The modern sportrait, a portmanteau of the words “sport portrait,” shares a bit of DNA with those posed shots you’d see on old trading cards.

But let’s just say there’s been an evolution.

Today’s sportraits, highly popular at the high school and college levels, are stylized, creative, and way more athlete-centered than ever.

“Doing Bates sportraits is one of the highlights of the year for me. No question,” says Brewster Burns, who executes Bates team photos for the Bates Communications Office.

At the sessions, the students come up with their own ideas for poses. “It’s awesome to see what they come up with,” says Burns.

“Sportraits help us convey what it’s like to be a part of a Bates team.”

Beyond fun and games, the images produced during each session, both the standard head-and-shoulders photos plus creative sportraits, are valuable to the college’s sports information effort beyond the need to populate online rosters.

Video by Theophil Syslo/Bates College

Deployed on Bates social media channels and elsewhere, the images convey team culture and individual personalities.

“Prospective Bates athetes want to compete at a high level and want to be part of a rewarding team experience,” said Director of Athletics Jason Fein. “Sportraits help us convey what it’s like to be a part of a Bates team.

“Especially as we return to in-person Bates life, it’s critical to show the community aspect of Bates athletics.”

Categories Athletics
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