12 Football-Inspired Photos Even Football Haters Will Love! (Plus Tips on Capturing Your Own)

I’m not a huge football fan, but I’m a sucker for great football pictures of the family!  Whether it’s an eight month old baby football fan, or a classic black and white photo of a shirtless little boy who insists on wearing dad’s old football helmet, or the family dog that makes your Seahawk’s cap shine… shoot, it’s enough to convert me! Check out these twelve football-inspired photos that my CONFIDENCE Photography Wkshp Teachers and I shot.  Even football haters will LOVE these! Bonus photo tips are in the captions!

  • Magic in Open Doorways 1 of 12
    BW Photo of Little Boy with Football Helmet and Football by Kelli Kalish

    Photographer, Kelli Kalish, in Illinois writes;

    "There are two things in this house we know we LOVE as a family; one is fall, and the other is FOOTBALL! I must admit, I am a self proclaimed football JUNKIE! Football season is my favorite time of year with the freedom to wear an old favorite sweatshirt and watch my Fighting Irish play their hearts out! Needless to say, with a house full of boys we are football equipment heavy. One of my favorite photos to take of the boys is when they are playing dress up with all of their football equipment. Nothing spells cute more than little boys and sports!"

    Photo Tip:  For a similar look to what Kelli captured, start by turning off your flash. Have your little one sit in the doorway and turn off all the lights behind them.  This will help give you a darker background and more illuminated child. 


  • Half Time Photo Op! 2 of 12
    Father and Baby Boy Playing Football, CUTEST PHOTO, by Jill Ann Melton

    Photo: Jill Ann Melton in Texas.

    "Football daddy goes head to head with his eighteen month old son. Stay tuned to see who takes who down!" During half time, when the spirit of the game is flowing through your family, have your spouse and kids (no matter how young) act out some of their favorite football plays for a fun photo op!

  • "Dog Eat Dog" Game! 3 of 12
    Seattle Seahawks Dog Fan Photo by Photographer Me Ra Koh

    The Seattle Seahawks are causing quite a stir in my neck of the woods. Last Sunday, my brother came over with his dog and his latest Seahawks hat! He was going to model it for you, but we decided that the color black (and a cute puppy face) would make the fan hat pop much more. For fun pet photos like this, get super close to your pet, hold a snack close to your camera, and focus on the pet's eyes.

  • BFF Football Team 4 of 12
    Girl Football Fans by Cheryl Bidleman

    Photographer, Cheryl Bidleman of Studio57images writes:

    This photo is from a fun football themed shoot that I did with my daughters and their friends. I like to have variety in my images so I decided to shoot down on the girls for this one. I love that it's fun, playful, and consistent with the football theme. The trick to get this image without eyes squinting is to either wait for an overcast day, find shade, or wait till sunset.  A wide angle lens also makes this image a lot easier to get.  I used a fixed 35 mm lens; it's one of my favorite.  If you don't have a wide angle lens, you will probably have to get on a ladder to get enough distance so that all the girls can be in the photo!

  • 8 month old Football Fan 5 of 12
    Baby Photography of 8 month old Football Fan by Jennifer Tacbas

    Photo:  Jennifer Tacbas in Georgia

    Babies get to paint their faces too! Jen writes the most wonderful weekly column for my blog called First Year. It's the journey of a new mom/professional photographer with darling baby Logan and camera in hand. Notice how Jen used a light colored blanket for baby to sit on to help soften the overall look and feel of the photo.  A white onesie with green grass as the background isn't bad, but I like how the blanket offsets the green and makes the overall tone that much softer.  Put the tough, rough football in with black stripes on her cheeks — enough to make us all football lovers!

  • Vintage Look 6 of 12
    Black and White Photography of Football Player Boy, Allison Gallagher

    Photographer Allison Gallagher, based in Virginia, explains how she used the creative concept "Frame within a Frame."

