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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 09 Mar 2014 (Sunday) 11:21
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rx4pain
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Mar 09, 2014 11:21 |  #1

Good morning all!

I'm an aspiring amateur whose hobby of photographing his young nephews' sports has evolved to commitments of being the "league photographer," etc. For years I've posted pics on Facebook and even given thumb drives to parents of pics I took of their kids that played on my nephews' team. A friend and local professional photographer talked about a site where you can upload your pics for free and customers can go to that site, do edits, and buy the prints from that site and in return the site takes a percentage and pays me. Sounds perfect and I want to move forward with that, but now my photographer friend isn't so encouraging...hmm.

I know these sites exist and I could probably Google and find a few, but I respect this site and would prefer to get the best ones on the first try rather than suffer the pitfalls that most have endured. I'm not at the point where I want to do this as a "business." I work full time and this is just a hobby, but I would like to be compensated to offset this hobby a little. Especially since I just took the plunge on a new lens for this type of thing.

As always, thank you in advance for your advice and help!


1DX | 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM | 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM | EF 1.4X III

  
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NetJohn
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Mar 09, 2014 11:52 |  #2

I've used Exposure Manager for years. Worked very well for me.

John


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PhotosGuy
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Mar 09, 2014 23:03 |  #3

How to break into Little League

How To Make Money With High School Sports?


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chris_holtmeier
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Mar 09, 2014 23:09 |  #4

Smugmug



https://www.facebook.c​om/FotonFoto (external link)

  
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rx4pain
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Mar 10, 2014 07:41 |  #5

Thanks for the info and links...so much time spent, so little money made :(

I wasn't hoping to make a living, but certainly didn't expect I would be wasting gas money too.


1DX | 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM | 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM | EF 1.4X III

  
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Richard ­ G
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Mar 10, 2014 08:41 |  #6

Redbubble


My attempts at wildlife photography - http://www.flickr.com/​photos/28021551@N06/ (external link)

My new project website - Wharfedale Wildlife Photography (external link)

I'm now on Facebook as well!! - https://www.facebook.c​om/WharfedaleWildlifeP​hotography (external link)

  
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NetJohn
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Mar 11, 2014 22:43 |  #7

It's very, very difficult to get people to give you money for photos when they've been getting the photos for free previously. You may be throwing good money after bad if you pay for an online service.

Wish I had read your original post better when I first replied.

John


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jwhite65
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Mar 12, 2014 08:51 |  #8

What does it mean for you to be the "league photographer"? Is that an unofficial position in which you take photos and provide them to the league for free?
Have you considered doing the team and individual (T&I) photos for the teams in the league? I expect you would have a much better chance making some money doing T&I than if you were posting photos to the web and hoping people will buy them.


Jeff
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ryanshoots
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Mar 12, 2014 11:46 as a reply to  @ jwhite65's post |  #9

The only thing I've seen working for folks is pay up front. For example, tell the coaches and parents you'll shoot most/all of the games of the season and then deliver cd's to folks at the end. You need X per CD with a minimum of Y CD's committed to and paid for prior to start of the season.

If they don't go for it, you can enjoy your free time and not be out anything.

Sending them to the web doesn't do much.




  
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rx4pain
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Mar 14, 2014 08:09 |  #10

I was hoping the quotes around league photographer would be visualized as Mike Meyers acting as Dr. Evil doing his air quotes used as sarcasm. Truth is, I will always be at my nephews' games taking their pics and that's evolved into people (parents) saying I should take more and offer them for sale, but how was my question. That local photographer I mentioned now works for Life Touch, but has also secured the team and individual contracts and that's not my forte. I like the white lens pics where the action is moving and moments captured, not posed. I don't have to make money doing this, but if there's money to be had...especially to offset this expensive hobby then I would like to capitalize on that. That's why I asked about a site (that I thought would be free) where I can send people to view the pics I take and they could see, edit, order prints and I get a cut of that.


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jwhite65
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Mar 14, 2014 12:12 |  #11

Good luck. I've known a few people around here who have tried what you are thinking of, but all have given up on it. The work put into the site, uploading, etc. just doesn't get made up for in sales... YMMV


Jeff
http://www.jeffwhiteph​otography.com (external link)
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i_am_cdn
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Mar 14, 2014 13:31 |  #12

rx4pain,

Been where you are, and managed to move from that hobby state to selling and making money. I made the move for the exact same reason you indicate - expensive hobby. That said, 6 years later I now shoot professional sports, and have a successful T&I business.

My first few years were not about making a profit, rather learning, growing and buying more gear, without dipping into personal money.

Many responders have indicated the pitfalls you will have trying to sell prints online. And I have to agree. In today's world, very few people want "action" prints. They do want the Posed T&I when teh kids are young, but for action they only want digital files they can share.

For the longest time I would bring my camera to my son's games and take photos, other parents would ask for photos and I would give them a CD. It was a lot of effort, and while they appreciated it, it got to the point where if I didn't have my camera at a key game, parents would be disappointed that I wasn't taking photos to give them.

When I started to do T&I, I also found those same teams my son played on expected me to do our team for free, when I gave the manager order forms to hand out, some parents were upset I would charge them. Still it was a short term pain with just those teams, and by the next season they realized they weren't getting free photos.

For Action photos I will come out and shoot action of a game, but it is at a flat rate booked in advance. Since you can be almost guaranteed that no one will pay for photos afterwards. On several occasions I was shooting sporting events for one team, and parents from the other team would come up and ask if I was shooting their team, and I would tell them I was hired by the other team. They would ask if I could get photos of their son/daughter they would buy them. I would tell them the rate I charge per photo, and they would be yes that is reasonable. I would take their email address, During the game I would shoot a few of their kid, and put them up and send them a link to my online store to buy them. In 6 years, I have never had a single one of those parents actually buy a photo of their kid.

In short, as others have said, you can make money doing T&I, and while you may not like posed shots, that is where you will make your money. If you want to offer a package, T&I and a CD of Action, do that. but it is the T&I they are really paying for. If you hate posed shots for T&I be creative, set it up that the player skates around the net and you take the shot as they come around, or they kick the soccer ball, and you take the shot as they make contact. Don't want to deal with prints for T&I only sell a digital package.

Probably not what you were hoping to hear, but it is the sad truth in many places.

good luck with whatever you decide to do.


Douglas Portz Photography
www.portz.ca (external link)
www.winnipegsportsteam​photos.com (external link)
www.winnipegsportsphot​os.com (external link)
www.winnipegeventphoto​s.com (external link)

  
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rx4pain
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Mar 14, 2014 17:53 |  #13

Thanks Douglas! Your historical honesty is much appreciated and what I need...no, must know. So thank you!


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