Beginner Sports Photography By Scott Kelby

58 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

If you’re interested in learning how to shoot sports like a pro then this is the class for you! The same basic principles apply whether you are shooting your kids on the weekends or covering a professional sporting event. You’ll learn about the gear you need to bring the viewer into the heart of the action, the camera settings that allow you to stop motion and achieve tack sharp focus, compositional techniques you can use to tell the story of what is happening in the game, how to get started on the road to gaining greater access to shooting professional level events, and so much more!

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

After a brief introduction to the class Scott jumps into discussing camera bodies and settings to consider for sports photography.
Your choice of lens will have a big impact on how close you can get to the action.
There are three settings you need to understand for shooting sports.
Achieving tack sharp focus is critical. Scott shares a number of tips and settings to help you get the most out of your camera.
There are a number of factors that set a professional photographer's sports photos apart from the rest.
We can learn a lot about what types of photos appeal to others by studying the photos that get chosen for print in magazines.
How you compose your photographs is integral to the story you are trying to tell.
The road to getting access to professional sports starts with photographing at the amateur level.
Profile photo of Scott Kelby

Meet your instructor

Scott Kelby


Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Editor of "Lightroom magazine"; Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom...

Scott's Courses


Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of mserle mserle

    Great information Scott. I have also used manual mode and underexpose at times to get a faster shutter speed indoors for volleyball. Easy to correct a stop or two in Lightroom. I use a Sony 77ii with a Sigma 85 1.4 and get some great results indoors.

  2. Profile photo of drew4 drew4

    Irrespective of the wonderful information contained therein, I love the way Scott presents his material and the unquenchable enthusiasm and passion he has for his profession.

  3. Profile photo of flytle flytle

    I really enjoyed your video on sports photography.. One thing I did not catch was do you shoot in jpeg or raw format. I am guessing you use jpeg.

  4. Profile photo of coffeenut coffeenut

    Great class. One question: How do you deal with the lights at stadiums? What white balance do you use or do you correct in PS?

  5. Profile photo of PicsByLesa PicsByLesa

    This was an excellent presentation of Sports Photography. I have been serious about action photography for a couple years now, and I wanted to view this to see if there was anything I was missing. I learned a couple concepts from this video and had a few things that I already do reinforced.
    Thank you! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  6. Profile photo of steve250 steve250

    I enjoyed this and will be shooting my first HS football game in about 2 hours. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  7. Profile photo of lillee lillee

    After watching the video I tried taking shots at our local footy game and to my amazement I had most of them come out great, instead of just a few. A great tutorial to watch over again and learn.Thanks for giving me the confidence to keep taking shots at the games and not giving up. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  8. Profile photo of fcherchali fcherchali

    Great tutorial and tips Scott, well done! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  9. Profile photo of Diane Schulman Diane Schulman

    Another amazing class from Scott!!! This course was exactly what I needed to get prepared for a golf outing that I am photographing! Excellent information and as always presented in a way that both the beginner and the advance can understand and learn from!! Thanks Scott!!!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  10. Profile photo of snuffy snuffy

    Very informative Scott! Thanks…looks like I get a 2.8 :) —- Yes, please post my feedback

  11. Profile photo of SvenlovesFlo SvenlovesFlo

    Lots of valuable information Scott…I think one of your best points is to continue shooting even after the play or action…often times capturing emotion…also thought your detail shots were great story tellers

    On another note while you focused on DSLRs I have switched to mirrorless systems because of some tendonitis in my wrists . People hate on the Nikon 1 V1 but I find it to be a great sports shooter in bright sunlight . Using the 30-110…which becomes an 80 something to 270 with the crop factor…and using the tracking and 10 fps I recently was able to nail the athletes in frozen action at a BMX race…this was not just little Mikey , Scotty and Emily…this was the pro racers including 2x Olympic Champion Maris Stromberg of Latvia.

