While Kansas City is known for BBQ, jazz, and trains, you might not be aware that sporting events are also a major part of the cultural landscape of the City of Fountains. With pro teams like the Kansas City Royals and Chiefs in town, it takes some talented photographers to ensure the best images come out of every sporting event. That’s why we’ve curated the portfolios of KC’s shutterbugs and handpicked, in no particular order, the top sports photographers in Kansas City. Whether you need a photographer for a high school competition or a professional match, one of these photographers can absolutely deliver for you.
To thrive as a sports photographer, it takes more than simply capturing the game from a distance to stand out from the rest. Gary Rohman is one of the best sports photographers in Kansas City because he shows us a more complete picture of each game day. He’s always in place for incredible portraits that show players in moments of intense concentration, excitement, and sometimes even pain.
Another aspect of Gary’s sports photography we enjoy is his coverage of fans in their excitement, mascots being silly, and all of the other game day elements that make it exciting and immersive. He works to tell the whole story of the day, including the parts that exclude athletes making a play. This gives his work a compelling narrative and documentary flow.
When it comes to little league and college sporting events, Nick Verbenec should be at the top of your list of people to call. Mixing in varying fields of view, his work covers the game from all possible perspectives instead of relying on telephoto closeups to woodenly document the event. Nick also uses both cheery, bright color grading with well-recovered highlights and shadows that works nicely with student athletic events. In addition, he employs a moody, desaturated tone for a bit of intensity in sports portraits. He also provides CDs of particular games or individual athletes for parents wanting images featuring their future star athlete!
With nearly 20 years of photography capture and processing experience, Mark Lundy is the man to call on for your next wrestling event. Covering high school, NCAA college, and both US and international professional wrestling events, Mark’s carved himself a fine niche as a specialist within the sports industry. Wrestling has its own moments of impact, timing, and composition that stand apart from field sports, such as football or soccer and, Mark is finely attuned to the ins and outs of the sport.
Award-winning editorial and commercial photographer Jamie Squire covers events not only in Kansas City or even the United States, but all over the world. As a Getty Images photographer, his work has him courtside at NBA and Stanley Cup Finals, Kentucky Derbys, Superbowls, and at least six Olympic games. Jamie’s also worked on assignment for The New York Times, ESPN Magazine, TIME, and several other major publications.
Being one of the best sports photographers in Kansas City, Jamie boasts work that is top class. He finds dramatic angles, shutter speeds, and compositions that showcase not only the intensity of a game but camaraderie, the fan base, and even different cultures coming together, as in the case of the Olympics.
5. Amy Kontras
Amy Kontras started her career path through the University of Missouri-Columbia, earning a bachelor’s in journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. While sports are her main focus and passion, she enjoys telling stories and creating images with meaning and impact for subject and viewer alike. A talented freelancer, Amy boasts distinguished clients including household names like Imagn (USA Today Sports Images), ESPN Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and many others.
We love how emotional Amy’s work is, as she’s capturing the moments when the Gatorade cooler gets dumped on an unsuspecting coach, victorious (and mischievous) grins, and even silhouettes of cheering fans. Her work has a strong documentary style that goes well beyond simply recording what goes on in each game. The artistry of her work even extends into background compositions, with lines, buildings, and other elements adding to the dramatic character of her photography.
Covering Kansas City as a photographer since 2014, Mike Curtis shoots sports and high school seniors for local events. Mike discovered his love for producing sports images by realizing just how much he loved his former photography hobby. His calling is more a philosophy than a mere vocation.
In his own words, “An insatiable fire burns in the chest of a young person when they discover a purpose beyond home life. An activity focusing on the talent of body control. This is encompassed in sports. This is something that doesn’t discriminate age, but encourages play.” Fortunately, Mike has been able to blend his passion for photography and sports in his career, immortalizing moments for young athletes to reflect on during their professional journey.
As a sports, lifestyle, portrait, and wedding photographer, Samuel Jordan jumped right into photography from his senior year of high school, learning the ins and outs in the dark room. By honing his personal talents and taking the best of what his mentors have had to offer, Samuel learned how to cover nearly every genre, molding himself into a talented, multifaceted photographer.
Given his specialization as a lifelong photographer, his images waste nothing, with tight crops focusing our attention right on the action and punchy colors for maximum effect. Samuel’s also a master of decisive moments; his images have impact in the peak form of the subjects, eye contact with the camera, play-making moments, and much more!