shooting youth soccer team and individual

Discussion in 'Sports' started by leonard_forte|1, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. hi,


    I will be shooting youth team photos and individual posed photos. This is my first time doing this.
    Any advice on posing lighting, lens selection, f/stop...etc would be appreciated. I will be making very little
    but This could leafd to much more work.


    I will be using a nikon D200 and I have 70-200 f/2.8 VR, 85mm f/14, 50mm f/1.4 and 35mm f/2 .
    Should I use fflash for catchlight in the eyes.
     
  2. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    50mm Lens for Individuals:

    Take them Half Shot, slightly 1/4 profile (slightly) Right shoulder to the camera (i.e. to camera Left). Ensure the team
    Emblem is in Clear View on the Jersey.

    35 mm lens for the Team:

    Arrange them in the traditional Three Rows: Sitting; Kneeling; and Standing, Officials at the each End, Standing

    Lighting for both Individual and Team:

    Sun behind The Subjects, High and slightly to Camera Right for hair light. On Camera Flash Fill.

    Read up on Flash Fill Technique beforehand, and have a Practice Run with live models. Noting especially your Flash
    Sync Speed and the power you have available.

    You are looking to work at F8 to F11, though this is flexible and you must understand what you are doing that is why
    you need to research Flash Fill Techniques . . . AND PRACTICE.
    '
    NOTE: If the Sun is better coming from behind the Subjects and Camera Left, then swap the 1/4 profile of the
    Individuals such that their Left Shoulder is slightly Forward (i.e. shoulder is closer to you at Camera Right).

    WW
     
  3. Posing will vary on ages generally a 3/4 standing or f/l kneeling with ball on hip or knee/ground respectively.
    If children are very young and unstable, seated holding the ball often works.

    Lighting I would agree with backlighting with a fill-flash.

    Youth sports shoots are very disorganized! Have a clear spot for the coach to organize the team, keep parents
    out so there is less people in the way. Expect kids to be late!
     
  4. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Ah! good point about the ages, and the poses for younger children, Joseph,

    ***

    I read the post literally, (and technically and legally).

    `Youth` (here) means (by all three definitions) 12yrs to 18 yrs.

    I did not stop think that the word `youth`, could be being used in a broader sense.

    WW
     
  5. Joseph, what do you mean "seated holding the ball" ? Seated on the ground ? Thanks
     
  6. [​IMG]

    My pose for soccer. I shoot the local league, 350 kids. If the older teams have a designated goalie I shoot
    them kneeling and holding the ball. I shoot before practice, 5-7 p.m. Four to six teams per night, it takes two
    full weeks to do the league. A single "Photo Day" is out of the question, all three age groups play at the same
    time at three field locations.
     
  7. Don't know why the first link didn't work, I'll try again.
     
  8. Heres a link to some of mine. http://www.amberbrookephotography.com/PG%20Soccer%20Pics/

    I let them do their own poses as well. Got them loosened up and happy about having their picture taken. Then, when
    it came time to do the shots I know the mothers wanted, smiles were easily achieved. I personally dont like the
    standard shots, but some do.

    The moms liked and bought all poses. The kids really liked the creative stuff. And when I told them they could do
    whatever they liked, they were soooo happy. The other photographer wont let us do anything but sit on the ground.
     
  9. Thank You all.
    David what about the younger kids 4-7 years of age? Can you ask ythem to pose as they like or do a traditional pose?
     
  10. Young kids like 4-7 are hard enough to just make sure they look at the camera. A simple pose for them would be the least stressful and time saving. Davids shots are great and the simple poses on his site are ball aon ground on a knee, ball in hand. These are traditional and do sell. If time is a consideration I would rely on these shots.

    One thing you might want to take into consideration is time bugeting..if you have a pretty good size organization to shoot then try not to get too fancy and creative you will find your self getting behind and huffing parents waiting for their kids to finish and a line of athletes and parents waiting to get done...can make you nervous and your mind will start to freeze and begin to stop thinking logically.

    Remember to make sure you have plenty of charged batteries for both camera and flash..If digital..plenty of flash cards and a dump for pictures, like a laptop or some other portable storage device.

    Have an assistant if possible to help you pose so you dont have to go back and forth from posing to shooting..especially with the little ones...once you pose and move to shoot they will most certainly have moved completely. And if you keep your posing simple you can show someone how to pose the few poses in a few minutes.

