Toronto Sports Photography

Professional Sports Coverage

Many people think that the best job in the world is being a pro sports photographer because you get into sports events for free.

"You get paid just to sit courtside and enjoy the game?!"

Well, no.

At sports events, photographers don't watch the game. Instead, they watch the players. Subtle but important difference. And this watching is done through a tiny camera viewfinder. If a photographer isn't looking through their camera's viewfinder then they can't make any pictures.

If it rains, snows or is freezing cold and the game still happens then the photographer has to stand in that miserable weather for a few hours with their expensive cameras.

Although a sports event might last two or three hours, a photographer can spend double that amount of time at the stadium or arena.

It's necessary for photographers to arrive early to set up and shoot the pre-game warmups and then to stay late to edit pictures. Except for the cleaning crews, photographers are often among the last to leave the venue.

Even then, the job is still not done. For myself, the pictures have to be catalogued and archived. This includes fully captioning every frame, not just the ones that were delivered to the client, and then making triplicate backups. This might take another couple hours depending on the volume of pictures.

For a sports event that lasts 2-1/2 hours, a photographer might spend six or seven hours (plus driving). A night baseball game that goes into extra innings usually means the photographer will be working into the early morning hours.

But having said all that, yes, it's a pretty good job.