Youth Sports SALES TACTICS!? Question!

Discussion in 'Sports' started by erin_m|1, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. Hi, I have a question about youth sports and sales tactics.
    In the last year I have started taking pics for YOUTH SPORTS (ie.
    Soccer, Baseball, Flag Football, etc.) I was wondering if any of
    you that also do youth sports can offer me some advice.

    Previously what I would do is go a (youth) sporting event and take
    pics of all the kids and then hand out business cards with a web
    address where the pic would be posted. That and I would also have
    parents walk up to me and ask if I was a photographer and if I could
    take pics of their kids. The parents would often times give me
    THEIR e-mail address. At which time I would send them a reminder and
    a link to view the pics on a web hosting and printing site like
    printroom. So here is the deal. After I go home and edit, crop,
    sharpen, and post the pics on the website I hardly get any sales.
    And I know my pics are DAMM GOOD, the question of quality is not a
    problem. And I think the price is far also, $7 for a 5x7 and $12
    for an 8x10, etc. I am using a Canon 1D Mark II, with a 70-200
    2.8L IS (basically $6600 worth of gear). So I have all these
    parents begging to get my attention, and make sure I take pics of
    their kids, give me their e-mail address, and yet...no sales.

    I am getting tired of taking pics on SPECULATION (shooting first and
    trying to sell later). I would rather have fewer parents that were
    guaranteed or committied to buying my pics, then to show up and take
    200+ pics willy-nilly and not sell any.

    Are there any YOUTH SPORTS Photographers out there that can offer any
    advice. I was thinking of charging a "shooting fee" of $20.
    Printroom has coupons that you can handout (1 time use only) that
    have a code in them that the parents use to go online and order
    prints. So basically I wanted to charge a shooting fee of $20, and
    then handout pre-paid coupons that are (set-up) good for $20 worth of
    prints. And if they want to order more than $20, then they can do
    that online as well.

    It has been my experience that 99% of the population gets enjoyment
    looking at pictures of themselves or their kids. However a smaller
    percentage of people are willing to pay for pics of themselves or
    their kids playing sports. It appears that if you allow people to
    take advantage of your time, they will have you taking pics of their
    kids all day long. Yet when it comes to buying prints, maybe they
    had no intention to ever buy any from the get-go.

    The other possiblity would be to go to the event, take 200+ pics, and
    then return the next day with 200 prints in a binder. I am
    shooting digital, so there is no "film" cost to worry about.
    However it is a big expense and alot of work to print out 100-200
    prints and have them available the next day in a 3 ring binder.
    But again, you are shooting on speculation.

    Any comments on the best way to find "qualified" buyers and to avoid
    shooting on speculation would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    E.
     
  2. If you have a laptop, you can bring it to the event.

    Instead of giving them business cards, you tell them "I'll show you the pictures in a few minutes, I'll be just there with my laptop.". Setup a photo booth (well you just need a table to put your laptop on) and have them come and see and sell them your 20$ coupons on the spot. Bring already made demonstration prints to show the final quality, which won't of course be visible on a screen.

    Suppose you write a little script to make quick previews of your images, with a little sharpening and leveling, and resizing to screen resolution (this can be done quite easily with ImageMagick). Then it's insert card, run script, show previews, sell.
     
  3. Are you shooting yourself in the foot by putting hi-quality images on a web-site for the parents to go "see"? If you are, some of them might simply lift the images and try printing them on their own.

    Regardless of your DAMM GOOD-ness, you need to work on presentation and to some degree attitude. If yer showing up at these events, strutting like a cock flipping business cards around, people might be turned off. That you would even consider printing 100-200 prints on "spec" shows little foresight. Slow down, think it through, be patient.

    I'm kinda interested in seeing some of the DAMM GOOD shots, BTW. I haven't seen DAMM GOOD in a long tyme.

    :)

    Good luck to you.
     
  4. If you took photos of my kids without permission and put them on a web site, I think I'd be contacting my lawyer.
     
  5. Yer a funny dood.
     
  6. I do a lot of youth sports and have the same problem you have. It seems that parents always ask if the photos will be online like they would rather see them online from home...but in the end sales are very weak. The company I do work for has their own lab so shooting film and having the photos ready the next day is no problem. Sales are good when their is a print/image that the parents can look at and buy on the spot. Another thing we do (sometimes when shooting digital) is set up about 8 monitors and have the parents looking through the images right on site. That does over really well. I like doing it that way because I can shoot more and take more chances as opposed to film.
     
