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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 07 Aug 2012 (Tuesday) 20:27
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How To Make Money With High School Sports....?

 
ColeSales
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Aug 07, 2012 20:27 |  #1

I've been shooting high school sports for about two years now and I'm realizing that you can't make a living from shooting sports. I'm contracted through the local (My High School) that pays me on a hourly wage for photos for the newsletter. Anyways....If you shoot High School Sports..How do you make your money..? I have a SmugMug website and it seems that everyone and their freaking monther go and view the photos but don't EVER buy the photos.

**On-Site Printing Is Out Of The Question** (I'm only 16....too much money to invest with little opportunity to make a dollar here or there.


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PhotosGuy
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Aug 07, 2012 22:36 |  #2

Some links in: Shooting kids athletics for sale to parents


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Curtis ­ N
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Aug 07, 2012 23:14 |  #3

Take shots of kids with really rich parents.


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Aug 07, 2012 23:48 |  #4

I certainly applaud your efforts to do something productive with your time. You can feel free to ask all the questions you might like but there are plenty of threads written on this topic already here and elsewhere on the web. Frank was kind enough to refer you to a few. Do some research on your own and you will find that you are not the first one to attempt to make money shooting HS sports.
I checked your existing galleries and I can offer you some advice, take it or leave it: You will need to be better than all the parents with a camera who offer a CD of the entire season for free. You will need to be MUCH better than them. If your shots were the 100% solution, the best in your marketplace, and you charge $5 per image and a parent produces the 80% solution and gives it for free, free will win out nearly 100% of the time. From what I saw in your sports galleries you must improve your results before anyone will pay you. I refer you to one of the many good sports photographers on POTN: https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=701776 He has created a single thread with consistently solid results in a nice variety of sports. There are plenty of others, learn from them, pick up a sports illustrated subscription, first set your work apart from the crowd, then figure out how to SELL pictures. They wont sell themselves.


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kforde
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Aug 09, 2012 07:56 |  #5

@ChunkyDA - That is one of the most supportive while still being highly constructive comments I have seen in a long time. This is the kind of advice all young photographers need early and exactly the advice I wish I had received early on.


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jra
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Aug 09, 2012 16:40 |  #6

IME, the best money is either made shooting high end sporting events or the youngest kids. By the time kids get to high school, most parents already have more than enough photos, buttons, and whatnot that the sales just aren't very strong......and the students will rarely buy a photo of themselves.




  
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glumpy
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Aug 09, 2012 18:21 |  #7
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I fund Selling sports pics online had the same result as you have found, 1000 lookers, no buyers.
Now had I not been doing well out of onsite sales, I'd have simply put it down to my pics being no good. But that wasn't what was happening.

Despite what people say, I have found online is more trouble than it's worth. There is the mucking round getting them resized and uploaded and then no matter how much you watermark them or try to stop downloading they still pop up everywhere and the sales ( if any) in no way return the time and effort invested. Yeah, it cost a little to do onsite showing and printing but I made my money back and was into profit by the 2nd time out.

I don't know if there is the possibility to set up a computer at the canteen or clubhouse where your games are to display the pics but it would be worth looking into. If you set up a gallery with Jalbum you can run a kiosk on any $50 P4 computer to show the pics. Maybe you could put one in the school library and have order forms where people filled in CC details or otherwise paid you in advance to prevent bogus orders.

Other than that, why put them online at all? If you are getting no sales, there is no point. Burn the shots for the newsletter to disk, give them that and that's it.
I'd try it as a marketing exercise. Stop putting the pics up and see how many people come to you and ask about it. when they do explain you were getting no sales so you are not bothering any more.
If you get enough people asking you could put the pics up again and see if they are inspired to buy some to keep you posting. If there is no feedback, then you have only saved wasted time.

If you want to make a business, think like a business person. :0)


From RDKirk: First, let me check the forum heading...yes, it does say "Business of Photography" and not "Hobby of Photography." Okay. So we're talking about making money, not about hobbies. By "business" I am presuming activities that pay expenses and produce a profit over the long term.

  
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Joe300
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Aug 09, 2012 21:39 |  #8

Hello, you will find some parents buy and some dont. the kids will just look at your web site and tell friends and share the photos. also some might be coping the images right off your web site too.
if you find that some parents will buy from you then you know waht players to shoot more than others.

