For quite sometime I have been wanting to advance my photography skills and try a particular area of photography to concentrate on. I normally take photos of landscapes and ancient castles, in fact anything historic and I’ll have my camera out.
I did think about wildlife photography but you could say that I’m not the stealthiest of people and I would soon disturb my subject and loose a chance of a good shot.
So how did I decide to settle on the subject of sports photography?
Well it comes from being a Newcastle United fan, not a season ticket holder though as I simply can’t afford one, when I do get a chance to go to a match during the game I sometimes get distracted and people watch. This is easy to do prior to kick off and when there is a break in play, naturally with loving my photography I do seem to be drawn to the press photographers and more so to their camera and lenses that they use.
I also find myself wishing that I could afford one of those lenses but as the minimum cost is around £2,500 then its going to be several years before I can really afford one. Still its by seeing these guys working that I decided ‘why the hell not!’ I knew that it’s not as easy to walk into a club and say your a photographer, I also knew that for the Championship, Leagues 1 & 2 and Premier League that you needed to have a press pass or something similar. I therefore decided to make enquiries with non league clubs.
I sent an email to several non league clubs including Blyth Spartans, Chester-le-Street Town FC, Gateshead FC and a couple of others. My main query with the clubs was asking if it was possible to spend a day/match with their club photographer to learn techniques and camera settings for football photography. Only one club replied to me, well actually that’s a lie, two clubs replied but one Chester-le-Street Town FC said that they didn’t have a club photographer so at least they had the courtesy to get back to me.
The club that responded helpfully was Gateshead FC and they advised that I would need to obtain a Conference League Photographic License. I looked up the actual league website and sent off an email. Within no time I received a reply with a couple of attachments which was the application process.
Once I gained my license I contacted Gateshead again and arranged to go to the Gateshead FC vs Woking match which took place on Saturday 3rd November 2012. What happened at that match and the advice I was given will follow in my next blog.
p.s. yes I know that this is being posted after that match but I have only just decided to keep a blog of the matches and experience so I have a few to catch up on.