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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk 
Thread started 28 Mar 2013 (Thursday) 02:30
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Any professional sports photographers online?

 
photopro456
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Mar 28, 2013 02:30 |  #1

My name is Ralph Gantz and I am working toward becoming a sports photographer for the Akron Beacon Journal or the Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Are there any members who are also professional sports photographers?:):):)




  
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DC ­ Fan
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Mar 28, 2013 06:46 |  #2

photopro456 wrote in post #15764284 (external link)
My name is Ralph Gantz and I am working toward becoming a sports photographer for the Akron Beacon Journal or the Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Are there any members who are also professional sports photographers?:):):)

First, be warned that daily newspapers have drastically cut their photo staffs in recent years. If either paper has any openings, you're going to face competition from a growing number of photographers who have been laid off from other newspapers. That competition will have years of experience that you presumably will not have. There's a chance thst you'll be able to find part-time work at individual events to fill in the papers' coverage gaps, but even that requires experience. One busy freelancer in this area is a former photo editor at a small-town newspaper.

Also, newspaper work involves meeting very tight deadlines. You'll need to have material ready for use in a couple of hours, when a photo editor wants the images, and not in a few days or when you want. Be aware that preparing photos for print use can mean as much writing as photography, because newspaper photographers must provide detailed caption information. You'll need to be in the field and operate on your own, and frequently you'll need to upload material using only a Macbook and whatever wireless connection you can find. I've seen deadline newspaper photographers sitting on the floor in an isolated corner of a high school gym or on a running track at a football game, selecting, captioning and uploading material to meet a deadline.

Being able to produce good material on deadlines and work effectively under time pressures is extremely important to being a successful newspaper photographer. What others on this forum produce in a week, you will need to produce in an hour. There are even some devices that are used to transmit images directly from a camera to a newspaper's photo desk. The time pressures that most of this forum's members avoid at all cost will need to be part of your life.

Also, while many members of this forum are comfortable only when they're in total control of a situation, you won't be in charge. You'll need to satisfy a customer; a photo editor who can be very demanding when it comes to meeting deadlines.

Now, there are and always will be many people who thrive under these intense conditions, but the job's not for everyone. A special type of photographer is needed, a non-ranter who is dedicated to producing good material under what many members of this forum would consider adverse conditions. Think hard about whether you want that sort of life.




  
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gromeo
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Mar 28, 2013 07:39 |  #3

photopro456 wrote in post #15764284 (external link)
My name is Ralph Gantz and I am working toward becoming a sports photographer for the Akron Beacon Journal or the Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Are there any members who are also professional sports photographers?:):):)

DC Fan pretty much nailed it in his response.

You did not mention if this will be as a staff position or if you are just trying to get on as a freelance / on call type of shooter. I am not sure of the ABJ but Plain dealer is a daily which means deadline are more strict.
I freelance and shoot for daily and weekly papers, for daily papers my deadline is usually 9p (but have gotten called stating they need images at 8 and game started at 730) for weekly deadline a little looser. Making compelling images on deadline is tough and add to that images that tell the story that is what a PJ does in sports or news. Also learn to caption a photo most papers require you to caption AP Style to see how the do it go to APphotos.com this will give you an idea.

Good Luck


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primoz
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Mar 28, 2013 07:47 |  #4

I guess there's few of us here , who would fit into this category ;)
It's not really all that bad as DC Fan wrote, especially since around here (Europe) newspaper photographers have pretty easy job, at least compared to those of us who shoot for agencies. With newspaper you basically need photo or two (or sometimes maybe 10 for web gallery), while with agencies you need to provide a whole lot more then 1 or 2 photos from event. But it's true that through the years, you get to know how to get around easy way (it's not uncommon for me to leave soocer or basketball match after 10 minutes... if I get 20 good photos in first 10 minutes, I don't bother to wait and spend another hour and half there for nothing).
But the thing I would like to point out is, that this profession doesn't have future... unfortunately. In 5-10 years, printed newspapers will be gone, and in let's say some 15 years, photography like we know it now, will be gone (at least when it comes to news and sport). So my personal suggestion to any kid thinking about going this way is, run, and run fast away from this. Get job with future, and do photography for fun, even if you do some freelancing on side, but don't bet your life on this, and don't bet you will do this job until you retire. And that's what bugging me much more then work on deadline. Working on deadline is at least challenge, knowing all will be gone in few years, is just depressing.


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Mar 28, 2013 07:55 |  #5

I shoot pro sports and I agree with Primoz and DC Fan. There is definitely no future in it and I am not sure there is even a present.


