Why we take pictures – Inside our passion for sports photography


Photo: Olamide Gbotosho

Olamide Gbotosho

There are only a few things in the world that give entertainment while also inspiring others to want to be great. And there are only a few things that give memories and drive emotions. One of them is sports.

Sports photographers are given the opportunity to get right next to the action, as well as capture incredible moments that people will look back upon many years later. For these reasons, sports photography is not only a job or a task that needs to be done, but an art.

I got together with some of my fellow sports photographers at QBSN, and asked these questions to understand the art, the importance, and meaning behind sports photography:  What made them get into it? Why do they love it? Why do they think it’s important? Their favorite sport to capture? Advice for anyone who wants to get into it?

★ ★ ★

Liz Flynn, Senior Vice President of QBSN

Sports photography isn’t something Liz Flynn has always aspired to do. She took a photography class her senior year of high school as an elective to graduate. However when she got to Quinnipiac everything changed.

When her friend on the club ice hockey team asked her to take pictures at their games she ended up loving it and continued it for four years.

Photo: Liz Flynn

Flynn got more involved with QBSN her sophomore year, and because of her experience, she now wants to go into this career professionally.

“I was always involved in the organization, but I never really did anything because I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” Flynn said. “So, I started to shoot more games sophomore year. That is when it started to pick up and I took it more than a hobby and tried to transition it to a career.”

According to Flynn, the importance of sports photography is its ability to automatically connect viewers to the sport and create a story.

Photo: Liz Flynn

“If you’re reading an article or you’re watching something on TV, without photography, there is so much missing from a story,” Flynn said. “Some of the best sports moments are things that have been captured in photography, and even in video.”

Over the course of the years, one of Flynn’s favorite sports to capture is baseball.

“Baseball is a sport I have watched since I was in diapers,” Flynn said. “I grew up as a softball player and it is a sport I am very connected to. There are so many creative things you can do shooting baseball which I think is really great about it.”

Flynn’s second favorite sport to capture is soccer and shooting for the Quinnipiac men’s soccer team has contributed to it.

“Another sport I like to shoot is soccer because it’s a sport you can get so close to the action and do a lot of stuff with. Shooting the soccer team at Quinnipiac has been super fun because you’re standing directly behind the ref and behind the bench and you get so close to the action that no other sport really allows you to get,” Flynn added.

Photo: Liz Flynn

★ ★ ★

Jack Main, QBSN member

For Jack Main, sports photography isn’t something he knew was an option in the world of sports. In fact, he got into sports photography because he wanted to be on the game sheet for QBSN, and he saw that the role was constantly open.

“I decided to shoot a game, I got really close to the action, which is always a ton of fun, and figured I could expand my skill set, instead of just focusing on one or two things,” said Main.

Main has continued with sports photography because of the incredible moments and opportunities it has given him.

“You get to sit courtside at a basketball game and watch guys dunk right over your head,” Main said. “You get to be right next to the glass on a game-winning goal, you get to sit behind home plate at a baseball game. You get that up-close action and at the same time you are able to capture a picture that lasts forever, and you can’t really replace that,” said Main.

A memorable moment so far in Main’s sport’s photography career is, capturing the moment of Kevin Marfo with the winning block to seal a 66-64 win for the Quinnipiac Bobcats against the Canisius Golden Griffins.

“To be honest when I was taking that picture, I don’t even remember my head being up against the camera,” Main said.  “At that moment I was a fan, [and I’m not allowed to be a fan], and I totally had no idea my finger was on the button. I watched the play happen through my camera and I saw him block it and I yelled, “Oh My God!” said Main.

Photo: Jack Main

Main described the moment as unreal.

“Those are the things you just can’t get broadcasting,” Main said. “You get it by taking pictures.”

Although Main is still learning, some advice he would give to someone who wants to get into sports photography is to just do it.

“The first couple times it’s probably not going to be very good, you’re probably not going to have a steady hand, but the more and more that you do it, you’ll get better at it,” Main said.

★ ★ ★

If you have the opportunity to shoot one game, I encourage you to do so. The pictures may not come out great, but it’s a learning experience and you get better the more you practice it.

As someone who has been a sports photographer for the past two years, I’ve learned that sports photography is something you truly need to have passion for. Right before I shoot a game, I get a rush of excitement because I’m not only doing something I love, but I get to be right there next to the action.

What I love most about sports photography is capturing the perfect moment that I may not even realize is happening. It’s an unreal feeling when you capture raw photos of emotions that an athlete expresses while playing their sport. Not because it’s a great shot, but because that photo has become a story itself.