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I started shooting soccer 8 or 9 years ago as a hobby to chronicle my son's soccer games. As I gained knowledge and experience in photography (and bought better equipment), I started getting some exceptional shots. I quickly found that I had a knack for photography, as well as an admiration and respect for youth sports. At the requests of friends and players’ parents, I began shooting occasional games (usually for free) for others. As my capabilities, results and reputation grew, I found my services in demand and decided to turn my hobby into a small side business.
I specialize primarily in youth soccer (ages 4-14), but have also worked some baseball, tennis and football events, and some outside of that age range. Soccer is clearly my specialty, but if it's a sport, I love the challenge of capturing the action!
I am very passionate about sports photography--I enjoy both the photography and sport immensely. The primary motivation behind my business is to provide photographs that clients and their families will cherish for generations. It is the love of my work that drives me to keep prices low compared to competitors. I charge very reasonable fees for services and products and do so primarily to maintain and grow my very expensive equipment inventory.
Because I do not rely on sports photography for my primary income, I don't waste my time or yours unless I think I can do a great job. Time of day, lighting and weather all play important roles in photography—and I will discuss these if you’re asking me to shoot your event. Your standards are high--so are mine.
Tactics, Techniques and Procedures
If you hire me for your event, please let me know if you want me to concentrate on one player or an entire team—I will gladly do either. Following the shoot, I edit my work and publish photographs to my web service (this site), where clients can purchase items from an extensive inventory of products. I handpicked this service because of its excellent reputation. They provide quality products, ship fast, and offer an unconditional money back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied with any product.
I take great pride in trying to capture those special moments, both emotional and physical. You will sometimes see "professional" photographers at big tournaments; those guys normally try to shoot in quantity, walking around and snapping pictures at every opportunity in the hopes of making money by appealing to a high number of potential customers. They sacrifice quality--I don't. When I shoot, I am there before the first whistle and after the last whistle, capturing those moments that a lot of "pros" miss. I don't regularly team with other photographers, but when I do, I do so very selectively, choosing only those with the same standards and attention to detail that I have. I've had offers to team with less qualified photographers (to make money) and I turned them down. Quality is my goal, not quick money.
Are you going to do your own photography?
I get asked a lot about photography and shooting conditions when on the fields, so I'll put a quick word here on that topic (kind of rare a photographer will help you shoot your own pictures, isn’t it? Not only do I want you to take your own, I hope you get GREAT shots!).
Generally speaking, early morning or later afternoon games are best for soccer/outdoor photography. Noon games with direct sunlight pose quite a challenge. Shooting conditions are rarely perfect, so you have to make the best with what you have. To get the most out of your point-and-shoot camera (or other), make sure the sun is at your back when shooting--that is THE most important thing. This will generally give you the most light and the best chance at the high shutter speeds needed to stop action. If you have a "sport" mode, use it (or aperture priority at the lowest possible setting).
Also, get down on your knees or sit on the ground or in a chair if you're shooting younger kids (you’ll see a lot of these bulk shoot “pros” photograph little kids standing up) so that you shoot at the players’ level—this will ensure much better shots, trust me! If I've learned one thing about photography, it's that every day—indeed every game--provides its own unique challenges! Don't get discouraged—today’s digital cameras allow us to take hundreds or thousands of pictures with little cost—fire away! Experience is as valuable as the equipment you use. Experiment with your equipment—persistence and patience will pay off.
What if my game already has an official photographer? Can I still hire you?
Having worked events as the officially contracted photographer, I can tell you a couple things with great confidence. First, contracted photographers rarely have the resources to spend more than a couple minutes at any one particular game. I, on the other hand, am normally hired to cover entire games (or series of games), from start to finish. Second, the vast majority of games/events are open to the public and are held on public property, where the courts have ruled that anyone can take (and sell) photographs. Just because your event seems to have an official photographer’s presence does not preclude me—or anyone else for that matter—from working your event. In other words, yes, you can normally hire me for almost any outdoor event.
To purchase pictures, t-shirts, coffee cups, mouse pads, electronic photos or any of the many other products available through this service, simply view the picture you wish to purchase (enter galleries below with the provided password) and click the "buy" button above the picture. Select "This Photo" and a purchasing window will appear. Note that there are three tabs on that window, one for Prints, one for Merchandise and one Downloads. Choose your product, identify the quantity and click the Checkout button. If you encounter any problems, please don't hesitate to contact me
. Please shop with confidence—the site is a well known national photography service. I’ve had many customers, friends and family use it without a single complaint/issue.
Now onto something near and dear to my heart—security. I have spent many years in support of national security and I extend that frame of mind to this business. Of key concern to me is protection of our children. I protect all galleries with passwords. I will never post a child's photograph open to the public without approval of parents or legal guardians. I provide passwords only to clients/people with a genuine need to know. If I've given you a password, please protect it and only pass it to people you trust. If I discover unauthorized access to any of my galleries, I will immediately take content offline until they are protected. Additionally, I will never
post any supplemental information on any child (names, addresses, ages, etc.). Safety and security are paramount and I am very sensitive to these aspects.
TOP SECRET Tips
Here are a few valuable tips I've gained from being around so much soccer that I thought I’d share with you:
1) Hydrate! Keep kids drinking water before, during and after games. It's critical to health & performance.
2) Tie shoes tight! Wasting game minutes while 60 people watch a child tie his/her shoes is a major bummer.
3) Don't yell. If you criticize, do constructively. Say three nice things for every criticism. Stress strengths.
4) Get 'em sleep! It is especially vital if you have more than one game per day.
5) Watch soccer with kids! TV or the field--get 'em excited about the sport. They'll think, train and play harder if they're more invested in the sport. It'll also help grow soccer in America.
6) Fundamentals. Fundamentals. Fundamentals. I wish I had a nickel for every “experienced” kid that lifted his/her foot on a throw in. Or for every time a kid aims his/her shot right at the goalie. Or for corner kicks that go behind the net. Practice and talk about the basics. Players are never too old to focus on fundamentals.
7) Finally, at the end of the day, realize it's just a game. When the dust settles down, what was important is that the kids got exercise, learned teamwork and communications skills, grew as people and had fun! 99.99999 percent of us aren't raising the next soccer star--realize that fact and stay focused on what's truly important.
See You on the Pitch!
Well, that's about it. Again, I appreciate the opportunity to provide your family and friends with memorable photographs. I hope they find their way into your scrapbooks and provide enjoyment for many years to come!
Please contact at email@example.com
if you have any questions, requests, comments or concerns. I will respond as quickly as I can.
Kimball Sports Photography