Job title Sports photographer
Employer Getty Images
What does a sports photographer involve?
A sports photographer specialises in producing sporting images for commercial, artistic or editorial material. Many photographers are self-employed and sell their images to local, regional and national organisations.
Talk us through a typical match day…
If I am attending a sporting event then obviously some of the day is spent travelling to the venue. You have to arrive early at the venue and decide where to position yourself. It’s never easy to decide because you just never know what or where the major moments of the game will occur. During the game you have to be focused 100% and cannot afford to miss any moment because something could happen at any time. After the game you process your images to see if any will make the back pages of tomorrow’s newspapers!
You get closer to the action than most, is that the best thing about your job?
I think having the opportunity to produce great photographs and capture special moments is the best thing, but being closely involved with a sport is also a unique experience. The variety of working locations and working hours is also good. However, that can sometimes mean being away from home a lot, working long hours, and it can involve a lot of airports.
You have a degree in photography, but what else would you recommend budding snappers do to stand out?
Go to your local park and practice taking photos of the local football match (ask permission first). Gain work experience with a photographer and take photos at a wedding, for example, and take portrait shots of a family member or friend.
What sort of salary can a sports photographer earn?
A junior photographer coming straight from college would start on around £12,000 per year, but the top photographers can earn up to around £75,000 or more. Some combine sports photography with weddings or other portrait photography to earn even more.