Are You Prepared for the Risks to Become a Pro Sports Photographer?

When NBA player LeBron James beheaded him as a photographer during Game Four of the NBA Finals, it was simply an accident and part of the game. However, no one seemed concerned about the photographer. Even my first thought was “I hope the photographer has a rubber lens cover on his lens.”

You see it is the NBA’s rule that all photographers must have rubber lens hoods on their lenses to work. Rubber hoods are a safety precaution that prevents players from cutting themselves if they hit a photographer’s lens.

In James’s case, I don’t think it would have made any difference because it appeared to me that he hit the camera body, not the lens.

After James fell on the NBA’s cameraman, many fans and some pro athletes tweeted that the cameraman should have moved. he’s mad. Where was he going to go? Behind them were seats that cost thousands of dollars of fans, who are still a photographer to their left and round to their right.

Photographers still have to sit on the floor on their feet during NBA games, which are in very little space. Network and arena photographers have to sit on a small stool with small wheels. Sitting on the floor in that position during the entire game causes leg cramps and paraesthesia, the leg veins stop functioning properly, causing abnormal stimulation.

Photographers did not have the seats of basketball fans in the 1990s as they are now. On many occasions I went out of my way to avoid getting hit or moving. This is not the case today when some NBA, ACC or SEC basketball games are photographed.

During an SC tournament game in Nashville, TN, LSU’s Glenn “Big Baby” Davis fell on me and four other photographers. Fortunately, no one suffered serious injuries. However, this was not the case with my previous ACC basketball game in 2013. During the game, a Georgia Tech player’s knee and leg hit me in the head as he attempted to jump over me. His other leg grabbed the edge of the camera which is somewhat like how I pull my thin camera strap under the nails of my trigger finger on my right hand. This resulted in pain, a bad sprain and an infection.

As a photo journalist who has photographed hundreds of professional and college events nationally and internationally, it is a known risk among sports photographers that at some point, you may be an athlete, fan, animal, baseball, baseball bat , Can be influenced by football. Softball, mascot, race car, bowling ball, hockey puck, glass, bull stool, bird droppings, boxer’s blood and spit, beers from drunken fans, bitten by snakes or giant bugs and all my favorites, a drunken NASCAR fan.

This includes not stepping up by an NBA and NCAA official, to avoid being beaten up by Philadelphia Eagles fans, thrown out by a losing coach, thrown out by players, kicked out by a faction – you Wouldn’t give an athlete his number, objected by a preacher’s wife because you didn’t take a picture of his cheerleader daughter, receiving a two-page letter explaining why your quarterback’s sack photo should be credited to his son Should and chase down a Yankee fan who caught one of your cameras after the world. Chain.

If you’re wondering, all these things happen to me, other than just chasing a Yankee fan. The 1996 World Series was followed by a Sports Illustrated photographer at Yankee Stadium.

As for my stolen devices, I never caught the photographer who stole my Nikon camera and lens during the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

In 2006, I was knocked out by a line drive baseball while photographing the Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies. If it had been a few inches higher on my neck it would have killed me. Within seconds of being hit, Atlanta Braves trainer Jeff Porter was on my side with the ice and asking the usual questions he asks players who are getting hit in the head by a baseball.

So if your goal is to become a major league sports photographer, make sure that you not only have a great understanding of photographic arts, but are also in excellent health and have great insurance.

So don’t wear your heart on your sleeve when a 6 ‘8’ ‘Lebron James falls on you, or a hockey puck falls on your head. It is part of a sports photographer’s field.

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