Event and Sport Photography

The next types of photography I wanted to cover in this blog are event and sports photography. These types of pictures are interesting because at the surface they should show what happened during the event and make you feel like you were there, but a good photographer should be able to tell a story with their photos and evoke emotion with their pictures. Wedding photography is usually included in the event photography section, but I wanted to cover something that monumental at another time.

As a photographer for Onward State, these are the two types of photography that are required of me the most. Through Onward State I have been able to cover some very interesting events that go on around this school. For example, I have been able to shoot THON, the Brantley Gilbert concert, TEDxPSU, State of State, and Nittany Lion basketball games.

THON is a magical place, and it is true that it is impossible to understand THON until you are standing inside the Bryce Jordan Center (BJC) with thousands of others all fighting for the same thing. To see those kids smile and not worry for 46 hours is nothing short of miraculous.

This next picture is my favorite photo from the entire weekend. It perfectly summarizes what THON is all about and that is, “We THON so every cub can grow up to be a Nittany Lion”. The author of this quote is unknown, but you can feel this belief within every person who enters the BJC during the weekend.




This year at THON, the music group DNCE made a surprise appearance and performed a set for all of the kids. Luckily, I was on shift when they came on, and not to sound like too much of a fan girl, Joe Jonas was inches from me.

When shooting high action events such as concerts, when the band is jumping around, or sports it is no longer about planning shots in my head and finding the perfect time to take it. I had to simply point my camera at the band, hold down the shutter, and hope a few of the thousand pictures I took turned out well. This method is almost mandatory because the band will only be out playing for a short amount of time, and I cannot bring the band back out if I did not get the perfect shot.

During the DNCE concert section I ended up taking 1,285 pictures– out of all of those, only a handful were worth keeping.

Sports photography is the next type that I wanted to talk about. Being at the game and standing right next to some amazing athletes is an experience like no other.

Every year a group of guys I graduated high school with have something called the Turkey Bowl where we all get together Thanksgiving weekend and play football. Last year they asked me to take some photos while they played. These are some photos I was able to capture during the game.

Things people love to see in sports are the big plays and the player’s numbers.

For high action events where people are moving around a lot, it is necessary to shoot with a very high shutter speed. This was shot at 1/4000th of a second which is very quick and allows for a photo that is crisp. Another helpful tip is to have a camera lens that is capable of high focal lengths—or in laments terms, can zoom in. Most of the time there is no way to be standing right next to the athlete, so being able to zoom in on the subject from the sidelines is necessary.

Overall, these types of photography are usually very interesting and open up many opportunities to attend special events. I hope you had as much fun looking at my photos as I had talking about them!


***All photos are those of the author

3 thoughts on “Event and Sport Photography

  1. I really liked this post, because it gave a lot of insight into what it is like to do event photography at big events like THON. I have a little bit of experience with event photography, but none of my pictures came out like yours. The events that I photographed were usually ones where the subjects were fairly active. Unfortunately most of the pictures were quite blurry. After reading your post, I know that the blurry photos were caused by a fairly low shutter speed. Plus my camera may not be advanced enough take a decent photo with a large shutter speed and being very zoomed-in.

  2. Wow, this type of photography must require a huge amount of dedication because I know I personally wouldn’t want to search through over 1000 pictures in hopes of finding a few good ones. However, I’m glad you did because all of the pictures in this blog were really amazing! I especially liked the 3rd THON one because the child in the lion costume surrounded by so many students shows how amazing the event is. I think I’ve seen the photo before and I didn’t even realize it was yours! It’s neat that taking photos has led to great opportunities for you such as being that close to Joe Jonas. I can’t wait to see what other kinds of photos you can take.

  3. I really enjoyed looking through your photographs and reading about what went into taking these images. The pictures you captured from THON really showcased the emotions present at the event and the overall message and purpose of the event. Also, being a DNCE fan, I particularly appreciated your photos from that event. Overall, reading your blog post made me realize that sometimes I take for granted all the work that goes into taking photos with such high quality and depth. I look forward to reading more of your blog posts!

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