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Behind The Scenes of a Sports Marketing Photo Shoot

By Anthony Thurston on April 1st 2014

Have you ever wondered how teams get those images that they use on the program covers and in marketing materials on their site? I mean, sure, we all know where they get them, but HOW do they do it?

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Today we have a nice – albeit brief – glimpse into what teams do to get these marketing images. The team in question today is the Houston Dash, an expansion team to the NWSL (National Womens Soccer League). The team is brand new this year, so they are working hard to get the word out about the team for the season opener in a few weeks when the defending champion Portland Thorns come to town to kick off the NWSL season.

The video below is a quick behind the scenes look at what goes into their photoshoots. Check it out:

Surprisingly, they actually did a really great job showing us what gear was being used and how it was all set up. So, let’s take a quick look.

[REWIND: NIKON 1 V3: THE SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHER’S MIRRORLESS?]

The Gear

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Some of the items did make me laugh a little though, like the ball on a stick and the Coleman air mattress. But, whatever you have to do to get the shot, right?

The How

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As you can see, it’s not some elaborate setup here for these marketing shots. These are pretty basic lighting setups, and the gear is pretty standard as well. The first several shots used a standard light setup, with a key light to the front left of the player with another light to the right as a fill, and then two strip lights with grids as rim lights.

These are shots that you could do with your local high school team for the fall sports program, or for any number of purposes. The point is that it’s not complicated and if you have the lights (even speedlights would work in a situation like this – though you would need quite a few of them), and know where to place them, you can get great shots that teams can use to help promote themselves.

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

2 Comments

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  1. JEM

    Those Einsteins are special high speed strobes designed for photoshoots like this. Is has action stopping ability. With regular studio strobes you get serious motion blur.

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    • Marios

      Actually, with the new firmware upgrade for the TT5 Pocketwizards, you can achieve sync speeds up to 1/8000th with pretty much any strobe…after the upgrade, you simply enable Hypersync and prest, there you have it. I have been using it with speeds well over 1/800th with my Lencarta strobes with no problems whatsoever…

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