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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 10 Jun 2013 (Monday) 14:03
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How do you guys deal with the pro photog's at big events? Any pro's on the board?

 
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Jun 10, 2013 14:03 |  #1

I get frustrated at about every major event I go to nowadays, since I am packing large white L glass. The races in particular I am speaking of are pro dirt bikes and quads. It can be MX, SX, or XC type of racing. I can go to a NHRA race anywhere in the country......and never get harassed once.

I do know these guys at the MX/SX/XC guys work under contract with the organizations that host these races, and are the sole 'paid' photographers who sell their photos on site. I do respect their right to being the only ones able to sell their photos, and I have zero intention of selling mine.....but I also feel I deserve the right to be a hobby photographer and not be harassed by the 'paid' photogs.

I also know there is a fine line on that whole subject. Its been the same 2 photog's at every race I've ever gone to also. I really want to speak my mind to them, especially when some of them threaten to get me kicked out of the track if they find out I work for someone. :evil:

I've spoken to another paid photographer who shoots for a large website/forum, who is SUPER cool and laid back.......who told me directly not to worry about those guys at all. I don't want to put him in a bind though, by asking how to handle them. They all go to every pro race all over the country, they all deal with enough drama with the riders themselves every weekend....last thing I want to do is cause turmoil between the photog's.

I'm not looking for creative or witty ways to reply to them. What I am looking for is really what they can and can't actually do. I can go back and find some quotes for what they've said to me over the years.....if need be. It just has beyond driven me crazy over the last few years. I am glad there was nothing more than a quick question from one of them Saturday....I was prepared to fire off a smart reply.


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Littlejon ­ Dsgn
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Jun 10, 2013 14:07 |  #2

I am sure a lot of it has to do with what is in their contract with the organization they are shooting for.




  
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jra
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Jun 10, 2013 14:19 |  #3

Littlejon Dsgn wrote in post #16017558 (external link)
I am sure a lot of it has to do with what is in their contract with the organization they are shooting for.

That's the short of it. As far as you're concerned, if you're allowed to bring in your equipment and shoot for yourself (this often depends on the event and some events restrict certain equipment/lenses or even completely ban any photography not done by the hired photographers), I wouldn't worry about what the hired photographers have to say. Just be respectful, don't get in the way of the hired photographers (always give them priority when it comes to positioning) and (assuming that you're shooting as a spectator) understand that you're photography hobby doesn't grant you any additional permissions beyond that of any other spectator (I see plenty of people who think that because they are taking photos that they are somehow granted special permission to walk in front of everyone else and access areas that are off limits).




  
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Kronie
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Jun 10, 2013 14:20 |  #4

If it were me and I was let into a venue with my 70-200 or whatever I would just ignore them and shoot. Who is in charge of the event? The photographer? No. Why do you feel like you owe photographers who have done nothing but give you a hard time anything? You have already explained to them that your just taking shots for yourself. If your not in their way and your doing your own thing, I would continue to do so and ignore them. If they go to someone with authority at the event with the intention to get you thrown out....then you can explain your position to that person with authority. Chances are they will just let you continue to shoot......




  
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Hot ­ Bob
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Jun 10, 2013 14:25 as a reply to  @ Littlejon Dsgn's post |  #5

I go to, and shoot, a lot of horse events but I have no interest in being an official event photographer. The money is not worth the headaches to me. Instead I shoot as the official photographer for one of the competing clubs. I've never been harrassed and some of the event organizers have actually sought me out for images instead of their show photographers. Only issue I've ever had was a show gave me a cover photo credit and combined it inside an advertising box for the official photographer. I thought that was unfortunate for both of us.

I suggest you talk to some of the race teams and see if they would like to have their own "official photographer". Explain your situation and I'd bet they would be glad to help you out in exchange for some images.

Bob


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veritasimagerynw
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Jun 10, 2013 14:29 |  #6

As was explained to me by an "exclusive photographer" for a road course track day organizer, these guys have exclusive rights to "all access" to the track. But, that said, they can't stop anyone from shooting from spectator areas, nor are they often allowed to stop those people from selling their pictures, as long as they aren't actively selling at the event or on the event/club's websites. So, unless they are going to ban every photographer, just keep shooting and enjoying your pictures.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Jun 10, 2013 14:33 |  #7

Relationships between these exclusive photographers and the producers of events can vary from "yeah, we have a contract with those photogs, but I don't really recall or care about it" to "The exclusive Photographer said your selling photos, that's all I need, don;t care about your side of it, so security are going to escort you out. Nothing you can do or say to change that. Don't try to come back"

I'm assuming that in this regard, since you've never had to deal with security, that you can pretty much ignore them. But don;t piss them off, as who knows, maybe they do have more pull. Don't get banned for life.

I have no experience with MX tracks, etc. My direct experience is with performing arts venues, and producers that rent them. I have to assume that the same wide range of degrees of involvement I have seen would be found in other such events.


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GoodEye906
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Jun 10, 2013 15:01 |  #8

I do a lot of this for Snocross in the winter months around here for the local newpaper.

