What does an Edinburgh Sports and Events photographer do?

Ever wondered what the week of an Edinburgh Events photographer is like?  Here is a snapshot of a recent week.

Firstly it is definitely not Monday to Friday!  This week my work began on Friday. I was commissioned to photograph the British National Diving Cup at the Edinburgh Royal Commonwealth Pool over three days. The event started at 10.00am but I always arrive at events about one hour beforehand. I need to speak to the people involved to find out exactly what they want. It is amazing how many people say ” we will leave it up to you”. It is always good to know just what a client is looking for and what their use is for the photographs. Then I will check out the light which will determine my camera settings and which lenses I will use.

The action begins  and for the next three hours it is non stop. As soon as one diver enters the water, the next one is ready to go. Camera being held mostly looking up the way, it is warm work in the humid atmosphere of a swimming pool. The divers and staff have a break at lunch time, however that for me is time to get on my laptop and download and review the morning’s photos. The best ones are selected and sent on to British Swimming so that they can put some on social media. Soon it is back to the diving and more of the same! It is a real challenge to capture the divers with all the twists and turns and somersaults. However, I was soon getting into the way of it. More laptop work at the end of the day and finally home at 19.30

Back again on Saturday and Sunday. Really pleased to receive a nice email to say that they were delighted with the photos.

Monday is a welcome relief from the chlorinated atmosphere and it is time for some fresh air and a round of golf to relax.

Tuesday is spent at my desk editing photos and answering e mails. Pleased to see more jobs coming in. One of them is a two day event at Heriot Watt University near my home. I am looking forward to that! The other is a corporate golf day at my local golf club for a finance company. I worked for them last year and it is pleasing that they have come back to me. For one, it means that they must have been pleased with the work I did and also saves me a bit of marketing work. I do enjoy doing sports photography. There is a freedom about it and it means I can be quite creative.

Wednesday is marketing day. I send out mail shots to a variety of companies that put on events asking if they are in need of a photographer. It is extremely satisfying when I receive a positive reply. Finally I have to check all my equipment for the next day. Make sure all batteries are charged. Lenses clean. Camera settings set to what I think I will need. Then check the contents of my bag and lay it out ready just to pick up in the morning.

Thursday is a big day. Annual conference for the Textile Services Association. Headline speakers are former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and political scientist Sir John Curtice. I must admit to feeling a few nerves at photographing such famous figures. Fortunately all went well  Pictures were sharp and clear! After the conference there was a dinner followed by live music. Having arrived at 09.00, I left the venue at 23.30.  Home at midnight.

Friday morning spent editing and choosing the conference photos. I  took just over 1,000 photos and sent them a selection of the best 200. I always worry when I don’t receive an immediate reply, thinking maybe that they are not happy with them. However most companies take time to reply. My week is not over yet!  A short nap in the afternoon then I am off to photograph a football match in the evening. One of my duties is as club photographer for Heart of Midlothian FC and this is a Scottish Cup match an hour from home. For football matches I  always arrive two hours before kick off. Photos of fans arriving, players arriving and then warming up etc. Then onto the match. Sitting on a stool trackside it is drizzling rain and cold. Photos are sent direct from my camera to the football club. Everything nowadays is immediate! A good victory for Hearts means it is all worth while particularly as I managed to capture the goals and celebrations. After the match I spend an hour in the press room editing and submitting the photos to save me any work when I get home. Finally the drive home where I arrive around midnight

A hard week but as well as feeling tired I have a sense of pride at having completed all the assignments successfully. Whilst I do this professionally, the most important thing to me is that the clients are happy with my photos.  To me it doesn’t feel like work.


ps. Final job of the week is updating my website and writing this blog! Golf on Monday to look forward to…