    Main thing to do is to keep a list of equipment needed, make sure you have everything double checked..and practice some of the poses with a friend or an assistant. Look at Davids poses and print a few samples out...look at other sites for pose ideas..

    And DONT STRESS!
     
  11. Young kids like 4-7 are hard enough to just make sure they look at the camera. A simple pose for them would be the least stressful and time saving. Davids shots are great and the simple poses on his site are ball on ground on a knee, ball in hand. These are traditional and do sell. If time is a consideration I would rely on these shots. One thing you might want to take into consideration is time budgeting..if you have a pretty good size organization to shoot then try not to get too fancy and creative you will find your self getting behind and huffing parents waiting for their kids to finish and a line of athletes and parents waiting to get done...can make you nervous and your mind will start to freeze and begin to stop thinking logically. Remember to make sure you have plenty of charged batteries for both camera and flash..If digital..plenty of flash cards and a dump for pictures, like a laptop or some other portable storage device. Have an assistant if possible to help you pose so you dont have to go back and forth from posing to shooting..especially with the little ones...once you pose and move to shoot they will most certainly have moved completely. And if you keep your posing simple you can show someone how to pose the few poses in a few minutes. Main thing to do is to keep a list of equipment needed, make sure you have everything double checked..and practice some of the poses with a friend or an assistant. Look at Davids poses and print a few samples out...look at other sites for pose ideas.. And DONT STRESS!
    [URLs in signature removed. Violation of Photo.net policy]
    00QL6r-60625684.jpg
     
  12. Leonard, sorry I've been away shooting so i left you hangin. I'm sure you've done the job by now. Its been 2 weeks
    since your post. Hope everything went well for you.

    If not, then yes you can let the 6 or 7 year olds do their thing but younger is pushing it. John is correct in that its
    very tough to get kids that young to cooperate. Just if you can, allow them to do their own thing because it loosens
    them up. John is also right in that the traditionals do sell. Its why I did both. Gives a little something for everyone.
    The kids get the creative stuff, moms get their babies in the traditional pose.

    John is also right about time. Stay quick, decisive. This was a small group of people and the parents were getting
    annoyed from the waiting. Someone forgot their uniform or "I want this ball" or "Let her go first". A large group can be
    a disaster. A parent will remember the bad orginzation skills...trust me. Thank god all the waiting came from the
    children and they knew it. Otherwise it might have been my last shot. He's also right about....DONT STRESS. Relax
    and do your thing.

    John, thanks for the compliments. I like the setup for the YMCA. Looks good. Bet those sold like hotcakes.

    Leonard, keeps us posted on the outcome. Hope we could be of help
     
  13. Thanks David for the compliment...hope the shoot went well
     
  14. How do I attach a sample??
     
  15. My shoot is on Aug 16th. I think I'm ok with posing but not sure about lighting. If its a sunny day where do I shoot? Do i look for shadow or do I shoot in the sun. In the sample I put the girl with sun behind and used fill flash. Please comment
    00QMGg-61025684.jpg
     
  16. Should I be totally in the sun with no shade in the background?
     
  17. I wouldnt shoot in direct sun...it causes the kids to squint and can create some awful shadows.I would look for a shady area...if you have to shoot in the sun use a flash fill to remove the shadows under the eyes and nose.
     
  18. I like the sun on the hair. I would get lower and use wider aperture for more blur. It will help eliminated that hard line
    in the background of shadow/sun. Stay on the level of the subject. I can see you are low, but IMO, get lower.

    Aug. 16th....plenty of time to prepare. At least you didnt post in a panic with the shoot being tomorrow. Worst thing
    in the world is going into these things with no plan. Make yourself a list, mark them of as covered. You've got a good
    test subject. Keep trying until you find what you are looking for.
     
  19. Thansk David. I agree I should be a bit lower.
    What kind of lighting were your samples (posted above) shot in? The lighting seems to be very even with no shadows or "hard" sun-shadow line.
    I have a good but very impatient 5 year old model.
     
  20. Yeah they're impatient. She should be used to it by now though. Mine is 4 and she loves having her picture taken.
    I'm surprised she's not blind from all the flashes since birth.

    I had an older very good friend(like 2nd grandfather) who's since passed tell me when she was born that I should take
    tons of photos because they get big before you know it. Well I took his advice. I've got close to 5,000 photos of her
    from birth to now and its amazing flipping back through them to see how she's grown. She starts school next year
    and man I dont know if I am ready for that. Now to the shoot.

