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The 7 Best Sports Photographers in Cleveland

While the Rock and Roll Capital of the World has an obvious focus, with major teams like the Browns and Indians needing constant coverage, Cleveland is undoubtedly home to incredibly talented sporting and event photographers. As these creatives had so many shooting styles and specialties, we worked hard to scout out the cream of the crop! So rest assured that these are the top sports photographers in Cleveland, listed in no particular order, for your next youth or professional sporting event.

1. Michaelangelo’s Photography

Covering what they term “an eclectic array of photography,” Michaelangelo’s Photography is your one-stop shop for high-quality visual media. Whether it’s sports images, food photography, events, products, or weddings, Michaelangelo’s team of five creatives, comprising photographers and videographers, can meet and exceed your needs.

Head photographer Cheryl brings over 25 years of experience behind the lens, and the unique perspectives of her team all add to the talent and reach of Michaelangelo’s Photography. One aspect we particularly enjoy about their portfolio is the diversity of styles they provide — from studio sports portraits and digital editing to photojournalistic gameday coverage, these Cleveland creatives are some of the best in the business right now! 

2. Ken Blaze Photography

“Today is different. Both for me and the industry. The internet is changing the way photographers work and live and everyday there is new technology. Photographers are struggling to find work and publications are downsizing,” says Ken Blaze. As a lifelong lover of photography, Ken has seen the photography world expand and shrink as publications shifted to today’s freelance market.

Rather than hanging up his camera, Ken adapted and thrived in the new niches that opened up. As one of the best sports photographers in Cleveland, Ken’s work has been featured in major local and international publications, including The New York Times, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and Cleveland Magazine. Events and clients covered through his photography include the Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago Cubs World Series game, as well as the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors during the NBA Finals. 

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3. Martin Lerman of MSL Photography

With 20 years of experience and counting, photojournalist Martin Lerman boasts extensive experience in the worlds of newspaper and freelance photography. In that time, he has finely honed his eye for detail and composition. Whether he’s covering a wedding or sporting event, Martin is never out of place and continually delivers quality images.

As a lifetime photographer, Martin went from graduating with a journalism degree from the Ohio State University to working as a staff and freelance photographer for several local publications. Regardless of your event, his photojournalism background enables him to blend into the scene to capture events as they occur with minimal distraction, which is especially relevant for sports photography. 

4. Bismark of BIZ Photography LLC

Sports photography at its core is a branch of documentary photography. And like all documentarians, Bismark seeks to tell a compelling story through the language of moments and emotion. As he describes his craft, “I believe photography, at its best, is a powerful language which speaks to our emotions. Let your images tell your story and show others your journey of the world around you.”

BIZ Photography LLC has been in service for over 20 years, covering creative design and marketing for agencies, international motorsports, and technology organizations worldwide. His sporting images range from sports portraits to live game coverage, all using a moody, timeless color character that stands apart from traditional sports photography. If you’re looking for a one-man solution to your visual sports coverage, Bismark is clearly one of the most gifted sports photographers in Cleveland!

5. David Richard Photography

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Dunk of the year? Welcome to CLE.

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Cleveland-based sports, editorial, portrait and wedding photographer David Richard covers not only the Cleveland Indians and Browns, but high school and college sports throughout Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. With over 25 years of photography experience behind each shoot, David’s sports talents also extend to VR 360-degree panoramas of stadiums, arenas, and businesses.

David’s not only a former Ohio Photographer of the Year, but counts USA Today, ESPN Magazine, the Associated Press, and other major agencies and publications as former and current clients. And looking at his images, it’s easy to see why. We appreciate his use of true-to-life and slightly muted color casts for a character ranging from natural to cinematic. Instead of blowing your senses up with oversaturated colors, David’s work is all about the moment. Expressions and emotional releases comprise documentary images of the game day and, of course, the play-making moment!

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6. Brent Durken Photography

Professional sports shooter Brent Durken is a gameday photographer for the Cleveland Browns, as well as the International Soccer Network. When not covering matches on the sidelines, he also shoots landscapes, real estate, and portraiture throughout the Cleveland metro. If you’ve passed through Hopkins Airport, Cleveland State Art Gallery, or any number of restaurants in the area, it’s possible you’ve seen Brent’s work without even realizing it!

Brent’s work is the epitome of the sports photographer’s craft, treating you to action portraits from a distance that freeze time for the big play, as well as intense expression, complete with vibrant, true-to-life colors. As one of the best sports photographers in Cleveland, Brent’s partners include the Cleveland Browns, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, Thrillist.com, and Admiral Soccer.

7. Lori Sarver

Artistic portrait and sports photographer Lori Sarver truly captured our attention with her thoughtful sports photography approach. She not only documents the day and captures critical moments but creates moods ranging from film-like to contemporary in her color grading, exposure, and grain qualities.

While most sports photographers excel at the documentary aspect, Lori’s attention to post-processing gives her a signature style that’s really appealing, especially to parents who retouch digital images on their own after the fact. Vignetting, soft focus, and sepia are just as attractive as modern, sharp, and brightly lit images with punchy colors. Lori is one of the best sports photographers in Cleveland if you’re looking for a more considered approach to post-processing!

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