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Thread started 28 Feb 2017 (Tuesday) 15:12
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displaying and selling sports action photos

 
hikermk
Member
Joined Nov 2012
Black Hills SD
Post has been edited 8 months ago by hikermk.
Feb 28, 2017 15:12 |  #1

I recently got hired to shoot an upcoming hockey tournament. None of the pros here in town wanted to take on this task as they felt it would not be beneficial to them. I have been shooting hockey, soccer, volleyball and basketball for a few years. I don't have a website. So I am in need of advice on which would be the quickest, easiest and the less expensive way to display photos and sell them. I am going to be photographing 16 games. Each game will have their own gallery. I prefer not to have the photos printed and mailed out, but a digital download. Or maybe they can just be displayed and watermarked, and emailed out. Maybe using Paypal to purchase. This was very spur of the moment and I don't have much time to get it sorted out, since nobody else wanted to take on the job. A website would be nice, but I am just looking for something short term to get me thru this tournament. I am open to any ideas or suggestions.


Canon 80D, Canon T4i, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, Canon 85 F1.8, Canon EFS 18-135 STM, Canon EFS 18-135, EFS 10-22, Speedlight 420 EX, Speedlight 430 EX II, Stroboframe, Manfrotto tripod

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98kellrs
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Joined Oct 2012
Perth, Australia
Feb 28, 2017 16:14 |  #2

Sign up for Zenfolio, Smugmug or one of the other photo hosting sites. In effect you would be creating a website but those two are pretty quick and simple. There are plenty of others but those are the only two I have experience with.

Also, there's probably a reason the pro's are steering clear, are you sure you want to invest that much time, effort and pressure for an un-guaranteed return?


Ryan
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hikermk
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
Joined Nov 2012
Black Hills SD
Post has been edited 8 months ago by hikermk.
Feb 28, 2017 17:08 as a reply to 98kellrs's post |  #3

I just checked out Smug Mug and leaning towards the Portfolio plan and maybe doing a 2 month option. Just to get thru this tournament.

You are absolutely correct on the assessment of the pros not wanting to mess with this tournament. It isn't guaranteed by any means, which also had me second guessing this. The pros learn from trial and error which instantly raised a red flag. But the tournament committee was extremely desperate in getting somebody to do this. It would be 15 hours a day for 3 days. 16 games with an average of 800 shots per game. That's 12,800 on my camera. Plus a couple hundred for opening ceremonies and championship ceremony. Then there are the countless hours of editing. It takes me days to edit a wedding so I can't imagine 13,000-14,000 hockey photos. Out of all of those images, I might only sell 100, or maybe 10. I don't know how other photographers have done for a State tournament. This could definitely end up being a complete bust. As of now I can't back out. I think when this is all over it will be a learning experience with valuable lessons learned.


Canon 80D, Canon T4i, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, Canon 85 F1.8, Canon EFS 18-135 STM, Canon EFS 18-135, EFS 10-22, Speedlight 420 EX, Speedlight 430 EX II, Stroboframe, Manfrotto tripod

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Dan ­ Marchant
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Feb 28, 2017 22:43 |  #4

hikermk wrote in post #18288136 (external link)
....But the tournament committee was extremely desperate in getting somebody to do this.

Desperate enough to pay?

The likelihood is that you will sell no images, which is why none of the pros will touch it. The only way to make money shooting sports is to get paid a fee by the organisers (or by a sponsor) - which then allows you to give away the image files for free.

Problems...
1. How will anyone know your website exists. Unless you are walking through the crowd handing out cards to everyone they won't even know your new site exists. So it will be impossible for them to buy images.
2. Even if the organisers put up a custom banner and an advert in the program people still wont know. I just flick to the blurb in the program about the actual event then toss the program in the recycling. Pretty sure most others do to.
3. In the age of smart phone photography crap is good enough. People will take a selfie or a snap of the stadium and be happy with that. They will enjoy looking at your images but not enough to buy one.
4. People don't buy after the fact. Once they leave the event it is over. Even if you did hand out cards to everyone in the stadium no one will go to your site after the event - especially not two days after the event. Sorting, culling, PPing (even simple batch work) and posting that many images will take time (day or two.... more?) By that time everyone is on to the next distraction.

