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Thread started 29 Sep 2008 (Monday) 15:12
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Gymnastics - New Season, New Thread!

 
jklinksi
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Oct 27, 2008 02:02 as a reply to  @ post 6567646 |  #31

A few more of my 'betters'! The ray of light on the beam is real and has actually had no post processing work! Sometimes being lucky can make me look like I'm good! CC Welcome!!!


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JEFF ­ 1D
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Oct 27, 2008 02:09 |  #32

I have a question for you photo guys...
I was just wondering... Is there a photographers code or etiquette that if there is a action photo company covering the event/meet would you photograph the gymnasts for your own gym and give them to the gymnasts?
I see the parents photograph but I get more and more parents photograph the whole team. I have a action photo company and my sales have droped since the price of the cameras have droped.
Myself I would only shoot my gymnast/hockey/skater.​..stc and leave the rest to the pros. but i guess thats just me... what are your thoughts?


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GBRandy
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Oct 27, 2008 07:34 |  #33

JEFF 1D wrote in post #6567690 (external link)
I have a question for you photo guys...
I was just wondering... Is there a photographers code or etiquette that if there is a action photo company covering the event/meet would you photograph the gymnasts for your own gym and give them to the gymnasts?

Photographers code or etiquette? I can only speak for myself, but I shoot the pictures I want from the angles I want. Sometimes that means I will stand right next to some "pro guy". ...and yes, if I have a nice shot I will give them to the kid.

JEFF 1D wrote in post #6567690 (external link)
I see the parents photograph but I get more and more parents photograph the whole team. I have a action photo company and my sales have droped since the price of the cameras have droped.
Myself I would only shoot my gymnast/hockey/skater.​..stc and leave the rest to the pros. but i guess thats just me... what are your thoughts?

I not only shoot the whole team (have for years) I have come to shoot other teams and send the good ones their way.

Look, if you are the "pro" then your shots should smoke us non professional images...right? "Kit lenses" and rebel XTi's will struggle at these venues no matter how good you are...parent or pro. So I would think equipment cost is not that big of an issue for you and your sales...at least for indoor sports.

Truth is I have seen numerous parents try and shoot in low lit gyms and either give up....or they like the image they took with the blurry dot in the frame because they know it is their kid.


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GBRandy
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Oct 27, 2008 07:41 |  #34

jklinksi wrote in post #6567495 (external link)
I saw you were shooting with the 85mm. I used it last weekend and am still getting lots of misses with it (esp. on floor!). When it hits it really looks great, but the parents are none too happy when there's only 2 shots of the entire beam routine! Do you have any sage advice on upping the keepers with that lens?

Your images are fantastic. Keeping tight crops is a big deal....and hard to do when you can't real crop in post because of noise. Nice work.

I normally use the 85 f1.8 on beam or floor unless I need the f1.2 due to lighting. I tried the 1.2 on beam this time and the results were marginal. Seeing as I was at f2, the smart choice is to grab the f1.8 for the fast AF. But the f1.2 look so much cooler on the camera :)


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Hikin ­ Mike
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Oct 27, 2008 10:54 |  #35

Those 'ROCK' Randy! 'jklinksi' - those are some nice shots too! Love the beam shot!

Well, Sunday's meet was a bust. There was a mixture of fluorescent and halogen and 75% of my wb had orange streaks. I could probably fix them, but I don't know. I may post some, but I'm too frustrated right now!


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JEFF ­ 1D
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Oct 27, 2008 11:59 |  #36

GBRandy wrote in post #6568405 (external link)
Photographers code or etiquette? I can only speak for myself, but I shoot the pictures I want from the angles I want. Sometimes that means I will stand right next to some "pro guy". ...and yes, if I have a nice shot I will give them to the kid.



I not only shoot the whole team (have for years) I have come to shoot other teams and send the good ones their way.

Look, if you are the "pro" then your shots should smoke us non professional images...right? "Kit lenses" and rebel XTi's will struggle at these venues no matter how good you are...parent or pro. So I would think equipment cost is not that big of an issue for you and your sales...at least for indoor sports.

Truth is I have seen numerous parents try and shoot in low lit gyms and either give up....or they like the image they took with the blurry dot in the frame because they know it is their kid.





Thanks... its guys like you that make it hard for me to make a living because it really doesnt matter what the images look like to them it is still free.....
I really dont mind you shooting your girl but the whole team walking out the door not even looking is hard to see for us..
Thanks again...lol


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fugfuggy
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Oct 27, 2008 12:23 |  #37

Jeff 1D,

I will also comment on your professional dilemma. I would feel the same way if it were football, soccer or any other sport where shooting was not impossible for the average point and shoot parent that realizes that they are in way over there head. I have friends who shoot the former sports and do well due to their skills (photog and computer) rather than the price of the image, even though there are still many point and shooters who are not struggling with light, action, flash, etc..

