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I recently went to a football match in the hopes of getting a chance to take some photos. It was as totenham v liverpool game, being very much into photography I thought OK, this is my chance to take a shot at sporting photography. Much to my dismay however, I was told by security to put my camera away or risk being sent off.
My question is, how does one go about taking photographs at sporting events, do you need press pass or is their perhaps a way to get permission?
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For a big event like that, you would need a pass and press accreditation, I think, but someone will come along with the correct advice.
Best thing is to start small at local matches and ask if you can take photographs.
You'll definitely need an official press pass for Premier & Football League games, but try your local non-league team. I regularly shoot at Solihull Moors and have never had a problem.
EDIT: Must type faster...
You are best off starting with Sunday local league football. Offer them a couple of decent prints and they will welcome you with open arms. Also it will allow you a chance to practice the skills required.
Football is a pain in the ass to shoot. Anything in the football league (division 2 and higher) is an enormous pain. You need a licence from football dataco which you have to jump through flaming hoops to get.
The reason for this is mostly that there is so much money at stake in football these days that image rights are worth a fair bit of money for top clubs so they try to protect their incomes by limiting the photographers allowed in a ground and also by placing limitations on what these photographers can do with their images. If I go and shoot a premier league game for example I can use the images to editorial purposes (newspapers etc..) and editorial style pieces in magazines but no commercial stuff (calenders, books, advertising etc..) If I wanted to do that then I would have to pay a fee to dataco for the privilege of selling my own images (cheeky bastards!!).
The flip side is that with so many well intentioned amateurs wanting to have a go (and why not, it can be a lot of fun as long as it's not raining), spaces at grounds need to be reserved for those of ue who are there to earn a living and to make working conditions easier once in the ground by keeping it pros only.
If you want a shot at it then start doing sunday league stuff and once you're getting okay at it then maybe start covering the local conference side and offering the local rag a few pics on a spec basis. Don't expect megabucks but you DO need to get paid if you want a shot at a league licence.
Essentially to get a league licence you need 15 cuttings from a local paper WITH invoices to prove you got paid, plus a £2m public liability insurance certificate. Once you have these you can get a licence to get you into championship games and below (not prem).
After that you might be able to graduate on to a premier league license but for that you need £5m public liability and 30 cuttings with invoices from the previous season but they must all be from national papers or equivalent.
Jeez Sam, weddings sound easy now!
What happened to pictures of the grandchildren/mother-in-law (No! not the mother-in-law, Sorry)/Sunday School outing?
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