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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 15 May 2014 (Thursday) 10:08
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Pricing individual sports photos?

 
steve126a
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May 15, 2014 10:08 |  #1

I met a local business owner last week while working my day job, and we got to talking about the local sports teams. He mentioned that his son plays on the high school hockey team. I had been interested in shooting some local sports so I asked if he could send me the team's schedule. He did, and also included his son's jersey number.

I attended a game and shot quite a bit, and even captured some "isolation" shots of his son in action. I sent him back some of the web-sized, watermarked photos of his son and he liked them. He replied asking how he can order some photos.

I've never priced out individual sports photos before as I am normally a portrait/wedding photographer. I'm used to getting paid to do a gig and supplying nearly all the photos.

How do some of you sports photogs price your work? Do you sell individual photos? If so, what is the cost per photo? I'm not really interested in selling prints. I'm thinking I would rather have him choose the ones he likes and then provide him a disk with hi-res files.


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jwhite65
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May 15, 2014 10:26 |  #2

Though there are exceptions....

Parents typically aren't going to pay a premium price for sports photos. Most think a fair price is somewhere in the $25-$50 range for the disk. About the only way to profit from sports action photography is to sell that disk to the whole team. To do that, you need to have the cash in hand prior to the job - shooting on spec really isn't viable. As far as youth sports goes, the money is in the T&I photos.


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steve126a
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May 15, 2014 11:12 as a reply to  @ jwhite65's post |  #3

That makes sense. I didn't shoot the game with the intention of making money. It was a good practice for me to learn how to shoot sports and do something that I enjoy. It just so happens this particular guy enjoys my photos and wants to pay me for them.

I just want to gauge what a fair price to ask is, whether it be per photo, or disk. Seems like $25-50 per disk is fair.


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i_am_cdn
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May 15, 2014 12:03 |  #4

Here is what I would charge

$10 per high-res photo or $30-$35 for a CD of all photos.

The $35 is when I can get a whole team to buy. But that will work for your purposes as you say you are looking for a fair price, and the money is a bonus.

good luck with your sale.


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djphotosyd
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May 16, 2014 02:25 |  #5
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I did this work for 3 years and finished up with it about 3 years ago.

FOr a straight 8x12 print I got $30. For one with borders, text or any minor PS work it was $35. " Memory mate" type shots with 2 pics, borders etc and Mag covers were 40. Individual image straight from the cam was $35.
For disks, 15 images in full res was $50, 6-9 was $75 and 10+ was $100. Got that every weekend for 3 years without a problem.

I do event stuff mainly now and charge at the same rate and don't have a problem getting it.

Don't make a rod for your own back by selling yourself short and stufgfing up this business anymore.
Put your price on it and if they want it they will buy. If they don't they won't but at least when the next person comes along you won't be selling yourself for $2.50 an hour.... maybe.

If they will pay $35 for a CD they will pay 50. If they don't they weren't going to buy them in the first place and were just fishing hoping for freebies.
You traveled to the game, and shot the kid exclusively. What would you charge to do that if it was portraiture? Why should it be any Different? Does fuel cost you less if you use it to shoot sports than if you are doing portraits? Is your time or equipment worth less?
What if you had people want you to do this every weekend? Would would you have to charge to make it worthwhile as a business rather than playing hobby shooter?

Charge what the job is worth and don't bastardise the market by undervaluing your work or the trade.




  
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steve126a
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May 16, 2014 15:05 as a reply to  @ djphotosyd's post |  #6

This was my first time shooting a hockey game ever. I went to the game on my own free time, as a learning experience for myself. The guy happened to give me his kid's jersey number and I shot a few of him as well. I shot plenty of the home/away team, different players and even coaches. None of which I gave to anyone.

I have already e-mailed the guy web-sized photos of his kid for free as a thank you for him supplying me information about the team. There was no agreement that I was ever contracted by him to shoot his kid. Had I, and if I am contracted in the future, I will price it accordingly.

I was just curious as to what the practice was for sports photographers. I have no knowledge of the action sports business. I simply wanted to know if it was common for people to sell individual photos or if it was a team-only type of deal.

I'm perfectly aware of what undervaluing my work does to the profession. That's another reason I asked what a fair market price is. If I decide to turn this into a income-generating avenue in the future, I will price inline with market averages.


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ram1958
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May 16, 2014 19:53 as a reply to  @ steve126a's post |  #7

The only way to make any real money in this "game" is to have a contract for T&I or Team and Individual photography.
(Team groups shots and each players (individual) photograph)

As photographers we (at least myself) love to shoot action, but it's really a limited market.

I'll save you some time and effort. Don't shoot action on spec! It just does not sell enough to justify your time.
Now, if a parent asks for individual "action" shot's of their kids, get a deposit, provide quality shot's and price accordingly.

Good luck!
Bob




  
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pat.kane
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May 16, 2014 22:27 |  #8

Don't discount there are in fact parents who will spend a LOT more for good photos. I am willing to shoot an individual or team with 50+ high resolution photos delivered on disc for $250 advance payment; however, I've sold on spec more than once where a parent spent $300+ on individual photos (prints and/or downloads). I am now selling posters and recently went back to one of the larger buyers and they also bought several posters at a discounted price.


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shiftonephoto
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May 18, 2014 00:27 |  #9

I actually do this as my only source of income, but I work in motorsports where there a lot of sponsors and race teams to get work from. I do however also hit local events and its very true there is no cash selling photos on spec, its more "bonus" money. It is also true you will get a huge order from time to time with-out a doubt, but you cant count on it. If you want to make anything you need the team or in my case the promoter of the event paying you to be there. Once you have established your work you will have a lot of people paying for photos up-front to make sure you can pay attention to them specifically.

As far as pricing goes it honestly takes some trial and error to see what you're market can bare. I see people selling a high rez image for 10 bucks and I sell a facebook sized image for 10 bucks. Just like pricing out weddings there is no correct answer, its just what are people willing to pay for your work.


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Pricing individual sports photos?
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