Environmental Sports Portraiture: Action Sports Photography By Bill Frakes

45 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

Get your game on with Sports Illustrated Staff Photographer Bill Frakes as he takes you to a variety of locations to capture dynamic portraits of athletes performing at the peak of action. Every location has unique challenges that you need to make work to your advantage. Learn tips on setting up for killer shots, taking care of your gear, how to work with your subjects, and being prepared to roll with whatever comes your way whether you are on the field, in the locker room, or at the beach.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Join Bill on the beach with two professional beach volleyball players where he creates a variety of portraits using available light on the court and off.
The volleyball action continues as Bill works with the athletes to make the most of the available light and various beach locations.
Bill heads out to the soccer field with a new athlete and guides you through a number of setups to create a series of dynamic portraits at the peak of action.
From the dugout to the diamond, learn some great tips for shooting kids baseball.
Sometimes the key to a unique shot is all in the setup. Join Bill and his crew as he walks through what is involved in getting right under the action.
All the preparation pays off as Bill works with the player to create a series of killer portraits that puts the viewer right in the game.
Head back to the beach as Bill photographs a junior surfer and creates a series of environmental portraits, from the dunes to the water's edge, in the gorgeous light of the fading day.
Profile photo of Bill Frakes

Meet your instructor

Bill Frakes


Bill Frakes is a Sports Illustrated Staff Photographer based in Florida who has worked in all 50 states and in more than 125 countries for a wide variety of editorial and advertising clients. His advertising clients include Apple, Nike, Manfrotto, CocaCola, Champion, Isleworth, Stryker, IBM, Nikon, Canon, Kodak, and Reebok. He directs ...

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Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of WessexWill WessexWill

    top watch again, thanks Bill. More of this please Kelby?? Please post

  2. Profile photo of alanjsmith93 alanjsmith93

    Another great course from Bill!! Thank you Kelbytraining! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  3. Profile photo of 1379784 1379784

    I’m interested by Bill’s use of the long lens in the beach volleyball shoot. Is that a 300mm he is using handheld? Or a 80-200 zoom? Any way to find out? Thanks —- Yes, please post my feedback

  4. Profile photo of gordonpatti gordonpatti

    Really great class. I like being taken through so many different shoots with different subjects, speeds and environments. I also feel like I am being shown what is done and not just told, which I find much more beneficial overall. Frakes also gives all the information that I would want, what lens, how to shoot with available light, how to be considerate of your subject. Both this and the sports photography gear lessons were hugely beneficial and I am not even primarily interested in sports or action photography. Thank you. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  5. Profile photo of Mary Ann Land Mary Ann Land

    Very helpful video. I like the way he explains things. Very easy to follow. Very pleasant with his subjects and co-workers. Interesting to see how he works and his ideas. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  6. Profile photo of Mark Coons Mark Coons

    I loved “Environmental Sports Portraiture: Action Sports Photography” by Mr. Frakes. His personal stories were excellent and help put his philosophy in focus. While I am not a sports shooter most of what Mr. Frakes taught I can apply to my work. Thank You! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  7. Profile photo of Doug Dillon Doug Dillon

    Great job!!! Bill gives some great ideas and insight into some sports photography. I’ve done a little but he brings out some good ideas. I particularly liked the way he shot from under the plexiglass. Great perspective on the shot! I also enjoyed the baseball shot with the young man. He brought in some great thoughts on that and how much those type of shots mean to parents and to the young man himself years down the road. Thanks for sharing those ideas! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  8. Profile photo of Ulana Ulana

    Would like to know more about the settings being used. The Fstop, the shutter speed, the focus point, how much to underexpose to get the sky darker. These are critical to understanding the starting points.

  9. Profile photo of Ray Warren Ray Warren

    Loved this. Bill Frakes is brilliant. The shots were excellent and he’s a great teacher with a very pleasant manner. I learned some valuable stuff. I could watch this guy all day long. Thanks

  10. Profile photo of Bryon Wiley Bryon Wiley

    Very good! There were a few times that I would have liked to know his camera settings.

  11. Profile photo of Filipe Torres Filipe Torres

    Can’t wait to see more videos from Bill Frakes here not so far from this days. Very good teacher.

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