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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 15 Aug 2012 (Wednesday) 09:10
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making to jump to pro...

 
tennfan1125
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Aug 15, 2012 09:10 |  #1

I am seriously considering making the jump to becoming a pro sports photographer. any advice. please serious advice only. what to look out for, what to do or what not to do. any help would be appreciated.


canon 30d, canon 1d mkIII, 50mm 1.8, 18-55mm, canon 1.4 extender, canon 400mm f2.8 IS, canon 70-200 f2.8 IS II, Canon 16-35mm f2.8,Pocket Wizards,430 ex II, 580 ex II, Canon 430 EX, sigma SA-9, 70-300 5.6, 28-80mm(which I NEVER use)

  
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DC ­ Fan
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Aug 15, 2012 09:47 |  #2

tennfan1125 wrote in post #14861298 (external link)
I am seriously considering making the jump to becoming a pro sports photographer. any advice. please serious advice only. what to look out for, what to do or what not to do. any help would be appreciated.

First, you need to find someone who will hire you and pay you for your work. That's the most difficult point, because there are fewer and fewer sources of income and and an increasing amount of competition. Nowadays, a customer may be a photo agency or publication or the customer may be an individual buyer. In any case,they're harder to find and keep than ever before.

Second you need to be able to produce good pictures very quickly, on a client's deadlines. There will be no time for extensive work on the images after the events. The pictures will need to come out of the camera ready to use by your clients with a minimum of changes.

Beyond that, you need years of experience. Your competition will probably have a head start of decades at photography, and they will have proven themselves at being able to deliver good product on time.

You will also need to be able to sell yourself to a potential client, and dedicate yourself to deliver what the client wants, and not what you want when you feel like it. Clients are not patient, and they have no reason to be patient.

A surprisingly small amount of the recipe for success at professional photography comes from the actual creation of pictures. Much of it has to do with dealing with customers and their demands, which can be imperfect. That human relations part of the job can be the hardest part for new photographers to master, since so many develop their technical skills in isolation and have a hard time dealing with real people and the needs of a customer.

Never forget that customers are not photographers and are not obsessed with the technical details and fetishes that are popular on forums such as this. Customers just want good pictures and they'll want them fast, but it's up to you to find out what the customers think are good pictures, if you can't deliver that and and you insist that you know more about what makes a good picture than the customer, then you'll lose that customer. And as quickly complaints spread in the online era, you'll probably have lost many future customers.

So, if you have the social skills to handle an actual client and can deliver material on tight deadlines and can figure out what real non-photographers want,and can resist the need to be in total control of a situation, you may be ready to make the switch- if you can outperform your competition. It won't be easy.




  
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AvailableLight
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Aug 15, 2012 10:04 |  #3

^^LIKE^^ :)


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recrisp
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Aug 15, 2012 10:47 as a reply to  @ AvailableLight's post |  #4

DC hit it right, I think, perfectly stated, and that applies to not only to photography, but to a LOT of businesses, I know I have found that to be exactly as he said. (I'm not a professional photographer) Most customers are this way, they don't know what is best, they only know what they want, and want it now.

Randy


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toolman21
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Aug 17, 2012 15:57 |  #5

I agree that it applies to pretty much everything. You generally only worth what people "think" you are worth. Most of any job is making sure people know what you have done and develop a relationship with them. The guy sitting in the back corner may be brilliant and give perfect work, but people will never think to promote him because they don't ever think about him period. Granted I work in computers not photography, but I would think managing people, managing expectations and marketing is the largest part of going pro...not clicking the shutter button.


Toolman21 - Canon 60d & T1i (sold) - Canon 17-55 | Canon 17-85 | Canon 50mm 1.4 | Sigma 10-20 | Canon 55-250
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ajaffe
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Aug 17, 2012 22:10 |  #6

Costs of shooting sports:
2x 1D series body- 1,400 ~ 3,500 used depending on the number
300 2.8 or 400 2.8- 5,000 ~ 7,000
70-200 2.8- 1,000 ~2,000
16-35 2.8 or 24-70 2.8- 1,100 ~ 1,400

On the low end you are looking at around 10,000 buying used everything to get in. You can definitely shoot with less, but these are par for the course to get your work to pop from most consumers. Also, clients tend to be pissed if they see you show up with a 70-200 to shoot something like a football game because they think they can produce similar photos as that lens is more available to them.

