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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 20 Feb 2009 (Friday) 17:47
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Need Info on Sports Photography

 
FZ1dave
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Feb 21, 2009 14:00 as a reply to  @ post 7374991 |  #16

This site will do everything you want.

http://www.clickimage.​com/ (external link)


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ChrisRabior
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Feb 21, 2009 14:07 |  #17

If you don't want any overhead and are just shooting high school events, you could always start out by shooting for highschoolsports.net or the maxpreps website. I contribute to highschoolsports.net, and had an app rejected from MaxPreps because of a lack of night game and strobed images..

With those sites, you shoot, you upload, people buy, and you get a profit from each sale. They're already established, and it's a lot less of a risk than dumping a ton of money into your own site just to get the ball rolling.

I don't put enough time into high school sports to warrant pushing the images via my website, but a good deal of students in the area know about HSP.net and MaxPreps, so when I do cover a game, I just upload to the highschoolsports.net site and that's that.

If you ever decide to branch out to youth sports or other age groups outside of the high school leagues, then you could look to get out on your own.. but those sites are excellent starting points.

[edit] Last I knew, the HighSchoolSports.net website actually gave a portion of the proceeds from print sales to the school that was searched to find the picture, so every person who buys a print is actually helping out the school. If that still holds true, it should be an excellent selling point when you talk to the school's AD. I'm not sure what MaxPreps does in terms of helping out the school.. [/edit]


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Richard ­ Brewer
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Feb 21, 2009 16:05 |  #18

I use Photium, very reasonable fees (free trial for30 days) customers can search by name, find the picture they want and can pay by paypal........easy

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ruchad1
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Feb 22, 2009 07:26 |  #19

I freelance for a newspaper and it seems that at every High School sports assignment i goto there are no less then 3 or 4 moms or dads with a dslr. How do you plan on competing with that?


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mgrover
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Feb 22, 2009 22:37 |  #20

ruchad1 wrote in post #7379503 (external link)
I freelance for a newspaper and it seems that at every High School sports assignment i goto there are no less then 3 or 4 moms or dads with a dslr. How do you plan on competing with that?

Well, if the OP is looking to do this professionally, then his skill level needs to be better than the average mom or dad with a dslr. He needs to get the shots they can't. You do that by getting sideline/bench privileges, shooting with better equipment, and having better post processing skills. These things don't come overnight, but with persistance they will come.

I have been doing this for several years now, and the moms and dads with dslrs are now calling me to shoot the games because I can get the shots they can't.


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Mike ­ R
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Feb 23, 2009 02:16 |  #21

mgrover wrote in post #7384628 (external link)
Well, if the OP is looking to do this professionally, then his skill level needs to be better than the average mom or dad with a dslr. He needs to get the shots they can't. You do that by getting sideline/bench privileges, shooting with better equipment, and having better post processing skills. These things don't come overnight, but with persistance they will come.

I have been doing this for several years now, and the moms and dads with dslrs are now calling me to shoot the games because I can get the shots they can't.

I agree but will add that T&I is more profitable than action.


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AzzKicker
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Feb 23, 2009 09:18 |  #22

I do the same thing with 2 other co-workers of min. We each had our own site and now joined them together.

My site is www.valleysportspics.c​om (external link) but our main hub is www.rgvsportsphoto.com (external link)

We've done pretty good. In just 2 games in 1 week I had one mother purchase close to 300.00 worth of photos. and in just a month totaling close to 500.00 with just 4 games. My other co-worker between football season and now has passed the 2,000.00 mark and another co-worker reaching 1,000.00 in just basketball and swimming sales. so there is good money to be had. One thing we have learned is that MARKETING is the key. You got to get your name out there and keep passing cards out. Soon parents will expect new pictures after games so they'll go to the site by habit. After a while you will start to get request which is better. The only thing is your doing just one school though. We branch out to the entire Rio Grande Valley here in South Texas which covers 4 counties and a lot of High Schools.


For all this we use SMUGMUG which has worked very well for us and with their new Bay Photo Printing lab we've gotten nothing but excellent compliments and feedback.


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Tigershark
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Feb 23, 2009 10:13 |  #23

AzzKicker is correct that marketing is the key to selling action shots and if you do that right you can do it




  
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DDCSD
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Feb 23, 2009 10:18 |  #24

ruchad1 wrote in post #7379503 (external link)
there are no less then 3 or 4 moms or dads with a dslr. How do you plan on competing with that?

Isn't that what any business is trying to do, offer people better quality/value than if they were to do it themselves or hire someone else?

I could build my own house if I wanted to, but I'd much rather hire a good contractor to do it for me.


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amfoto1
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Feb 23, 2009 12:31 |  #25

Hi,

First of all, any school AD that says they don't want people making money off the kids is full of crap. This is still a capitalist society and if you are filling a need that they want to give you money for, well that's the way the world works. The AD had better wise up and realize that before too long those precious little kiddies he or she is protecting are going to be exposed to a whole lot worse than some sports photographer catching memorable moments for them to buy prints of. Besides, it's the kiddies' parents who pay, normally.

If it's a public school, the local AD actually might not be able to arbitrarily set this policy, anyway. There may be statewide or district guidelines.

If I ran up against that, I'd get before the PTA or otherwise try to reach the parents, try to get them to put pressure on the AD, and overturn his/her little tyranny.

Probably the reality is that the AD is an amateur photog taking pics and selling them him or herself.

Back to OP's questions.

I use Printroom.com and am happy with it.