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treebound
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Mar 28, 2013 08:54 |  #6

primoz wrote in post #15764647 (external link)
...
Working on deadline is at least challenge, knowing all will be gone in few years, is just depressing.

What do you see yourself transitioning into? Fine Are photography perhaps, or some niche market specialization? Just curious (and trying not to hijack the thread).


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primoz
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Mar 28, 2013 11:04 as a reply to  @ treebound's post |  #7

To be honest... no idea. But most likely out of photography. Thing is, that I have been in top level sport before as athlete (skiing), and shooting sport now is fun... it's sort of similar to this what I have been doing before all my life, and at least in winter time (when shooting skiing) it gives me chance to be with people, with who I spent all my life. So it's job on one side, but it's nice one.
Once this will be over, I have no idea what it will be, but most like it will be something completely unrelated to photography. Fine art photography do sound cool, but at least around here, I don't see any way to survive with that. Video on the other side would probably be way too, but personally I just don't see myself doing this (even though my University diploma is from this sort of area).
But as many people said... live your life as long as it goes, and bother with what to do later on :D So let's see what is waiting for us in 5 or 10 years, or probably even earlier if trend of cutting prices and paid jobs will continue, and unfortunately, I think it will.


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xchangx
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Mar 28, 2013 13:23 |  #8

As someone that has a full-time job in IT, I would find something else and to freelance on the side.

Gear is extremely expensive and there it's hard to only shoot sports full time. Sure it's possible, but rare.


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Biffbradford
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Mar 28, 2013 22:10 |  #9

Welcome to POTN.

IMAGE: http://img.allnurses.com/smilies/rolleyes.png

What are you shooting now?

My pictures: John Wilke Photography (external link), Flikr (external link) , Facebook (external link), Fine Arts America (external link), Canon 1D MkII N, 1D MkIII, various Canon and Tokina lenses. :D

  
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photopro456
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Mar 29, 2013 01:30 as a reply to  @ Biffbradford's post |  #10

Dear Biffbradeford,

I am shooting for portfolio at the College of Wooster.




  
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MJPhotos24
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Mar 29, 2013 18:49 |  #11

xchangx wrote in post #15765749 (external link)
I would find something else and to freelance on the side.

Tend to agree, this profession has a very high level of failure rate already and is only going to get worse, really feel bad for those trying to get into it! Staffer jobs are disappearing fast, the gear will get to the point to work itself, everything is being consolidated so less and less will be able to make money (i.e. images coming from one or two sources only), way too many people willing to do it for the thrill of being there, the list can go on awhile. REALLY glad I have a couple degrees as a backup plan, exit strategy is there just in case!


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Biffbradford
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Mar 30, 2013 02:00 |  #12

I believe you should always have a plan B (and C), but that doesn't mean you can't (and shouldn't) chase your dreams.


My pictures: John Wilke Photography (external link), Flikr (external link) , Facebook (external link), Fine Arts America (external link), Canon 1D MkII N, 1D MkIII, various Canon and Tokina lenses. :D

  
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watt100
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Apr 05, 2013 08:17 |  #13

photopro456 wrote in post #15764284 (external link)
My name is Ralph Gantz and I am working toward becoming a sports photographer for the Akron Beacon Journal or the Plain Dealer in Cleveland.

I just saw where the Cleveland Plain Dealer was laying off most of the newsroom staff and photographers and only printing three days a week

good luck .... and welcome to POTN




  
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Ltdave
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Apr 05, 2013 09:18 as a reply to  @ watt100's post |  #14

if you plan to work at either of those newspapers, understand that youll be shooting way more than just sports...

there are editorial and feature assignments youll get as well...

i worked for Gannett News for a while (30 years ago in the film and paper days) and deadlines then were a real pain at times. like was mentioned 8pm deadline and the game doesnt start until 730...

do you like portraits? youll be called/tasked to shoot 'high school athlete of the year' and some retiring school board member or city council member or prominent business person...

sports might be a very small part of what you shoot...

if you can take a newswriting class or two that would help because anymore, im seeing reporters shooting their own photos...

good luck




  
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apersson850
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Oct 03, 2013 08:53 as a reply to  @ Ltdave's post |  #15

I like sports photography, but I'm pretty happy with my current situation, where I work doing something completely different, then shoot sports just for fun.
No deadlines, no problem if there was no good images, and my regular job pays for the equipment I like.


Anders

  
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Any professional sports photographers online?
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