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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk 
Thread started 09 Dec 2009 (Wednesday) 13:09
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Should I donate my time to HS Sports. Do You?

 
Joe300
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Dec 11, 2009 08:56 |  #16

cpo13 wrote in post #9175368 (external link)
There were a couple of very interesting posts in a thread on Sportsshooter a few months back which touched on this. One pro shooter said that his business model did indeed give away sports action shots for free. His rationale was that there was little to no money in this anyway, but the exposure it gave him and the contacts in the local community it made led to very profitable business in other areas, (senior, portrait, family, event, etc.). In this case the argument is that you're not giving your action shots away for free, but using them as advertising that you'd otherwise be paying for somewhere else.

Just another viewpoint that may or may not make sense in your specific case.

100+Right, That is what I am trying to explain with this thread. Its hard in all areas of the country to go in and tell a public high school that you want to photograph there sports program for xx$$$ when they dont have money to put into education. they also have yearbook staff (KIDS) doing a lot of the photography..
Its a give and take thing. I do donate my photography to one school for the fall fest. party and take portrait setup shots... the PTA sets the price and all $$ goes back to them....its like after printing $3.00 5x7 print
I make a lot of contacts with parents, seniors and wedding work from this word of mouth. Also that I am a photographer for hire in my area....NETWORKING....​PRICELESS!
bw! NO...:D
thanks,
Joe


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JDCPA
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Dec 11, 2009 09:18 |  #17

My situation is a litle bit different.

A few years back, my son joined the local high school football team and I wanted to be on the field shooting. I started by taking some pictures of practices so that the coaches got used to my being around, and then got them to agree that I could be on the field home and away to shoot and provide them with about 25 pictures per week for their website.

As a parent and member of the booster club, I had pretty good visisbility amongst the parents.

I ended up blowing up about a dozen pictures to good size and got them on the locker room walls.

The interest from that alone has been amazing.

And yes, while it is not the case with me, the school is in an area with disposable income for photography.

Requests to shoot for other schools and photographers have come along as well. Photography is not my full time profession if you are wondering, but you have to get a foot in the door somehow.

That may not work for you, but it did for me.




  
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JDCPA
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Dec 11, 2009 09:21 |  #18

As a second note, the team ended up asking me to do the portrait/team photos becuase they liked the large photos better than the team photos they had prevoiously been provided.

It ended up over 100 players that I took the next few years. Not a bad gig.




  
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JDCPA
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Dec 11, 2009 09:22 |  #19

Sorry, the third note is that early on, I dedicated a lot of time, but for what I was looking for and the ultimate return, it was well worth it.




  
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Joe300
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Dec 11, 2009 10:12 |  #20

JDCPA,
Sounds like it worked out good for you...Are HS usually budgeted for outside photography contracts to hire photogs to do the sporting events for them.. It migth help if I was part of the booster club or something like that,,, we have a guy now that does middle school booster stuff he ahs been aroudn for 20yrs. and does all the photog stuff for them but he is thinking about stepping down. retire.
this is my second business not yet full time pro.. times are hard. I need two full time jobs to carry the family....lol...or it might for the love of photography....lol
Joe


A lot of Canon gear=300D & 1Dmkiii, Lens and some studio gear,
WL x1600 etc.
Two Bronica SQ-Ai outfit too! 'Old School'
www.joelaroccaphotogra​phy.com (external link)

  
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JDCPA
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Dec 11, 2009 14:38 |  #21

Joe:

No, the HS generally do not budget/pay for a photographer. Only for the team photos. Some booster clubs pay, but it is mostly free lance work.

I am not sure exactly how it works, but some HS can limit your access without proper permission or certain credentials from the state athletic association.

Most of the sales you seem to be able to get are from the parents and the team photos.




  
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Big ­ K
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Dec 11, 2009 14:49 |  #22

Joe300 wrote in post #9176989 (external link)
JDCPA,
Sounds like it worked out good for you...Are HS usually budgeted for outside photography contracts to hire photogs to do the sporting events for them.. It migth help if I was part of the booster club or something like that,,, we have a guy now that does middle school booster stuff he ahs been aroudn for 20yrs. and does all the photog stuff for them but he is thinking about stepping down. retire.
this is my second business not yet full time pro.. times are hard. I need two full time jobs to carry the family....lol...or it might for the love of photography....lol
Joe

None of the schools around me pay a photographer for anything. In fact, it is the other way around. The photographer has to pay a kickback of their sales to them for the privilege of doing any of the formal team and individual photos.

Photos for the yearbook and things like that are done either by students or as part of the contract with the photographer who does all the regular school pictures.

Actual game action coverage, outside of that intended for the yearbook, is not managed by the school and any sales the photographer gets to keep the total sales, all $7.00 of it.

Around here, everything is pretty small scale so there are not a ton of people shooting games so access is pretty easy and competition is pretty thin. However, this varies from location to location.


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Mike ­ R
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Dec 11, 2009 18:35 |  #23

Big K wrote in post #9178765 (external link)
Actual game action coverage, outside of that intended for the yearbook, is not managed by the school and any sales the photographer gets to keep the total sales, all $7.00 of it.

