Sports photographer Simon Bruty visits WKU


Allie Schallert

Photographer Simon Bruty speaks to WKU students about his career photographing sports and shares his experiences as a photojournalist. Jan. 25, 2023.

Adi Schanie

Simon Bruty spoke Wednesday, Jan.25 in Jody Richards Hall to students and faculty about his career in sports photography. The visit was a part of the photojournalism program’s partnership with Canon. Bruty is a part of Canon’s explorers of light program. He has covered some of the world’s biggest sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup, Super Bowls and the Olympics. 

Bruty highlighted some of his photographs and gave the audience behind the scenes of what was taking place before, after or during capturing the moment. 

Bruty has photographed many of the greats including Novak Djokovic, Michael Phelps, Serena Williams, Lionel Messi, Tom Brady, Megan Rapinoe and even Brad Pitt.

Bruty also shared there is more that contributes to sports photography than meets the eye. 

“Sports photography can look a little misleading. It looks like you can show up at the prescribed time, point your new long, shiny lens at what’s happening in front of you and let the autofocus do its job…” Bruty said. “Now, unfortunately, the reality is a little different. When you show up at the stadium, you realize you don’t know where the best action photograph is going to take place. You have to fight for your position… because in sports photography, there are no second chances.” 

Bruty has collected many accolades during his career. He won a Lucie Award for Achievement in Sports Photography. He has also received awards from the World Press Foundation, Pictures of the Year and the International Olympic Committee. In 2003 the London Observer selected one of his photographs as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Sports Photographs.

Finally, he emphasized that above all, a good sports photographer needs to concentrate, “All I try to do is be prepared for when luck comes my way,” Bruty said. 

His career has taken him all over the globe from Qatar to Tokyo, Japan. Bruty grew up in London, England and Cape Town, South Africa. He is currently based in Washington D.C.