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24+ Sports Marketers & Creatives Share Top Tips for 2024

The global community of sports marketers and creatives is a passionate group of talented professionals. We’re consistently inspired by this commu...

The global community of sports marketers and creatives is a passionate group of talented professionals. We’re consistently inspired by this community’s supportive spirit, their willingness to lift each other up, and their enthusiasm to share what they’ve learned with each other.

It’s 2024, and we’re continuing our tradition of sharing tips and advice from this incredible group. Meant for fellow peers and newcomers alike, these insights will motivate you to move forward in your career.

Want to share your favorite tip? Tag us on Twitter/X or Instagram (@psforbrands) and share your words of wisdom!

Abigail Dean – Photography Intern, Pittsburgh Steelers

Abigail’s advice: “My biggest piece of advice is to always be conscious of how you treat the people around you. The way you communicate and interact with the people you cross paths with is so important. It is such a privilege to capture photos and tell stories, never underestimate the importance of your character. Being a kind person and creating meaningful connections is an instrumental part of working in sports and furthering your career. It has been one of my favorite parts of being a part of this industry!”

Alex Grant – Digital Video Manager, Carolina Panthers

Alex’s advice: “The biggest piece of advice I can give younger creatives is that your name always walks in a room before you do. The tangible skills of content creation are important, no doubt. However, just as important is how you handle yourself as a professional. Do you get things done when you say they’ll be done? What is the quality of the work you produce? Are people generally satisfied or even impressed with the work you do? Your reputation is just as important as your skill set in this industry. It’s important to nurture both and not neglect one or the other.”

Alina Rogers – Creative Content Manager, Coastal FC

Creative work by Alina Rogers

Alina’s advice: “Networking is a powerful tool that should not be underestimated. It is not about asking for favors but sharing ideas and supporting one another. Developing a genuine professional network can be beneficial in the long run, as you never know when you may require help from another sports creative or when they may need your help.”

Asher Greene – Freelance photographer (WNBA, Atlanta United)

Asher’s advice: “The one piece of advice that I have for any aspiring creative is to bet on yourself. Once you discover your gift and passion make sure to nurture it. Art is one of the purest forms of self-expression and if you’ve been gifted with that creativity share it with the world!”

Ben Green – Team Photographer, Buffalo Bills

Ben’s advice: “Be intentional! Make sure you put time and thought into your camera and lens choices, using the right gear for the moment. Be intentional in getting that exposure triangle dialed in, choosing the aperture and shutter speeds that best fit the images you want to create. Auto white balance is an amazing tool, but you’ll find consistency when you learn to manually white balance. Place an emphasis on composition and timing, creating an image takes far more time and energy than simply taking an image. The more intention you put behind your decisions, the better and more consistent your photos will be!”

Breanna Biorato – Team Photographer, Washington Spirit

Breanna’s advice: “Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries. Being open to pulling inspiration from outside sources (magazines, commercial work, movies, etc) helps to find your personal style. Also always be willing to meet new people on assignment and learn something new from everyone you meet!

Brevin Townsell – Team Photographer, Los Angeles Rams

Brevin’s advice: “Go out and try to build genuine relationships with folks in the space, don’t just reach out to folks to ask about opportunities or just to throw your portfolio at them. Photography is an art business but also a people business and learning how to build those lasting connections with peers, subjects, and colleagues can help more than you know. As well as being willing to work on your craft in any kind of space or environment from youth to pro, community, and everything in between.”

Brooklyn Fehr – Social Media Manager/Photographer, Utah Tech University

Brooklyn’s advice: “Make connections! I have made so many connections and friendships through photography and social media. The connections you make can help you in the future and if you admire someone, ask them to connect and ask them questions! Some of the techniques I use I have learned by admiring someone else’s skills and asking how they did it and practicing those skills to better my craft.”

Bryan Simmons-Hayes – Graphic Designer/Photographer, Boston Bruins

Bryan’s advice: “Biggest piece of advice would be to learn more than one skill if you’re entering the sports industry. The more versatile you are, the more opportunities will present themselves.

