Cool Jobs: Sports Photographer

Harrison Barden is on his way into work at Target field. He likes to arrive early to capture the players warming up. Photo by Jessiena Lake

From the crack of the bat, to the click of the shutter, since high school, 19-year-old MCTC Photography and Digital Imaging student, Harrison Barden has made sports photography his passion and profession. He got his start by shooting high school sports and now he’s shooting Twins baseball, professionally, for the Major League Baseball.

Barden has long been passionate about sports.

“I always liked sports, I always played sports, but I had a friend of mine who did sports photography professionally and he did sports and I would see his photos and I would go to his game with a point and shoot camera and try to take photos kind of like him,” said Barden.

His passion for photography started with his first camera at 10-years-old, but someone else inspired him to move his work to the next level.

“Another friend I’ve been working for, for a few years several years now, he did sports photography too and he actually let me use his DSLR camera. I was a freshman in HS and I went to a ton of Twins games that year, probably fifteen Twins games that year and that made me think, I gotta get a camera and start doing this,” said Barden. “That camera, that’s what got me moving into sports photography.”

Image shot by Harrison Barden.

For Barden, what’s not to love about photographing sports, from capturing the game to experiencing the behind the scenes moments, he has many favorites.

“Shooting the emotions and the reactions of the players and any action moment. Last night there was a single from Carlos Santana and he broke his bat and I shot his bat and the chunk of the bat flying off into the air, just stopping that action, that’s always fun,” said Barden. “Just being close to the game. Hearing the fans and the players and everyone interacting, I like hearing the background of the game, like the players yelling at each other and the coach yelling, you get the whole energy from the dugout.”

When asked what Barden’s dream sports job is, he answered, “I don’t really have a dream job. There’s not an end point to where I want to go. There are always more levels that I want to get to. I’m never going to “make it,” there’s always more to work for. I can always get better.”

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