  7. Event photography is all about haveing the product "right there(tm)" ready for purchase. And a digital product will sell better than a print.
    I am finding that a CD with images sells much better than prints ever would. They want something that they can email around to friends and family or even to make a desktop wallpaper from. Prints are a thing of the past.
    My current process is to create two versions of a CD, one low-res (1024x768), one high-res (whatever the crop ends up from a 20D), and sell the CD. They can also visit my web site and buy prints, but as you already know, very few actually buy on-line.
    I can't say that I am making money selling these CDs, but for the baseball games I make more every season.
    On my web site you can see a couple of the games I have shot recently, but most of the events I shoot are private and the galleries are not linked to from the home page.
    Dave Nelson Photography

    Some Decent Baseball Pics
     
  8. Well I want to thanks (mostly) everyone for their imput.
    I have posted some of my youth sports pics.
     
  9. http://www.photo.net/photodb/member-photos?user_id=1776291
     
  10. Got yer email, Erin... not bad.
     
  11. Erin,

    Love that shot of the bull rider in particular, though all are good.

    Frankly, I think this is just a really tough market, particularly with the plethora of digicams that are out there. I see parents with their little digicams snapping away all the time, and if you snap enough, you're bound to get something useable eventually. I've shown up at a number of my kids' games with long lens in hand, and have never had a parent ask me to take pictures of their kids, though they are appreciative when I give them some of the shots I've taken. So, my presumption is that parents are fairly ambivalent to having their kids' action shots taken, most of which would probably just end up in a box with the thousands of other pictures they've snapped over the years. Perhaps you would have more luck if you try something like what you already suggested. Hire yourself out to individual parents, charge a small shooting fee that you might either refund if they aren't happy with any of the shots or perhaps allow them to include all or a portion of it toward their purchases, and see how that works out for you. At least then you'd be shooting for customers who you know are considering a purchase.

    And I wouldn't shrug off the idea that you could be opening yourself to lawsuits for posting shots of subjects you don't have a model release for. There are lots of folks just waiting for the opportunity to sue someone, unfortunately.

    Best of luck.
     
  12. Howdy Erin,

    $6600 worth of camera gear to shoot the kids pix; when I have to change a tire on one of the aircraft that I maintain, I have to use the 3 jacks that fit the specific aircraft that i'm involved with, $12 thousand dollars, then the hydraulic mule for running the landing gear up and down while up on jacks in the hanger to make sure the new tire clears everything properly, another $20 thousand dollars, the nitrogen for filling the tire, high pressure nitrogen regulator, $5 hundred dollars, the nitrogen tank $2 hundred dollars,
    the NDT (non destructive test) kit for checking the wheel halves for cracks, another $6 hundred dollars, a solvent tank another $2 hundred dollars, the required up to date manuals or CD with the latest edition manual, $2400 dollars for a years subscription, the necessary basic tools just for the tire change , another $1000, and the list goes on with all the hidden costs. Sounds like you have a bargain!

    Have you considered putting together a well thought out package proposal with examples for the school or the booster/dads club/ PTA. It would surely be easier for all involved if you could deal with the school only and have them pay half up front and they would be responsible for collecting from the parents possibly at the start of the season.

    It is a TOUGH call on whether to even deal with this type of venue/crowd as mentioned above with everyone and their dog owning digital point and shoots (drugstore photographers).

    You also need to charge enough to put money into reserves for equipment depreciation and wear and tear/repairs... That same 4 thousand dollar camera body might be worth $1500 in about 2 years...

    Those parents don't give a damn how much you have tied up in the equipment just like the aircraft owners don't give a damn about what it takes to change a lowly tire..

    Talk with the lead coach to see if you could get them on your side before presenting this to the school/ booster club/ PTA...
    Maybe the prints can be marked up a bit more and some of the profit can be kicked into a fund for the schools athletic department to have a end of season pizza party for the athletes. Hopefully more than one slice and 50 straws in a cup of coke..
     
  13. There are lots of folks just waiting for the opportunity to sue someone, unfortunately.
    Some of them may have good reason:
    Schools Careful about Posting Photos Online
    If schools find it necessary to get permission to post to the web, why wouldn't you?
     
  14. A little late to the party but it sounds like we're doing the same thing. Though I only use a 20D and 70-200 f/2.8 IS. My experiences are different however as I am selling some shots and only recently moved over to printroom for a much better front end.

    My observations- There are some sports that parents can shoot themselves with their own camera. You're competing with them and while you have the experience, the technical know how, and the proper equipment, bear in mind that your education and equipment cost significantly more than what a parents digital P&S cost. Now if they can't get that shot they'll come to you but otherwise they'll do it themselves.

    Youth sports photography is a highly competitive market and while your price ranges are about equal to mine, the ones that are selling prints are asking much steeper prices. I've learned that they hit practices and get the kids to 'pose' rather than shoot during the game. So the shooters become salesmen during the games. Kinda funny really. I've fought this strategy tooth and nail. Like you I feel that the actual games are whats important for memories.

    Parents - they are either accepting of you shooting and will talk to you or are pretty ticked off that you have the gall to photograph their kid. If someone asks that I not photo their kid I pretty much agree to it right up front. Usually they want to know how to do it themselves rather than pay you for it.

    model releases - this is dependant on your state but I've found that unless its for advertising technically you don't need it. It doesn't hurt to have one from each kid/parent but it isn't required. Only if you plan to use the photos to advertise. You might require a model release if you plan on selling the photos to say a Dr's office of sports medicine, but just for the parents thats different. And you can still be faced with legal issues.

