Sports Photographers



Sports photographers are specialists hired to shoot pictures of sporting events and athletes. They work for newspapers, magazines, Web sites, and photo stock agencies to bring photos of events of all sizes (from a Little League game to the Olympics) to the pages of periodicals, the Internet, or other publications. Their pictures should clearly capture the movements, skill, and emotions of athletes.

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

Some Postsecondary Training



Two to three years experience



Business Management


Personality Traits



The earning potential for any photographer varies depending on the sports event and the publishing or media company. Typically, the more important the sporting event is, the higher the pay for sports photographers. Photographers shooting a college football game will earn less than those hired to shoot the Super Bowl.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that photographers in general earn...

Work Environment

Sports photographers work in an exciting environment that is constantly changing depending on their assignments. One day they may work in the bleachers at a hockey game, and the next day they may roam the sidelines of a soccer match in the driving rain. One thing to note about sports photographers' work environment is the risk of injury. Their close proximity to the playing field means that spo...


The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment of photographers overall will decline by 6 percent through 2028. The outlook is not good for those who work for news publishers, with about 33 percent employment decline predicted in the coming years. Self-employed photographers will do best, with 10 percent job growth expected through 2028. The coronavirus pandemic has caused most sports co...