Canon Explorers of Light  – Q&A with Photographer Terrell Lloyd Featured Image

In this Canon Explorers of Light Q&A series, we interview several professional photographers who are a part of Canon’s Explorers of Light program.

The Explorers of Light Program, running since 1995, boasts some incredibly talented photographers. These photographers have spent years honing their craft, and influence and educate other photographers of all levels – something, we at dPS, can respect and relate to.

In this edition of the Canon Explorers of Light Q&A series, we interview photographer Terrell Lloyd. They share their experiences and give some valuable tips to upcoming photographers.

Canon Explorers of Light  – Q&A with Photographer Terrell Lloyd - 2019 San Francisco 49ers Season
2019 San Francisco 49ers Season:
Dallas Cowboys vs San Francisco 49ers
Thursday, August 11, 2019
Santa Clara, CA (49ers Photo)

Photographer Terrell Lloyd

How did you get into photography?

I got into photography as a youth growing up in San Francisco. My mother had a film camera, and I would borrow it to take photos.

I had an interest in photography from an early age. When I had a paper route and attended 49ers games as a kid, I would cut out photos from the sports section of the newspapers on Mondays and make my own photo books.

Later, in high school, a friend introduced me to a photo class, and that’s when my love for photography really took off.

Canon Explorers of Light  – Q&A with Photographer Terrell Lloyd - photograph of a basketball came from above  the hoop

What was your first camera setup?

The first camera I purchased was a Minolta film camera in high school. I joined the school’s yearbook committee, and that’s when I started photographing the school’s sporting events and documenting other school activities. I quickly learned that sport was the subject I enjoyed the most.

Once I became serious about photography, and before digital, my first real film camera was the EOS 1V, a 10-frames-per-second camera body.

What camera gear do you use now and why?

Currently, I use the new Canon EOS-1D X Mark III camera. I was fortunate to be able to use this camera in Miami this past February at the Super Bowl, shooting the San Francisco Forty-Niners vs the Kansas City Chiefs.

Canon Explorers of Light  – Q&A with Photographer Terrell Lloyd - what's in Terrell Lloyd's photography kit

I have used many of the Canon flagship digital cameras over the years, but once I got the 1D X Mark III in my hands, I was blown away.

My first thought was, and I quote, “this camera is a game-changer.”

The technology of its new image sensor, DIGIC X processor, speed, subject tracking ability, and image quality can be seen right away in post-production.

The images I produced from Super Bowl LIV were fantastic. Overall, the sharpness and exposures were consistent.

My history with Canon digital cameras dates back to Canon’s DCS520 – a 2-megapixel camera that cost $12K. I’ve been a believer in the Canon brand since my first serious film camera in high school.

One reason I am loyal to Canon is because of its quality glass, reliability and the Canon Professional Services program, which I believe is the best-of-class in the photography industry.

Canon Explorers of Light  – Q&A with Photographer Terrell Lloyd - San Fransisco 49ers photo
2019 San Francisco 49ers Season:
Denver Broncos vs San Francisco 49ers
Monday, August 19, 2019
Denver, CO (49ers Photo)

What area of photography do you specialize in and why did you move into that field?

In this stage of my career, I focus mostly on professional and college sports as well as some specialized high-end corporate events.

When I began building my photography business, I was photographing weddings and portraits.

As my business started to grow, I started shooting company events such as holiday parties, corporate meetings, conventions, and travel. Then I transitioned to major high-end clients such as BMW, Yahoo, Intuit, Verizon, and Ritz Carlton, to name a few.

I also added product and commercial photography to my services, however, sports was always on the top of my list.

When I became one of the team photographers for the San Francisco 49ers, I focused my time and efforts on becoming a full-time photographer in the NFL for the 49ers. In addition to everything else, I am also the photographer for San Jose State University’s athletic department and cover all of their Division 1 sports programs.

Canon Explorers of Light  – Q&A with Photographer Terrell Lloyd - portrait of Moore

Are you working on any exciting projects you’d like to share?

Now that our NFL season is over, we are in the process of planning our 2020 marketing and design campaign. This will include some photoshoots around San Francisco and the Bay Area. Unfortunately, I can’t reveal the new 49ers theme but stay tuned on and Instagram @49ers, and you will see exciting new images.

I am very much looking forward to our media photo session with our players scheduled for May. I will be working closely with our design team as we collaborate on a style for the 2020 season.

Canon Explorers of Light  – Q&A with Photographer Terrell Lloyd

If you could share any photography tips with our readers, what would they be?

One tip I would like to share is not to limit yourself in today’s industry. Learn as much as you can in the photography world.

When I started, I wanted to know everything, and as I transitioned from my first wedding to sports, I studied it all, from medium format and 35mm film cameras to studio lighting and understanding environmental portrait lighting and the direction of light.

There are so many ways to learn photography using today’s technology, but I think the best way to perfect your skills and craft is to practice, practice and practice more.

Go out and photograph as much as you can. Make sure you get your exposures right in-camera, as you want to spend the least amount of time in post-production as possible.

Canon Explorers of Light  – Q&A with Photographer Terrell Lloyd

Terrell Lloyd Biography

San Francisco-based photographer Terrell Lloyd is currently employed by the San Francisco 49ers as their senior manager of the organization photography services and is the full-time lead team photographer. 

He has been with the 49ers organization for 24 years, beginning as a contract photographer. For the past six years, he has been a full-time employee of the 49ers, responsible for all of the team’s photographic assignments. 

It all began in 1994 when he was given an opportunity to shoot a game from the sidelines at Candlestick Park. According to one of his clients, “Terrell’s sports photography really captures the essence of the game.”

Since 1992, Lloyd has provided professional photography services to individuals and organizations throughout the United States and around the world. He is best known for his special combination of artistic vision and cutting-edge technology and, for the past 15 years, has been the athletic sports photographer at San Jose State University. 

Canon Explorers of Light  – Q&A with Photographer Terrell Lloyd - portrait of a player sitting in a gym

Lloyd has also earned a number of championship rings for his work with San Jose State University as well as an NFC Championship with the San Francisco 49ers. 

In addition to his photographic skills, Lloyd has earned several awards and accolades as an athlete on the professional bowlers’ tour and leagues with several perfect 300 games and 800 series.

Lloyd was named to the prestigious Canon Explorer of Light program in 2006 and served for four years. After a brief break, he was named again to the Canon EOL program in 2017 and remains current. This is a group of professional photographers from around the world selected to provide educational programs around the country. 

The Canon Explorers share their photographic and technical expertise to a wide number of photographers in a variety of personal appearances, seminars and gallery shows. Also, SanDisk® chose Terrell Lloyd for its SanDisk Extreme Team in 2009 and was recently selected to the ThinkTankPhoto Pro Team in 2018.

Canon Explorers of Light  – Q&A with Photographer Terrell Lloyd

In 2017, Lloyd received a Legends Award from Xposure101conference in Detroit, which honors individuals who have greatly influenced creativity, diversity and learning in the creative and photographic industries while inspiring others to achieve their goals. Western Digital presented him with their Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Photography Industry in 2019.

Shooting football has opened many doors for Lloyd and enabled him to cover major sporting events such as NFL Super Bowls, PGA golf, professional tennis, MLB baseball, the NBA, and more. 

Lloyd has also received many awards of merits for his portrait and wedding work and was Photographer of the Year by AMPP in 2001 and earned his craftsman degree from PPA in 2006.

Canon Explorers of Light  – Q&A with Photographer Terrell Lloyd

See more of photographer Terrell Lloyd’s work here:

Instagram: @49ersofficialphotog
Twitter: @tlloyd49

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