Photography in Sports is Still Important

It feels like with the adaptation of 4k, 8k etc. that video is the go to medium when it comes to sports. On the sidelines and baselines videographers appear to outnumber photographers. While video has been the hot item recently, photography in sports is still important. Now more than ever.

Shawn Hubbard, the immensely talented team photographer for the Baltimore Ravens, wrote a tweet at the beginning of the 2022 NFL season that has stuck with me and I can’t get it out of my head. To paraphrase, he basically said that went you walk into arena, sports complexes, training facilities etc. what do you see? You see photos of the athletes adorning the walls. Photos not video. As I thought about it, what he said is true.

Photography in sports is still a vital tool for content in today’s sporting landscape. Yes it is often overlooked because video is sexier, but I feel photography has a longer shelf life than videos. From social media graphics to web site graphics to marketing materials and everything in between, photography is the medium used by most if not all in creative departments.

Sure videos get the views and now with Instagram moving to a more video based app than photos it’s easy to feel like photography is going to get pushed aside. And let’s not forget that shallow depth of field as well. I think the drawback, for me when it comes to videos, is that you see a lot of videos out of focus, in focus briefly for the play and then back out of focus. Whereas in photography, you either got the shot or you didn’t. We can’t use out of focus photos.

This is not to say that every videographer produces out of focus content. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve worked with and have had amazing videographers on my our team produce out of this world content. I may be biased but I think the MLB video teams are some of the best in the business.

I guess the point I’m trying to drive home is that photography in sports is still a necessity. A vital tool for content creation as well. While it may not garner the ohhhs and ahhhs of a video clip being played back repeatedly, you can appreciate the photography more when you walk into stadiums and training facilities and see the photos adorning the walls; sometimes life size or bigger.

There is plenty of room in sports for both videography and photography. They’re both needed and the both have their own purpose. Let’s just not forget the importance photography in sports and how it is the main driver for all content in sports.

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