York Sport Column Roses Varsity Sport

Nouse Sport Interviews... Luke Snell

Dom Smith sits down with Nouse Sport's go-to photographer, Luke Snell

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Image Credit: Luke Snell

How did you first get involved with photography?

I was probably about 12 or 13. I just started using my dad’s camera, taking pictures of wildlife in my garden. It just grew from there. Then when I got to uni, I took up sports photography, and it’s just gone from one sport to another!

What inspired you to become a sports photographer
forNouse Sport?

It was in my first year. I was already shooting for the uni football team, and we were at The Roses away at Lancaster. I got there and Nouse said they didn’t have a photographer, so I was asked if I wanted to cover the event for them – and I said yes. After that, I was covering weekly events for them and doing it for the paper. So it grew from Roses.

What makes a good live sports shot, what are you looking for when you’re taking them?

The main thing I would say is to try to get low. The lower you are, the better the angle. Combine that with seeing people’s faces, seeing the action. The best way to do it is to get to know the sport a little bit, before you start shooting. You always want to get a bit of passion in there, a bit of emotion. But ultimately you’re trying to get that one action shot that sums up the game.

Do you have a favourite photo that you’ve taken?

Yeah – it’s got to be from Roses last year. The closing ceremony was women’s rugby. It was an easy win for York, really; I think it
ended up about 99-0 or something stupid. But it was at the end when all the girls were celebrating. They had the bottle of champagne, I managed to get behind them and you could see them spraying the crowd. It was a nice shot.

What camera do you use, and would it be your camera of choice?

I use the Canon EOS 7D Mark II. I’ve been using it since about 2016. Fantastic kit, but the dream is always to use Canon’s top line. But I don’t know if I could ever effort that… you never know, maybe one day!

Do you have a favourite sport and, if so, is it also your favourite to photograph?

My favourite sport is squash – I play it for college. In terms of photographing it, it’s not that entertaining. I do weekly football games,
but I like to mix it up a bit and do something different. Rugby is probably one of my favourite ones.

Do you want to become a professional photographer, or are you hoping to get into a different industry?

If I could get into it, 100%! If I could make that initial breakthrough into photography then I’d keep it up and keep on going. It’s always the aim and we’ll see how it goes.

What tips would you give to young people who want to improve or get into sports photography?

Get yourself out there. Especially if you’re at Uni, just email sports teams and see if they want someone to cover. Try different sports
and when you get out there don’t be afraid to try different techniques. Get really creative, it always helps to do that. And YouTube – I learned a lot of what I know just from watching videos. Put a few together and you’ve got a nice skillset. Just get out and try it. That’s the best way to do it.

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