I've been looking at a site about "getting into sports photography" that was mentioned in another thread. (No, I'm not planning to get into sports photography.)
One of the recurrent themes that pops up here and elsewhere is just how hard it is these days to make a living as a photographer, and the sports site backed that up. Arguments are put up everywhere about how everyone now has a camera, that amateur photography is making it hard for pros, that there are less full-time photography staff positions, that people are earning less and need a day job.
At the same time, to get access to shoot premium sporting events, you need accreditation - normally based on a (recognised) publication signing the right form, or other proof. I've often wanted "accreditation" but purely from a selfish, non-photography perspective: better locations to view the motor racing etc. and have noted how restrictive it is (justifiably), and how you have to prove your photographic credentials. (Don't launch into a description of how I can get accreditation - that isn't the point.)
What is going to happen in the future? With less staff photographers, and fewer sports photographers making a living (as opposed to shooting sports), and more photographers shooting sports as a hobby, how will accreditations get determined? I can foresee a situation where the field of potential accreditees is
so large that it becomes impossible to select on an objective basis; or alternatively, that there are no longer enough "quality" sports photographers to give the sports the coverage desired.
It seems to me that sporting bodies have a vested interest in keeping the profession of sports photography going - otherwise, they'll loose control of imagery of their product (and may not end up with any at all.) But if no-one is willing to ensure sports photography is a viable profession...
Any practicing or budding sports photographers care to comment?