flag football {simple sports photo tips}

We are in the thick of flag football – four cute little players. Well, the boys would prefer I call them tough players. Tough…and cute. Every season I try to get some shots of the kids at their games, but I’m usually on the sidelines with 4 other kids while Chris coaches. Watching four kids and watching the game means my camera rarely makes it out of the bag. The last few weeks I’ve attempted to get more shots of them at home, practice and at games.

Sports can be challenging to photograph, even when you don’t have other kids on the sidelines with you. I thought I would share a few tips for how I capture my kids for OUTDOOR sports. Indoor sports are a whole different challenge.

  • I use a zoom lens. I have a 70-200mm f/2.8 that was previously the lens I shot wedding with. Now I use it for youth sports. It is big, bulky and a bit embarrassing to pull out at games, but it sure is a great lens.
  • I use my biggest aperture (smallest number after the “f/”. Since I am zooming, I usually don’t have trouble getting my subject in focus.
  • I bump my ISO if needed, so I can have a fast shutter speed. If it is super bright out, I can use a lower ISO and a fast shutter speed.

If you none of that makes sense, I would recommend using a zoom lens and using the “sports mode” or using the Tv (S) mode. If you use the Tv (S) mode, you will want to increase the number (the speed) to capture a sharp action shot. The brighter it is outside, the better this will work.

On this particular day it was raining, so I needed a higher ISO. If my shutter speed had been faster, the rain drops would have been frozen droplets instead of blurry streaks. I held an umbrella under one arm and my camera in the other.  I love my boy’s little stance and the mouth-guard expression. ISO 400, 1/500, f/2.810.14football-03My girl getting ready to hike the ball. ISO 200, 1/1000, f/2.810.14football-04ISO 200, 1/2000, f/2.810.14football-05ISO 100, 1/1600, f/2.810.14football-06Touch down!   ISO 100, 1/2000, f/2.810.14football-07

The kids practice together at home all the time. I came outside to find them playing 3 on 1…with a pink sparkle dress. ISO 200, 1/400, f/2.810.14football-02

ISO 200, 1/400, f/2.8

10.14football-01Happy Friday!!

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  • Sarah Pratt - That’s great! Love the rough, tough, and powder puff!

  • Liane - I love these photos! Thanks for the tips 🙂

  • danielle - Those are so great! Your daughter is awesome 🙂

  • Carrie Campbell - Firecracker is so fun!! Way to be the perfect mix of feminine and wild child. 🙂 (And, P.S. on a quick scroll through the page, I totally thought she was wearing a Pocahontas dress- which wouldn’t surprise me either.) 🙂

  • Michelle Hill - Firecracker is my idol.
    The end 🙂

  • Bambi - That looks great! Thanks for sharing!

    Love from Italy and have a wonderful weekend,



  • Emily Adams - I just wanted to say how awesome it is to see a picture of firecracker bolting down a field and remembering her broken femur. What an awesome testimony to how God has carried her through that and restored her body! :). Love it!

  • Angela - I thought Firecracker was wearing lipstick at first, and thought she is a SASS.A.FRASS! Then I realized it was her mouth guard!

  • Phoebe K - I love her bright red lips! A little glamorous football player. I want to be just like her.

  • Debbie H - and bare feet and flip flops!!! TOUGH kids! hahaha. So fun. And I LOVED your post yesterday about Wendy’s. We don’t have a Wendy’s near where I live, but it makes me want to hunt one down. Your voice and heart are loud and clear, Ashley! And I agree with another commenter, “God looks good on you.” 🙂 What a wonderful expression and fabulous compliment. Happy weekend. (GO SF GIANTS)

  • Trish - I love that she plays in a dress. May she always march to the beat of her own drummer. 🙂

  • Jenny - Love love love that last shot.

  • AshleyAnn - Phoebe – that is her mouth guard 🙂

  • Jolene - Last shot. Awesome! 🙂

  • BeckyH in MA - 70-200 2.8 Is that the “L” series??