Intro by Skip Cohen
The most fun aspect of social media for me is the "social" side of it. I'll regularly pick up the phone and track down somebody who I've met on line. Well, meet a new buddy, Ken Jancef. He followed me on Twitter the other day and I simply followed him back. I got a kick out of a number of his images, which were mostly sports and asked him if he'd be willing to do a guest post.
Numerous times I've tried to capture sports images, with minimal success. Practice really does make perfect, but as good buddy Roberto Valenzuela has said, "...only if you're practicing it right!" With my experience with sports it's all about ongoing education, but Ken made the best point of all in this guest post.
"...love what you shoot. Be passionate about it. Your passion will show in your work."
Ken's only been shooting sports as a business for five years, but his passion truly comes through in this guest post and he's got some great advice to share. You'll find more of his images on his Flickr pages and if you want to follow him on Twitter, he's just a click away.
I like sports. OK...I LOVE sports.
Any kind of sports really, but what I love even more is to capture sports. The diving catch in the outfield, the game winning goal, the wreck in Turn 3, the high school underdog basketball team making it to the playoffs, or the look on a child’s face getting an autograph from his favorite player.
I’ve always dreamed of being the guy in the bright orange or yellow vest, tons of cameras strapped all over me, running around trying to get THAT shot, making the cover of Sports Illustrated. I have been a casual photographer for more than 25 years, but have been a serious sports shooter for about 5 years now. I love everything about sports photography, especially interacting with people on and off the field.
I not only shoot what’s on the field, but what's off the field as well… the coach talking to a player about a big play; baseball players cleaning a field after a rain storm, because they have no grounds crew; even players interacting with each other during down time in a game. That side of sports photography, sometimes, can be more compelling than shots from the game itself. It gives the sport a more human quality, showing the players are people just like the rest of us. And, as a spectator, you don’t often get to see a lot of that, the focus is usually on the game itself.
One of the hardest things to master in sports photography is timing. Sure, you can set your camera to burst mode, rattle off a ton of shots, but if you don’t know what you're shooting, then all of those shots mean nothing. So, shoot the sports you love. If it’s a sport that you don’t know, read up on it, research it, take a bit of time to see what it’s about. I often shoot Minor League Baseball games. If I don’t know the opposing team well, I’ll get on their web site to see what players they talk about the most.
If there is one tip I can share and it applies to every specialty… love what you shoot. Be passionate about it. Your passion will show in your work. If you’re stuck, don’t be afraid to ask for help. I know I have so much more to learn, and I can’t wait to be taught!
All images copyright Ken Jancef. All rights reserved.