My sports photography timeline…to a point.

Picking up the camera gave me something to work towards but then you need to find that niche so you’re not just blending with others around you. That is where sports photography came in for me. I started off shooting anything I could go shoot, high school sports, youth sports, public rec. sports. Then, I wanted more. Had college and pro aspirations but I was still a student at Pitt State. Not knowing what to do to gain those opportunities. Talking with sports photographers is tricky. It’s all a competition in this world and they don’t talk much. Or at least the ones that I have met and spoken to.

Fast forward about two years in, I gained a media pass to shoot a D1 college basketball tournament in KC and had the opportunity to shoot UCLA vs Creighton and Baylor vs Wisconsin. That was a stepping stone for me to keep grinding and working for bigger goals. I felt I had the work ethic and the skill and eye to do it with the top. Over confident? Yes. But that is how I try to be with things I have a passion for.

Life doesn’t always work out how you think It will and things happen. Finishing school I had to find a job. Looking for a job in my field is even tougher and having to stick around the area, the options are limited. I started looking for other options and that was jumping into weddings with another guy and shooting video for him. Leading to getting a job at a marketing agency shooting and editing video so then sports slowing slowed down.

Sports went on the back burner, I was busy working my full time job that the hours sometime ran late into the evening shooting or editing, whatever it may be, the free time was cut out for a good year besides weekends for the most part. Sports kind of just left my mind as a goal because I was shooting video and I loved it and so sports I would take here or there with the local newspaper and that was really it.

Taking it back a bit, I always wanted to shoot sports for Pitt State once I picked up a camera and realized sports is what I loved. I always asked about shooting games and they soon started letting me come out and shoot pretty often, football and basketball for the most part.

Back to the past two years. Left the marketing agency and started a new full time job at Pitsco Education here in Pittsburg,Ks. I am the videographer so I shoot and edit videos to be used for social, classrooms, youtube etc. Then I started wedding videos on my own in 2020 and it has taken off for 2021 with 10 booked. It’s a great outlet to work on my video and so I have been steadily busy with my job and the weddings. Sports was still a very seldom thing for me to shoot besides parents asking me to come to some high school games. Then Covid came and it was really put on the back burner and wasn’t getting much of anything in sports.

Jump to about 2 months ago, I was asked if I want to freelance for Pittsburg State University as their previous photographer, a student had graduated and found a full time job elsewhere. I jumped on the opportunity and it was been awesome. It has been so good getting back into sports photography and really been nice to get out and shoot something almost every week now.

This was a long explanation on how sometimes, you just need time to get where you’re going. Timing plays a part and to just keep working on it. I didn’t see this coming but sports is something I love to shoot and so happy to be where I am now.

Published by dereklivingston9

I am a freelance photographer and full-time videographer.

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