Callena Williams – Team Photographer, Dallas Cowboys

Callena’s advice: “Your post game workflow is just as important as what you do in game! Learn the technical side beyond just exporting to lightroom and editing.  Learn keywords, captions, ftp transfer, file naming conventions etc. that stuff is so important because it’ll help optimize your workflow. It’s especially important on the team side because your pictures will be used by almost everyone and they need to be easily found!

Come up with different challenges for gameday, more specifically pregame, to keep things interesting. Shooting the same thing week to week can get pretty boring. Challenge yourself to only using a specific focal length for pregame. Bring a prop or use a cool lens filter! Don’t be afraid to look outside the sports creative world for inspiration. A lot of my ideas have came from the music industry!”

Charles Davis – Freelance Designer (XFL, University of Texas, San Antonio)

Creative work by charles Davis

Charles’ advice: “Network. Meet as many people as you can in your field. Every connection is an opportunity to learn from someone you aspire to become, experience how business interactions go or collaborate and learn new skill sets from people. You never know when one of those connections will turn into an opportunity.”

Christian Gresko – Student, high school sports photography

Christian’s advice: “I would say the best piece of advice I can give is to get out of your comfort zone. Whether that’s meeting someone new in the creative space or even just trying to get a picture that you wouldn’t normally get. 

This has helped me so much. I’ve been able to get photographs that tell so much more of a story because I’m not afraid to get out of my comfort zone.”

Conor Kvatek – Lead Photographer, UCF Knights

Conor’s advice: “Never be scared and always find time to take pride in your achievements and growth. No matter how big or small it may be. Growth is a sign of progress that you should always be proud of.

It’s really easy to fall into a trap of worrying where you are in your journey, but instead I think everyone needs to just slow down and appreciate how far they’ve come to get where they’re at, so long as they understand the journey is never truly over!”

Emma Sharon – Freelance Photographer (MLB, NBA, Bud Light)

Emma’s advice: “Shoot EVERYTHING. Little league, high school, college, etc. I’ve learned so much about lighting and settings from experimenting at (very low pressure) t-ball games! Photographing lots of things is also paramount for creating a diverse portfolio, which I think is really helpful for getting hired.

Another thing is how much kindness and being personable matters. Photography (I think) is deeply relational work, and those relationships I believe can translate into beautiful images.”

Hassan Ahmad – Freelance Graphic Designer & Content Creator (NBA, NFL, MLB, NCAA)

Creative work by Hassan Ahmad

Hassan’s advice: “Consistency is key! When you’re first starting out I believe that constantly making the effort to improve and practice what you wanna get better at is very important to continuously progress your work and get better.”

Howard Lao – Freelance Photographer (Olympic trials, World Athletics, NCAA, XFL, NBA)

Howard’s advice: “When you arrive at a photo location, or before the game starts; Plan to take a minute to look around (put that camera down) for two reasons.

One: When you go straight into your camera to start shooting you put yourself into a box / that focal length of the camera, which might make you miss some interesting backgrounds, or angles.

Two: Look around to make sure you’re not blocking anyone else as a professional courtesy.”

Jacob Isaacson – Assistant Director of Graphic Design, Boise State Basketball

Jacob’s advice: “The best piece of advice I have is to be authentically you. When you stay true to yourself the opportunities will be limitless.”

Jacob S. Orr – Video Production Assistant, University of Maryland Athletics

Jacob’s advice: “Don’t be afraid to take opportunities presented in front of you. Make sure it benefits you properly and don’t overwork yourself, but some of those opportunities can lead to future connections/jobs down the road. I know I always will have room to grow, so the more opportunities I can take to get reps in I’ll do it. Practice makes permanent.

Also, have fun. Enjoy the moments and take in those memories.”

