Newbie with an Idea. What do you think.

Discussion in 'Sports' started by davy_hancock, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. Newbie with an Idea. What do you think.
    About me: I do photography as a hobby. I have never sold any of my work. I have studied photography and love landscape and out door pics. I have taken thousands of pics of my two kids sports. My oldest is in third year of collage. Youngest in 7th grade. I have been elected be the photographer of my daughter middle school tennis matches just to get a few pics for yearbook and give away pics to parents and make a music video for banquet.
    What happen: I was taking pics of match at tennis courts. After it was over my daughter wanted to walk over to the middle school baseball field, cause the boys are cute. Ok, I will take some pics while I am there. A women walk up to me and ask where she could buy some pics I am taking. Of course I did not have an answer, just taking pics for fun. She gave me her email and said I will pay for pics if you take some of #8. I took 66 pics of her child and about 50 of random kids. (action shoots).. I told her I would send her the pics and that she did not owe me anything. I did not really know how good the pics would be, kind of a low light situation.
    Reaction: She gave me her number, I called. She spent the next 45 minutes praising my photos. I cant count how many times I said Thank You. There is a guy that shoots the football games and has been doing it for years and uses one of the web sites to sale his pics. She said my photos were ten time better. She pays $1.50 for a 4x6 and she thinks that is high. She said she would pay that and more for my photos any day.
    Here it comes
    The Idea: instead of shooting the whole team. Hire my self out to a parent to shoot as many shots of there kid in one game for a flat price. They would be getting more pics and I would not be just getting a cut from the web site. Email the pics to them. It just seems easier for every body.
    Or am I missing something
    Thanks for you time.
     
  2. Sounds like she was hitting on you!
     
  3. This is a great idea and a good way to make side money.
     
  4. It's an Action Portraiture commission. Good work!

    I do the same thing with hunting dogs, believe it or not. The general even coverage is fine, but I mostly do it so I can meet people who want me to concentrate on what their dog is doing. Have had some great work happen under those conditions.
     
  5. If you can get the work and if you can deliver on it, then go for it. It's more of a sure thing than shooting the whole team, posting the shots on a web site and hoping somebody buys. But you have to price it appropriately and not give your work away.

    Rates vary widely depending on where you live, but here in the Baltimore-Washington area even a standard hour or so portrait session is around $150-$200 (again, it varies with the photograppher and their pricing plans). And this is much more work than a standard portrait session. Getting good shots of a single kid in a tennis match you might be able to do in half an hour since it's the same kid the whole time. In team sports, you might have to shoot the entire game because the kid is in and out of the game from moment to moment. You also have to consider your time getting ready for the shoot and the time afterwards editing your shots to throw out the bad stuff (you have to shoot lots in action sports to get a few good keepers) and to fix exposure, color,etc.

    How much your time is worth is up to you, but be careful about doing this for a lowball price -- once the word gets out that you do this for a certain price, it's much easier to lower prices if it's more than the market will bear but very difficult to raise prices. And if you're too cheap you'll be seen as a dad with a camera, not a professional. From that perspective, it's actually better to try to work for people you don't know rather than parents' on your child's team.

    You have to consider your pricing plan. How much do you charge up-front and what does the parent get for that? Nothing at all and they have to pay ala carte for prints? One 8x10 included and they have to pay per print for more? A CD of everything and that's the end of it? And all of this needs to be in writing.

    Another thing to watch out for is that some teams/legues/fields/sports programs might already have contracts with professional photographers that shoot their team photos. You might show up to shoot a job and be told their contract prohibits anyone else from shooting for money. Or you might be told they don't want you down on the field, either for legitimate safety concerns or just out of bureaucracy.

    Granted, it can be much simpler than all this -- somebody might say they'll give you x amount to shoot picture of their kids, you take their money and give them the pictures however you work out. But there are various things to think about.
     
  6. Seems slightly bizarre - are you sure she was only interested in photography? But on the other hand, I don't see how you can lose. How did she know your shots were "10X better" than the pros (was she just looking at yours on your camera's LCD?) I am not sure how many other takers you will get with your plan, but good luck.
     
