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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Sports 
Thread started 20 Apr 2012 (Friday) 20:51
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Question regarding selling kids sports shots

 
LaxMom
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Apr 20, 2012 20:51 |  #1

I'm the team photographer for my Son's Lacrosse team, and I'm selling prints of them in action. The parents have seen the pics, and have been very happy with them, and I've gotten lots of compliments. Well, as I edit them, I've wondered how I should crop them. For the most part, I try to crop the photo where it's just the one child. I kind of figured that parents wouldn't want a child they didn't know in a photo. However, sometimes that adds to the action. Take these two photos for example. (same pic, different croppings) Would you, as a parent, want the other kid in the pic to show the action more, or just your child?

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Thanks for any advice!

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Don ­ Madson
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Apr 20, 2012 21:03 |  #2

Mix 'em up! Sometimes a picture will be sort of a "portrait" shot, with a single person as a subject, but sometimes two or more creates more of an "action" shot, showing more dynamic energy, and adding interest to the shot. Try cropping tight and capturing just a head-and-torso shot.

I shoot cycling competitions (bike races) and depending on the type of race, will do all of the above-mentioned variations. Change angles, distances, points of interest, backgrounds, anything to give life and variability to the shots. You'll be shooting the same kids over and over, so you should try to create something new to notice every time.

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LaxMom
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Apr 20, 2012 21:08 |  #3

Don Madson wrote in post #14301076 (external link)
Mix 'em up! Sometimes a picture will be sort of a "portrait" shot, with a single person as a subject, but sometimes two or more creates more of an "action" shot, showing more dynamic energy, and adding interest to the shot. Try cropping tight and capturing just a head-and-torso shot.

I shoot cycling competitions (bike races) and depending on the type of race, will do all of the above-mentioned variations. Change angles, distances, points of interest, backgrounds, anything to give life and variability to the shots. You'll be shooting the same kids over and over, so you should try to create something new to notice every time.

Regards!
Don

Ok, thanks! That's kind of what I've been doing. I've been getting shots of them on the sidelines with their helmets off looking tired, watching their team looking serious, running off the field close up, etc. I try to capture as much emotion as I can, even when they're not necessarily in action. But, that helps, because I was kind of iffy whether to put other kids in the shots. I guess I know now it's ok, and I'll mix them up!


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clarence
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Apr 20, 2012 21:11 |  #4

Multiple players are fine. But shoot tighter. Eyes are probably the biggest factor in sales.

Unless blue #22 only played for 1 minute and this is the only time he carried the ball all season, cull everything that doesn't have the subject's eyes.

You'll also find that sales go up when you cull out the weaker shots. No parent want to sort though 200+ weak shots looking for one of their kid. But when you cull, the overall quality is much better and the parents have fewer shots to sort through.


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Apr 20, 2012 23:36 |  #5

I agree with above, mix them up. However, for this shot specifically, I would take the 1st one. The random stick coming out of nowhere is kind of weird looking.


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Apr 21, 2012 11:12 |  #6

clarence wrote in post #14301101 (external link)
Multiple players are fine. But shoot tighter. Eyes are probably the biggest factor in sales.

Unless blue #22 only played for 1 minute and this is the only time he carried the ball all season, cull everything that doesn't have the subject's eyes.

You'll also find that sales go up when you cull out the weaker shots. No parent want to sort though 200+ weak shots looking for one of their kid. But when you cull, the overall quality is much better and the parents have fewer shots to sort through.

For the most part, and up until about a month ago I would have agreed with the above statements in every way, shape and form (no eyes, no good, post fewer, but better shots). It just makes sense, I mean why would a parent want a picture of their kid's back or a picture where you couldn't even tell if it was their son or daughter. And yes, I would have to also agree with the thinking that why would a parent want to look through 200+ or 300+ images, it just seemed like a waste to submit that many images.

These basic concepts were how I shot, edited and submitted my images, if I couldn't see the player's eyes in the shot, I didn't submit it and I would only submit only about 70 of the really tight and what I thought were very good images.

However . . .

