View Full Version : taking picks at sports tournaments
14th of November 2005 (Mon), 18:43
hey guys and gals
I am a graduate student in kansas city trying to pay for school and life with no job. It is not easy. It occured to me while driving past a soccer tournament that there were no photographers out there. Has anyone tried to photograph sports events and then set up a mobile computer and printer and sell the prints. I was thinking that I could sell individual 8*10 for 25 dollars and two for 40. Please give me some feedback. I am really wanting to give this a try.
thanks for anything
14th of November 2005 (Mon), 20:41
All that I have to share is that usually when I ride Motocross, there is someone out there taking pictures and selling the photos. They usually print out thumbnails of all the races so you can check if there is a good picture of yourself. I assume it could be a profitable way to make some money if you have the computer and a nice printer. By the way, I think the 8x10 pictures were being sold for $20. Hope this helps a little.
14th of November 2005 (Mon), 22:04
As sure as the moon will rise tonight someone will follow this post and tell me how wrong I am but here goes anyway. Of all sports you can shoot, soccer is the one I have found to be the least profitable. Most of these kids have been playing half their lives or longer. They have been to countless tournaments and mom has tons of prints of little Johnny and Joanie. Personally I wouldn't touch youth soccer. I do shoot some high school soccer but, it is only like 1-2 regular season games and then the sectionals of the state tourney, or as far as the high school team goes. If I wasn't being paid for editorial use, selling to the parents would be a losing effort.
Part of the problem with this high school team is one of the dad's has a 10D. He used to print off 4x6's and hand them out, no charge. Then parents and players came to expect these free prints each game. He told me at one of the sectional games it became so bad that he started leaving the camera at home.
In comparison, the high school football games I averaged $159 a game this year, for the soccer it was about $68, both without the editorial pay included in those averages. The saver for me was I usually wrote the copy for soccer so that paid extra and made it worth the time spent.
14th of November 2005 (Mon), 22:23
This is already being done at paintball tournaments. I have included a few pictures of one of the companies that sells still photos. Sorry about the poor quality of photos but I am sure you wanted to see how much they were charging. Since we provide free pictures these people are probably would not be too friendly to me so I did not want to get too close...we make money by advertising and magazine submissions so we provide free pictures to get people to go to our web site.
There is another company that sells paintball videos call “Game Day Videos”. You can buy the raw uncut footage the same day. I am not sure what they charge for this but both companies seem very busy
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14th of November 2005 (Mon), 23:35
Hi there, I live in KC too (blue springs to be exact). I live down the road from an athletic facility that is packed every weekend with football and soccer leagues playing on just about every field. I too thought about trying to reach out to some of the local leagues to do some photo work, since I love sports, but I'm of the mindset that it's more trouble than it's worth. You could easily invest an entire day of work and barely get any sales. I'd imagine that leagues don't pay photogs for their time, that all money is made on prints. Another reason why I don't think it would be extremely profitable is because these kids are probably involved in a half dozen other activities that suck up their parents' money. One of my co-workers has a kid in soccer, boy scouts, and who knows what else and is constantly fundraising in the office. I can't imagine they'd have much more disposable income to get photos. But that's only what I'm interpreting from what I see, your results may vary :)
15th of November 2005 (Tue), 07:33
That same though had occured to me. Philpereira where do you get you equipment. Are there any good stores in KC. I can't find any that are not extremely overpriced. If you know of any good ones let me know.
22nd of November 2005 (Tue), 21:37
i've found that parents are interested up to about age 12 - less so if they've already purchased lots of prints in the past. i agree with Jeff that soccer is one of the most difficult to sell - mainly beacuse the shots all look the same. occasionally, you'll catch a kid doing a nice header (and hopefully they aren't making a bad face). i've done 'gala days' where i'll print photos on the spot which is always busy, but i never feel it's the best representation of my/our work. the end of the year picnics are generally better places to be.
22nd of November 2005 (Tue), 22:29
I think it all depends on the area and the league. For instance, around here, there are two major youth soccer programs. One is run by the YMCA and there are literally millions of parents and kids on the fields all day long. I would suspect it is probably very well funded and there is probably already some type of arrangement for one or more action photographers on site (though I haven't really checked - I ought to).
The other is AYSO, which is a lower-cost, more volunteer oriented league. My son has played soccer with this league for years and is now coaching his own team. Since AYSO dwells less on winning and more on everyone getting a chance to play, the atmosphere is more family-like. When I started shooting on the sidelines just for fun, nobody even approached me in a negative manner.
I've kept my sales low key so far, but many of the parents that have bought prints have been excited at the prospect of having such things available. Apparently, nobody else has tried this venture at their games for quite a while, if ever. So, essentially, I'm breaking new ground here.
I think that is what it'll all come down to. If you stop by those fields, you may find the attitude that IndyJeff mentioned. "Yeah, this guy has been here several years selling prints. We've got so many of them on the shelf now, it's kinda old. Thanks anyway."
On the other hand, you may luck out and get in on the new territory. Maybe nobody has even tried or attempted that type of business at their games and they may welcome you with open arms.
As a point of consideration, since I'm shooting and selling at a low-cost, volunteer run league, I priced my prints accordingly. An 8x10 is only $8.00. I think if I offererd them at $20.00 at this particular venue, I'd probably not get any sales, and could stand to possibly turn off a lot of parents, thinking I'm just there to make a fast buck. Think of that when deciding on a pricing strategy. Personally, even at a higher-zoot event, with a well-funded and organized league running the show, I'd be leary of charging more than $15 for an 8x10.
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