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How Creative Sports Photography respects your practice time

For many of us, we simply cannot hear the word "practice" without sensing echoes of a certain press conference involving a certain Philadelphia Sixer who was certainly having a bad day.

We in here talkin' about practice.

Yeah, we are.

Not only am I an athlete portrait photographer. I'm a coach too.

A coach and his son stand in front of a soccer goal.
Let's talk about how CSP respects your practice time.

I get how important practice is. On the list of priorities, practice and team picture day aren't on the same ladder rung.

Especially when your team only practices once or twice a week before that weekend's game. Practice time is not a commodity. It's premium.

That's why I developed my own workflow method for team portrait experiences that keeps this all in balance and respects your practice time.

I want to share a little bit of how Creative Sports Photography can achieve that for you.

First and foremost, no matter what, it's important for me as your team's photographer to have self-awareness. To know what is and perhaps what is not as important.

It's okay if team portrait day isn't the most important part of your season. It's okay if it's not even the 10th most important part of your season.

You'll still get maximum effort from me. But I also understand where you as coaches are coming from.

Also, team picture day is about the team, not about me or any photographer. Honestly, when a photographer switches his or her mindset to this, the experience and the images are much improved.

The next thing to discuss is putting the team first. As in, let's do the team pictures first.

Get them out of the way before individuals. That way when it comes time for individual portraits, anyone who isn't having their picture taken can return to practice.

Next, I've developed a unique lighting and posing process aimed at getting the best portraits for your players and parents, to make sure the players feel seen and respected, and a process that keeps the workflow moving.

It's also important for us to work in tandems of three.

What I mean is to send players over to the portrait area three-at-a-time. After years of doing this, I've found that works the most efficiently.

Having them come over one at a time takes too long. So too does having all players line up and wait.

A young softball player holds a bat during a sunny day.
CSP has developed way to be efficient, respect your practice time, and get the results you've come to expect.

Going three at a time makes the work efficient, and those who aren't having their portraits made can enjoy practice.

Enjoy? Well, they can continue to practice.

A little note on that. I work for parents, and coaches, I'm pretty sure you would agree that a happy cohort of parents leads to a better season. To that end, I would strongly suggest engaging in a light practice if you can during individual pictures. Do easy passing drills. Light runs.

Normally, parents aren't particularly enthused about sweaty photos.

Can you think of any other ways Creative Sports Photography can approach team picture day in a way that respects practice time? Leave a comment below if you think of anything.

Dave is the owner of and chief image maker at Creative Sports Photography, an elite portrait service for athletes of all ages. Creative Sports Photography is based in Lancaster, Pa. and available anywhere. To contact Dave, please email him at


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