I noticed that other guys in my area were clicking away like mad, they would post galleries of 200, 300+ images from a single game, and so I started looking at their galleries and noticed a lot of shots with no player's eyes, shots of the backs and sides of heads, shots I would never think anyone would want, general snap-shot looking stuff and all these guys are having better luck with sales than me . . .

So I'm changing my "style" of shooting, shooting more and submitting more and my sales are improving somewhat. I'm not sure what is going to get my sales up there more, but submitting galleries with tons of shots that I would normally just not take or delete in camera is helping a little bit . . .

(I am doing lots of marketing, talking to parents at the games, handing out cards, sending email updates with links to galleries when they are available, etc.) so I'm assuming that isn't a big determining factor in why others are having better sales and my sales are a bit lackluster.

So . . .

Yes, I agree with what Clarence has posted, however at least around here those theories don't seem to hold true.


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yourdoinitwrong
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Apr 21, 2012 13:01 as a reply to  @ AZAlphaDog's post |  #7

Many parents will like a photo just because it has their child in it. However as the team photographer, and the fact that you are charging for it, I feel that you need to do something to make your shots better than what the parents themselves could do with a good P&S. I'm sure you could get away with taking hundreds of shots and hoping they sell but, at least for myself, I want to provide a superior product. As suggested, keep the eyes in the shot (and the ball too if possible) and offer different types of crops to see what the parents prefer. Personally I don't like crops with random cut-off equipment and body parts sticking into the frame. I do understand though that in some sports like basketball that is not entirely avoidable but if it is done as the result of cropping I would try to avoid it.


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LaxMom
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Apr 21, 2012 19:52 |  #8

yourdoinitwrong wrote in post #14303810 (external link)
Many parents will like a photo just because it has their child in it. However as the team photographer, and the fact that you are charging for it, I feel that you need to do something to make your shots better than what the parents themselves could do with a good P&S. I'm sure you could get away with taking hundreds of shots and hoping they sell but, at least for myself, I want to provide a superior product. As suggested, keep the eyes in the shot (and the ball too if possible) and offer different types of crops to see what the parents prefer. Personally I don't like crops with random cut-off equipment and body parts sticking into the frame. I do understand though that in some sports like basketball that is not entirely avoidable but if it is done as the result of cropping I would try to avoid it.

Yes, I agree, and I know I'm not a professional. But, all I've gotten from the parents is good feedback. I've been getting lots of compliments, and they are so excited that I'm getting action shots. I have a P & S, and there is no way I could get shots like this with it. And neither can most parents. And most parents aren't into taking pics, they just want to watch the game. I've seen lots of pictures that parents post on FB of their kids playing sports, and they're horrible- because they were taken with P & Ss.

So, no I'm not as good as a lot of people on here, but I'm still offering pictures that the parents can't do themselves. And, I'm trying to better myself all the time. I actually had pictures in the paper twice in the past few weeks. I've seen what other sports photographers in our area are putting in the paper, and mine are not much different, and some are worse than mine.

I'm not trying to be rude, just explaining. ;)


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yourdoinitwrong
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Apr 21, 2012 20:27 |  #9

LaxMom wrote in post #14305377 (external link)
Yes, I agree, and I know I'm not a professional. But, all I've gotten from the parents is good feedback. I've been getting lots of compliments, and they are so excited that I'm getting action shots. I have a P & S, and there is no way I could get shots like this with it. And neither can most parents. And most parents aren't into taking pics, they just want to watch the game. I've seen lots of pictures that parents post on FB of their kids playing sports, and they're horrible- because they were taken with P & Ss.

So, no I'm not as good as a lot of people on here, but I'm still offering pictures that the parents can't do themselves. And, I'm trying to better myself all the time. I actually had pictures in the paper twice in the past few weeks. I've seen what other sports photographers in our area are putting in the paper, and mine are not much different, and some are worse than mine.