The problem with gymnastics is that a lot of the parents feel as though they are being held hostage, a Dodger dog taste nice but not at $8 per. I feel for you guys though because I understand the expense and time that goes in to making a nice photo in the gym.

I shoot our team wherever I can and offer up the usual pictures, collages, magnets, key chains, posters, etc.. I charge a bit less then our usual hired pro's; however, all money goes back into the gym to help support the team's season. Our gym host one big meet each year and all parents commit to spending at least $50 each. This is our biggest fund raiser of the year and still, I only shoot our team and the hired "pro" still shoots all of the others (they used to shoot our team but they never sell them anymore.)

So, I would say that you still have a huge advantage over the average point and shooter. You have floor access, the right gear and the computer skills to offer something they generally cannot have, even with the right gear. As I have learned in business in general, it is not always those with the best product that wins, marketing is what sells. Spin your story and highlight what you can do that others cannot. Build strong relationships with the gym owners and understand that everything is about fund raising. Offer up some pro bono work once in awhile just to reinforce those relationships e.g. birthday parties, team outings, special events, ...... Or, even better, you already have all of the images, do a yearly collage for the gym as a gift that they can hang in their lobbies. I have done this for several years and it is really cute to see the now early teens as tiny little, toothless compulsories. They really look forward to the collage each year and the gym owners and coaches will love you for it. Here is last years:

IMAGE: http://images36.fotki.com/v1152/photos/1/1034366/4248078/final1-vi.jpg



  
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felixapproach
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Oct 27, 2008 12:30 |  #38

Those are some great shots GBRandy and jklinski. Thanks to all of you and this forum my pictures are getting better. I'm one of those dads with a lowly xti, but since I picked up the 85 f1.8 I actually am willing to share some photos. Thanks to all for the great advice.


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jklinksi
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Oct 27, 2008 12:40 |  #39

JEFF 1D wrote in post #6569775 (external link)
Thanks... its guys like you that make it hard for me to make a living because it really doesnt matter what the images look like to them it is still free.....
I really dont mind you shooting your girl but the whole team walking out the door not even looking is hard to see for us..
Thanks again...lol


Jeff,
I'm not meaning this to be condescending, as I am in the same line of work as yourself, but I think you might want to re-examine your approach to sales and marketing. If you're not able to convince the parents and athletes that they NEED your pictures, they will always be very satisfied with their blurry dots that may, or may not, be their child. They will be especially satisfied with the free shots. Guys like GBR do make it tougher for us, but they have just as much right to shoot as any of the other parents. I look at them as my competition and if I can't beat them, then I might not need to be on the floor. We all wish sales were higher and the most obvious direction to place the blame is the competition, but what are WE doing to be better and to divert customers back our way. Again, this is intended to help and not to be rude, snipy, b***hy, or minconstrued.

GBR, You might consider throwing the 'pro' guys a bone or two! Since it doesn't directly impact your 'business' and the parents will always take a freebie, what would it hurt for you to encourage them to check out the pro fella's shots as well. I'm sure they won't buy any, but at least they're looking! It also sort of encourages that healthy competition that we all need to make us better at what we do. Just a thought. :)

Justin


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jklinksi
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Oct 27, 2008 12:42 |  #40

Fugfuggy rides again!!! Good to see ya back!


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GBRandy
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Oct 27, 2008 13:26 |  #41

JEFF 1D wrote in post #6569775 (external link)
Thanks... its guys like you that make it hard for me to make a living because it really doesnt matter what the images look like to them it is still free.....
I really dont mind you shooting your girl but the whole team walking out the door not even looking is hard to see for us..
Thanks again...lol

This really isn't the thread for this...but.....

So I am supposed to deffer my knowledge, time and investment of taking pictures of my daughters friends while a "Pro" is around? I guess that's the part I do not get.

I made a big investment in gear, computers & software..... I have spent 5 years learning how to shoot in these crappy gyms. I did it because these kids don't get pro photog coverage like the local high school baseball, football, etc....

These so called pro's show up and try and make a go of it with slow lenses, out of date cameras and laptop computers.... I find that remarkably unfair as the results are generally pretty poor.

The last time we had someone shoot at our meet, every girl & parent walked up to me and said "oh my gosh....his images are all blurry" . I am not going sit on my camera gear so some guy can sell sub-par images...

