Swim meets are something I wished I could shoot more.  They are a beehive of activity, often times crowded and you have to pay attention.  You could easily take a wrong step and end up in the pool with your equipment in tow.  The last meet I shot not only had water being splashed by the athletes but there was also condensation falling from the ceiling.  However, for me, it’s a fun challenge getting the great shots.

So, here are a few tips for shooting swim meets.

  1. Get close – Face shots and water frozen in mid-air are fan favorites.  It’s not necessary to get arms and hands in the shot.
  2. Get low and shoot soon.  As soon as you see the swimmer coming out of the water, shoot off three or four burst.  This will give your camera time to focus and you can also get some great photos of the water falling off the face and arms. (Swimmers and parents like these photos)
  3. Don’t worry about getting all arms and hands completely in the frame.  A tack sharp face is more important.
  4. Shooting from the side will result in more keepers because it’s less work for your auto-focus system.
  5. Shoot manual mode.  Aperture or Shutter Priority can give you inconstant exposure because of the light changes due to splashes.
  6. Shooting with flash will give the water an icy look and make it stand out more.  However, do not shoot the start.
  7. One last item.  Shoot from anyplace you are allowed.

I hope these tips help.  Swimming can be challenging but it can also result in some great shots that you will be proud of.  If you have any questions about shooting indoor swimming, leave me a message or contact send an email or voicemail HERE.

If you are having difficulties getting access to events, check out my article “3 Tips to Get a Press Pass for Sporting Events”.




This function has been disabled for Sports Photo 101.