My kids are the most amazing little athletes in the world. Wait. I mean, in their world. In my world. Today. I know you can relate to that.
For many of us, our kids are enjoying the wonderful days where being an athlete simply means registering them for Fall Football, or Spring Soccer. Many are too young to even know what "try-outs" are, and sports simply mean running around and having fun with their friends. Oh and getting SNACKS afterwards! Woo hoo for SNACKS! For a few of us, our kids have moved into the higher level of sports, and we are enjoying a new experience with them. Very few of us will watch our kids compete at the college level. If anyone reading this has a child at the professional level... I might faint.
But seriously, our kids are little athletes and we need to capture those sweet moments today. Here are a few fun tips for you to get some great sports moments of your little stars.
1. WATCH YOUR SHUTTER SPEED
If you have your camera on auto, then this doesn't apply to you, but if you're shooting in manual, or a semi-manual mode, then you've got to consider your shutter speed. Your shutter speed is simply the amount of time the shutter is open when you snap your photo. You can actually hear the difference in faster shutter speeds vs slower shutter speeds (super fast clicks vs. what almost sounds like two clicks). And you can definitely SEE the difference. When you've got your shutter open too long (slow shutter speed) the result is blurred photos. Add a super speedy soccer star to that mix and you've got a mess of a photo. So check your shutter speed. For sports, it's probably best not to go below 1/500 ss, but keep your eye on that shutter speed.
2. SHOOT A LOT
When I'm shooting family portraits, I have the luxury of taking my time to set things up, then getting the shot. Maybe i'll take 2 or 3 of the same pose, depending on how old the kids are. But when I'm shooting sports, I am extra thankful for that continuous mode on my camera, and boy, do I use it! I'd suggest you do the same. You can anticipate a great play, or a shot on goal. You know when your son breaks that tackle and is heading for daylight. But you might not get "the moment" every time. So just keep shooting. One stride might look better than another. You might catch the moment the ball hits your daughter's foot on its way into the goal. The more shots you get of that moment, the more likely you are to get "THE MOMENT". So keep shooting.
3. BE CREATIVE
As moms and as fans, we are sort of relegated to the sidelines. But I say be a rebel! When my kids play soccer, I sometimes like to mosey on over, and stand behind the goal. I stand far enough back so that I'm not distracting any of the players on either team, and since I have my camera (and since my kids are so young!), no one gets on my case about it. I get some super fun shots this way! When my son is on a break away to goal, I can capture the look in his eyes. I try to remember to walk the sidelines and not stay stuck in one place. This way, I can capture photos from all different perspectives. Try this. You might enjoy seeing things in new ways.
4. WEAR SNEAKERS
Things happen fast, even at the younger beginner levels. You might not need to be sprinting from end line to end line, but don't wear your heels if you plan to be shooting. Or your flip flops! That would be my mistake. I've been known to throw off my flip flops and go running down the sidelines with my bare feet to catch up to a play am I missing. With my camera, not just with my voice! Bottom line, be ready to move a lot.
5. DON'T FORGET TO CHEER
This one is sometimes tough for me, but it's crucial. Remember both the camera and the cheering. I have a hard time doing both. Either I get sucked into being a fan, and I forget to take a single photo (yes, I've done that), or else I get stuck behind the camera and get so focused (pun intended) on getting a great shot that I forget to cheer on the fact that my daughter is on a break away headed to goal! It's sometimes hard, but remember to do both. Be mom and be photographer. Capture that star of yours, then give her some super loud love!
Spring is coming and so is the next season of sports. Go have fun and get some memories of your little athletes!