Sports Photography in Canada

In today’s era dominated by social media, the world of sports photography in Canada is in need of rapid change. As we witnessed the quality of minor hockey photos that organizations used to receive, it became evident that it was time for a significant upgrade. Families invest a great deal into hockey, and the photos should reflect the level of that investment, surpassing the generic school photo look.

Analyzing Past Photos


Before hiring a photographer, it is crucial to take a close look at their portfolio. Examine how they handle lighting and compositing in their photos. Are they investing in high-quality lighting equipment? Do they know how to use it effectively? Do their Photoshop composites seamlessly integrate with the scene? The presence of shadows adds depth to images, and ensuring the correct lighting setup for each athlete, depending on their size, is essential to capturing the right details. 

Capturing the Perfect Moment

Let’s face it, not every child will be in the ideal mood for a photo session. Some may be shy, uncooperative, or simply not in the mood. However, it is our responsibility as photographers to capture at least one usable photo of each child, regardless of the circumstances. In high-volume photography, photographers are tasked with capturing a large number of athletes within a limited time frame. Typically, photographers allocate 1-2 minutes per child, depending on the association’s size and the number of photos each child is expected to receive. To optimize efficiency and variety, we have implemented the practice of activating two stations simultaneously.

Ordering and Delivery Process

The process of ordering and receiving photos is of utmost importance. While some photographers may offer low base costs, additional expenses may arise when it comes to obtaining high-resolution images or ordering prints. It’s crucial to consider your printing preferences. In the year 2023, printing photos may no longer be a priority for many, as the ability to share them online has become sufficient. At Top Shelf Media, we deliver photos online through a QR code scanning procedure. We meticulously sort the photos using Lightroom and provide team-specific folders labeled on Dropbox avoiding costs associated with third party sites. Ultimately, the choice of delivery method depends on your preferences and your team’s specific needs.

Post-Event Usage of Photos

At Top Shelf Media, we foster long-term partnerships with teams throughout a season. We want to be with you every step of the way and watch teams grow. This allows us to create graphics for social media, highlighting accomplishments and milestones. Quick and easy access to these files, while also aligning with the team’s brand, is crucial for an effective social media strategy. Photos captured with specific lighting considerations are easier to incorporate into graphics compared to those without such considerations. This aspect becomes vital for teams focused on brand development and seeking recognition within their league. Many photography studios will not allow their photos to be used by others or will not provide their photos to competitors for reasons such as where the image originated from and taking credit for another’s work.

Are you a team, school or association located in Canada?

If you’re a team dedicated to brand development and establishing a strong presence in your league, Top Shelf Media is here to provide the photography solutions you need. Contact us today to discuss how we can elevate your sports photography, delivering stunning images that truly showcase your team’s achievements and enhance your online presence.

Take a look at our photography work

See some of the photography work Top Shelf Media has captured in 2022-23