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As a sports photography and graphic design professional, I specialize in sports program design and photography for individual athletes, schools, sports clubs, and community programs in the Vancouver, Washington area. Today I’d like to discuss team portraits.

Sports team photography involves good equipment, lighting, background, and the knowledge and experience to set up and deliver shots that athletes and their families will treasure for years to come. Sport team pictures and posters need to show each of the faces on the team clearly, their enthusiasm and team spirit. 

In setting up a team photo, you need a tight grouping where all the head sizes are larger and easier to see. As opposed to a straight line, which leaves dead space and small faces, try adding a third or fourth row. The first row can be sitting, the second kneeling, and the third standing. Or you can add a bench in the back for a fourth row to stand on. It is best to arrange smaller players in the front rows, and taller players in the back, with coaches standing at either end of the back row. 

In order to get head sizes approximately the same, you will want to avoid getting close to the group with a wide-angle lens, because head sizes will diminish from the front to the back row. It is preferable to back up and zoom in with a longer lens, which will help flatten the distance between the front and back rows. 

If your rows are different lengths, you may want to have the back row spread out, so they match the length of the row in front of them. Even if all the rows have the same number of players, spreading out the back row makes it less likely to appear shorter. 

Placing the players where they are looking at the sun will result in blinking and squinting. If the sun is on the side, half the team faces will be in bright sun, and the other half in the shade. The best lighting for sports images outdoors is the sun behind the team, or bright, even, open shade. You may need an assistant to work as a sun block outside the photo, to keep the sun from hitting your lens.

If there are multiple parents taking photos of their athletes, you’ll want to wait until you can get the team’s attention, so that they are all looking at your lens when you shoot. If you want your team to look intimidating, shoot from a lower angle, eliminate smiling faces, and pose them in aggressive stances. Varying each player’s pose or direction can add interest to your unique images. 

In my sport program design, I use high quality templates, and tweak them to make unique backgrounds. Team photos are linked to the design for individual sports portraits, so they go well together. My individual and team photos are dynamic, fun, and professional. I get to know the players, and work closely with my clients to achieve the best possible results for schools, clubs, and athletic programs. 

If you are looking for professional sports portraits or program design in the Vancouver area, give me a call!


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