7 things you must do before shooting a match!

Goalie Andreas Stafström (Balrog Oilers), caught on camera in a tricky situation. Photo: Olav Holten

Everyone wants great pictures from their match, but here is the list of things you MUST do and concider before calling that sports photographer.

1. Why are you doing it: What are you going to use the pictures for? Marketing, editorial content, personal use, documentation? It affects how the photographer must take the pictures, what to include in the frame, what not to, and how they must be edited. Pictures to hang on your wall are seldom the same as an effective instagram picture.

2. Are you allowed to do it: Tell the players that you are planning to take pictures during the match. Are all players in both teams aware of, and ok with, having their picture taken and being published? Even if they loose the match?

3. Is the referee onboard: Ask the referee too. He or she (or they) will be in many of the shots. It would be really sad if that perfect picture had to be deleted because you forgot obtain that permission.

4. Who is playing:  To tag everyone correctly you must have the list of jersey numbers and names. Usually there are official lists of statistics published online directly after a match. If not, you should collect this yourself. Make sure you can supply the photographer with this! He (or she, two of the best photographers I know are women) will tag the faces for you. And if someone wants to be "forgotten" according to GDPR, this will help you a lot. Other metadata will be added as well, but usually all that quality you get out of the box when using a real photographer is not noticed untill you really need it.

5. How will you publish: What do you actually want to use the pictures for? Pictures for print will be edited differently from those you publish through social media. It is not same! And the content needs to be different as well. A poster is printed bigger, usually is vertical and can be more detailed than an instagram picutre. The pictures you publish in social media usually will only be seen as a small thumb nail, so they need to be less detailed, but very sharp in it's message. A good photographer will instantly know the difference and help you with this.

6. When will you publish: Some channels are better for fast publication, others can wait a bit and still others are better a long time after the fact. What is your preferred channel? A blog? Your homepage? FaceBook? Instagram? Book? Posters? Something else? All of them? The name Instagram implies the speed with wich the pictures are published. A yearbook on the other hand is usually published quite a long time after all the instagram pictures are gone from the feed. It is therefore possible to sell those books and generate an income for your team. Make sure everyone in the pictures are ok with this...

7. What is legal: Since the introduction of GDPR in Europe, publishing pictures has become conciderable more compliated. Please make sure you have gotten professional legal advice before publishing anything. What is legal in one country, might be illegal in another. And it changes over time.

I hope this will help you in planning what pictures to take and publish from your next match!