What Does Sports Illustrated Look For When Hiring Photographers?

What Does Sports Illustrated Look For When Hiring Photographers?

Photoshelter recently ran this great article about Sports Illustrated and what they look for in a photographer. They sat down and interviewed Brad Smith, Director of Photography at Sports Illustrated. This is an invaluable article to anyone out there who shoots sports! 

They go into detail about what type of images they look for, business advice, practices that will hurt your chances, and the type of photographer that S.I. is looking for.

One of my favorite questions was:

Photoshelter: What about a photographer’s website will turn you off?

Brad Smith: My biggest website turnoff is when someone doesn’t have contact information. When I have to click on a link that says ‘contact me’ and then I have to fill out a form in order for you to call me back, I’ve lost all interest in you. If it were a date it’d be over, I’d be asking for the check.

Another great piece of advice came in when he was asked what makes a good freelance photographer:

Brad Smith: I want to know that a photographer has a knack for photography, that it’s not all about technique and post-production. Photographers fall into that trap. They rely on certain technology, cameras, lighting or Photoshop, etc. That’s all-important, but you have to have some kind of a relationship with a subject to show something a little more organic.

You can find the full article here:

http://blog.photoshelter.com/2013/07/getting-hired-what-sports-illustrated-looks-for-in-photographers

[Via Photoshelter]

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8 Comments

Andrew Griswold's picture

Fantastic, great little tidbits of advice and I cant wait to read the full article. Great find Pratik.

Thanks Andrew, even though I do not shoot sports, it was very compelling with great advice in general!

Wouldn't the photographer already send you his contact info while looking for a job?

"Brad Smith: My biggest website turnoff is when someone doesn’t have contact information. When I have to click on a link that says ‘contact me’ and then I have to fill out a form in order for you to call me back, I’ve lost all interest in you. If it were a date it’d be over, I’d be asking for the check."

All well enough, but I bet Brad doesn't have to cope with mountains of spam coming through his inbox without it. Its a tough call. Full inbox of spam so you miss the message or miss the message because he won't contact you...

You guys are seriously taking a poke at the (paraphrasing here) Photo Director of SI, who prior to that gig, was the Senior Sports Photography Editor at The New York Times for 12 years? Not exactly rollin' on the floor-but you guys are funny!

Thanks for posting Mr. Naik. Mr. Smith has some good advice in his article.

I wasn't taking a poke. I was just stating that there are other concerns to be aware of when running an online presence, which to me was what I thought was being referenced in his statements. I mean if it were a case of sending a book in via courier, all the details would have been in the book.

Naw-not buying it. But you guys are still funny!

Andrew Richardson's picture

ESPN has contacted me several times through my "Contact" page. Guess this explains why SI never emails me though...