You can also try to print out 5x 7 or 8x 10 and bring them to the next game. sells might get better that way. I had one player show me his photo on his cell phone that I took of him one night at a game and told him where did you get that image??? he said from your web site... I told him he owes me $5.00
I had to change my image setting and water mark on all images... wonder why nobody was buying from me...

good luck,
Joe


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ChunkyDA
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Aug 09, 2012 23:16 |  #9

kforde wrote in post #14834965 (external link)
@ChunkyDA - That is one of the most supportive while still being highly constructive comments I have seen in a long time. This is the kind of advice all young photographers need early and exactly the advice I wish I had received early on.

Thanks, Glad you enjoyed it.

Joe300 wrote in post #14838166 (external link)
I had one player show me his photo on his cell phone that I took of him one night at a game and told him where did you get that image??? he said from your web site... I told him he owes me $5.00
I had to change my image setting and water mark on all images... wonder why nobody was buying from me... good luck, Joe

This has become universal. Very few parents create a physical "I love my kids" wall. It is all online now, poor quality, watermarks-be-damned mentality. The kids just screen capture right on their phone and repost as their profile pic.


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Steve ­ of ­ Cornubia
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Aug 10, 2012 00:00 |  #10

I had a similar experience shooting amateur (i.e. club level) motor sport. Sales were very disappointing. However, I have a theory.

The thing is, I used to do this before, back in the late 80s. That first tim around I made quite a bit of money, albeit using a different sales method (pre internet & digital). I would first of all go round the paddock asking who was interested in receiving proofs, then I would make contact sheets - yes, this was back in the Dark(room) Ages! I would mail these proofs to each driver and wait.......

This time around I've had much less success, even though I reckon my photos are better than my earlier efforts. There is always interest in the paddock (I still go round collecting names and car details so that I can send a 'heads up' email when the images are on my website) and there is always a flurry of site traffic in the week after the emails go out, but sales are low.

My theory is that people are much more used to being photographed these days, if only by family and friends, and let's face it, even compact cameras in the hands of amateurs can produce quite reasonable pics these days. Then there are the enthusiasts who own fairly decent DSLRs and are happy to give their work away, simply for the appreciation they receive.

Added to this, the plethora of web sites covering every single event around the globe means that most people get to see pics of themselves published from time to time. The result of all this is that most people really aren't that keen to actually PAY for photos any more (unless of course you're lucky to grab a real 'money shot', such as them and their car flying airborne over the fence or some equally heroic image).

The most common exceptions to this apparent apathy are competitors who need pics for their sponsors, or mothers of junior drivers. Even then, there simply aren't enough of those exceptions to make the business pay.


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Bosscat
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Aug 10, 2012 10:43 |  #11

You are banging your head against the wall, when you have to compete with parents, guys and gals that sell dirt cheap and the fact many people these days are more then happy with that low res image they lifted off your site, so they can show their friends on facebook.

I used to shoot various racing events and I had very well off parents want me to post all the pictures online of their two kids. I had already printed out 4x6 with me, they could buy, but they prefered to just go lift pictures from online and print them at home. Thats how frickin sad people have become these days. Just look at all the crappy cell phone pics they are happy with

I actually have more enjoyment shooting away from a racetrack then I ever do at a track because of peoples attitudes these days.


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Aug 10, 2012 12:17 |  #12

Best way to make money at HS Sporting events is at the concession stand.


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tomj
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Aug 10, 2012 13:03 |  #13

http://www.sportsshoot​er.com …ge_display.html​?tid=39446 (external link)


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Joe300
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Aug 10, 2012 20:23 |  #14

Thomas Campbell wrote in post #14840655 (external link)
Best way to make money at HS Sporting events is at the concession stand.

Do you mean start a concession stand bussiness, like hotdogs, popcorn,etc.... I know this guy who just makes popcorn at local events and games, sells them for $5-9 dollars.. people buy like crazy..

Make some nice prints all sizes and open a concession stand.
keep shooting, you can also gets gigs like senior photos, family, etc..
how about band photos..

Bet mom and dad would love a nice one of kids in the band..

good luck,
Joe

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Bosscat
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Aug 11, 2012 15:19 |  #15

Joe300 wrote in post #14842203 (external link)
Do you mean start a concession stand bussiness, like hotdogs, popcorn,etc.... I know this guy who just makes popcorn at local events and games, sells them for $5-9 dollars.. people buy like crazy..

LOL......but it takes serious skillz to make popcorn


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How To Make Money With High School Sports....?
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