What Sports Arenas Look for When Hiring Photographers

A certain air of power is present in sports-related advertising. Take in the walls of a Nike store or graze the pages of Sports Illustrated, and visions of strength, perseverance, and success often come to mind. But just how do sports photographers achieve that heroic look?

Commercial photographer Kevin Winzeler is an expert at creating images of athletes that invoke these epic feelings. He recently took on a photo shoot for the University of Utah. He was asked to capture the essence of Utah Football on a grand scale–the images from the shoot were to appear in glass etchings and 20-foot-tall wall displays at the school’s new Hall of Fame facility. His clients wanted the images and resulting brand to be infused with the energy needed to compete on a national level as the team made its debut in the PAC-12 Conference. Get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to impress commercial clients in the field of athletics:

Art and creative directors from advertising agencies choose photographers like Winzeler based on proven portfolios. In the case of Utah’s football shoot, Winzeler was selected because his previous work stood out from the crowd.


But the going doesn’t get any easier after being hired for a job. Winzeler worked hard before, during, and after the shoot to wow his clients with images that were beyond what they had expected. He did this by knowing how to make his clients’ visions a reality with extensive planning, expert lighting setups, and the ability to confidently direct his subjects.





Working as a commercial sports photographer seems to be just as competitive as being an athlete. The job requires thorough knowledge, skill, and experience. Photographers must be fluent in lighting, camera technique, and the ability to collaborate with other professionals. Clearly, there are no shortcuts to reaching Winzeler’s level of success.

“If you’re completely satisfied with your work, it’s time for a new job.” — Kevin Winzeler

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