IMAGO/Sports Press Photo

Behind the Lens: Daniela Porcelli’s Insights into Action Sports Photography

Discover the latest action sports recommendations, hints, techniques, and personal insights from Daniela Porcelli in our new series, Behind the Lens.

Lens Lessons: Techniques and Insights from Experts Photographers

In our new series for The Game magazine Behind the Lenses, we delve into the world of photography as we bring you the latest recommendations, invaluable hints, cutting-edge techniques, and exclusive personal insights from the industry’s professional photographers.

In this article, sports photographer Daniela Porcelli shares some exclusive tips, from selecting clothing and getting to the stadium to picking equipment and overcoming action sports challenges. Elevate your photography skills with Daniela’s first-hand accounts and information. 

“ There is not a second chance to capture them. The moments happen, and there is no repetition of it. If you miss the shot, you missed it.”

Action Sports

Behind the Lens: Daniela Porcelli's Insights into Action Sports Photography

Daniela Porcelli

Daniela Porcelli, the Swiss-based photographer, discovered her passion for sports photography at Arsenal Women’s F.C. game in 2018. Since then, she has been with her camera in the game pitch for its role in increasing the media visibility of women’s sports.
From the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and many more, she has worked hard and pushed harder in a male-dominated field. Through her photography, she captures the moments and emotions that arise during events, inspiring people and creating special memories for viewers.

The challenge in photographing action sports is the action itself, which is live. There is not a second chance to capture them. The moments happen, and there is no repetition of it. If you miss the shot, you missed it. 

The action is fast, and you need to be ready, but even then, there are other aspects that can prevent you from capturing all images you want, such as where you are sitting, where the action takes place, what other disturbances occur during the action and others.  

For me personally, a great photo is when it shows the emotion which occurs during that action, but also when I remember what I felt while capturing that moment. Of course, a technically correct and perfect photo is important too, but a big part is the emotion it causes when seeing that photo after the action. 

“ Preparation Is the Key.”

What I tell beginner photographers: “Preparation is the key,” or in other words: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” The same goes for photography. I do mostly football, which means I encounter every weather condition during the season.  

Firstly, I always prepare my camera equipment at least one day prior to my assignments. I have different bags for different assignments, but mostly I use my Think Tank Airport International trolly and a LowePro photo bag. 

I chose Sony as my camera partner and own three cameras, including the Sony A9ii and diverse lenses like 70-200mm/2.8, 24-70mm/2.8, and my favorite lens of all time is Sony 400mm/2.8. Of course, my bags have to hold my laptop, chair, Monopod, different cables, chargers, power bank for laptop, batteries and many other electronic gadgets. 

“I make sure to arrive early at the venue, more so when I have never covered an event at that venue. ”

Additionally, it depends on how the weather conditions are, but as I never trust the weather forecast, I always have everything to be prepared. I use rain protection for my camera, lenses, laptop and myself. In winter, I bring extra gloves and warmer clothing. I always joke that half of my bag is not camera equipment but everything else, just so I am prepared for every weather condition and situation. In the end, I have to deliver my content to my clients, and it doesn’t matter if it rains, there’s a storm, or my laptop stops working because it’s too cold; I need to deliver. So, I want to be always ready and prepared. 

On the matchday, I make sure to arrive early at the venue, more so when I have never covered an event at that venue. I want to familiarise myself with it and try to find a good spot to cover the event. When I am there early, I have enough time and can test everything prior to the start, so I feel comfortable and can fully focus on my assignment and the event in front of me. 

“I chose Sony as my camera partner and own three cameras, including the Sony A9ii and diverse lenses like 70-200mm/2.8, 24-70mm/2.8, and my favorite lens of all time is Sony 400mm/2.8. Of course, my bags have to hold my laptop, chair, Monopod, different cables, chargers, power bank for laptop, batteries and many other electronic gadgets.  ”


IMAGO/Sports Press Photo
IMAGO / Sports Press Photo / Daniela Porcelli | Janina Minge (9 Freiburg) celebrates with teammates after scoring her team s first goal during the DFB Pokal Final football match between VFL Wolfsburg and SC Freiburg. 18 May 2023, Cologne, Germany.

Behind the Lens: Daniela Porcelli's Insights into Action Sports Photography
IMAGO / Sports Press Photo / Daniela Porcelli

IMAGO/Sports Press Photo
IMAGO / Sports Press Photo / Daniela Porcelli

IMAGO/Sports Press Photo
IMAGO / Sports Press Photo / Daniela Porcelli

IMAGO/Sports Press Photo
IMAGO / Sports Press Photo / Daniela Porcelli

IMAGO/Sports Press Photo
IMAGO / Sports Press Photo / Daniela Porcelli

IMAGO/Sports Press Photo
IMAGO / Sports Press Photo / Daniela Porcelli

IMAGO/Sports Press Photo
IMAGO / Sports Press Photo / Daniela Porcelli

IMAGO/Sports Press Photo
IMAGO / Sports Press Photo / Daniela Porcelli

 You can find Daniela Porcelli archive with IMAGO here.