Not all football matches are created equal. And while you may not care to take any photos at a Carabao Cup game between two small teams, a Manchester derby is a different affair. We all want to capture our experiences at the big games. We want everyone to know we were there, and to document the day for years to come.
It’s really easy to create an album out of the photos you take, with the best online photo printing available these days.
Unfortunately, blurry photos of a cross-field pass don’t make for a great montage.
Let’s face it. You're not going to capture the game any better than the professional photographers down on the field. You won’t get anywhere near that kind of quality.
What you can capture is your own experience. And this is how you can go about it.
Capture your party
If you've gone with a bunch of friends or family to the football, they should be the focus of some of your photos. After all, that’s how you'll remember the match best – who you were with at the time.
Good group photos from a big event are valuable for years to come. Every year, it will show up on the Facebook timelines of whoever is tagged in the photo. You're guaranteed a load of likes on your #tbt post in future as well. And it can go into the photo albums your grandchildren will be looking at.
Of course, you're not going to stop at group photos. They only show a very blinkered version of the event. To capture the atmosphere, you need to go a bit out of your bubble.
Where you have an advantage over the professional photographers is that you're part of the crowd. While they can only look from the outside, you can actualise your feeling from within. Some of the best sports photos are taken by members of the crowd. Whether you're taking of your own fan base or of competing fan bases, you're aware of exactly what is happening in that moment.
Don’t just take random photos. Wait until the crowd coheres in one big display of emotion.
If you understandably want to be caught up in that moment, you're probably not going to make the best photographer. In that case, your focus should be elsewhere
So you want to take photos and capture the experience – but you don’t want to miss the moment? In that case, action shots of the crowd are not going to be your forté. However, you can capture the experience in a different sense.
Memories are best stored in our senses. If you can capture what you saw directly in front of you, what you ate, how hard the rain was coming down, and so on, you’ll be transported back in time whenever you look at the photos.
Capture the trappings, everything that’s going on around you. You'll find yourself reliving the best moments from the day over and over again.