    "Here is what I mean by frame-within-a-frame. The shape of the helmet creates a frame and really draws you into those eyes. The rectangle frame that your camera gives you to shoot with is the outer frame. Really zoom in on your subject or get super close so you can capture the intensity of the face without distractions. It will be a touchdown every time!"

    Photo Tip:  To get the vintage look that Allison has done, open your picture in a photo editing software. It doesn't have to be a fancy one at all. My favorite is Adobe's Lightroom. Look for the saturation slider. To have fewer color tones, remove the saturation from the photo. If you fully remove the saturation, your image will be black and white. Play around with what level of saturation you want!

  • Unexpected but Familiar Settings 7 of 12
    Football Senior Standing Under Bleachers with Jersey, Nicole Elliot

    Photographer Nicole Elliot from North Dakota writes:

    It seems like we are all at most 2 degrees from an avid football fan or player. With football season in full swing, this is a great time to shoot your football star in their own element! Have them gear up, go out to their favorite field, and get creative! There is so much to be expressed here; make sure to get in tight to the details like jersey's and footballs but also go wide - get the shots of the bleachers, stadium and field. Really the possibilities are endless with a photo shoot like this.

  • The Setting Where It All Goes Down 8 of 12
    Football High School Player Senior Photo on Football Field, Nicole Elliot

    Another great photo by Nicole Elliot!

  • Little Player, Big Dreams 9 of 12
    Little Boy in Football Uniform by Photographer Mom, Cathy Mores

    Photographer Cathy Mores from Kansas writes:

    When my son was five, he was convinced he was going to grow up to be a professional football player or fireman. So when football season came around, he'd wear his uniform until it would smell like a real football player! I thought it would be a great memory to capture while the pants were still a little too big and the helmet barely allowed him to see. The magical evening glow through the fence made for beautiful lighting.

    Photo Tip:  Notice how Cathy got down low, at eye level with her son, to take this photo versus shooting down on him.  This makes her son feel that much "larger than life." Resist the act of "point and shoot" regardless of what camera you have. Consider getting down low, standing on a chair and shooting down, etc. to enhance the feel of your photo's story.

  • Groom and His "Die Hard" Football Fans 10 of 12
    Groom and Groomsmen Do Football Pose for Wedding Portraits, Cathy Mores

    Cathy Mores shares a hilarious story of shooting a wedding with die hard football fans!

    This groom and his groomsmen are all huge football fans, especially when their alma mater is involved. It so happened the wedding was scheduled to be on the same day as the biggest football game of the year — and while it wasn't feasible to re-schedule all the plans they had already made for the wedding, the groomsmen surprised their best friend with an impromptu game on campus. Everyone laughed and cheered, as just a couple of blocks away you could hear the roaring stadium filled with fans. (We even got the bride in for a play or two!) 

    Photo Tip:  Stand in the middle of the group and do a quick check to make sure there isn't anything distracting in your background, especially since it's a wide angle shot. 

  • Girlpile! 11 of 12
    Football Girl Pile Photography by Cheryl Bidleman

    Cheryl Bidleman of Studio57images shares:

    The key to your football photos being engaging is the sense of action and fun! I didn't pose the girls at all. I picked a spot on the grass where the sun would be even and soft on their faces (it was behind them) and threw the football on the ground.  And then I told them to pile up as if they were after the ball. This was the result!  Side note...Wouldn't this be a fun family photo for this year's holiday card?!

  • Getting Great Pictures Game Day 12 of 12
    Black and White Photography of Little Boy in Football Gear, Kelli Kalish

    From Kelli Kalish in Illinois...

    First off, I always pull out all of the equipment so my boys have it at the ready. And if you have boys and it's warm, I encourage them to take off their shirt so I can see their cute little muscles 🙂 I happen to have an old football from back when my Dad played, so I love photographing it because it adds nostalgia to the photo. And if not ...thats ok too!  The overall enthusiasm and energy that game day produces will make for great photos, as you see your little ones imagine themselves as being pro!

*To see more videos with fun photo tips, see my Disney Junior show Capture Your Story with Me Ra Koh

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