With the big game Sunday, here's a post on how to photograph the biggest football fans! Make sure you read until the end, as there are links to a few other of my favorite football inspired photo tips posts! I recruited one of the biggest football fans I know. (I did try to do a few photos with my kids, but Milo wanted nothing to do with the ball and Sawyer couldn't throw more than a foot, so I went after the big guns). This young man came prepared too - dressed in his Seahawks gear with a bag full of footballs!
THE SETUP: I had mom and son come to my house to play a little catch. Mom dressed him in a football jersey to show a little extra spirit (though not required)! I selected a location where there were few distractions to take away from my main subject. Although I'm just in my backyard, the angle I chose to shoot at mattered, as behind me is a house, and cars, and a few outdoor toys - all things I didn't want in my photo. Since I wanted to focus on the football fan, I had him stand near me and mom go out further into the yard. Then I had them toss the ball back and forth while I captured them.
CAMERA SETTINGS: I started by setting my ISO. We were outdoors and it was cloudy, so I selected an ISO of 250. Next I selected my Aperture. Although I typically like to shoot pretty wide open, I knew that my subject would be moving quickly and would easily move out of my plane of focus if I had a narrow depth of field. At the same time, I didn't want everything to be in focus. So I went with an Aperture of f/2.5. Finally I selected my shutter speed. Since we are playing catch I knew it had to be fast. I used a shutter speed of 400, though you could go even faster if you wanted to freeze more of the action.
COMPOSE: This is where you have the freedom to capture the moment as you see fit. I chose to focus on my football fan and let the background blur out a bit. I love how you see mom in the background and the football in the air (don't you love how the football is going the wrong direction? Tells so much more about this little man's age right now!). I selected a vertical orientation to allow for me to capture all of this young man while leaving space to see both mom and the football.
Now it's your turn! Get the kids out playing catch and capture them know that you know how to photograph the biggest football fans!
BONUS TIP: If you're really brave try having them throw the ball towards you. Get down low and have someone stand guard over you to catch the ball. (I take no responsibility for damaged cameras). Note that I had a 3 year old throwing the ball and mom was standing directly over me. I was also back far enough that I knew the ball wouldn't have much power by the time it got to me. But look at that smile on his face when he got to throw the ball towards the camera!
And my assistant for the day was the one and only, Miss Sawyer. She liked just holding the ball and watching her friend play football. (I think I'm in trouble with that one...)
Have fun watching the Superbowl this weekend. And GO SEAHAWKS!
For more football photo tip inspiration, check out the links below!
Photo Tips for Capturing Football Fans - a post from fall 2013 (where does time go?)
12 Football Inspired Photos Even Football Haters Will Love a collaboration of football photo tips.