Kyle Terada, born and raised in Palo Alto, is a sports photographer based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Specializing in sports, photojournalism, candid and documentary photography, Kyle currently works as a photographer and photo editor for USA TODAY Sports Images, where he covers an enviable selection of sporting events. Prior to this, Kyle worked as the team photographer and assistant editor for Stanford University Athletics, covering some thirty-five varsity sports teams.

With an impressive CV under his belt, Kyle has covered five Olympic Games, six Super Bowls, three World Series, five NBA Finals, two MLS Cups, two MLB All-Star Games, two NBA All-Star Games, two MLS All-Star Games, seven NCAA Final Fours, ten NCAA Championship Games and six US Opens – not to mention the British Open and NHL Finals.


Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox


Early days

As a child, Kyle’s doctor told him he couldn’t play sports because he had ‘bad knees’. Although disappointed by this, Kyle decided to chase the next best thing: sports photography, of course! His mom brought a camera to each sporting event they attended, and Kyle would notoriously run off with it and start clicking away. 

As he got older, one of the hockey teams in the Bay Area took a liking to Kyle’s photos, which strengthened his passion for sports photography. Fortunately, as a senior in high school, he landed the opportunity to intern with Stanford University’s athletic department. Impressed by his dedication and talent, Kyle was soon offered a full-time job at Stanford as a sports photographer. This led to his current position at USA Today, which sees him covering events from the Super Bowl to the Olympics, and major golf tournaments.

Kyle’s gear and setup

The gear Kyle brings to each assignment varies greatly depending on the sport being photographed, the size of the venue, the available remote camera spots and which angles Kyle’s hoping to capture. That said, typically Kyle works with three handheld Sony cameras: a wide angle zoom lens (24-70mm f/2.8 or 24mm f/1.4); a mid zoom lens (70-200mm f/2.8); and a long lens (400mm f/2.8 or 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3). Kyle also brings two Raven transmitters: one for the mid zoom camera and the other for the long lens camera. 

The Ravens have three accessories to make them fire via an external trigger button, so Kyle carries these as well. They’re the PocketWizard HSFM3 Flash Sync Cable, the PocketWizard Trigger Release Button, and a generic 3.5mm Stereo Jack to 3.5mm Stereo Jack Female to Female Adapter. Kyle has the Raven sitting on top of the hot shoe of the Flash Sync Cable, and then uses the 3.5mm to 3.5mm Female to Female Adapter to connect the Trigger Release Button to the Flash Sync Cable.


Kyle’s photography setup. Photo Credit: Kyle Terada - USA TODAY Sports

The Raven journey

Kyle was first introduced to the Raven by Shawn Cullen, a freelance photo assistant for USA TODAY Sports and Sports Illustrated, among others. Kyle saw the Raven for the first time at the NCAA Final Four in 2021, while the Raven was still in its pre-launch beta test phase.

Kyle immediately took a keen interest in the Raven and went on to learn how to use and apply it in the sports world. “While using the Raven,” Kyle said, “I found some bugs and issues that the FusionTLC team were able to fix within a matter of days (or in some cases, even hours) through the Raven's WiFi firmware updates. This is when I knew the Raven wasn’t just an amazing product, but that it also had amazing technical support.”


Kyle’s photography setup. Photo Credit: Kyle Terada - USA TODAY Sports

In Kyle’s work, he typically has to arrive at a location several days before an event to set up and test the equipment. From there, he is forced to rely on everything working as it should. This is why it is extremely important for his products to be consistent and trustworthy. 

Speaking of the Raven Master Camera Triggering mode, Kyle says, “I know I can rely on it because the Raven’s signal and consistency is far greater than any other trigger on the market.” This is true. The Raven is the most robust two-way radio platform ever created for photographers to trigger remote cameras. With Raven Master Camera Triggering mode, users have up to 130 channels with Raven-to-Raven use, and up to 80 channels with Raven to PocketWizard Plus IIIe, and Plus IVe radio units. Also included are eight letter zones (A-H) to stoke remote camera creativity. Plus, the Raven features new E-Release technology that enhances signal reliability in Long Range mode (LR). This technology is commonly found in PocketWizard radio devices using frequencies of 340MHz to 350MHz.

Photo Credit: Kyle Terada - USA TODAY Sports

A ton of features

For Kyle, it is both overwhelming and exciting to see so many features in such a small trigger. Speaking to this, Kyle says, “The features in the Raven are well worth figuring out. I love how the menu is interactive and different to that of the PocketWizard I used previously.”


Photo Credit: Kyle Terada - USA TODAY Sports

“I also can’t speak enough about the RF Noise Indicator feature. Unless you’re going to the same venue multiple times or know the schedule of the venue, you’ll likely be photographing on the fly, and that is where the RF Noise Indicator feature comes in. It instantly identifies which channels have interference and which are good to use,” he says. 


Photo Credit: Kyle Terada - USA TODAY Sports

Speaking to users, one of the most valuable features in Raven Master Camera Triggering mode appears to be the PING test, which allows users to test the signal from their Master Raven to their receiver unit. Here the Raven uses three different colors to indicate signal strength. A green circle indicates the strongest signal and connectivity, yellow indicates a weaker signal, and red indicates an extremely low signal. Kyle finds this very useful, stating, “I always use the PING test feature to check if things work.” 

Photo Credit: FusionTLC (PING Test)



Passing the baton

To conclude our chat, we asked Kyle what advice he would give to aspiring sports photographers. Kyle urged new photographers to just start with whatever gear they already have and not to think about photographing the biggest events right away. 

“Start with smaller events like a youth soccer or basketball game, where you’re given more access than you’d typically expect at a Warriors NBA game,” he said. “Use those games to hone in on your craft and prepare yourself for the big leagues!”

Thanks, Kyle. We look forward to seeing what event you’re at next! 

Learn more about the Raven from our Explore Raven section on the website:

Photographer: Kyle Terada of USA TODAY Sports

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Instagram: @teradaphoto