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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Motorsports Talk 
Thread started 26 Dec 2014 (Friday) 10:04
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More to racing photography than cars

 
LevelPebble
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Post edited over 3 years ago by LevelPebble.
     
Dec 26, 2014 10:04 |  #1

As someone who has been taking pictures at local short tracks for many years as GWC, I always concentrated on victory lane and on track action. Last year I was asked to fill in as the "official" track photog and will be doing it in 2015.

Anyhow, in order to get my presence known and for fun during the off season, I started a FB page and post a few a day. Hoping I might sell a few and laying groundwork for next year.

Some of the pics that get the most comments are those of non race car stuff like track staff, general pit shots etc. Recently the long time beer vendor in the stands passed away, and it was apparent how many people interacted with him and how he was part of the race atmosphere.

I realized that those candid shots are just as important to many people as the ones of cars, so promised myself to broaden my horizons. I have no expectations that anyone will buy a picture of those types of shots, but they do mean a lot to people and rekindle memories.


Motorsports Photographer for ARCA at Flat Rock/Toledo Speedway

  
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gonzogolf
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Dec 26, 2014 10:11 |  #2

Just understand what people respond to on facebook has little correlation with successful photography.




  
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LevelPebble
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Dec 26, 2014 10:50 |  #3

This is a track I have attended for over 20 yrs. My passion is short track racing and this is my home every Sat night. I am friends with many of the racers, track staff, and fans.

While my official role is now photographer, I also consider myself as a track ambassador. Considering all of that, there are several important roles I perform as photographer.

1) Capture images for posterity (track history)

2) Provide images for track website and local publication plus other track PR needs.

3) Promote track personally using social media & networking. IMO, we all need to support the sport to make sure it succeeds.

4) Make images available for sale to racers and fans.


Motorsports Photographer for ARCA at Flat Rock/Toledo Speedway

  
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gonzogolf
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Dec 26, 2014 11:05 as a reply to  @ LevelPebble's post |  #4

I understand, my point remains. Facebook activity will have little bearing on what sells. A like click costs nothing, comments and compliments are in the context of the poor quality of the usual facebook content. There are countless threads here where photographers fueled with facebook enthusiasm found a much different environment when it came time to convert that into sales.




  
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veritasimagerynw
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Jan 02, 2015 17:42 |  #5

gonzogolf wrote in post #17351396 (external link)
I understand, my point remains. Facebook activity will have little bearing on what sells. A like click costs nothing, comments and compliments are in the context of the poor quality of the usual facebook content. There are countless threads here where photographers fueled with facebook enthusiasm found a much different environment when it came time to convert that into sales.

So very true. The thing to understand is that most "local" racers are already on a tight budget with little room for "extra" costs, like pictures. You might get a sale here and there with those drivers that are looking to moving upwards and would like promotional materials, but you can't count on that. As far as media sales are concerned, don't even expect it. Again, most "club" and local media are less than willing to pay for photography. I can't count how many times I've been approached by a club that wanted to use my pictures in their newsletter that backed out when the subject of money came up. There are way too many people willing to give their pictures away for them to consider paying you for them.

I get tons of "likes" on my pictures I post on FB, but those rarely relate to sales. And from what I've found, track days are better for sales than race days, those guys are hobbyists and usually have more "discretionary" income than racers. And even then, it seems that motorcyclists buy more than car guys, by nearly double. Not that this helps with short track stuff, but just an observance.

Anyway, use FB as a way to promote your work, but don't rely on it as a barometer of how well your work will sell.


Kevin
Canon AE-1 Program, Canon A-1, Canon T3i (gripped), Canon 60D (gripped), Various lenses
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LevelPebble
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Jan 02, 2015 20:03 |  #6

Kevin,

I realize that nobody is likely to buy a picture of the beer vendor or the tech inspector. The point of my OP is that I consider my role to be much more than just selling pictures.

My passion for much of my life is short track racing. This particular track has been my entertainment destination for a couple decades and I have made great friendships over the years with drivers, officials, fans etc. Because of some prior media work in 2009, the track owner has provided me full access at zero cost to me ever since. I was asked to fill in last year and was happy to oblige.

Had a lot of fun and made some $$ at the same time; the racers that did buy from me were very complimentary. Not everyone knows me, so I created a FB page to have some fun, promote myself, and keep some momemtum going during the off season.

I am considered part of the track staff & as the photographer, I provide a service to the competitors if they want to buy pictures, and to the track to help with PR. I consider each of these to be as important as the other. Not only that, it is important from a historical perspective to capture the whole essence of the speedway including all facets.

Selling pictures is a pleasant byproduct of all those other activities, not the reason I am there.


Motorsports Photographer for ARCA at Flat Rock/Toledo Speedway

  
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magoosmc
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Jan 02, 2015 20:36 |  #7

LevelPebble wrote in post #17363021 (external link)
Kevin,

The point of my OP is that I consider my role to be much more than just selling pictures.

I am considered part of the track staff & as the photographer, I provide a service to the competitors if they want to buy pictures, and to the track to help with PR. I consider each of these to be as important as the other. Not only that, it is important from a historical perspective to capture the whole essence of the speedway including all facets.

Selling pictures is a pleasant byproduct of all those other activities, not the reason I am there.

You have figured out something that a lot of motorsports photographers never consider.

"It's a race, not a car show. We're here to document a race - all aspects of it".

That came from a friend who has covered racing, both in the US and Europe, for over 40 years. Someday even the most mundane shots will be considered "historic". You're on the right track :)


https://www.flickr.com​/photos/22055591@N05/a​lbums (external link)

  
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