    I scheduled it for late in the day for this reason. It was great light because it was overcast, late afternoon(6:00 pm)
    and I used direct flash through a Gary Fong Lightsphere.

    If I have to shoot mid day, I find a tree or shade somewhere. I love rainy days right after the rain stops. Everything is
    clean/wet so the colors pop. Smooth even defused light. Usually cooled off so nobody is hot and miserable.
     
  21. If you are looking at an entire league, most of these options will not be possible. Here is a realistic approach to shooting a large amount of teams. I just finished doing over 900 kids this last saturday in a large soccer league. You want to keep the poses pretty simple so you can get rolling. I usually have them on one knee, holding a soccer ball on their hip10, with their other hand on there knee (some kids still find this to be difficult). I shoot in the sun with a soccer goal behind them using the camera pop up flash as a fill flash. For the team pictures i use a speed light also on camera (since you are using it as a fill, it doesnt matter that its coming from the camera). make sure you keep track of the order in which you take the kids (list of names) so you know who ordered what. I just use the standard nikon 18-55 lense (the zoom will allow you to make minor adjustments since some kids are bigger then others and you wont have to change your position to compensate.
    00QUk8-63949584.jpg
     
  22. for buddy pictures you can get creative with the poses, but same lense/fill flash technique.
    00QUkM-63949884.jpg
     
  23. team pic taken with speed light on camera.
     
  24. here is the picture
    00QUky-63953584.jpg
     
  25. Casey, is the camera flash powerful enough to provide fill for a group in the sun?
    Do you use the flash in TTL? Any compensation?
    Can I ask what metering method? I've tried (on D200) spot matrix and centre-weighted avg and they give different result. I flund the CW avg the best.
     
  26. Casey, thank you for posting your samples. Now I just want to know how you metered and your flash setting.
     
  27. yes the flash was TTL. i usually take 2 pictures of each team, one with spot metering and one center weighted, also incase there are eyes closed etc. The individual pictures usually benefit from center weighted metering, although spot metering the face usually works pretty well also.

    The speed light is enough for a fill on the team pictures and the pop up flash is enough for the individual/buddy. With the 18-55 lens, im usually closer to the 18mm on the group photo so im closer and the flash can fill more, on the individual im in the middle, somewhere between 30-45mm. Soccer is a little easier as they dont wear hats, baseball is a little harder because of the harsh shadows due to the hats, but either way the same technique works great. it doesnt completely remove any shadows, it just tones them down plenty to look more natural as our eyes see. Also it allows the camera to capture the nice blue sky, not a washed out white sky. everything looks more natural with the flash (sounds weird, but its really true)

    Also as far as letting kids do whatever they want for poses, it really isnt practical when you are shooting 1000 kids in one day, you will never finish. Some people like different poses, some just want there kids in a standard pose, not all kooky.

    Also you want to try and get down on the same level as them when you are shooting, instead of shooting down at them. for the individual picture i was crouched or kneeling, the buddy i was laying on the ground and the team picture i was kneeling.

    One last suggestion, white balance your camera. The sun light setting works, so does auto, but there will be small variances due to the flash and you not being exactly the same distance for different kids. If you manually set your white balance you will get better results (not a big issue, but will save you some time in post)
     
  28. i also use a d200 and i was able to shoot about 200-250 kids +30 team pictures before my battery started getting pretty low, so have plenty a back up on hand. Allow 20 minutes per team and i HIGHLY reccommend spreading them out a little more then that at first. it will give you time to look at what your capturing and make adjustments early.

    to sum up...
    camera: d200, shutter priority, 250ms, low iso (somewhere between 100-200), on camera pop up fill flash, manual white balance

    posing: simple pose that can be replicated, relaxed, show personality the kids will react,
    team pictures: split team in half, if there is an uneven number more in the back then the front. tallest kids in the back row, shorter kids in the front kneeling, or sitting, or on one knee. everyone standing up tall, shoulder to shoulder-no space in between. coaches on the end with banner behind. make sure everyone is looking at your camera as you will have parents behind you trying to capture the team pic for themselves and their kids will be looking at them. i usually say "everyone look here first, then after your parents are going to take some more pictures" so i take my 2 and move out of the way.
     
  29. Ugh! It's "their" not there! =)
     

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