Don’t Break Photography Rules, Unless You’re Breaking Them On Purpose

By Alex Simon

Earlier this morning, I went to “Friday Night Lights: A Photographer’s Guide” which was from Bradley Wilson of Midwestern State University. Wilson’s presentation may have been harping on basics for students who already have studied photography, but for a relative beginner like myself, it was fantastic.

As the sports editor, the biggest takeaways from Wilson’s discussion focus on four topics.

  1. Captions — the cliche “Each picture is worth 1,000 words” is around for a reason. Photo captions are vital, and the photographers at our school need to play a more active role in writing photo captions.
  2. Other stuff — there is more to the scene of a football game than just the football. Bands, cheerleaders, dancers, fans, parents, staffers, and referees all play a huge part and should be photographed.
  3. REACTION — at our school, the busy schedule leads for many to want to leave sporting events early, including our previous photographers. But the best shots, and the ones that tell the best stories, are post game reaction pictures. We need to do a better job with shooting those.
  4. TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT — There were a lot of rules Wilson mentioned in terms of shooting and editing photos. But each time he’d say a rule, we would also see an example of that rule being broken. Wilson did a spectacular job of showing the reason photo rules are in place, but also emphasizing ways to break those rules effectively.

Overall, I really enjoyed Wilson’s lecture. I’m hoping I can use the websites he provided as resources, but I also hope to keep in touch with him as well.


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