Choose at least ISO 400 to ensure a shutter speed of 1/500 or higher. Set your autofocus on continuous, and select a central focus point in the viewfinder to ensure the best results. Select the shutter mode for continuous shots (“motor drive”) when you hold down the shutter release.
For field action, you’ll want a lens that reaches out to 200mm. However, a lot of action happens near the sidelines, so a 35mm to 200mm zoom range is helpful. Try working with a longer zoom for part of the game, then switching to a shorter zoom to catch the close action.
Work the sideline opposite the player benches. Teams generally have benches on the same side of the field.
Stay toward the goal of the opposing team to get faces as your players move the ball toward you. You can work towards your team’s goal to grab some great defensive shots.
Don’t try to get action past midfield, since the players will be too small in your frame. Also, too many other players will cross in front of your lens to make for a good picture.
Watch for players to run the ball up the sideline, then get ready to catch a pass to another player.
Try getting some shots of the goalie blocking a kick, or kicking the ball back upfield.
Look for neat action on a corner kick – either your player kicking, or your team defending. This a great chance to get some shots of a head ball.
While not as dramatic, you can get a very nice shot of the throw as a player puts the ball back on the field after an out-of-bounds. Stay close to the sideline and fire the shutter as the player lifts the ball over his or her head. Then grab a shot of the player who receives the ball.
After you have enough field action, switch to the bench side of the field and capture some photographs of players on the bench. Look for the coach talking to players during a time out, and look for players using a water bottle or watching the game.