  7. Michael Howard and Robin Smith. I'm pretty sure she was not hitting on me. I don't think my wife has anything to worry about. Not that im dog ugly , I'm just not the type person random woman hit on. lol. My daughter thought that was funny also. Hey, wait a minuet, I'm not that bad looking.
    Craig Shearman. Thank, sounds like a lot of good advice.
    A Follow up question.
    What lens should I get for permanent. I have a friend, that lets me borrow his canon 70-200 2.8L Don't really like doing that. And I have rented a couple of time the same lens.
    For what I am shooting, should I buy the canon 70-200 2.8L OR step up to the IS. Or do you think I need to step up to a 300 L series. I have a 70-300mm 4-5.6 IS That I probable can get good shots in the sun light games. But I will probable need the 2.8L for night games. What do you think?
    Pricing: Thought about starting out with this deal. $50.00 to shoot one game. That is 40.00 to retain my services, up front, none refundable. $10.00 for the best top 20 images. (.50 per image) .25 for any images' after that. I sort of based that on this woman was paying $1.50 for one 4x6. I know a lot of yall might think that is low and that I am low balling my self. But I am just starting out and I am my biggest critic. But that is 50 dollars plus, for a night at the ball park and go home and clean up 20 images'. I don't know maybe 1.00 per image and .50 for image after. What do you think.
    Thanks DAVY
     
  8. I have been hired to do the same thing. Go for it!
     
  9. Upload them to somewhere such as Photobox and hand out a link so people cam buy prints directly. Minimal work for you with the possibility of some income.
     
  10. I apologize in advance for my negative attitude, but this sentence you quoted stands out to me and has been my experience: She pays $1.50 for a 4x6 and she thinks that is high. I've tried to make some money via smugmug for a while now, and people expect you to give your work away - I'm talking people that know you, whose son or daughter is on my son or daughters soccer and baseball teams. Not only do they expect the work for free, they will steal my work via screen shot and put on their facebook or other sites with no credit to me - with my web and copyright info no less. One guy even wanted to use some for the local soccer league website and I agreed, but he cropped my small copyright info/name/web site out saying "he didn't like it" despite agreeing to give me credit...
    I think the only way you could make money doing this would be to shoot for teams where you have no friend or family connection. I would not make a trip gratis either, I'd have a per game fee payable prior before I made a trip. One guy I know that makes his living from sports and outdoor photography has an agreement with the local college, and his 4x6 are on the order of $5-$6.
    On the positive side, I too was intrigued enough by your post to see how it ended...it did start out as an "I can't believe this happened to me" letter to Penthouse lol.
     
  11. Sounds nice, doesn't it?
    Reality may well set if you sit down and analyze your sports work.
    Cost of bodies and lenses used for the images?
    Travel too and from the venues.
    Repair and replacement of gear.
    Insurance needed to cover you since you will be charging for services.
    State and local sales and use tax, possible inventory tax on gear to include computers and transportation used to get you to and from venues.
    Selling 1,000 prints at $1.50 is $1500.00 coming in. Not enough to pay for one decent camera body and definately not enough to even make a down payment on a solid pro body.
    You don't "make" $1.50 per print even if you sell them this cheap.
    Don't forget Copyright registration and costs.
    Add in the reality of some parent or booster buying some photos and sticking them on T-shirts as a fund raiser or similar and killing the High School and possible NCAA opportunites of the athlete. You will be the one sued when the kids team forfeits all the games they played in.
    Sit back and take a look at the real cost of the images and what it takes. Factor in what happens when you get nailed by a foul ball or errant backetball pass and end up with a fractured skull or eye socket - in addition to having a shattered camera. Who is liable?
    If you want to run a business - make it an actual business and accept the responsibilitiy that goes along with it by using professional business practices every step of the way.
     
  12. I do something similar to what you are talking about. My son plays baseball on a showcase team the organization has many teams from 9 to 18. I go take pictures of the other teams/players. I load them on a shutter fly account and the link is sent out to all the parents. A 4x6 sells for 4.50 which I get about 3.90 for it. I also offer to take pictures and load them on a cd for the parent. I give them a minimum of 25 pictures for 25.00. I get paid for this before I go to a tournament usually there are 8 to 10 parents that want this service. I will also produce posters for the parents with up to 6 pictures of a player 16 x 20 goes for 120.00. The teams my son plays for showcase and school, I take the pictures and upload them on my Facebook page the other parents can share them or whatever they want but several ask me to print them for a fee.
     
  13. Since this is at a school, I would bet that you need to go through either the administration or the coach, rather than a parent. There are issues of photographing underage minors without the school being aware.
    If you want to do all of the team photos, your project management is going to be way more important that your photography skills. Think about how you will market, process orders and manage images.
    I would suggest setting up packages rather than just charging per print.
    Zenfolio is a good site for selling - it allows instant digital downloads.
    FYI - Lifetouch charges around $30 per digital file.
     

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