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What you need to know about COVID and sports portraits

Updated: May 18, 2022

This pandemic, it ain't over yet.

I wish I could write that opening sentence differently. I wish we were past this.

Here's the thing - viruses don't give us choices. A virus doesn't allow us to choose how infectious it is or how vicious it can be.

What we can choose is how we face up to the challenge a global pandemic gives us, how we can lock arms and work together.

That includes a photography business like Creative Sports Photography.

A youth soccer player at sunset
Liam Pidgeon | Soccer | Hempfield

I wanted to take a little time and address how I approach COVID safety during our sports portrait sessions.

For a little context here, I'd like to share a little of my work experience.

I spent five-and-a-half years working in an industry (railroads) that made safety the most significant part of its workplace culture.

I also worked (albeit for a short time) for the Pennsylvania Department of Health in its Bureau of Emergency Health Preparedness. It gave me a front row, participatory seat in things like pandemic planning.

This means health and safety, especially your health and safety, is ingrained in what I do as a photographer.

You wouldn't want me photographing your family's athlete when lightning is flashing.

Likewise, you would also rightly expect me, to the best of my ability, to elevate the health and safety of you and your family's athlete when it comes to COVID-19.

High school tennis player at sunset.
Matthew DeBord | Tennis | Lancaster Catholic

I'm happy and proud to share with you that I am vaccinated. I believe in the efficacy and value of these vaccines.

I believe in masks and social distancing, too.

This is about all of us, your safety, mine, our community, and that of my family.

I have three children under the age of 12 who cannot receive a COVID-19 vaccine. I must consider that every time I choose to go inside a grocery store or photograph in an indoor setting.

Likewise, even vaccinated people like myself can spread this virus to others.

I will follow the applicable guidance and rules as they pertain to masks and social distancing.

If you ask me to wear a mask or maintain appropriate social distancing during your sports portrait sessions, even outside, I will happily comply.

If masks and social distancing are required in any setting such as a school gymnasium, I will follow those rules.

If that means we postpone a portrait shoot until masks are no longer required, we will do so.

Please do not ask that we bend or break the rules.

I believe in doing our part to bring this pandemic to an end. And I cannot wait until we are no longer having to think about it.

Vaccines, masks, and social distancing are how we arrive there sooner rather than later. You can count on Creative Sports Photography to do its part.

If you have any questions about this or anything related to sports portraits, please reach out at or 717-669-2026.


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