Jaden Powell – Assistant Director of Photography, Mississippi State Athletics

Photo by Connor Waltz

Jaden’s advice: “The best advice I can give is to always be a good person first. The sports photography world is very small, and full of incredible people, knowledge, experiences and most importantly passion. It’s important to be able to take direction and listen in order to grow. The beautiful thing about creativity is that it is ever changing. Making your foundation so important, so stay eager to learn. Complacency is not an option. Listen, learn, execute, and grow!

Jake Hernandez – Graphic Designer, UTSA Football

Creative work by Jake Hernandez

Jake’s advice: “Stay inspired and motivated. This industry is expanding super fast and is always scouting for talent. Be proud of what you create because someone else thinks it’s cool.”

Kayla (KK) Bush – Freelance Graphic Designer (UNCW Women’s Basketball, Charlotte Sports Foundation)

Creative Work by Kayla (KK) Bush

Kayla’s advice: “The biggest piece of advice I always tell people is to never be afraid. Such as networking, reaching out to clients, becoming friends with new creators, and just asking for help! That next opportunity could be just a message away. You cannot be afraid to put yourself out there and send LinkedIn messages or Twitter DMs because you never know the doors it may open. These things are crucial in being successful. I fully believe closed mouths do not get fed. There are so many helping hands in this industry!

Some people like to tell people this industry is saturated, however I personally believe there is so much room and space for everyone. At the end of the day we are getting paid to create content and do something we really love. Not many people get to say that.”

Kylie Richelle – Sports Photographer & Content Creator, Orlando Valkyries

Kylie’s advice: “Fall in love with leaving your comfort zone. The scariest opportunities usually result in the happiest memories, and the best shots.”

Lakeyia Brown – Senior Manager of Digital Content, New York Knicks

Lakeyia’s advice: “At times in your career, especially at the beginning, you may not know what path you want to take in sports marketing. Be willing to say yes to opportunities. This eliminates complacency and exposes you to novelty. Previous freelance opportunities really changed my perspective and made me a more well rounded professional in the sports marketing industry.”

Lauren Sopourn – Freelance Photographer (Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers, NCAA)

Lauren’s advice: “The biggest piece of advice I would give is to not only make your own opportunities, but to make the most of every opportunity you are given. Create the content that only you can create! Try different things, explore different angles and lighting, reference photographers that inspire you, and be present in the moment.

Photography, especially sports photography, is a competitive industry. A word of encouragement would be to remain focused in the face of adversity, never sell yourself short or undervalue your work, and to remain grateful for the people and opportunities you receive.”

Marc-Grégor Campredon – Freelance Photographer (Duke University, University of Michigan)

Marc-Grégor’s advice: “There is no point in succeeding alone: be kind, positive, supportive and collaborative. This is how you grow: The better person you are, the better photographer you will be.  

Focus on what is ahead and only look back to learn and prepare for the future; failing is part of the process.”

Morgan Tencza – Freelance Sports Photographer (NFL, NHL, MLS, NWSL)

Morgan’s advice: “Don’t be afraid to network. Comment on people’s work you are inspired by, and make you known to them. Ask questions and put yourself out there. Your work may be the best in the world, but if your name is unknown in the industry, you may not get that opportunity to shine.”

Robbie Poulain – Senior Graphic Designer, Kansas City Royals

Creative work by Robbie PouLain

Robbie’s advice: “One piece of advice I’d give for anyone aspiring to get into design is to find someone with experience in that field to get constructive feedback from. Find a feature or two from a graphic that you like, and ask an expert what steps they would take to get there. There’s usually more than one way to get the same result, it’s all about finding a method that works for you.

I follow many different social channels for inspiration. I find teams whose work I like, add them to a list within Twitter, and go through that list when I need inspiration.”

You’re Up!

Sports creatives – what’s your best advice as we look ahead at 2024 and beyond? Tag us on Twitter/X or Instagram (@psforbrands) and let us know!

If you’re looking to level up your workflow, let’s connect. The PhotoShelter team would love to help you transform the way you work.

Ready to transform your team’s creative workflow?