September 19, 2014, 07:57:18 PM

Author Topic: Creating a sports portfolio  (Read 1158 times)

cheeseheadsaint

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 115
    • View Profile
Creating a sports portfolio
« on: May 30, 2014, 12:22:59 AM »
I got an interview for a sports photographer position and trying to figure out what is the best way to present my portfolio. I've been researching on many sites and got so many conflicting information but nearly all were referring to general photography.

Only info I've been provided was to have a portfolio to show either online or in print.

I'm thinking of having 10 8x12 prints(too little?) and then having like 20-30 on flickr(too many?). and maybe some 4x6 non sport to show some diversity(good idea?)in case they also have other openings.

Diversity vs quality. Right now my portfolio is nearly exclusively quidditch and ultimate frisbee which are the two sports I won't be shooting for this position(more common sports). Should I pick my very best work or should I include those other(basketball/football) sports that I'm more likely to shoot for the job? those common sports are definitely older and taken with my rebel xsi and lack that crispness of the 6D shots.

Also, currently in my portfolio i included several frisbee layout photos but I am conflicted that they are similar in that they are both layout photos and maybe I should diversify? on the other hand, they are great examples for freezing action.

Any tips? suggestions? what to look out for? Anything!

P.S. when showing the interviewer my portfolio, am I supposed to say anything? I should probably explain quidditch.
Canon Rebel XSi, kit lens, 50mm f1.8, ef-s 55-250mm IS, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 6D

canon rumors FORUM

Creating a sports portfolio
« on: May 30, 2014, 12:22:59 AM »

privatebydesign

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2360
  • Ermintrude says "moo"
    • View Profile
Re: Creating a sports portfolio
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2014, 12:41:59 AM »
If you are being interviewed in person I'd print 15-25 (20 is perfect) of your best sports shots. If they want to see online I'd run the best 20 sports shots first with a separate gallery for more diverse stuff, if they are interested they will look, but if not they won't be distracted.

Take great care in choosing your prints, don't do 8x10's unless that is your format. Be very careful mixing colour and B&W and portrait and landscape orientated images. Also make sure you present in a fixed order that gives continuity and context to your work.

Don't have two shots of the same type in there, choose the best diving to the left frisbee catch, don't show them two or three diving to the left, even if they are your three best shots. We never know what lights the interviewees fire, scatter gunning with variety is better than only having a one shot style. Don't have two shots from the same event in there, nobody takes two of their best 20 shots ever at the same event and it looks like you only did it a couple of times, also don't crop the same image twice, or show the same image in colour and B&W.

Diversity vs quality? Quality every time.
The best time to plant a tree is twenty-five years ago. The second best time is today.

jdramirez

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2347
    • View Profile
Re: Creating a sports portfolio
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2014, 12:58:32 AM »
That sounds like very good advice... I'm not sure that there is much to add other than have faith in your skill... not your subject.  You breath life into the image... so go with what you have been successful with and don't just add filler that might not be as dynamic.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L->85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm ->100L & 85L

cheeseheadsaint

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 115
    • View Profile
Re: Creating a sports portfolio
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2014, 01:23:54 AM »
Is it bad if there are multiple photos of the same athlete? Majority of my best frisbee photos(at different events) are of our captain and of our senior handler.

I just asked someone who had interviewed for the position previously and apparently having both in person portfolio and online portfolio is a good thing. Should I include the same photos that I have prints of or different?

What sort of order? by sport? What do you mean be careful mixing portrait and landscape oriented images?

Thank you so much for your help!!

and this is what I had for my portfolio so far:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/igphoto/8RB06r/
« Last Edit: May 30, 2014, 01:31:17 AM by cheeseheadsaint »
Canon Rebel XSi, kit lens, 50mm f1.8, ef-s 55-250mm IS, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 6D

drummstikk

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 103
    • View Profile
Re: Creating a sports portfolio
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2014, 06:01:53 AM »
I'm just glad no gear heads around here have punked on you for using a 6D for sports. Obviously a 1D-IV or X or a 5DIII are better suited for sports, but any camera is a "sports camera" if the photographer develops a good enough sense of timing. I'd suggest practicing every chance you get at capturing peak action with a single frame. Manual focusing skills can be huge, too.

A piece of advice I'd give is key on faces rather than the ball (or frisbee or whatever). Awareness of the location of the "object of interest" is important, but also work on learning to spot when the tell-tale grimace is forming on the face of a soccer player who is about to head the ball or a batter who's about to get drilled by a pitch. That will lead you to peak action much better than following the ball through the air.

But you're asking about portfolio. Advice given here so far is pretty good. All I'd add is try to look at the potential client's website or other publications and show that you can deliver what they have used before or (best possible case) show that you can do better. Also don't short yourself by not being ready to talk money. I like to offer somewhat lower charges per event if they will contract for a larger number of events. Back up your skills with a good value proposition.

