With the caveat that many newspapers have culled their photography staff in recent years, there’s still high demand in journalism for athletic photography — whether online or freelancing for assorted news outlets. Sports photographers prowl the sidelines and boundaries of various sporting events looking to capture and immortalize moments that are hard to detect with the naked eye. Sports photographers must have a keen awareness of their surroundings (so as never to be in the way of players) as well as a knowledge of when the most gripping opportunities for photos will arise during games.
Sports photographers are entertainers, explorers and makers that work to capture the best shots in the thick of the action. Sports photographers have to be detail-oriented, quick-thinking, and creative. They must also have certain customer-service, business, and interpersonal skills. Their responsibilities include setting up equipment, photographing the event, and selecting the best photos from the shoot. Sport photographers also edit photographs, meet with their teams and organizations, as well as clean up the equipment after shoots. Professional sports photographers are expected to have some sort of associate’s or bachelor’s degree in photography. Although overall job growth for photographers is expected to decline by 6% by 2028, the demand for sports photographers is expected to grow.