Action photography is very different to studio photography and cannot be compared. Action photography is fast moving, unpredictable, shot from a fixed position with constantly varying routines, positions and athlete numbers. Studio photos or shots taken in your club are set up and can be photographed multiple times over to gain the perfect image.
Please be aware that the photographers do not know the routine beforehand. In a split second they have to made continual adjustments to capture the stunt, group or athlete as well as changing the shutter speed with the autofocus constantly trying to keep up with high speed movements.
The photographers are allocated a seated position which will not interfere with the judging panel and this positioning will determine the angles shot from and the visibility of certain athletes. They have to shoot from a fixed position so certain athletes simply cannot be seen. Within a 2.5 minute routine the photographers attempt to shoot as many different athletes as possible that they can see. They attempt to get images of athletes standing behind others and sometimes this results in the front person looking “blurry” but the behind person is clear. Some heads may be chopped off but this is because they are trying to get a shot of the base and not the flyer, the same as some of the bases will be cropped to try and get the flyer. Wide angles are taken to get images of the entire team especially in cheer routines so even if they haven’t been able to see or shoot a certain person, they are still included in the team photos.
Lighting and the distance from the floor will alter the type of photos taken. For example the further away from the floor the ability to shoot close ups is reduced considerably. If a large amount of the routine is performed at the rear of the floor near the backdrop, as opposed to being nearer the front section, it will alter the amount of zoom and close ups taken. Alternatively being closer to the floor will give more close ups but also wide angles as well.
The size of the events will determine how many photos are taken and we are shooting at least between 150,000 to 200,000 photos at a time. With this volume of photos being taken it does not allow enough time to edit and sort through any blurry images that may appear in some routines. Our priority is to upload the photos as quickly as possible for viewing and download.
We make every effort to photograph the movement or action in the moment, so the facial expression or body positioning is what has been captured in that frame. We love this incredible sport and will always try to get the best possible memories for everyone.