Finding a photographer who specializes in cheerleading event photography is well worth the effort. Choosing a photography company that is accustomed to both posing cheerleaders and taking action shots will ensure that you have memories of your squad for years to come.
Types of Cheerleading Event Photography
Cheerleading event photography comprises more than just an actual event. Experienced photographers know how to photograph action shots, as well as poses and entire squads.
Experienced photographers know how to photograph a squad. Not only will the photographer be well versed in staging a squad so that everyone is looking terrific, but the photographer should know how to work with a variety of ages and abilities. No one will look right in the picture if the photographer is asking for poses that are too hard for your squad to do.
Even photographers should be able to help you pose for stunt pictures. It seems like it would be easy to catch a flyer mid-air while she hits her pose, but that is not the case. Just as the entire squad needs to practice a cadence and rhythm to helping that flyer get off the air, a photographer also needs to follow the squad's cadence. Likewise, your photographer should be able to help you get pictures of all those liberty and scorpion poses so that you only have to do it once to get the shot.
Squad Action Shots
The true mark of a great photographer is someone who knows how to get those action shots. The best way to get the best shots out of your event is for the photographer to be already familiar with your routine to know what's coming and what he should catch on film. Most cheerleading photographers will have some familiarity with stunting vocabulary so that they can catch the best of your routine.
Finding the Right Photographer for Your Event
When you search for the ideal photographer, what you really want to look for is a sports photography studio that is familiar with cheerleading. You will rarely find someone who specializes specifically in cheerleading photography - unless you happen to live somewhere with several big competitions each year. Most studios that specialize in sports photography should be familiar with cheerleading events as well.
Things to Ask
To get the right photographer, you have to ask the right questions. Start by asking what other events and/or squad they have photographed. Any good photographer should have a portfolio of work he has done. Secondly, you want to ask what ages the studio specializes in. If you have a squad full of the cutest little pee wee cheerleaders ever, you're going to want a photographer that is very good with little girls.
Finally, ask about pricing for a variety of options. If you are willing to arrange the opportunity for your squad to order individual photos, you can often get the photographer to take pictures of the rest of your event for free or for a greatly reduced fee.
What to Watch Out For
Any time you do contractual business with someone on behalf of your squad, you want to make sure that person really knows what he is doing and provides you with the best service possible. You don't want to have your winning moment missed by a sub-par photographer. Beware if your photographer:
- Doesn't have a solid portfolio with lots of examples
- Doesn't have experience with cheerleaders
- Doesn't have experience working with kids
- Doesn't have at least one reference to give you of a happy customer
- Doesn't offer the contract for you to look at up front
Be sure of whom you hire to capture your memories on film! Often times, the photographer only gets one shot to catch your squad at its best.