I shoot softball, baseball and football on occasion for the heck of it. I sell those and do OK. My policy is if I do not know your kid, you can buy the image from my pay site. If the shots are for family, my friends or my daughters friends, they go out the door for free.

Besides, I am hardly the norm in this system.


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sidx001
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Oct 27, 2008 13:54 |  #42

GBRandy wrote in post #6570326 (external link)
This really isn't the thread for this...but.....

So I am supposed to deffer my knowledge, time and investment of taking pictures of my daughters friends while a "Pro" is around? I guess that's the part I do not get.

I made a big investment in gear, computers & software..... I have spent 5 years learning how to shoot in these crappy gyms. I did it because these kids don't get pro photog coverage like the local high school baseball, football, etc....

These so called pro's show up and try and make a go of it with slow lenses, out of date cameras and laptop computers.... I find that remarkably unfair as the results are generally pretty poor.

The last time we had someone shoot at our meet, every girl & parent walked up to me and said "oh my gosh....his images are all blurry" . I am not going sit on my camera gear so some guy can sell sub-par images...

I shoot softball, baseball and football on occasion for the heck of it. I sell those and do OK. My policy is if I do not know your kid, you can buy the image from my pay site. If the shots are for family, my friends or my daughters friends, they go out the door for free.

Besides, I am hardly the norm in this system. I have invested more in gear, computers & software than most pro's. I have been shooting for over 30 years. I taught classes while I was a college student and ran our school photo staff. I was within an inch of becoming a professional photog.....but I didn't... Why? because there isn't any money in it :) I graduated with a business degree instead. ;)

I have been shooting gymnastics for the last 12 years and I have seen the changes coming into this business ever since Canon and Nikon figured out how to get the local consumer a good DSLR for not a whole lot of money. I get a lot of people asking me whether or not this has affected my business and I always tell them that YES, it has!

Personally, I love it when I look up in the stands at a meet and I see someone up there with a long white lens onboard and he/she is going at it. I always make my way over to that person and start a conversation with them. I find out if they are shooting their son/daughter or if they are shooting for a team. we'll talk about different shots that we like to take etc. I make sure to get their information from them and I'll leave them with my card as well. I'll even make sure that they have a clear shot at their son/daughter while I'm shooting.

90% of the time that person will stop by my table in between sessions and we'll talk about the session and compare pictures. Since they are shooting from the stands, they have a different perspective than I'm able to get and vice versa. It's always a lot of fun to see what shots they are getting.

Has my business been affected by parents shooting from the stands? You bet. I've had a 15% increase in business every year for the last 5 years during the gymnastic season, and you know what's interesting? A lot of those parents shooting from the stands are buying at least 2-3 8x10s from me. You just gotta love that!


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JEFF ­ 1D
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Oct 27, 2008 13:58 |  #43

OH WELL!!!
I guess we will never get the point out to some people...
Some of us love what we do and do not charge a huge chunk of change for what we do like some bigger companys.
I have not been doing it for as long as you but long eneough 20+yrs.. you could check out the website I have to see the quality of work we do.
I have done work in MN Iowa Wisc. North and South Dakota actually we will be in your back yard in Jan. Salto Gymnastics... lol
Its not a big deal We will get by. Thanks again...


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sidx001
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Oct 27, 2008 14:01 |  #44

Here's a couple that I shot earlier this year...

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GBRandy
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Oct 27, 2008 14:07 |  #45

sidx001 wrote in post #6570537 (external link)
Personally, I love it when I look up in the stands at a meet and I see someone up there with a long white lens onboard and he/she is going at it. I always make my way over to that person and start a conversation with them. I find out if they are shooting their son/daughter or if they are shooting for a team. we'll talk about different shots that we like to take etc. I make sure to get their information from them and I'll leave them with my card as well. I'll even make sure that they have a clear shot at their son/daughter while I'm shooting.

90% of the time that person will stop by my table in between sessions and we'll talk about the session and compare pictures. Since they are shooting from the stands, they have a different perspective than I'm able to get and vice versa. It's always a lot of fun to see what shots they are getting.

Has my business been affected by parents shooting from the stands? You bet. I've had a 15% increase in business every year for the last 5 years during the gymnastic season, and you know what's interesting? A lot of those parents shooting from the stands are buying at least 2-3 8x10s from me. You just gotta love that!


That's a great approach. Pretty easy math that if someone dropped $1,000 or more on a camera, they want some pictures of their kid....what's another $40 or so bucks to get some prints from another angle?

Brilliant move....well played.


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