Of course there are exceptions to the above. If you have a really slick operation at the event you might sell some images. That means a booth with someone processing your images (swap out the card at half time), uploading them and a row of computers that people can browse/buy images from - plus you would probably need someone to hand out cards and let people know your booth exists.


Dan Marchant
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hikermk
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Black Hills SD
Mar 01, 2017 00:32 as a reply to Dan Marchant's post |  #5

Great advice Dan! I appreciate it. All very valid points. I really wish I had more hands on help on this, but everything was kind of thrown together at the end. Reason being is that I initially turned it down. Others did too, and then it came back around to me.


Canon 80D, Canon T4i, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, Canon 85 F1.8, Canon EFS 18-135 STM, Canon EFS 18-135, EFS 10-22, Speedlight 420 EX, Speedlight 430 EX II, Stroboframe, Manfrotto tripod

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Dan ­ Marchant
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Where I'm from is unimportant, it's where I'm going that counts.
Mar 01, 2017 07:21 |  #6

So why didn't you turn it down again? This is going to cost you money (even if that money is just time). Photos of events like this are adverts for the event (and for future ones). You are paying for their advertising.

It's not as if you would be losing a client because they aren't paying you and no one else is queuing up to take the work.


Dan Marchant
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Jethr0
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ON, Canada
Mar 11, 2017 14:44 |  #7

Dan brings up great points. Sad fact is he's almost certainly correct.

If the organizer is desperate to have coverage at the event then I suggest you negotiate a flat rate per day and deliver the images from a Dropbox or similar online service. Shoot to JPEG. Don't bother editing individual images. Maybe some bulk images to give them a generic punch.

That's it. If they're not willing to do that then I don't see any value at all in assuming all of the risk. It'd be a waste of your time.

I've done a few local gigs this way. It's not a terrible way to make a few extra bucks.


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rdalrt
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Joined Aug 2008
The Great White North
Mar 11, 2017 21:06 |  #8

hikermk wrote in post #18288136 (external link)
It would be 15 hours a day for 3 days.

15 hours a day for 3 days on spec? I am gonna say this will be the first and last time you take a gig like this.

As was previously mentioned, a job like this should be a previously agreed upon flat rate. Supply them the images and let them display, sell, give away the images as they wish.


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Dan ­ Marchant
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Where I'm from is unimportant, it's where I'm going that counts.
Jun 10, 2017 20:14 |  #9

hikermk wrote in post #18288506 (external link)
Great advice Dan! I appreciate it. All very valid points. I really wish I had more hands on help on this, but everything was kind of thrown together at the end. Reason being is that I initially turned it down. Others did too, and then it came back around to me.

Might be helpful to others facing the same situation to hear how it turned out and any advise/insights you have after the event.


Dan Marchant
Website/blog: danmarchant.com (external link)
Instagram: @dan_marchant (external link)
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BigAl007
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Joined Dec 2010
Repps cum Bastwick, Gt Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK.
Jun 11, 2017 05:18 |  #10

A few years ago the local Air Cadet Sqn that I was an instructor for provided marshals for a company that was trying to promote a series of Triathlons in the county. We did it as it is the sort of activity that the kids enjoy, and gives them a bit of responsibility. Anyway they had a company doing photos of the event. They had three or four photographers out around the course taking the pictures, and somebody seemed to be going round collecting the cards. They seemed to be using 7D's and 5DIII's all with red ring glass. The van and computer systems which included on site printing all looked state of the art too. They seemed to be doing a lot of business, or at least the area they had seemed to be very busy throughout the event. I got the feeling that they covered these sorts of events all over East Anglia, and even beyond our local region.

The leaflet I picked up showed that they had been doing this sort of event work for quite a number of years, so it must have been profitable enough to support a team of a half dozen or so people.

Alan


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Dan ­ Marchant
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Jun 11, 2017 21:40 |  #11

BigAl007 wrote in post #18375761 (external link)
The van and computer systems which included on site printing all looked state of the art too. They seemed to be doing a lot of business, or at least the area they had seemed to be very busy throughout the event. I got the feeling that they covered these sorts of events all over East Anglia, and even beyond our local region.

Yes this is the key. You need to be able to offer stuff for sale immediately, while people are in the moment and that takes a team and an bunch of tech.


Dan Marchant
Website/blog: danmarchant.com (external link)
Instagram: @dan_marchant (external link)
Gear Canon 5DIII + Fuji X-T2 + lenses + a plastic widget I found in the camera box.

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