Photographer Feature: Tyler Kendall

USA Downhill Skateboarding Association - Longboard

Early Life

Where did you grow up?
The Canadian prairies. I now call BC and it’s beautiful mountains home.

Did you have any early experiences or influences that sparked your interest in photography?

I have always had a curiosity in photography. Growing up, we had season tickets to the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders. Everytime I would see a photographer walking around with a huge lens and shooting the action, I thought that would be an awesome job. It wasn’t until I bought my first camera when it all clicked and I realized “ahhh, yes! this is definitely for me”
How did you first get involved in sports photography?
Shortly after buying my first camera, I moved to Australia where I would go to the surfing hotspots and photograph the surfers. If I knew I got a banger shot, I would catch the surfers coming back to shore and show them. One time shooting the Gold Coast’s Quiksilver Pro, I ran over to show a pro surfer a shot, and as an amature photographer, his hyped reaction was all I needed to keep pursuing sports photography.

Career

How long have you been working as a sports photographer?

Professionally, 2 years. 6 years if you include recreationally shooting mine and my friends beer-league sports teams.

What types of sports have you photographed throughout your career?

Hockey, Lacrosse, Baseball, Rugby, Powerlifting, Surfing, Ski/Snowboarding and now Downhill skate.

Equipment and Techniques

What cameras and lenses do you prefer to use for sports photography?

You cant find a better rig right now than my Sony A1 & 70-200mm f2.8 GMII.

Are there any specific techniques or strategies you employ to capture action shots?

You’re not trying to capture a race or a sport being played. You want to capture individuals in action.

Do you have a favorite sports photography moment or image you’ve captured? If so, please describe it.

Gold medal U11 hockey game. High scoring game goes to OT. Big chances on either end, no one scores. Goes to a Shootout. Goalies standing on their heads, it goes like 9 shooters deep. 10th shooter, other team missed, game on his stick. Kid makes a move and fires it top corner for the Gold Winning Goal. As he loops around to celebrate with his team, hands in the air, the reaction on his face I was able to capture as he let out the biggest scream he could. The Smile, The scream, the celly. Perfect photo.

Challenges and Rewards

What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a sports photographer?

Being a winter sports photographer in BC requires travel every weekend through some insanely harsh mountain passes. Remote and unpredictable, I have driven through some baaaaaad stuff. Thankfully I have never been stuck or delayed to the point where I miss any action.

On the flip side, what are the most rewarding aspects of your work?

Capturing moments like that gold winning shootout goal. These are treasures those kids will have forever.

Inspirations and Influences

Are there any photographers who have inspired your work? If yes, who are they and why?

One of my close friends and fellow photographer Evan Porter Media. This guy is a hustling machine!! Bringing unprecedented Photography, Videography and Live Broadcasting to Powerlifting in Canada. Seeing what that guy does on the daily is a great motivator for myself to keep pushing my limits and reach as a photographer.

Contributions and Impact

How do you believe your work as a sports photographer has contributed to the field or impacted others?

I have seen parents in tears looking at their Childs photos, thanking me for the beautiful memories I was able to capture for them. Its moments like that I know will last long after the games are played.

Future Goals

What are your future aspirations and goals as a sports photographer?

I want to grow my business to the point of being the absolute number 1 choice for sports photography in BC. I am working closely with other talented photographers to bring my style and service to all corners of the province.

Are there any specific sports or events you hope to photograph in the future?

Hockey is life (so Canadian I know eh). I’m in no rush, but one day I’d like to be shooting in the NHL.

Advice

If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring sports photographers, what would it be?

Shoot the photos and the style you would want for yourself if you were the athlete. If Grandma wouldn’t proudly display that photo on her mantel, ask yourself “what’s it missing?”, “how can I make it better next time?”. Fine-tune your process, work on your timing, and don’t clog your gallery up with filler images. BANGERS ONLY!!