If photographing a National Football League (NFL) game is a long-standing part of your dreams, it is time to turn that into reality. Although at some point you may doubt your ability to be a photographer for the NFL, it is not entirely impossible. In fact, if you have the combination of exceptional talent and untiring dedication, there is always a place for you in the NFL. Here’s how you can become a photographer for the NFL.
- Get the best tools and accessories. This doesn’t mean you are required to get the most expensive camera or accessories out in the market, although if you can afford, it can help improve your craft. But to be practical, you can make do with what you currently have for as long as they can capture outstanding pictures. In some cases, though, you need a few upgrades. Keep in mind that football games, being action-packed, require special accessories to capture images with telling details, so it is wise to invest in some gadgets. To know what is currently “in,” always check photography magazines.
- Hone your talent. If there is one thing that can solely bring you to the NFL scene, it is your talent. So take time to develop it by photographing school or community football events. Although such events do not replicate the excitement and grandeur NFL exudes, they are good starting points. You can use them to sharpen your creativity, enhance your techniques, increase your aptitude, and test your endurance. By shooting small football events, you can also have a fairly good idea of your weak and strong points and think of ways to work on them. Remember that in terms of learning, nothing can teach better than actual experience.
- Create a portfolio. To market and sell yourself as a photographer, you need a portfolio that can best represent your talent. Select the best football photographs you have and collate them in your blog or website. It is also good to have printed copies of these pictures and put them in one presentable album or folder. Bring this printed portfolio to any of your photo engagements so that when you chance upon somebody who can potentially open a door for you to the NFL, you have something to show. Another tip: always update your portfolio. Nothing dulls a portfolio better than outdated pictures.
- Build a network of contacts. Mingle with fellow photographers, football players, and coaches. Always appear available and willing to photograph any football event, NFL or not. If you have established a good reputation, you are a few steps closer to your dream. NFL seems to be a big world, but it is penetrable. Once you know of someone in the league, it becomes easy for you to get a pass and photograph an NFL game.
- Get good pictures. In case you are blessed enough to get a pass to an NFL game, consider this chance as your first step. Exert extra effort to capture outstanding pictures of individual football players and the game itself. Sell the pictures to magazines and newspapers, and take time to celebrate this day as the start of your NFL photography career.
Being a photographer for the NFL offers many perks—from watching the games live to socializing with football stars. But remember that these perks are only the tip of the iceberg, for greater joy comes after finally realizing your dream.