How To Get A Photography Pass For Sports

How To Get A Photography Pass For Sports

Sports photography is a dream every photographer sees at least once in a lifetime. But, this specialized category of photography is not so easy to get grab on. Because you can’t enter the ground without the media pass. So the question is, how to get a photography pass for sports?

Likely, there are several ways to get a media pass, like through connections inside, contacting the authority, or under a media company’s banner. 

Yet to get into one of those ways knowing the proper processing is a must. And you will get the directions in this article to make your dream come true. Have a look!

The exact answer to the question about the need for a photography pass for sports photography is not obvious. Depending on the type of sport and its regulations, you may need a pass or maybe not. 

Likely, in upper-level college or professional sports, you must need a press pass issued by the organizing authority. These passes will make you able to get entry into the ground as well as to the payers and organizers. Also, the passes are obvious to ensure the safety of the payers. 

However, you might not always need a pass in community college matches or junior college leagues. Therefore, you might need one if the match authority decides to ban entries without media passes. 

Subsequently, only the school authorities’ permission would be enough for school-level sports to do the photography. Also, the school level is a good way to start a career in sports photography.

4 Effective Methods To Get A Pass For Sports Photography

There are a few things you need to know if you want to be a sports photographer. First and foremost, you’ll need to have some impressive credentials. This means having experience shooting sports or working in the field as a photojournalist. You’ll also need good image-quality equipment, including a good sports photography camera and lenses. And finally, you’ll need a press pass from your governing body. There are many effective methods for obtaining a press pass. That are:

Use Your Internal Connections

Connecting with the right person in authority is the easiest way to get the media pass for sports photography. So if you have one, contact that person and get a media pass. 

If the person is not so close to you, convince him by assuring privileges like personal images. But remember, you shouldn’t promise to give him a whole album, just a few personal images.

Get Permission From The SID or AD

If you do not have any previous connections, then start making some. You can start with the AD(Athletic Director) and SIC(Sports Information Director). Those two most powerful positions almost decide every matter in sports. Approach them officially. 

Send them your portfolio and use some convincing words such as your enthusiasm about the sports. Also, you can add more value to your words by showing them their benefits- effortless exposure and publicity.

Affiliate With Recognized Media Company or Organization

Affiliation with a media company or organization is the ideal way to get the media pass. Even you do not have to put in any effort. The company’s reputation would be enough to get you in. However, media companies only affiliate with professionals. 

So, when you approach media companies, be ready with a solid portfolio. For that, you can make your personal website and put some of your work there. Also, some references from an already established person will be a plus.

Approach By Contacting The Authority

Most of the upper college level and professional level sports are arranged by organizations under the city’s monitoring. Those organizations are there for every state, such as CIF(California Interscholastic Federation) for California, NIAA(Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association), etc. 

Each state has such kinds of organizations for which you must get approval for your media pass. So approach them via their website and let them know about you. Show the authorities your work and make them believe you are a sports photographer for real. Eventually, you will get the media pass and the superpowers to be on the ground and will be able to talk with the players also.

Do Beginners Get Press Pass In Sports and How?

The beginning of every task is always hard, and it’s not different in the case of sports photography. Usually, to do sports photography, you usually have to get inside the ground, and the environment remains very secure for the player’s safety. That’s why the photographers need a media pass to shoot inside the ground. 

But in the beginner stage, it is not possible to get a pass in professional sports. So, the best option for beginners is to start with community schools. If you are one of them, start listing your neighborhood schools and contact the authority about shooting the interschool sports. 

Keep doing this for a while. Then, the community will acknowledge you. This will help you to increase your chance of getting a pass for professional sports.

Can I make my own press pass?

You can make your own press pass only if you are affiliated with any recognized media company or organization. Press passes are not anything official, but entry to the professional sports events requires approval from the organizing authority. So, if you are thinking about getting entry in professional events, gets the press pass officially.

Can anyone get a press pass?

To get a press pass, you have to have proper credentials and a portfolio. Because press passes are only allowed for professional media persons who do sports photography or reporting. So, everyone can’t get a press pass.

Do press passes expire?

The press passes do expire after the year you get them. However, there are some passes that expire immediately after the match.


Getting photography passes or media passes for sports is not a hard task anymore. Just follow the instructions we provided to get yours. Most importantly, build your professional portfolio as a sports photographer. Eventually, you do not have to reach out for passes, but the organizers will approach you to shoot their events.

Navaho Mizsey

Navaho Mizsey


“Navaho Mizsey is a Content Writer Executive with 5+ years of experience. He is a hardworking and talented writer. He writes what the audience wants to read. He completed his degree in journalism and started his career in content writing. He loves to write about photography, camera, and photographer”

One Comment

Tex Hooper
April 20, 2023 2:40 am

I think you are right about getting permission first. My wife wants photos taken of our family. I’ll have to hire someone with a drone to take photos.

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