How to Become a Winter Olympics Photographer

It seems like yesterday that the entire world was watching the Summer Olympics. But the Winter Olympics, which are scheduled to start in Beijing on February 4, 2022 — is just around the corner.

The Olympics showcases the best of the world’s elite athletes and brings the best to a worldwide stage. Who captures these moments for the rest of the world?

Get involved in Olympic sports photography.

They work hard and endure all weather conditions to preserve the once-in-a lifetime moments of athletes. They are a rare breed as photographers. But how do you get there?

This article will show you Annice Lyn’s behind-the scenes story. Annice Lyn is a well-known female documentary sports photographer. She was named Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2021. Annice has been photographing the Winter Olympics since 2018.

How to Get Started as a Sport Photographer

Lyn was an avid competitor in competitive sports before she became a photographer. Before she was injured in her knee, Lyn competed as a Malaysian figure skater.

Lyn was able to keep in touch with the skating community through photography. As a way of raising the profile of figure skating, she made it her mission document the hard work involved in the sport.

“During my competitive days, I saved often to buy photos of my competitors. Lyn said that the photos didn’t do justice to our hard work, much to my disappointment. “I started with humble beginnings and no formal photography training. I discovered a passion for visual storytelling…in the hopes of capturing the action and compelling moments.”

(Photo by Annice Lyn/Getty Images)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – FEBRUARY 06: Shiyue Wang and Xinyu Liu of China compete in the Ice Dance Rhythm Dance during day 1 of the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Mokdong Ice Rink on February 06, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Annice Lyn/Getty Images)

Journey to The Olympics

Lyn was not only familiar with the world of athletics, but she also had to travel a long way to reach the Olympics. She began covering local competitions in figure skating to improve her photography skills.

Her advice?

Start by supporting your local sports organization — believe in budding athletes. They never know where they’ll be in three, three, or five years. Your skills as a photographer improve with them.

Lyn began covering community sports and built a portfolio. She was then invited to photograph the Southeast Asian Games, Four Continent Championships and other events before being accredited as an Olympic photographer in 2018.

(Photo by Annice Lyn/Getty Images)

The Olympic Experience

Most people consider the Olympics a significant event. Lyn’s PyeongChang 2018 Olympics was a more significant event for her. These 2018 games were Malaysia’s debut in the Winter Olympics. They also saw the debut of Julian Lee Zhiyie, the country’s first Olympic figure-skating champion.

Lyn said, “As a figure skating competitor and as a Malaysian myself it was incredibly special that we got the chance to capture our nation’s debut and every moment during the winter Olympic games.”

Stamina Is Key

Photographing the Olympics is a great honor. But it can also be hard work. It is a demanding job that requires a lot of physical labor and a tight schedule.

Lyn stated that physical and mental fitness is her key to avoid burnout and maintaining her composure when under pressure. She offers unusual advice to help you achieve this.

“Weigh your gear and go to the gym to do weight training. You’ll be able handle the task given to you and build your stamina.

To keep you fueled up while at the stadium, she suggested that you bring healthy snacks such as energy bars. Remember to hydrate!

(Photo by Annice Lyn/Getty Images)

Breaking Boundaries

Lyn’s contributions to the Olympics were not limited to her role as a Malaysian representative. She’s also helping women in the industry, which has been long dominated by men, to find their way.

Of the 2,309 PyeongChang press credentials, 80 percent were given to men. Lyn was among the 77 female photographers who were accredited at the games, with 544 being women (19.1%)

She said that while gender equality has improved tremendously in recent years, these statistics show that inequalities still exist in visual culture. “Being a minority motivates me as a representative to grow the female photography community.”

Lyn acknowledged that there is still much to do in this area, but she said that she saw a rise in female photographers’ visibility during her coverage of Tokyo 2020 Olympics. She hopes that the landscape of the industry will continue evolving.

Gear for Sports Photography

Lyn shared a long list of equipment that she uses to capture her images when we asked her about her favorite gear.

  • Canon EOS R5
  • EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x
  • RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
  • RF 28-70mm f/2L USM
  • EF 16-35mm f/2.8l iii usm
  • EF 8-15mm f/4L FISHEYE USM

You can see that she has a lot of Canon products. It’s not hard to see why. Lyn is currently the Canon Malaysia Youth Ambassador. She is also a long-standing Canon brand advocate.

“Canon is more than just a trusted brand of cameras. They are also invested in the development of better photographers. Canon is a trusted creative enabler.

Are you ready to take on the Olympics? Jamie Squire, professional photographer and photojournalist, shares more information about Olympics photography.

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