Do not, I repeat, do not build your own site with galleries, shopping cart and all, and try to make all the prints, collect the sales taxes and do the packing and shipping yourself. That's crazy. It's okay to have a personal website, but link it to galleries at Printroom.com, Zenfolio or ExposureManager.com.

It's tougher now than ever to sell this sort of thing. There is a ton of competition from other photogs for anyplace that has some serious sales potential, plus you *do* have to deal with tons of parents taking their own shots. I find mom and dad are your biggest competition by far at the small to medium size events, and increasingly so as cameras get more and more automated and easier to use, and as the learn to make their own prints at home.

The only things you can do about this are get unusual access to be able to get shots they simply can't. Talk with the organizers to be sure they restrict general access for safety reasons, but will allow you limited, careful access (sidelines, end zone, etc.) Also, if they will allow you to do things like use flash, while prohibiting others from using it, also for safety reasons. Plus you can use pro level equipment to get shots most amateurs simply can't, offer onsite services they can't and otherwise just take such good care of your customers they become loyal and frequent buyers.

A bigger factor right now is the economy. People feel strapped, even if they aren't really. People are in saving mode right now. That'll change eventually, but you are considering starting a business that offers a purely luxury item in the worst economic environment since the Great Depression.

The real meat and potatoes of school sports is the T&I or Team and Individual shots. These are more posed and typically you shoot the whole team. You'll have more sales from this than from a whole season of game/action shots, unless they get into the finals or win a championship and you are there to shoot it. Marketed strongly, you might see some good sales at the end of the season, from work you've done throughout the year.

Yes, search here. There have been a lot of discussions on this topic.

You ain't gonna get rich doing this. In fact, like any new business, it would be surprising if you even manage to turn a profit for the first one to three years.

But, it can be fun, so go for it if it's what appeals to you!


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PhotosGuy
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Feb 23, 2009 13:03 |  #26

Individual and Team Portraits FAQ

Keeping track of Sports Portraits while shooting.

how to break into the business?

Portfolio Advice From A Getty Professional (external link)

We tell it like it is: Getting started in Sports Photography: How?

What is an average rate for HS, College and Pro Sports???

How to start selling ball game pictures to parents?

Charging for Shooting Sports Pictures

You've got to be kidding me! (Re: Picture prices)

How to determine what to charge for taking team pictures?

Youth sports photography "idea"?

Baseball Shooting Tips and Example Pics

SLHS V-ball tournament

D2 university bans photographers

Approaching parents at little league games?

How to sell unsolicited photos to parents?

How to become a Sport Photographer?

How would you charge parents for kids sports?

Advice for Gymnastics Photogs

Having trouble in sport shooting

Link to "Sports Illustrated guide for their photographers"
Sports Photography Workflows

Sports Illustrated: Al Tielemans talks about his regimented work ethic that helps when Lady Luck smiles down on him. (external link)

Strobist: On Assignment: Speedlighting a College Gym (external link)

Strobist: External Power Sources (external link)

Strobist: Q&A, Speedlighting a Gym (external link)

Strobist: On Assignment: Prep Basketball (external link)

More links: https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1237825


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tomd
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Feb 23, 2009 13:09 |  #27

Frank, thanks for the list. Lot's of good threads in there.
Tom


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HammerCope
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Feb 23, 2009 14:45 |  #28

[QUOTE=amfoto1;7388275​]Hi,

First of all, any school AD that says they don't want people making money off the kids is full of crap. This is still a capitalist society and if you are filling a need that they want to give you money for, well that's the way the world works. The AD had better wise up and realize that before too long those precious little kiddies he or she is protecting are going to be exposed to a whole lot worse than some sports photographer catching memorable moments for them to buy prints of. Besides, it's the kiddies' parents who pay, normally.

If it's a public school, the local AD actually might not be able to arbitrarily set this policy, anyway. There may be statewide or district guidelines.

If I ran up against that, I'd get before the PTA or otherwise try to reach the parents, try to get them to put pressure on the AD, and overturn his/her little tyranny.

Probably the reality is that the AD is an amateur photog taking pics and selling them him or herself.


Yes it is a public school
No the AD is not a photographer
The AD got his answer from the Superintendent. Who is about to retire. So I will be talking to them again.
We dont have much of a PTA if any.


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10megapixel
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Mar 11, 2009 15:37 |  #29

FZ1dave wrote in post #7375056 (external link)
This site will do everything you want.

http://www.clickimage.​com/ (external link)

This site doesn't seem to work properly. I signed up and have been trying to upload pics and I get "Sorry" site error messages and told to try again later after they fix it...well , they haven't after 2 days! Oh well, it's there loss.



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Hinson
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Mar 11, 2009 17:56 |  #30

Sheff; as Hammer says, you should check with the school first. If you have a student in the school, then you are ok. They usually will not say anthing about a parent shooting. However, if not, and particularly if another photographer has a contract to do the school sports, you might find yourself escorted off the field by school security.

I shot contract sports for a number of years and I can tell you that HS sports do not pay unless you shoot and sell on the spot. We tried online selling and the sales were only about 20% of the sales from prepay shoots. Parents and kids usually looked and then quickly forgot about the online images (if they looked at all)

There is a nich though that can work and that is action posters. Unfortunately these are not 'hands free.' They must be presold and there is a ton of back end PP work.

In addition, as has been mentioned, you'll need better equipment and talent than the parents with their prosumer DLSRs. A 200mm F2.8 is pretty much a given and longer lens might be even better depending on where you are standing.

Not trying to burst your bubble, just being realistic. Now if you really want to make money with sports photography, shoot the young'uns. A team with 15-20 members can net $300-$500 minimum (and much more if you do fancy PP) for an hours shoot. That's where the money is.


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