    Which brings me to another point . Sometimes here in Western PA you even need a credential to get on a high school football field…so my solution is to shoot sports that get very little exposure…I shoot BMX and Rugby (preferably 15’s …7’s just moves too fast for me and I cannot keep up with the action ) where I can get really close to the action and it is OK with everyone . This is a great way to build one’s portfolio . Also we have a low level professional soccer team…Pittsburgh Riverhounds…but you know what …tomorrow they are playing a friendly against England’s FA Cup Champions …Wiggan Athletic…there is a standing room area which puts me 5 feet from the playing field …sometimes I might have to wait for the action to come to me…but it is worth the wait

    Really nice course Scott…thanks for doing this

  12. Profile photo of Jerred Golden Jerred Golden

    When do you shoot sports RAW and when do you shoot JPEG? I remember that you mentioned in a blog post that some NFL games you shoot JPEG because you don’t have time for post processing.
    Jerred Golden —- Yes, please post my feedback

  13. Profile photo of Jorge Campa Jorge Campa

    What can I say? No words, except I hope to see more material from you. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  14. Profile photo of Patrick Patrick

    Hi Scott, great course on Beginning Sports Photography. Two camera settings where I still have questions. Metering? Any recommendations on whether to set Evaluative, center-weighted, or spot? Focus point setting. One single point, focus area selection, or all focus points (automatic)? I would appreciate a brief response. Thanks, Pat

  15. Profile photo of stevehu27 stevehu27

    Scott – this is awesome – this is exactly what I needed. The whole reason why I got into photography on a more serious level was because of my daughter playing competitive soccer. I’ve enjoyed it so much I am branching out to other areas – but I started with my first prosumer DSLR shooting sports. Boy did I jump into the deep end. The stuff covered here makes total sense, I can apply and put to use at the next game. Thanks!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  16. Profile photo of tapiot tapiot

    I noticed most shots tend to cut off the top of the head…does this help to add impact? I really enjoyed the course.

  17. Profile photo of Brian Adams Brian Adams

    What a GREAT course!!! I have been shooting for awhile now and this course kept me wanting more, thanks! Now, how about doing something similar for Portraiture/Engagement sessions?
    —- Yes, please post my feedback

  18. Profile photo of dilipjoshi.boss dilipjoshi.boss

    Brilliant Scott! Thank you again for sharing and giving us your insight. Remember your story of how you became a guitar player instead of keyboard just because the guitar guy was happy to share and mentor – your stepwise guidance has similarly helped me to become a better photographer; glad to be a subscriber to Kelby Training! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  19. Profile photo of lucienr lucienr

    Very good introduction! Excellent teacher. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  20. Profile photo of Carolyn Fahm Carolyn Fahm

    What a wonderful introduction to sports photography! No surprise though since it comes from Scott Kelby! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  21. Profile photo of 992079 992079

    I have subscribed to Kelby Training for about three years, and have learned so much. I have requested that you gear some of the videos to the average hobbiests and am happy to say that you have responded. I just watched “Beginner Sports Photography” and wanted to say that you hit it out of the park. I have been shooting varsity hs sports for three years now and was able to say “yeah, he is confirming what I have found to be true, or better yet, why didn’t I think of that before”. Thank you, Scott. I feel that the money for my subscription was well spent. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  22. Profile photo of Rob Turner Rob Turner

    Once again Scott provides the game winning moves for photographers! Be it photo retouch or in this case sport photography, Scott covers the “must haves” in order to be successful. There is a ton of information packed into this presentation, so if you are interested in sports photography take the time to watch this training. You’ll be glad that you did! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  23. Profile photo of Robin Browne Robin Browne

    Thank you Scott for another very informative tutorial. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  24. Profile photo of Scott Chandler Scott Chandler

    Scott did a good job as usual. Good blend of information with actual examples of images.. I realize that this is not for beginners but maybe including a little bit on remote/control of flash.
    —- Yes, please post my feedback

  25. Profile photo of Gary Kieltyka Gary Kieltyka

    Great class for beginner or otherwise. I never got to shoot my son playing sports but I get to shoot sports with my son and what fun it is. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  26. Profile photo of henryd henryd

    Scott your video on shooting sports is amazing and taught me more then any other video I’ve watched thus far. I only wish you could do more of the same with wildlife, portraits, etc. I’ve been a Kelby Training subscriber for a few years now and its this kind of video that I learn the most from and that has helped take my photography to a new level. —- Yes, please post my feedback

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