Just to pull some numbers out of the air, I'd rather shoot 10 events for $2000 than 5 events for $1500. More work pays more bills. And the more of your stuff they have the more of it they will publish, which will (or should) mean more appearances of your byline and more exposure for you. And even though I've been at this for over 30 years, nothing keeps you sharp or makes you better like shooting a *LOT*.
"Focused. Or focused not. There is no 'almost.'"

                                                          --Yoda (paraphrase)

Northstar

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1448
    • View Profile
Re: Creating a sports portfolio
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2014, 06:54:11 AM »
Is it bad if there are multiple photos of the same athlete? Majority of my best frisbee photos(at different events) are of our captain and of our senior handler.

I just asked someone who had interviewed for the position previously and apparently having both in person portfolio and online portfolio is a good thing. Should I include the same photos that I have prints of or different?

What sort of order? by sport? What do you mean be careful mixing portrait and landscape oriented images?

Thank you so much for your help!!

and this is what I had for my portfolio so far:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/igphoto/8RB06r/

I'll give you some thoughts I have...(I shoot sports regularly)

1. I would print and bring about a dozen of your best...and then have an iPad or laptop to display your online portfolio....focus on quality, but there has to be some variety of angles /subjects / scenes /action/emotions

2. I looked through your photos, first thing I noticed is you need to straighten your images.  Second thing I noticed is you need to crop some of your images.  Third, I want to see more faces...I can't see a face in 6 of your first 7 photos.

3. Go take some photos of a couple other sports to give your portfolio some more variety and give the impression that you have more experience.   Try a night game or indoor sport because those are regular sport photography assignments.

You have some great shots in your portfolio!  I like this one the best...I cropped and straightened it.  ( I did a screen grab so that's why the image looks white in the upper right corner)

« Last Edit: May 30, 2014, 06:58:50 AM by Northstar »
Sport Shooter

1dX and 5d3... 24-70 2.8ii, 70-200 2.8ii, 1.4xiii and 2xiii, 85, 40mm, 300 2.8L IS....430ex

jdramirez

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2347
    • View Profile
Re: Creating a sports portfolio
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2014, 09:45:43 AM »
Is it bad if there are multiple photos of the same athlete? Majority of my best frisbee photos(at different events) are of our captain and of our senior handler.

I just asked someone who had interviewed for the position previously and apparently having both in person portfolio and online portfolio is a good thing. Should I include the same photos that I have prints of or different?

What sort of order? by sport? What do you mean be careful mixing portrait and landscape oriented images?

Thank you so much for your help!!

and this is what I had for my portfolio so far:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/igphoto/8RB06r/

I'll give you some thoughts I have...(I shoot sports regularly)

1. I would print and bring about a dozen of your best...and then have an iPad or laptop to display your online portfolio....focus on quality, but there has to be some variety of angles /subjects / scenes /action/emotions

2. I looked through your photos, first thing I noticed is you need to straighten your images.  Second thing I noticed is you need to crop some of your images.  Third, I want to see more faces...I can't see a face in 6 of your first 7 photos.

3. Go take some photos of a couple other sports to give your portfolio some more variety and give the impression that you have more experience.   Try a night game or indoor sport because those are regular sport photography assignments.

You have some great shots in your portfolio!  I like this one the best...I cropped and straightened it.  ( I did a screen grab so that's why the image looks white in the upper right corner)

That guy has some crazy thick thighs.  I have to reevaluate who I believe plays quiddich.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L->85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm ->100L & 85L

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Creating a sports portfolio
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2014, 09:45:43 AM »

Northstar

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1448
    • View Profile
Re: Creating a sports portfolio
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2014, 10:26:03 AM »
Is it bad if there are multiple photos of the same athlete? Majority of my best frisbee photos(at different events) are of our captain and of our senior handler.

I just asked someone who had interviewed for the position previously and apparently having both in person portfolio and online portfolio is a good thing. Should I include the same photos that I have prints of or different?

What sort of order? by sport? What do you mean be careful mixing portrait and landscape oriented images?

Thank you so much for your help!!

and this is what I had for my portfolio so far:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/igphoto/8RB06r/

I'll give you some thoughts I have...(I shoot sports regularly)

1. I would print and bring about a dozen of your best...and then have an iPad or laptop to display your online portfolio....focus on quality, but there has to be some variety of angles /subjects / scenes /action/emotions

2. I looked through your photos, first thing I noticed is you need to straighten your images.  Second thing I noticed is you need to crop some of your images.  Third, I want to see more faces...I can't see a face in 6 of your first 7 photos.

3. Go take some photos of a couple other sports to give your portfolio some more variety and give the impression that you have more experience.   Try a night game or indoor sport because those are regular sport photography assignments.

You have some great shots in your portfolio!  I like this one the best...I cropped and straightened it.  ( I did a screen grab so that's why the image looks white in the upper right corner)

That guy has some crazy thick thighs.  I have to reevaluate who I believe plays quiddich.

Yes...this guy is in shape! 

