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How to Find Athletes to Shoot With

How to find athletes to photograph

Trying to find athletes to shoot isn’t “rocket-surgery'(that’s a joke by the way).  It seems like it could be tough to find the best athletes to go get shots with, but use these tips and you’ll get a crew of homies to roll with…

For most sports, the athletes are hanging around anywhere the sport takes place.  This is the most obvious and simplest way to find them.  Shooting skating?  Head on over to your local skate park and hang out for a bit.  Watch the athletes skate to see what they can do, and who is worth approaching.  Generally the best athletes can be the toughest to get to shoot with, so try and find someone who isn’t pro.  Amateurs are also more excited to get photos and will generally try harder since they may have never been shot before.


Sports that take place in the woods are even tougher to find athletes.  Head to the local shops for these sports (bike shop, ski shop, surf shops, etc…) and ask them if they know some good athletes who would be down to shoot.  Hang out and talk with them a bit first before asking, and make sure they know you are legit (even if you aren’t.)


Anyone just starting out should shoot the sports their friends participate in.  Whether it’s a local basketball drop-in game or a road-biker you happen to know, start with your friends.  You’ll be less nervous to shoot with them, and they will most likely be willing to work with you and keep re-trying a shot until you capture it to your vision!  They can also introduce you to their friends that you don’t know who might be really good at the sport.

Getting new athletes to shoot with takes networking and a real effort but once you’ve found a good crew of just a few riders you’ll be able to shoot them a ton.


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At only 25 years old, Connor has been published in many major international publications and is a signed Getty photographer. His writing and photos have been published in Photoshop User and Light It Magazines, amongst many others. He believes that if you work at what you love, you'll be able to make a great living. Connor currently resides in Edwards, CO with his wife, Kelly, and dog Tucker. You can view his portfolio at www.cnwphoto.com



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