November 23, 2021

Academic Research - Learning to Photograph Volleyball to Teach Sports Photography More Effectively

A student working on a sports photography portfolio showed me images taken at a men's basketball game at American International College (AIC) where I teach.  After our critique session I felt troubled, as while easily pointing out flaws, I struggled to provide plentiful strategies for improvement.  

So, as an academic, I set out to do research.  I checked out from our equipment locker the photography gear students use, and set out to photograph a women's volleyball game in the same gymnasium as the basketball game.  While I worked for 20 years as a professional photographer before joining academia, I had not photographed volleyball.  I therefore engaged in the creative process, deepened my knowledge on how to capture this game, and developed a list of shots to strive for.  I did not capture everything on the list, but the process effectively focused my efforts.

I photographed the NE-10 Quarterfinal round on 11/19/21, won by AIC.  The team went on to win the NE-10 finals and earned the number one seed in the East Region Division II Women's Volleyball Tournament.  May our team continue to prevail.