This 10,000 does not figure in maintenance, memory cards, extra batteries, carrying equipment such as a backpack, speedlight(s), or a laptop and software.

Once you cross that hurdle, get used to finding assignment for around 100-300 per event. Then figure out your cost of doing business, ie. rent, car, 3g cards if necessary, food, etc. and see if you can turn a profit at these rates. These rates are pretty average also, don't think there is bonanza out there.

Once you cross your CODB hurdle and decide you are comfortable with those numbers, do a bit of market research to see what sports guys/gals in your area make. Then expect less than that since you are newer to the scene.

It is not a glamorous lifestyle.


www.aaronsjaffe.com (external link)

  
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watt100
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Aug 18, 2012 05:29 |  #7

ajaffe wrote in post #14872903 (external link)
Once you cross that hurdle, get used to finding assignment for around 100-300 per event. Then figure out your cost of doing business, ie. rent, car, 3g cards if necessary, food, etc. and see if you can turn a profit at these rates. These rates are pretty average also, don't think there is bonanza out there.

Once you cross your CODB hurdle and decide you are comfortable with those numbers, do a bit of market research to see what sports guys/gals in your area make. Then expect less than that since you are newer to the scene.

It is not a glamorous lifestyle.

yes, so I've heard

OP, be sure to check out http://www.sportsshoot​er.com (external link)




  
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rick_reno
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Aug 18, 2012 18:37 |  #8

tennfan1125 wrote in post #14861298 (external link)
I am seriously considering making the jump to becoming a pro sports photographer. any advice. please serious advice only. what to look out for, what to do or what not to do. any help would be appreciated.

what not to do? easy, stop skipping your meds. ;)




  
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TooManyShots
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Aug 18, 2012 18:48 |  #9
bannedPermanent ban

Shooting what? All the major ball sports in America?? Don't we have plenty of those togs around here already???


One Imaging Photography (external link) and my Flickr (external link)
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MikeFairbanks
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Aug 18, 2012 22:52 |  #10

Shoot surfing. The pay is horrible, the hours are long, but you travel the world.

IMAGE: http://fairmont.smugmug.com/photos/884057317_zM9mk-XL.jpg

Thank you. bw!

  
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xchangx
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Location: Mobile, AL
     
Oct 03, 2012 15:30 |  #11

tennfan1125 wrote in post #14861298 (external link)
I am seriously considering making the jump to becoming a pro sports photographer. any advice. please serious advice only. what to look out for, what to do or what not to do. any help would be appreciated.

Without knowing your background, I wold rethink your question. You don't just "jump" it's more like a walk and depending on your skill level, luck and networking skills it could be a slow walk.

With that said, it can be done, but you need to build a portfolio. No one is going to take you seriously until you can prove that you can produce. And that's only the start, once you can prove that you can produce quality shots, you then have to prove that you can do it on a deadline.

But first you have to consider the costs. True you can get a sigma 120-300 2.8 or a budget 70-200, but you have to remember, you are also competing with other people and need to get similar or better shots.

So, rethink what you want to do, come up with a game plan. You can message me or email me anytime if you need help.


Nikon D4s / 2x D3s / D3 / 17-35 2.8 / 70-200 2.8 / 600 f4
Freelance sports photographer for Getty Images Sports, Entertainment and News
Freelance sports photographer for Sports Illustrated
My Images with Getty (external link)
My Sportsshooter Page (external link)
My Website (external link)

  
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watt100
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Oct 03, 2012 18:05 |  #12

DC Fan wrote in post #14861482 (external link)
First, you need to find someone who will hire you and pay you for your work. That's the most difficult point, because there are fewer and fewer sources of income and and an increasing amount of competition.

The local newspapers are laying off sports photographers, "pro sports photographers" seems to be a shrinking industry.

some resources here:
http://www.sportsshoot​er.com/ (external link)




  
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