How To Actually Take Good Photos At A Rugby Match

Rugby matches are a thrilling spectacle of speed, power, and intensity. And when it comes to the rugby world cup, that’s when the public and the players go even more crazy, so staying behind a camera can be a very difficult job. And I guess that’s why many amateurs refrain from taking professional photos, and just watch the matches and look at the world cup predictions, hoping that their team will find a way to the top. But for us, photographers, capturing the excitement of the game through photography can be incredibly rewarding, even though it comes with its challenges. So how can we overcome them and actually end up with good photos?

The Right Gear

To start, having the right gear is crucial. A DSLR camera with a telephoto lens is ideal for capturing action from a distance. Ensure your camera has fast shutter speed capabilities to freeze the fast-paced moments.

Know the Game

Understanding rugby’s rules and flow is essential to anticipate key moments. Being familiar with the game helps you predict actions like tackles, scrums, tries, and celebrations, ensuring you don’t miss critical shots.

Finding the Best Positions

Choose your shooting positions wisely. Along the sidelines or behind the goalposts are excellent spots to capture different angles of the game. Experiment with positions to get diverse shots.

Capturing Action and Emotions

Rugby is not just about the action but also the emotions. Capture the intensity of tackles, the teamwork in scrums, the euphoria of scoring tries, and the camaraderie during celebrations. Emotion-rich photos tell a compelling story. 🏉

Camera Settings

Adjust your camera settings for the best results. Use burst mode to capture a sequence of shots during crucial moments. Adjust ISO to adapt to changing lighting conditions, and select the appropriate white balance for accurate colors.

Composition Techniques

Apply composition techniques to enhance your photos. Utilize the rule of thirds to create balanced images. Use leading lines to draw attention to the action, and aim to capture the energy and intensity of the game in your frames.


After the match, enhance your photos through post-processing. Crop to focus on the subject, adjust exposure to balance light and shadows, and add vibrance to make colors pop. But remember, moderation is key; don’t over-process.

Common Challenges

Rugby matches can present challenges like unpredictable lighting and fast-paced movements. To tackle these, consider using a high-quality lens with image stabilization and practice your panning technique to capture motion while keeping the subject sharp.

Continuous Learning

Photography is a skill that improves with practice. Attend matches regularly and experiment with different techniques. Learn from your mistakes and successes to refine your rugby photography skills.

In conclusion, photographing rugby matches requires the right gear, game knowledge, and a keen eye for action and emotion. Experimentation, practice, and continuous learning are your best allies in improving your photography skills. So, grab your camera, head to the next rugby match, and start capturing the thrilling moments that make the sport so captivating.