sports photography Orion Cosce ©ichimichael Productions

MMA Photography | 2021

New MMA Photographers In 2021 Or Any Other Year Have Their Work Cut Out For Them. But it’s not the photography you need to worry about. This blog is part of a series found right here where we will cover all the aspects of Combat Sports Production to photographing through a cage. Breaking into the…

New MMA Photographers In 2021 Or Any Other Year Have Their Work Cut Out For Them.

But it’s not the photography you need to worry about.

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This blog is part of a series found right here where we will cover

all the aspects of Combat Sports Production to photographing through a cage.

Breaking into the MMA production racket is all about who you know in one of three situations.

  1. Find a active MMA gym or martial arts gym that has competitors and build a relationship with them which gives you at edge when talking to the promoter because promoters don’t want to piss off the gyms and have them not show up.
  2. Ask to assist the current photographer or someone who is on the production team if you know them and if you don’t then go introduce yourself. Usually they will say yes because turning down a young photographer is a no no for us since this is how we all got our start.
  3. Find a fighter and do a documentary or story on him/her. Promotions or gyms won’t turn down free publicity.
My first MMA picture

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sports photography Orion Cosce ©ichimichael Productions
Orion Cosce UFC Pro. This is from his 2nd Pro fight, even though I shot this for free, now Orion and I have a history and now I have access to fighters on the UFC fight card.

Now here’s the tricky part. YOU CAN’T CHARGE SOMEONE FOR SOMETHING YOU PREVIOUSLY SHOT FOR FREE. When I was first taught this I didn’t listen and I was very very wrong. This is a fact and unfortunately the best way to get into a promotion so you can work your way up is to shoot for free. So when your first starting out and you know you can’t charge much just ask for your over head to be covered like hotel, food and gas. This compromise tends to work.

BECAUSE GETTING EXPERIANCE AND NETWORKING ARE WHAT YOU ARE REALLY TRYING TO DO AT FIRST ANYWAY. Now we’re in! Now what? As a photographer, don’t miss a beat, here’s what I do to optimism my chances of getting people to come to my website or social media sites to see the photos.

START MAKING MONEY ON YOUR SITE LIKE I DO!

CLICK THE PIC!

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NOTE: Have business cards made before you start because people and fighters will ask “Where can I see the photos?”

NOTE: IT’S ALL FOR NOTHING IF YOU CAN’T GET A RINGSIDE SEAT AND THEY ARE LIMITED AND THE BOXING COMMISION AND DOCTOR/MEDICAL STAFF GET THEIRS FIRST THEN PROMOTION STAFF THEN YOU. SO BEFORE YOU HABG UP THE PHONE WITH THE OWNER MAKE SURE YOU GET ONE.

WHAT THE HELL DO I DO NOW!?

Now you have permission to shoot, you got your over head paid for and your ringside seat. What’s next? Nothing. Because it all started the day before the fight with the weigh ins. Yup and you have to be there. It’s usually the photographers job to get the weight in photos with the side by sides, that’s when the two opposing fighter meet for the first time.

This is usually a six hour event since because the fighter get weighed in to see if they make the cut. Then they come back later to get weighed in again but this time it’s for promotional reasons. I love this sh!t. And it’s so important since it gives you a whole day to hang out with the owners, crew, fighters, commission staff and fans. Get them all on camera and hand your card out to every person you shoot and let them know where they can get the images.

NAMEHERO IS HOW WE DO IT ON THE WEB!

CLICK THE PIC TO GET NAMEHERO! I MADE A LOT OF MISTAKES BEFORE I FIGURED OUT WHAT DOES AND DOESN’T WORK, NAMEHERO WORKS!

PART 2 IN THIS SERIES COMING SOON

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Now you have to understand, it’s GO TIME! And you have to move while the getting’s good! That means your editing those photos tonight and getting them out pronto and not just on your media but you need to send them to the promotion as well so get set up with a laptop (borrow one if you have to) and Google Drive or Dropbox to send them through.

After the images are sent to your clients promotion it’s time for bed, or drinks, and you have had a very long day. We’ll cover that in the next blog. Thank you for reading!

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