Welcome back to Industry Insider by Behind Sport. Our latest guest is the Photographer, Kieran Clarke!
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
I’m a photographer from and based in London, who also works in social media and marketing for professional football players.
Previously I worked for a sports marketing agency doing a similar role but with less creative freedom, which drove me to go freelance.
What do you do in your current role?
Currently I work with football players, brands and agencies on their social media channels, providing content for their channels as well as print, broadcast and retail imagery.
What does a normal week look like for you?
Right now, a normal week tends to involve 2-3 days out shooting with the rest of the week spent editing any images I’ve taken during that week. The evenings and weekends are also spent collecting images from club photographers and media reps for the players I work with to use on their social media channels. Whether that’s after a game, or during the week to build up to their next fixture.
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
I’ve always wanted to work in sport, from a young age due to my family’s passion for football. Ever since I was a young kid, I had a real interest in football media that was used to sell football boots or product. Things like the Adidas +50 advert before the 2006 World Cup always sat in my mind, and it’s something I did my dissertation on at university. Before that I studied photography at A – level and failed it, but I had no clue what I was doing. In terms of creating imagery or what I wanted to shoot.
From there I went to Barnet college, and met a lecturer called Adam Green who helped me massively in terms of figuring out what I wanted to do, and how to improve as a photographer.
Whilst at college I shot my first football match (Arsenal U21’s) and there I developed my passion for shooting football and sports. Just shooting as much as I could. When I finished my 2 years there I went to university and shot more football but also started to do portraits of players of the university football team or friends of mine, using football products as the basis looking at Nike Advert imagery at the time as inspiration and just trying to recreate what I saw at the time.
From university I went into a sports marketing agency who had seen my photos on Instagram and worked with them for nearly 2 years. Before exploring my own path which I’m on now!
What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?
Everything! New products, new shoots, new campaigns. I’m really looking forward to the future and hopefully working on some good stuff with great people.
What is your number one focus when it comes to your work?
Making content that people can either relate to or aspire to want/ be like. On a personal note, I always want to be improving and growing as a photographer to develop and perfect my personal style.
In your area of work, what is something you feel most people don’t talk about or focus on enough?
Me. I’m the best.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
Be relentless. Always try to improve, push on and if you have a setback, take the lessons and go again. It’s never going to be plain sailing, there’s always ups and downs. If you fall off the bike, just get up and go again. There’s no short cuts and you have to put in the graft.
How to follow Kieran Clarke on social media
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