I have a keen interest in both chess and photography. I absolutely adore the works of David Llada, Lennert Ootes and their kin. My question is, if one wants to become a chess photographer, what is the path he/she needs to choose?

In my particular case, I must point out that I am not even a professional photographer with any degrees. Do I have a chance to make a career in chess photography?

2 Answers 2


All I can say is, the people in this forum are chess players, not photographers. However, a job is listed at the World Chess Hall of Fame for the Saint Louis Chess Club demanding you "execute photography and design projects as needed (wow!): https://worldchesshof.org/about/open-positions

However, if you're really looking to pursue photography, specifically sports photography, specifically chess photography, you are better off asking a group of photographers, or even someone like the popular content creator Eric Rosen who is an official FIDE Photographer as well as an IM, so he probably knows what you would be getting into. I suggest talking to him via the Ask me Anything channel in his Discord server, though a response is not guaranteed.


Being a good chess photographer has nothing to do with being a good chess player and everything to do with being a good photographer. Concentrate on that.

I am not even a professional photographer with any degrees

There is a fixation nowadays with getting a degree. This despite the fact that most universities seem to have become offshoots of Andrex University.

If you want to become good at any practical subject like photography the best way is something like an apprenticeship. As I strongly suspect that apprenticeships in photography don't exist your next best bet is to try and get work, even if it is very badly paid, as some kind of photographer's assistant which will give you the chance to learn what matters from a professional.

Do I have a chance to make a career in chess photography?

How long is a piece of string? What your chances are will depend mostly on you, on how hard you are prepared to work at it and whether you have any talent for photography. It will also depend on luck, on whether you meet the right people who can help you become a good photographer. You are far more likely to find those people in a photography forum than a chess forum.

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