High School Championship Soccer Photography at University of Tampa

Pre-game introductions for a high school championship soccer match at the University of Tampa field.

Networking works.  I attended a Chamber of Commerce networking event on a Wednesday, then received a phone call the following Thursday from someone I met at that event asking if I could photograph his son's high school championship soccer match because I made a connection with him via a real conversation.

My assignment was to photograph #6 as he made defensive moves that helped his team beat and shutout their opponent.

The night soccer match under the uneven lights at the University of Tampa field were the most challenging photography conditions I have shot in to date.  Of course I was shooting at f/2.8 and had to set my Nikon D300's ISO to 1600 just to get shutter speeds in the 1/300th to 1/400th of a second range.  This was the first time on any photography job that I did not feel absolutely confident from the start.  However, since I arrived early enough to the location, I was able to determine the more well lit spots along the edge of the field.  I noticed that the far side had three large light clusters, while the stadium side only had two.  Most other working photographers were on the stadium side shooting, so I am glad I did not automatically assume it was the best position to shoot from.  Only one other photographer came over to the far side where I shot the whole game from.  

 Soccer players are always looking into the field of play, making photographing their faces a challenge.

After delivering the photographs to the client, I was thrilled (and I must confess relieved) to read his e-mail stating his love for the photographs and thanking me for a job well done.  I pushed my photography gear to the limit and pooled all my post-editing skills to make this happen, and now I will go into any future night sports photography jobs with the same confidence I do all other daylight jobs.