Lights, Camera, Action!


Breaking the MMA Lens – Getting ready

How do you get ready for a photoshoot?

Whether it’s a fight, weigh-in,  or event, there are certain things you need to do before you leave the house. Things like: Your bag, credentials, the right equipment. Let’s go over some thoughts on this, as every shoot is different.

My number one thought with everywhere I go is: Is there food at the venue? Number two is: Can I eat it? This might sound silly but I have been caught in a good photography spot for hours.

Can’t leave the spot or you’ll lose it so…have to have something in the bag to eat and drink. Even just a snack is a life saver. I won’t even discuss the bathroom needs.

Which camera is right? Many of us use one camera, so that’s the answer. I usually bring two cameras to an MMA event: the DSLR Canon 7DII and the Fuji X-E2.

Breaking the MMA Lens


I don’t bring both everywhere I shoot however. No need to carry it if you’re not going to use it. The Fuji is small and light so I use it a lot for candid shots and street photography. It is very subtle and it never seems to bother people, so no one gets paranoid about you having it. People usually think it’s just an old film camera.

Breaking the MMA Lens

The Canon is much bigger and heavier. It is more of a professional looking rig. Not good for street photography but great for clarity, fast motion and sports. So when I shoot a hockey game, baseball or I need a lot of versatility I bring that camera.

Canon Lenses.

Lenses. As I’ve said before, I love primes. I have one prime on each camera and usually go with that the whole night. I bring an emergency lens for each camera just in case.

Breaking the MMA Lens

Have extra memory cards. Whatever memory cards you use, Compact flash or SD, have an extra. Make sure they are empty, formatted and ready to go. You may not have time to format or erase in the middle of the action.

Breaking the MMA Lens

Know your batteries. How many shots can you take on one battery? Have extras. I have four batteries for the Canon and six for the Fuji. The Fuji is a real power eater and I run out of battery pretty quick. Make sure the batteries are charged. If you’re not sure – they’re not charged. This means not only camera batteries, but any other batteries you’ll need, like flash.

Breaking the MMA Lens

Lens cloth, cleaning spray and air spray bulb for dust. I am good for sticking my thumb on the front of the lens. It is like a thumb magnet. Keep the lens clean.

Flash. Are you using a flash? During the fights you can’t use a flash. But how about other times at other events? Pack the flash and any accessories you use like reflectors and be sure to have full batteries.

Next time, we talk about other things to think about before the shoot.

Hope this helps next time you go out shooting!


Joe LoBianco
Joe LoBianco
Joe LoBianco writes the photography column Breaking the MMA Lens for MMA Crossfire. New columns on the 1st and 15th of each month.

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