Also....I'm sure there are some funny photo captions for a shot like this but I'm not clever enough to think of one right now.  8)
Sport Shooter

1dX and 5d3... 24-70 2.8ii, 70-200 2.8ii, 1.4xiii and 2xiii, 85, 40mm, 300 2.8L IS....430ex

cheeseheadsaint

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 115
    • View Profile
Re: Creating a sports portfolio
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2014, 12:06:51 PM »
Thank you so much for your help! I really do appreciate it!

Are there any photos I should definitely take out? For example, I personally can't decide which layout photo to keep. The first one is more of an impressive move as she goes horizontal. Photo wise I like how the second looks but there is a bus in the background. the third has no distractions but she didn't actually grab the disc.

I'm taking out the frisbee photo with the backs are shown and added a basketball and nighttime quidditch game shots, though as I only shot two games of night quidditch with the 6D thus far so not much diversity of players.
Canon Rebel XSi, kit lens, 50mm f1.8, ef-s 55-250mm IS, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 6D

tolusina

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 351
    • View Profile
Re: Creating a sports portfolio
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2014, 05:33:53 PM »
...Are there any photos I should definitely take out?....

…...I only shot two games of night quidditch with the 6D thus far so not much diversity of players.

 
8948 absolutely has to go. Porta Potties in the background, eww.... Can't see #6's face, I don't see anything in this shot worth salvaging, I would have deleted it in camera as 'not a keeper'.
A better shot of this scene might have been shot from a position several feet to the left where the background PPs could have been cropped out in the view finder while getting a more frontal view of the players.
 
8708, YES!! She looks like a super hero who forgot her cape, she be Flyiiiiin'!!
But, in this shot as in many others you have that tilted horizon. One, maybe two intentional (or even accidental) tilted horizons would be sorta OK, but even then, the angle of tilt should be different so that the tilt looks intentional.
You have so many tilts at the same or close to the same angle, it looks like maybe you were shooting from a badly set up tripod.
Back to 8708; rotated ~13.5 degrees clockwise gets the horizon level and there's still plenty left to crop, enough left you can even remove the building and parking lot completely.
 
Backgrounds; 8948 as already commented on, the bus in 8658, in my opinion, renders it unusable too.
 
Backgrounds in many others include elements like sidelined players, bleachers, spectators, referees, even some nice landscapes. For me at least, all these backgrounds help convey a sense of place and atmosphere totally appropriate to the subject(s).
 
I quite like 3466 as is, I think it rather enhances the set.
edit......  I really really really like 3466, indeed!
This one I'd print and include in your on-line portfolio.

Aside from the tilt, I quite like 5369 even though I can't make out what the point of contention is. That's fine too though, often what makes a good photo is what isn't shown that makes a viewer stop and wonder and think.
 
Something about 8592 is just boring for me, especially compared to 8287, 8249, 1814, really most all your others.
 
1912 plays odd for me, it's the out of focus #37 in the foreground. When I say 'it plays odd', I mean to say that it looks like a discard in the small shot in the main gallery page, yet full screen it looks pretty good. Rotate about 8 degrees to fix the tilt, crop the corners which also removes a lot of #37, this might be a good one for your print presentation.
 
edit 2....
Regarding the on-line portfolio, as already suggested, if you've got the gear, bring the portfolio with you on a tablet or laptop in a pre-configured and easy to navigate slide show. Have it duplicated on-line too so the interviewer/reviewer can choose how to view.
- - -
According to common internet rants by spec readers, 7D and 1D owners, it's just not possible to shoot sports with a 6D, who do you think you are proving them all wrong? Good show!!
 

 


 
.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2014, 05:40:55 PM by tolusina »
40 on 6

cheeseheadsaint

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 115
    • View Profile
Re: Creating a sports portfolio
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2014, 06:11:27 PM »
Thank you soo much tolusina!! I really appreciate you going through my portfolio.

Funny thing is, I was about to get 8948 printed but decided to check here and now I have removed it from my portfolio. I loved how she was suspended in the air but ah well. I recropped the superhero shot of our frisbee captain. Most of the tilts is intentional but I see it is a tad too much there. I shoot handheld entirely.

I removed the weak shots at your suggestion. Thank you!!
Canon Rebel XSi, kit lens, 50mm f1.8, ef-s 55-250mm IS, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 6D

tolusina

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 351
    • View Profile
Re: Creating a sports portfolio
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2014, 06:24:02 PM »
.....I removed the weak shots at your suggestion. Thank you!!
8708, where'd it go??? That was one of the best, just needs a little rotate and crop.
40 on 6

cheeseheadsaint

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 115
    • View Profile
Re: Creating a sports portfolio
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2014, 06:31:45 PM »
It's there now!! =) It was uploading.
Canon Rebel XSi, kit lens, 50mm f1.8, ef-s 55-250mm IS, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 6D

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Creating a sports portfolio
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2014, 06:31:45 PM »