How do you shoot compelling sports photography?

Sports photography is changing, with a distinct trend for more personal stories emerging, whether for brands or editorial. Here CR speaks to three photographers who offer advice on how to capture these intimate moments

It’s a challenge to capture sport in a static image. It used to be just about the game, but now as curious viewers and consumers we’re interested in every aspect, from the players to the fans, the training to what they wear, and brands have started to realise this. So, with so many options, what makes a compelling sports image today? And how do you create it? 

Photographers Jane Stockdale, Emily Maye and Tom Cockram have all worked across an array of different sport-based commercial and editorial projects for much of their careers, with big brands such as Nike, adidas, the Olympics and many more. Over the years they’ve honed in on what’s important, from up close and personal access to truly understanding what’s interesting about the sport they’re documenting. Here, CR speaks to all three photographers about their approaches and how they prepare for shoots. 

Scottish photographer Jane Stockdale started out as a documentary photographer shooting bands. While at art school in Edinburgh she worked on a project that captured crowds and saw her photograph events across Scotland from clubs to gigs, protests to premieres, football matches to rugby games. Afterwards, this led to commissions to shoot projects for Celtic FC and local teams to document the fans.

Top: Nike Holland; Above: World Cup for ING. Both images: Jane Stockdale