Shooting stock photos – Outside major soccer game

Apologies for the delay in posting, I decided to change my process to post after I’ve heard from Shutterstock so that I can let you know in the same post how successful I was, then I had a bit of a carpal tunnel issue with my right hand, so I took it easy processing photos for a bit… But I’m back at the updates:

August 2 Manchester United played Real Madrid at the University of Michigan’s football stadium – Largest crowd to ever watch a soccer game!  I was not interested in watching the game itself, but figured I’d hang out before the game and see what stock photos I could get.

I headed down by the stadium and walked around, took some photos of people who were already posing, making sure I got some of the location-specific clues, like the stadium fence:

Man United fans


Then I realized that Fox Soccer had a booth outside the stadium, so I went over and got this photo of sports analysts Warren Barton and Eric Wynalda:

fox guys

Eric was amazingly generous with fans, taking photos with many of them, as Warren was somewhat.  I hung out and took more photos of them, aiming for head shots, and even got one of Rob Stone, though he was more private so I had to wait a while to catch him… I think Eric was starting to think I was a bit creepy after a while…

Then I went to where rivers of fans were walking toward the stadium and took some photos of interesting folks as they walked by:

ManUnited white red

Also feeling more comfortable just nicely asking people if I can take this picture, like this other fan, who was happy to oblige:

ManUnited black red

This is where it’s nice to have my business cards, so if people ask what’s going to happen to the photos I can give them a card and they can look in Shutterstock to see if it got in, or email me for their photos. This time no one asked, so I just kept shooting…

Then there are the people who notice you are taking photos and just pose for you, like these guys:

ManUnited lads

My sons think that being a middle aged mom helps here because no one feels threatened by me. I can see that…

What I did right:

– Wore my “Michigan Happiness” shirt, to look even less threatening.

– Wore comfortable shoes, I was walking around a lot…

– Smiled at everyone, asked nicely, gave people thumbs up after I got their picture.

– As always, went with the 1/400 shutter speed to be sure to be in focus, played with ISOs (mostly 200) as the weather changed.

– Used my 18-105 lens on my 16 MP camera. It worked great for the walking around shots, most at around 50 mm and for the Fox guys I could use 100 mm and crop it and still get above the 4 MP required for many stock agencies. I’m glad I left the zoom lens home, didn’t really need it and it would have just been a hassle changing lenses.

What I would do differently:

– When I got the shot of one of the team buses I should have run over to where I knew the players would be dropped off to get shots of the players going into the stadium. I figured it would take too long for me to get there, but later as I was walking around they were just finishing dropping them off.  Probably should have gone over there first and talked to the security people and try to find out their expected arrival time.

To see all the shots that Shutterstock accepted check here.

What tips do you have for shooting crowds at events?


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