Bluebird Chic ambassador Melissa Klein of Melissa Klein Photography shares her best tips for photographing your favorite indoor sports.
When I think back to my childhood, sports was always a huge part of it. Some of my most cherished photos as a kid were ones that one of the softball moms took, printed out and gave to me. Both of my kids are active in sports (mainly softball, hockey, and most recently, volleyball), so every season I always make sure to bring my big camera and a long lens to at least one game to get some photos.
Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
1. Be sure to bring your big-girl camera along.
This might just be the most important tip, because sometimes your iphone just won’t cut it!
2. Try different White Balance options to see what looks best.
Indoor sports photography can be tricky. The lighting isn’t always great, and you aren’t always able to set a custom white balance like you would with outdoor photos. I usually try a few different white balance settings on my camera to see what one looks best. Play around with different Kelvin temperatures, as well as auto WB, until you find something that looks right to you.
3. Be sure to use a fast shutter speed.
For indoors sports photography (and any sports photography in general) you will need to use a fast shutter speed (at least 1/200 sec). This will, of course, depend on what type of sport you’re photographing. If it’s a fast-moving sport, you’ll need a faster shutter speed. Don’t be afraid to increase your ISO in order to increase your shutter speed. You might have a little bit of grain in your photos, but that can usually be removed in post processing. You can’t fix a blurry photo (which is what you’ll get if your shutter speed isn’t high enough).
4. Don’t leave your telephoto lens behind
Bring along the longest lens you have to get some close-up images. Sometimes when you get to these sporting events, there’s not always a spot up close for photos. I always make sure to bring my 70-200mm lens so that if I am toward the back, I can still get some great photos.
5. Print your favorites.
Your kid will love seeing him or herself in action. I also print photos for other kids on the team. For the end of year party, I always have some 4×6 prints packaged up for each kid on the team. Both the parents and kids love this, and it makes me feel good to be able to do this for them.
Melissa Klein is a baby, child and family photographer who focuses on fine art portraiture. Her studio is located in St. Paul, Minnesota, but she resides just north of the cites with her husband, two kids and two Siberian Huskies. Self-proclaimed goofball, hockey fanatic, and lover of cold, rainy weather. She loves to travel and listen to live music. If not at work, Melissa can usually be found outdoors with her kids (both the human and furry ones), at the hockey rink or cozied up on the couch with a hot cup of coffee. No matter what she’s doing, she almost always has a camera in hand. To see Melissa’s work, please visit her website at Melissa Klein Photography.