How to Be a Successful Sports Photographer

Alexis Cuarezma is a sports photographer. He loves doing what he does and credits much of his success to his formal training and his affinity for shooting sports photos. Here’s a seven minute video that’s loaded with his invaluable pieces of advice for any budding photographer:

“Shoot the work that you want to get hired for. Clients don’t hire you on your word. You have to show them that you can do it.”

Every shooting opportunity—especially if it falls in the zone that you love—is an opportunity to show your talent.

How to shoot better sports photos

“Even though I was shooting literally, like, a portrait of my little brother and his team, I would treat it like it was a campaign for a national brand.”

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“Never let the lack of equipment you have, or the lack of things that you have in your immediate disposal to be a deterrent to have you execute your shoot. If you don’t have the gear to shoot it, if you can’t afford to buy it, rent it. If you can’t rent it borrow it.”

“I like to research who my subject is. I like to know as much as I can about them, what they like, what they don’t like. The reason for that being is to see if we have any common ground.”

This is an obviously better way to work with clients as they feel more relaxed.

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“One thing that all photographers should get into the habit of is printing their work. Whenever I go to a portfolio review I always make sure that I have a printed book along with an iPad. The printed book always make a great first impression. The iPad or any digital format that you could show is also helpful because you can show additional work.”

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“Going in to show your work to potential clients is always a process. You never know what to expect.”

“Despite how portfolio reviews go, how much work you are getting or not getting, the most important thing in a photography career is having a good attitude. Keep shooting new work and showing it to the right people. Out of those three the most important one is having a good attitude. Being nice to people and being humble in this industry is imperative. Nobody wants to work with someone who feels entitled or has a bad attitude.”

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