Taking Better Sports Photos & Action Shots

Just like so many of you, we have three kids in sports, so we were interested in taking better sports photos (my portrait skills did not automatically transfer to the volleyball court!). My older two both played a few seasons each of soccer, volleyball and basketball before they settled on their sport of choice (figure skating for my oldest, track for my middle). My little one prefers gymnastics but is also known for joining the big kids at track practices. Being the documentarian of the family, of course I wanted to capture great photos of them in action (even if that action involved them tripping over a soccer ball or missing a basket)!

Here are the steps I take to get great shots of my kids.

  1. Put your camera into S/Tv mode
  2. Set your ISO to 800 (outdoors) or 1600 (indoors) – we are trading grain/noise for a non-blurry shot.
  3. In S/Tv mode, you get to pick the shutter speed and the camera will do the rest, so use the dial near your pointer finger to set the shutter speed to 1/250 or faster (remember that the bigger the number, the faster the shutter speed)
  4. Put your camera into burst mode, get as close to the action as you can and start taking photos!

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to adjust your ISO back down to 400 once you’re finished. 🙂

Taking Better Sports Photos
ISO: 1600
Shutter Speed: 1/400
Aperture: f/3.2
Learn to Take Better Action Shots
And this method is not just for sports! Here is one of my favorite photos from last year as it totally depicts our everyday life – urban playground, messy hair and Wisconsin weather. The shutter speed of 1/1000 captured Lucy mid-swing and the f/stop of 1.4 resulted in a lovely blurry background.

Go try it out and let me know what you think!

Free Guide to DSLR Creative Modes
Want to dive deeper into Shutter Priority as well as the other creative modes on your DSLR or Mirrorless camera? Then grab my FREE Guide to your Camera’s Creative Modes.