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New esports photography competition launched with tips from Joe Brady

Author: Mike.Barnes

We’re delighted to announce our first ever photo competition - Capture for Careers! The theme for this inaugural competition is EXCITEMENT and  is open to schools and colleges participating in this year’s Digital Schoolhouse esports tournament.

Sign up for next year’s tournament and be part of fantastic careers opportunities like this.

The Capture for Careers Competition demonstrates yet another intriguing and creative career available in an industry that now eclipses film and music combined and can engage students beyond those who would normally get involved in the esports tournament. We see it as a fantastic chance for photography clubs and media departments to get involved, as well as those students who want to try something new, creative and fun.

We’re challenging students to capture the excitement of the Digital Schoolhouse Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Team Battle at their school or college, whilst gaining insight into what it’s like to be an event photographer. There are two different entrant categories for different age groups: 

  • 12-15 years
  • 16-18 years

One winning photograph will be selected from each category. The winner from each category will be judged on how they best capture excitement in their school or college. The photos will be judged by a panel of professionals in the games, esports and photography industries and the winner will be announced at the Grand Final on 8 April 2020. One of our judges is UK National Esports Photographer of the Year, Joe Brady

Joe has worked on events all over the world for clients including Gfinity, FACEIT, MLG, ESL, Microsoft and many more. To help get students get started in the competition, Joe gave us a few tips on taking the ultimate esports photo…

Joe Brady

Copyright, Joe Brady Photography

Joe Brady’s Tips for Esports Photography


There are many factors to consider when photographing an esports event. Lighting, stage access, player reactions and a little bit of luck all have a part to play. Here are some tips to help you nail the shot: 

Follow the gameplay 

Keep an eye on the screens or listen to the casters to help predict who’s going to win the game. This will help you decide who to focus your camera on when the winning moment comes. This isn’t a foolproof method as games can change quickly, but it’s better than taking a wild guess! 

Astralis celebrate at FaceIT EGS

Copyright, Joe Brady Photography

Use burst mode 

When capturing reactions it’s best to use burst mode to maximise your chances of getting the perfect shot. In the digital age we live in, storage is cheap and it’s quick and easy to delete any images you don’t want to keep, so there’s no harm in bursting away during those important moments! 

Fnatic celebrate at ESL - Joe Brady photography

Copyright, Joe Brady Photography

Wear black 

One of the most important aspects of being an events photographer is keeping a low profile. The less people who notice you being there, the better! This means you can get more natural reactions from people who might not be aware that you’re capturing them. This is also important when on stage so you don’t get seen so easily by the broadcast cameras on stream.

An esports pro player eyes up the crowd - Joe Brady Photography

Copyright, Joe Brady Photography

Be prepared to shoot in low-light 

Lighting at esports events is not always the best, so make sure you are comfortable shooting in low-light conditions. This may mean lowering your shutter speed, increasing your ISO or opening the aperture to make sure your photo is correctly exposed. Movement becomes harder to capture in these conditions, so it’s a good idea to practice shooting like this before an event so you can be more confident on the day! If you are using your mobile phone, you can explore your camera settings to make the camera more suitable to the environment. However on most phones, auto setting will allow the phone to adjust automatically anyway.

Esports events pull highly engaged crowds - Joe Brady Photography

Copyright, Joe Brady Photography

Don’t just focus on the players!

It’s easy to only think about the stars of the show when picturing esports photos, but there are lots of other people who go into making an event special. The casters, the audience, the event crew and more! Remember to keep an eye out for photo opportunities which may occur away from the stage - fans going crazy, casters in the moment and other interesting details which others may miss. 

Astralis fans cheer for their team - Joe Brady Photography

Copyright, Joe Brady Photography

In summary, remember to have fun with it! It’s not the end of the world if you mess up a shot, there will always be more opportunities. Trial and error is a huge part of the learning process and the beauty of digital photography is that you can take thousands of photos without having to worry about running out of film!

Register your school here to express an interest in next year’s esports tournament.


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