you

You are the No. 1 fan of the athlete in your family.

You've done so much to prove your bonafides already. The hours of driving, the laundry, the snacks for the team; even just a parent's emotional investment in the development of their kids is enough for you to say, Darn right I'm their No. 1 fan.

But there may be one more way to show it, to show what your child means to you, to show you get how much this time and this sport means to them.

You probably know where I'm going with this. But it's true.

A youth swimmer does the butterfly stroke during a competition.
Hiring a pro photographer sends a positive signal to the athlete in your family.

Hire a professional photographer and frame a print from the game prominently in the house, and you (Mom and Dad) are showcasing to the world the athlete in your family.

Imagine the self-esteem boost a child or teen would get from an incredible action shot, printed, framed, and mounted prominently in your home.

Hiring a pro photographer for your next game or competition is super easy.

You can start by checking out my calendar to see what dates I have open for game coverage.

Then send me a message through the contact page to let me know you're interested. The cost to have CSP there is just $45 per game (or $39 per game if you want multiple), then we'll swing the collection your way to order high quality print and digital products.

And I'll see you on the sidelines!

Creative Sports Photography is the premier athlete portrait service in Central Pennsylvania. Based in Lancaster and available anywhere, CSP's owner and chief image maker Dave Pidgeon delivers bold, dynamic, elite portrait experiences for athletes of all ages and levels, from T-Ball to pro. You can contact Dave by clicking here.


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