There is one guy, who shoots exclusively for MXR Racing, he raised a huge fuss with me last year (2012) for being on the track shooting photos... he and I went to the event coordinator, and I told him (and showed him) my media pass and verification that I'm with the local newspaper. The event coordinator told me as long as I wore a TekVest and signed a release waiver, he didn't mind if I was out there.

I posted a few photos of the local riders onto my Facebook page that night, and in the morning, the coordinator came over to me and said, "Hey, I just want you to know Matt is pissed you posted some photos on Facebook." I replied, "Yes, a couple of each of our local riders, and I also watermarked them right across the middle of the racer, he might not have seen that." He replied with "well if they are watermarked it's no problem with me, as long as you don't sell them from under Matt."

So the rest of that day, the other guy (Matt) was snarky with me for being there... blah blah...

This year, the same event, MXR Snocross was in my town again, and on the first day, Matt came up to and said, "Hey man! How's it going, I saw the rest of your photos you posted and they were pretty awesome! Glad to see you here again this year."

Like we were best friends all of a sudden. I'm not sure... the guy is unusual.

Everyone is different, just approach the situation with a level head and don't try to raise any fuss. My thoughts are if they are getting paid from the event, and they ask you to move... just do so. You're not there to make money, so what's the big deal in taking a few steps to move elsewhere.

They generally know where the money spots are for photographs, most have scouted the track a time or two.

But that's just my $0.02


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philwillmedia
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Jun 10, 2013 17:54 |  #9

Just don't worry about it.
I couldn't care less how many other people are on what side of the fence.
None of them are affecting what I'm doing, and if any of them want to come and chat or are after some tips on how and when to shoot certain parts of the track that's fine by me.
Sometimes it helps relieve the boredom.


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veritasimagerynw
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Jun 10, 2013 18:06 |  #10

philwillmedia wrote in post #16018370 (external link)
Just don't worry about it.
I couldn't care less how many other people are on what side of the fence.
None of them are affecting what I'm doing, and if any of them want to come and chat or are after some tips on how and when to shoot certain parts of the track that's fine by me.
Sometimes it helps relieve the boredom.

Wish they all had that attitude.

My attitude is the more photographers the better. The competition keeps me from getting complacent. Some guys, though, are like a mother lion, don't get too close to their food.

I had one organization that wanted to keep me off the track, even though their own photographer wants me there. We're still hashing that one out.

Had another organization, who I had shot for for the last year without issues and many customer compliments just notify me that they had hired an "exclusive" guy and that I was no longer needed and to please not show up for their events.

Both of these happened just last week, and what's funny is that during my conversation with the first organization, he told me that he had been pressured to sign an "exclusive" deal with the photographer the second organization just hired.


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emelvee
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Jun 10, 2013 18:23 |  #11

I would say you're fine as long as you stay out of their way. I could see them getting upset if you were standing too close or something.


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Jun 10, 2013 19:03 |  #12

Littlejon Dsgn wrote in post #16017558 (external link)
I am sure a lot of it has to do with what is in their contract with the organization they are shooting for.

Yeah, and again I do understand this is their living. And its just one group of guys that work for one company. Its more or less like being accused of shoplifting, when you have stolen nothing.

jra wrote in post #16017607 (external link)
That's the short of it. As far as you're concerned, if you're allowed to bring in your equipment and shoot for yourself (this often depends on the event and some events restrict certain equipment/lenses or even completely ban any photography not done by the hired photographers), I wouldn't worry about what the hired photographers have to say. Just be respectful, don't get in the way of the hired photographers (always give them priority when it comes to positioning) and (assuming that you're shooting as a spectator) understand that you're photography hobby doesn't grant you any additional permissions beyond that of any other spectator (I see plenty of people who think that because they are taking photos that they are somehow granted special permission to walk in front of everyone else and access areas that are off limits).

Yeah I am shooting 100% from spectator access only....never once have I even attempted to step foot on the track to get 'that' photo. If I wanted to do that, I'd get a media vest and sign a waiver. To be honest, I haven't even inquired on that.....it might be another resolution at future events.

Kronie wrote in post #16017616 (external link)
If it were me and I was let into a venue with my 70-200 or whatever I would just ignore them and shoot. Who is in charge of the event? The photographer? No. Why do you feel like you owe photographers who have done nothing but give you a hard time anything? You have already explained to them that your just taking shots for yourself. If your not in their way and your doing your own thing, I would continue to do so and ignore them. If they go to someone with authority at the event with the intention to get you thrown out....then you can explain your position to that person with authority. Chances are they will just let you continue to shoot......

Yes I also did pay my way into the event, $35/day in fact.....I would be rather hostile if I was removed for any reasons to do with contracted photog who was just mad at the world.

Hot Bob wrote in post #16017633 (external link)
I go to, and shoot, a lot of horse events but I have no interest in being an official event photographer. The money is not worth the headaches to me. Instead I shoot as the official photographer for one of the competing clubs. I've never been harrassed and some of the event organizers have actually sought me out for images instead of their show photographers. Only issue I've ever had was a show gave me a cover photo credit and combined it inside an advertising box for the official photographer. I thought that was unfortunate for both of us.

