How to Take Professional Swimming Photos

Swimming is great exercise and it is a great way to keep fit and healthy. But if you want to get that perfect swimmer’s body, you need to know how to take professional photos.

swimming photography

General Idea

swimming photography

The first step is to get to know your subject well. If you can’t tell if someone is a good model or not, you won’t be able to capture their personality or energy in your pictures.

That’s why the first thing I recommend you do is watch some YouTube videos of the person. Find a video of someone you think looks like they are having fun, then see if you can identify what makes them look like that.

From there, you can go back and watch the video again. That way, you can get a better sense of what the person’s body language is saying.

The next step is to do a little research about them. This will help you find out more about the person and their background.

In some cases, you may find some really cool facts about the person that you didn’t know.

If you want to become a professional swimmer photographer, it’s important to understand the basics of how the body works. And this will help you to avoid a lot of embarrassing blunders on the beach.

Make sure your light is balanced.

swimming photography

Most swimmers are built from the waist down and the best shots show that. When you are shooting from the waist down, aim the camera straight down at the subject, with the light at the subject’s eye level. If there are bright lights above, or behind the subject, move them to the side or lower them as much as possible.

Move to avoid awkward shadows.

When you are taking pictures of the subject from the waist up, avoid having shadows under their chin. Put the subject between you and the background, so that there is no dark shadow under their chin. It’s also a good idea to put a small reflector or a white card board board on top of the subject to catch the light.

Choose a wide angle lens.

A wide angle lens gives a wider shot than a normal lens, but it may make your picture look very shaky. Choose a longer focal length lens if you want to get a more steady picture.

Shoot in burst mode.

swimming photography

To keep the picture looking professional, take more than one shot. To do this, hold the camera vertically, set it to take multiple shots and take at least 10 shots per second. This will give you 20 or more images.

Practice taking pictures of the same person over and over.

It is difficult to take a picture of someone without them moving or doing something. Take the same picture several times until you have it right. If the subject is a child, ask them to do the same. You can practice taking photos of family members too.

Get close to your subject.

For a sharp picture, you need to be close. Make sure you don’t have to move your subject too much when taking a photo. A good compromise is having the subject stand with one foot in front of the other and one knee slightly bent.

Take more than one shot.

swimming photography

If you are going to take several pictures of the same person or scene, take them in rapid succession. This will ensure that they look very similar.

Focus on the subject.

While it is possible to focus manually on the subject, it is better to use autofocus. This will make sure the focus remains locked on the subject.

Use a tripod.

A tripod makes sure your subject stays steady. You can also move your subject out of the way of any distracting objects in the background.

Ask a professional for advice.

You can get professional photos taken by an instructor, sports coach or swim teacher. They can provide professional advice and guidance.

Swim with the current

A very powerful current can be a great help to you if you are trying to photograph someone who is swimming against it. By using the current to your advantage, you can easily capture an action shot, where you swim next to your subject and you both appear to be moving in tandem. This method can also work well for portraits, where you swim alongside your subject and you both appear to be in a stable pose.

Photograph in a pool

Swimming is one of the best sports to take photographs of, as the water is still and the movement is smooth. In order to ensure that you get an excellent image, we recommend that you take photos of a swan dive, or any other action which will have you in the water.

Be at the front of the pool, where you are closer to the camera, but not so close that you look like a plank. Stand with your head turned to one side so that you don’t cover up the faces of your competitors. You should also try to avoid placing yourself in a strong light, where your face could be overexposed, as this can spoil the photo.

Other tips

swimming photography

But not everyone likes the idea of swimming in front of a camera. When taking photographs of swimmers it’s important to understand their movements. You need to know how to use your camera and make sure you position the right shot. If you don’t feel comfortable or have enough experience, it can be tricky to find someone who does.

It can be very helpful to hire a professional photographer to capture a swimmer’s performance. The best time to ask is when you are about to book a session. If you do hire a photographer, ask whether they will provide equipment. You may want to ask them to photograph one or two swimmers at a time. This way you can compare how the photos look, making sure the lighting and angles are the same for each swimmer. You also need to discuss the type of shots you want. You may want to ask the photographer to capture swimmer’s technique. You can also ask for photographs showing different angles of swimmer’s bodies, with some close-ups of their faces. These could be taken while the swimmer is holding their hands above their head.

You may have to be patient while you wait for your swimmer to complete their routine. It may help if you ask the photographer to take a few practice shots before you begin. Make sure your swimmer is aware that they need to hold still in front of the camera, so they don’t move in the shot.

Another way to make sure you get a good photograph is to take the shots yourself. When taking pictures of swimmers it’s best to use a tripod or steady your camera on a flat surface. If you do take photos yourself it can be useful to experiment with different angles. This can help you work out which positions are best for your swimmer. Also think about the lighting: sunlight can make it hard to see details of faces and bodies, so try using a flash, or using a diffuser to soften the light. Another way to avoid glare from the pool surface is to position your swimmer away from the edge of the pool.

When taking photographs of swimmers, you need to think about how to capture the right pose for each shot. You may need to ask your swimmer to hold their heads down and open their mouths. It’s important that the shot doesn’t include any unwanted reflections on the surface of the pool. Try asking your swimmer to look straight into the lens.

Photographs of swimmers need to be clear enough for viewers to see all the details of their swimming technique. If your swimmer is wearing a costume it can be helpful to remove this before taking the photos. You could use a polarizing filter to reduce reflections in the water, or use a white background to eliminate any unwanted reflections. Another way to remove unwanted reflections from the pool is to use a piece of black card. Before you take the photo, cover the part of the pool where you are photographing with the card.

You may want to make sure your swimmer looks good in the photos. Some swimmers will be more confident about how they look than others. If your swimmer is worried about their appearance you could take photos in stages. For example, if your swimmer has short hair, you could ask them to remove it and take a few photos with it in place. Once they are happy with the results, ask them to put it back in.

Use a tripod

A tripod is ideal for taking photos of swimmers, as it enables you to set the camera at the correct height and angle. Without a tripod, you may find that you have to hold your camera firmly in place to prevent movement or tilt during the shot.

A tripod can be a little tricky to use in a pool. Make sure you have a firm grip on the legs before you put them into the water, as they are likely to slip around and float away. It’s also important to make sure that you don’t sink the whole thing. If this happens, it will be difficult to get out of the water and adjust the tripod.


We hope that you have learned something via this article. Improving your phoography skills takes time but we hope that you will soon become a better photographer.