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Action Photography - The Basics

Good Action Photography captures not only the actual image, but helps to convey the movement and experience happening at that moment. Sporting events, car races, horse races, aviation events, and adventure sports all have a story to tell from the athlete to the driver and good action photography conveys those stories and feelings in a single image. A good action photographer will have an excellent camera and is often familiar (heck even better, an aficionado) with the event or sport you want to capture. Talk to your photographer before the event and help them understand what you want to convey with photos. Is your photo story about the place, the people, the experience? Has the photographer shot a similar event? How will the photography position him or herself to best capture the action.

Warren Leimbach

Tips for Action Photography


How Do you Plan on Using the Images

The intended use of the images, helps determine the quality you will need. Are the images for your personal collection, magazine, website, or editorial use?


Find Your Style

Begin by looking at various photographer's work and see what appeals to you. Do you want higher quality snapshots with natural light or are you looking for a professional stop-motion style? Pick a few to look into further.



Good and cheap don't go together. Hiring a photographer for basic outdoor action shots can be at the lower end of costs. Eye catching, well-lit studio sessions or shoos that involve travel and extreme conditions fall at the other end of the spectrum. Ask questions about the various prices offered and how the photographer can work within your budget. Experienced photographers will shoot a few "hero" shots and the rest less lit, more natural shots. It gives a nice variety without breaking the bank



Know what usage rights are included. This varies depending on the photographer, so make sure it's spelled out for you and that you understand the terms. Ask questions about how long the usage rights are good for and what they include. Don't be afraid to negotiate! Most photographers would rather make less than their initial proposal than lose the sale.

By SmartShoot

How much do Action Photos cost?

Several factors can impact the cost of action photography. The biggest drivers are experience, quality, timing, usage and quantity. Experienced photographers will demand a higher price for their services, while a newer shooter might be able to offer you a deal to build their portfolio. If you're looking for magazine quality images be sure to budget accordingly. Prices will increase as the scope of the project goes. You can hire a photographer for a kids sporting event for around $100/hour or a couple hundred dollars for the day. Going for the full studio setup with lights, space, models, etc. will put the shoot in the $1500+ range. Here you pay for experience and quality.

Find a Action Creative near you!

SmartShoot brings the power of professional photos and videos.

We help businesses and individuals find and collaborate with professional freelance photographers and videographers. Our creatives have delivered over 80,000 projects around the globe.

An example project

Half Day on Slopes

Take a professional photographer with you on the slopes for a half day. You'll get dazzling images of you and your group skiing throughout the day and a slew of photos afterwards to share. Price does not include editing, ski pass or equipment

Suggested Price: $500

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