I'm not trying to be rude, just explaining. ;)

I understand what you are saying and after re-reading my post I believe it came across differently than I intended. I know it sounded like I implied that your photos weren't better than what is available from a P&S and that is certainly not what I meant at all.  :o My intention was to encourage you to keep at it and try some different things to see what works best for you and for the parents who purchase your photos. I am nowhere near a professional so I have zero room to dispense advice or criticism, which unfortunately my previous post sounded like just that.

I take a lot of photos of my nephews playing sports and some of the other kids parents gush over photos that I think are awful but they like them because their kid is in it so I had that thought running through my head and didn't put it into words very well. On my own website (setup for family use only) I have a LOT of sports photos that I would be embarrassed to show publicly but I keep them only because my family enjoys them even though they are not "good" photos. So please accept my apologies for my lack of tact and clarity in the other post and happy shooting.


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Apr 21, 2012 20:59 |  #10

yourdoinitwrong wrote in post #14305533 (external link)
I understand what you are saying and after re-reading my post I believe it came across differently than I intended. I know it sounded like I implied that your photos weren't better than what is available from a P&S and that is certainly not what I meant at all.  :o My intention was to encourage you to keep at it and try some different things to see what works best for you and for the parents who purchase your photos. I am nowhere near a professional so I have zero room to dispense advice or criticism, which unfortunately my previous post sounded like just that.

I take a lot of photos of my nephews playing sports and some of the other kids parents gush over photos that I think are awful but they like them because their kid is in it so I had that thought running through my head and didn't put it into words very well. On my own website (setup for family use only) I have a LOT of sports photos that I would be embarrassed to show publicly but I keep them only because my family enjoys them even though they are not "good" photos. So please accept my apologies for my lack of tact and clarity in the other post and happy shooting.

Apology accepted, no worries. Sometimes it's hard to convey things over a message board. ;)


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LaxMom
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Apr 21, 2012 21:02 |  #11

yourdoinitwrong wrote in post #14305533 (external link)
I understand what you are saying and after re-reading my post I believe it came across differently than I intended. I know it sounded like I implied that your photos weren't better than what is available from a P&S and that is certainly not what I meant at all.  :o My intention was to encourage you to keep at it and try some different things to see what works best for you and for the parents who purchase your photos. I am nowhere near a professional so I have zero room to dispense advice or criticism, which unfortunately my previous post sounded like just that.

I take a lot of photos of my nephews playing sports and some of the other kids parents gush over photos that I think are awful but they like them because their kid is in it so I had that thought running through my head and didn't put it into words very well. On my own website (setup for family use only) I have a LOT of sports photos that I would be embarrassed to show publicly but I keep them only because my family enjoys them even though they are not "good" photos. So please accept my apologies for my lack of tact and clarity in the other post and happy shooting.

Well, what's funny is that I just posted a bunch of pics on the team's FB page. And the few shots that like the least, are the ones that are getting all the "likes." And the shots I love aren't. You just never know what people are going to like! lol


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Apr 21, 2012 21:06 as a reply to  @ LaxMom's post |  #12

Don't forget to take pics of kids on the sidelines, too. Coach talking to a kid as he gets ready to go in is also good.


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Apr 21, 2012 21:20 |  #13

LaxMom wrote in post #14305683 (external link)
Well, what's funny is that I just posted a bunch of pics on the team's FB page. And the few shots that like the least, are the ones that are getting all the "likes." And the shots I love aren't. You just never know what people are going to like! lol

Haha, go figure! But I guess if they are the paying customer then give them want they want....and keep the "good" ones for yourself. I would think half the battle in selling photos is figuring out exactly what the customer wants and it seems the "like" button is helping you figure that out.


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Apr 21, 2012 21:35 |  #14

bubbygator wrote in post #14305699 (external link)
Don't forget to take pics of kids on the sidelines, too. Coach talking to a kid as he gets ready to go in is also good.


I do, I love those kinds of shots! Here are a few.......

watching his team score from the sidelines

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The coach watching the game
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After the game
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Worn out after the game, standing on the sideline
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Talking to the kids, after the game
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May 08, 2012 10:45 |  #15

Great advice = thank you all




  
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Question regarding selling kids sports shots
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