For the official launch of the Super League XXIV that took place at Old Trafford, I was asked to be the Sports Photographer Manchester for this event. All 12 teams were there to kick off the new season.

As the official photographer for all the players at this event in Manchester, I used a backdrop and four Elinchrom lights with coloured gels on them to create Betfred’s (the official Sponsor of the Super League XXIV) company colours to go behind the players as they had their promotional photographs taken. Along with a couple of other lights to light the players and managers who were involved in the shoot.

Elinchrom lights are good photography lights, they are a swiss company that manufacture pro-level lights, but they have also created ranges for photography enthusiasts and hobbyists alike. Using different techniques based around lighting can make a variety of effects within your photos. Reflectors and grids, scrims and diffusers, gels and many others can produce great visuals and really ramp up the quality of photo you can take.

There are many factors you should think about when lighting a photoshoot.

What location are you shooting in? A studio is obviously the easiest place to shoot high quality photos as you are able to create the exact environment you want for your image. This is not always possible, outdoor shoots and location shoots are common for a professional photographer and obviously good for practice for amateurs.

Is there natural light? What time of day is it? The time of day that you are doing your photoshoot will also drastically change your image. Sunrise and sunset are the best time for outdoor photography but if you want to shoot in the rain or a cloudy environment to create “mood”.

How much light is entering the room / location? You will probably need a secondary light source to increase the amount of light to create the best image, either by directly lighting or bouncing light towards your subject, these will need to be adapted as you go to create the exact image you are trying to achieve.

Where is the light coming from? Above, at an angle, from the side? The direction of light will create shadows across your subject, changing the angles will drastically alter your final work.

You will need to monitor all these elements of lighting to make the image great. Remember, natural light will change based on the time of day! Tracking how much and where your light is going is crucial.