The Joe Heller conundrum: gaining experience

Dear SJA: my name is Gary Hutchison and I am in my third year studying professional photography in Glasgow, Scotland.

I love football, rugby and all kinds of sports and I am desperately trying to force my way into this field in photography. Can you give me some advice on how to gain access to more sporting events, so that I can get further experience?

Stuart Robinson, sports photographer with the Daily Express and vice-chairman of the SJA, offers some advice:

Dear Gary,
Unless you are a full-time professional photographer, accreditation to most major sporting events is almost impossible these days. Maybe you have lecturers at college or university who would have come across this situation before and would know which local sports clubs would allow access for students.

Another avenue is to contact the Scottish Sports Photographer Association, who would certainly know the local situation.

If it is just the taking pictures and practice in sport that you want, then you should try at a lower level, third division football clubs or amateur rugby clubs, who would always welcome a few pics for programmes etc in exchange for you gaining the opportunity for some valuable experience.

The SJA is for full-time sports journalists and photographers, though membership does not guarantee accreditation anywhere these days.

All the best and good luck

Stuart Robinson

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