How to Become Photographer for the NFL

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Are you a photographer who loves football? Have you ever wanted to become an NFL photographer? This article will give you some advice on how to advance your carreer towards obtaining that goal.

  • Create a portfolio of action sports shots. Go down to your local peewee football team and take all of your camera equipment with you. Ask the coaches if they mind if you walk the sidelines during the game. Most coaches will not mind, but if for some reason they do have a problem with it, simply back away a bit or go to behind the end zone to take your photos.

  • Take about 10 different action shots of each player on the team that you are covering. Take shots of players only during plays. At the end of the year you can take the best shots of each player and sell them to the parents of the players. The parents will love the pictures and the money will allow you to continue on your journey to the NFL.

  • Move on to high school football and do the same exact thing. If there is already a team-sponsored photographer you may not be able to sell your photos to the team or players' parents, but you can beef up your portfolio.

  • Go to the closest college in your area and apply for a media pass to allow you to be on the field so you can take photos. If for some reason you are denied access to the field, do not panic. Buy tickets to the game in a seat that is right up against the field. Take your photos from the stands. Remember these pictures are not for profit. They are only additions to your portfolio.

  • Take the best shots from all the pictures you took of peewee football, high school football and college football. Create a portfolio with them, including only your best action shots.

  • Apply for all photography jobs at as many sports media outlets that cover the NFL that you can find. Submit your portfolio for review. Apply also at NFL Films, the official filming and photography provider for the NFL. NFL Films will be the hardest place for you to get a job, since there is an abundance of applicants to NFL Films.

  • Take advantage of any relationships you have made along the way because you never know who has an ability to open up some doors for you. Like any other job, there is no guarantee that you will be hired; it all depends on your skill and you dedication. If you are not hired the first time you apply, then apply and apply again and just keep reminding them of your availability until you get your dream job of being a photographer for the NFL.

Tips & Warnings

  • Stay dedicated and network like crazy.

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