Around here, everything is pretty small scale so there are not a ton of people shooting games so access is pretty easy and competition is pretty thin. However, this varies from location to location.

This varies widely even from town to town where I shoot.
At one school, I offered to allow them to use me as a fundraiser and I give them a % of sales. The booster club was excited about the idea. Then the football team says that a MWC is their team photographer and even though this hurts the Booster Club, they don't stop her. (thru SmugMug she sells them at cost) So I stopped shooting football, it's their loss.

In the neighboring town, The individual teams make their own arrangements. I shoot for 6 teams at that school and I'm the exclusive photographer for each of them. There is no kickback to any of them but I do donate prints to the yearbook. I don't charge to attend the games but each team buys a slideshow for their annual banquet in addition to an enlargement of each senior to give them as a gift. Sales to volleyball parents were terrible this year compared to prior years and I think its because of the economy so I'll return for them next year.
The worse case senerio from football this year will be $800. But it will probably be much higher. I was shock by the large orders I received form the dance team parents. I shot them at 2 football games durring half time.


Mike R
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tstowe
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Dec 12, 2009 23:55 |  #24

I teach high school and I'm the yearbook advisor. Let me tell you what's going to happen. You'll shoot for free and then they'll keep expecting you to do it for free. Then it morphs to some sense of entitlement where they think you have to do it. Then they'll get angry if you don't/can't shoot this game or that. Or why you shoot more of one event than others. For example, I coached football and wrestling. I like football and wrestling. I don't like softball. It's boring (to me). Same for tennis. And lots of other sports. I shoot enough of them for the book and that's it. I get grips a lot like "You go to all those games/matches, why only two of ours?"

Ask if you can shoot the games. Ask if you can give the coach fliers to give to the kids. Doubt they'll mind.


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Croasdail
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Dec 13, 2009 16:15 |  #25

I used to, and sometimes still get called up to shoot now and then again at a pro level and NCAA Div 1 schools and events.. I used to make decent money at it as well. I dabbled in the kids stuff for money, and honestly didn't like it. Way too much work for way too little money. When I shoot youth sports, its purely for the love of the game and the kids. The stuff I shoot I would shoot if no one else gave a rats ass if I was out there, and that keeps it nice and simple. From that work, if a not-for-profit like a school says they could use an image, I give it to them.

I keep a clear line between photography I am doing for fun, and photography I do for money. My own personal expectations are clearly different. If I am there for the money, I shoot regardless. On the other hand, if it is just for fun, I don't care if I get a shot of every player, or peak action. A picture of my kid on the bench with his buds means far more to me than some strangers kid making the ubber play on the field. I've made several thousand a weekend shooting kids, but it got old quick.

Be really clear on what is expected between being a pro and being a really good hobbiest. Being a pro doesn't mean you will be having more fun or making tons of money. You will actually find that being a pro is very expensive, and you will HAVE to put in serious hours to get that ROI to make sense... so be careful for what you ask for. Be prepared to shoot a lot of stuff you just done' care about.

On the other hand, if it is your passion, go for it. My brother in law started shooting his kids games, then other kids games, and now makes decent side money from it. I say "makes" loosely. I see all the stuff he has had to buy, and I really doubt all things accounted for, he has "made" much if any. But he has had fun, made new friends, and supported his kids schools and club teams. Just depends on your motivation.


Mark
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Joe300
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Dec 14, 2009 14:03 |  #26

tstowe wrote in post #9186634 (external link)
I teach high school and I'm the yearbook advisor. Let me tell you what's going to happen. You'll shoot for free and then they'll keep expecting you to do it for free. Then it morphs to some sense of entitlement where they think you have to do it. Then they'll get angry if you don't/can't shoot this game or that. Or why you shoot more of one event than others. For example, I coached football and wrestling. I like football and wrestling. I don't like softball. It's boring (to me). Same for tennis. And lots of other sports. I shoot enough of them for the book and that's it. I get grips a lot like "You go to all those games/matches, why only two of ours?"

Ask if you can shoot the games. Ask if you can give the coach fliers to give to the kids. Doubt they'll mind.

Hello, I guess with you being in the mix as a teacher and yearbook advisor the parents feel you are tied into shooting sports all sports... do you shoot any action shots then let the parents view them for a purchase price.
I have been to few Basketball games last week and parents told me if I get anything good they want to buy them... I am still waiting on calls...LOL and if I give one away for free I tell them the next twenty will cost you... But I get out to shoot, do some networking hope to sell photos....
one guy for the booster club prints photos 4x6 then puts them out on a table at the next game for parents to buy...
thanks, keep shooting,
Joe


A lot of Canon gear=300D & 1Dmkiii, Lens and some studio gear,
WL x1600 etc.
Two Bronica SQ-Ai outfit too! 'Old School'
www.joelaroccaphotogra​phy.com (external link)

  
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Should I donate my time to HS Sports. Do You?
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