I suggest you talk to some of the race teams and see if they would like to have their own "official photographer". Explain your situation and I'd bet they would be glad to help you out in exchange for some images.

Bob

These guys/gals are all pretty closely knit, since they travel the country with each other season by season. I'm not so sure that approach would work in this situation, but certainly at a smaller venue.....it'd likely work great.

veritasimagerynw wrote in post #16017655 (external link)
As was explained to me by an "exclusive photographer" for a road course track day organizer, these guys have exclusive rights to "all access" to the track. But, that said, they can't stop anyone from shooting from spectator areas, nor are they often allowed to stop those people from selling their pictures, as long as they aren't actively selling at the event or on the event/club's websites. So, unless they are going to ban every photographer, just keep shooting and enjoying your pictures.

Lately I've worked on my own personal attitude and approach to things, I guess its a part of growing up. :) I was there with a buddy, which I forgot to mention, whom was also carrying a Canon with a Bigma attached. I even forewarned my friend that those guys were going to approach us at some point.....sure enough, only took about an hour after we got there for one to say something. When the guy asked me who I was shooting for, I wanted to say a particular racing family......and when he asked who the rider was, I was going to respond "Haywood.......Haywood Jablowme". But I refrained. :)

GoodEye906 wrote in post #16017762 (external link)
I do a lot of this for Snocross in the winter months around here for the local newpaper.

There is one guy, who shoots exclusively for MXR Racing, he raised a huge fuss with me last year (2012) for being on the track shooting photos... he and I went to the event coordinator, and I told him (and showed him) my media pass and verification that I'm with the local newspaper. The event coordinator told me as long as I wore a TekVest and signed a release waiver, he didn't mind if I was out there.

I posted a few photos of the local riders onto my Facebook page that night, and in the morning, the coordinator came over to me and said, "Hey, I just want you to know Matt is pissed you posted some photos on Facebook." I replied, "Yes, a couple of each of our local riders, and I also watermarked them right across the middle of the racer, he might not have seen that." He replied with "well if they are watermarked it's no problem with me, as long as you don't sell them from under Matt."

So the rest of that day, the other guy (Matt) was snarky with me for being there... blah blah...

This year, the same event, MXR Snocross was in my town again, and on the first day, Matt came up to and said, "Hey man! How's it going, I saw the rest of your photos you posted and they were pretty awesome! Glad to see you here again this year."

Like we were best friends all of a sudden. I'm not sure... the guy is unusual.

Everyone is different, just approach the situation with a level head and don't try to raise any fuss. My thoughts are if they are getting paid from the event, and they ask you to move... just do so. You're not there to make money, so what's the big deal in taking a few steps to move elsewhere.

They generally know where the money spots are for photographs, most have scouted the track a time or two.

But that's just my $0.02

Interesting story. You'd think in the same aspect, at least one of these guys would recognize me.....I'm at all the events remotely close to my house (within the state, actually). Its to the point where its old. I have a passion for ATV/motorcycle racing that actually is stronger than my drive for photography. So the fact that I am paying to get into these events, and I am fulfilling two of my strongest interests together in one event.....it really makes me that much more angry than I normally would be.

philwillmedia wrote in post #16018370 (external link)
Just don't worry about it.
I couldn't care less how many other people are on what side of the fence.
None of them are affecting what I'm doing, and if any of them want to come and chat or are after some tips on how and when to shoot certain parts of the track that's fine by me.
Sometimes it helps relieve the boredom.

Appreciate that feedback. This is exactly how the other pro-photog is who I speak to regularly that shoots for a forum/website. He's super cool, and will gladly share tips/info.

emelvee wrote in post #16018470 (external link)
I would say you're fine as long as you stay out of their way. I could see them getting upset if you were standing too close or something.

Ya I'm certainly not going to be in their way from the spectator area. Sometimes even the spectator access has the better angle/view than some areas on the track. Despite my above statement for what I wanted to say when I was asked Saturday, if one of those guys was trying to get 'that' shot in a spectator area in which I was occupying, I'd kindly give them the space. However, with the attitude/demeanor of each of them.....I doubt I'd even get any acknowledgement if I did that.

Thanks for the replies folks. :cool: Keep them coming if anyone has any stories are anything else to add.


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Jun 10, 2013 19:29 |  #13

As long as you are within the policies of the venues and the organizers, tell em to pound sand. *shrug*


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veritasimagerynw
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Jun 10, 2013 20:44 |  #14

TTUShooter wrote in post #16018632 (external link)
As long as you are within the policies of the venues and the organizers, tell em to pound sand. *shrug*

One of the tough parts is that not all the tracks and organizers put their policies out there for the general public to see.

That's been an issue I've run into. I have "all access" through the track itself, unless the organizer has an "exclusive photographer", but it bites when the organizer doesn't make it known that they do until after you've shot, processed, and uploaded. And then you get "that" email.


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MikeFairbanks
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Jun 10, 2013 23:51 |  #15

Tell them you have a very contagious disease. They'll back off right away.


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How do you guys deal with the pro photog's at big events? Any pro's on the board?
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