Well I have begun my quest to break into professional fight photography. I have always been a fan of combative sports and I figured that I might as well combine two of my favorite things, photography and fights. And how do I get the best seat in the house? Ringside press pass!
I began this quest Dec 2010 by e-mailing several of the fight promoters and fight bloggers in an attempt to get press passes. I received an e-mail back from one of the bloggers back in late December saying he would love to use some of my photos in the future but that there were really no upcoming bouts. This is where is shows that persistance pays off. I continued to monitor fight cards and followed up regularly. (I have learned that all combative sports must be registered with their respective state, google combative sports in your state, then look for upcoming events).
Well I finally found the contact for a SWMMA amateur MMA fight that was coming up in Dallas. I e-mailed him and almost immediately received a call asking if I could also cover the weigh-in. "Well of course I can!", I responded. My blood started pumping almost immediately. The card was set for 10 bouts including 2 female fights. Well at the weigh-in 7 of the fights somehow got bumped for one reason or another. That still left 3 more fights than I have ever photographed so I wasn't going to complain.
I showed up at the event, which was held at a local bar, lighting of course was atrocious. I'm shooting with a D700 and a 28-70 2.8 lens so I cranked up the auto ISO to max of 6400 and shot away with my lens pressed against that cage. I was set up right next to one of the judges who was fantastic and gave me lots of advice on how to find new events, who to speak with and he even introduced me to a few other publications that were there, the ring announcer and some other judges. Long story short, network at any given moment, you never know who will be a good ally.
I took approximately 1700 pictures in those 3 fights and I think I came away with some winner. I'll let you be the judge.
Here's the settings I had:
Aperature priority - f/2.8
ISO: auto 6400 max
Exposure: Min 1/400
High ISO noise reduction: High
Manual white balance: set with expodisc
Metering: Center weighted average
Here's a link to the fight pictures: http://www.imagesbychappy.com/Sports/MMA-Boxing/SWMMA-Battle-at-the-Buffalo/
I have inquiries out there for more upcoming bouts, I'll keep you posted!