    What I've done is to find sports that are difficult for the parents to shoot. Soccer with a 10x zoom digicam can be difficult, Ice Hockey is near impossible with a P&S. I try to be accepting and open to the parents ideas and suggestions. I sell a handful of shots to a handful of parents, I learn some aspects of the sport and whats important such as setting up for a shot on goal, scoring is big. I try to work with the sport associations, let them know I'm harmless, I'm here to help, that they know who I am and can console the parents, and I just want to capture something worth framing and hanging on the wall for mom & dad. They've dragged kids to all sorts of events they deserve a DAMN GOOD picture for their efforts. I find being forward like this helps rather than trying to hide in a corner and non-existant. It beats reacting in a crisis "I'm suing you!" situation.

    I have some sample shots on a chain which dangles from my bag, people are encouraged to look at them. I had several shirts embroidered so people know I'm there to photo their kids for them and not some freak abductor type. I plan on using the printroom certificats but instead of a $20 sitting fee I was thinking of a loss-leader strategy. One of those certs for say a single 5x7 costs about $1 so I buy 50 of them and just GIVE them away. #1 it gets people to log in, identifies who I am, gets them to look at the shots and they know they already get a free shot, maybe even include free base shipping too. Once they see 5 shots of their kid they'll want all 5 in multiple sizes. Get them in the door. Prepare for tournaments, those are money makers. Talking to parents here and they say their spouses will drop $400 on photos alone. Before the holidays are a good time too. Summer isn't the greatest time, especially for ice hockey. Aim for little kids, the pre-teens and teens are older and parents aren't as interested in photos of them. The younger the better.

    I'd be out shooting but ironically I actually broke my leg playing Ice hockey. oh well time to work on those photoshop skills. Good luck!
     
  15. Like you, I'm a damn good action photographer. But I'm pretty sure I've identified the obstacles in my path toward making money from photographing amateur/school athletics, as well as a few possible solutions:

    1. Parents are often satisfied with the happy snaps they take. Doesn't matter that they're shooting with a P&S digicam set to 300mm f/8 using flash from 100 yards away. It's *their* photo, they took it, and they can identify which little speck in the photo is their daughter passing the ball.

    2. "Official" photos are sometimes taken by the spouse of someone on the faculty. Can you spell a-c-c-e-s-s? It's gonna be tough to overcome that. For instance, the official photos of my niece's basketball team were taken by the wife of one of the coaches. Most of 'em weren't very good. The girls were cute enough and the photographer used the standard poses but the exposures were awful. Still, this photographer charged the same rates as some of the good chain outfits that take senior grad photos, and she probably sold a few packets.

    3. I don't have any means of providing instant gratification. Ideally I'd have a WiFi setup and an assistant with a laptop and a fast printer to generate small proofs, which I'd give to the *kids*.

    Why the kids? Because *they* are gonna want the photos, not the parents. The parents saw the game. The kids want to see how they looked in the game. I photographed some of my niece's games and she was always antsy to see how she looked right after the games. When I photograph groups of the kids in our family pulling stunts such as diving, doing backflips, whatever, *they're* the ones who flock to watch the results on the LCD panel.

    The kids will sell your photos for you.

    Just don't give away the farm. I might make the samples small, with a discrete copyright notice on the front and a business card on the back. Or maybe a little larger, still with a copyright notice, in folder or brochure format with an order form inside.

    It's a tough call, providing a means for prospective customers to have a look at your photos while discouraging them from grabbing freebies. My family are often satisfied with the lo-rez prints they make on plain paper with their inkjet prints from the 600x400 JPEGs I circulate, even tho' I tell 'em I can provide hi-rez files on CD if they want better prints from Wal-mart. I'm not charging my family for these photos but their expectations of quality are so low. It's a shame because those prints will fade in just a year or two.

    My final thought would be, don't overwhelm the prospective buyers with too many choices. You choose the best few, the photos that make the kids look like pros.

    And do some cropping. There's a great photo hidden among the clutter of that bull rider but it's obscured by too much... stuff. Crop out everything that isn't bull and rider. That'll put focus on the look in the rider's eyes.

    An important factor in selling someone on the merits of a photo is to let 'em know who the photo is about. Again, I use the example of the kids in my family. If it's a photo of them taking turns tubing behind a ski boat, all they care about is "me!" I need to crop out practically everything but the kid who's tubing at the moment - including the boat itself - or that don't think it's an interesting photo.

    There may be other people in the photo, and it may seem as tho' they should be in the photo, but unless their reactions to the primary subject are really, really interesting, it's generally best to crop 'em out. Photojournalism 101.

    Oh, yeh, I also need longer, faster lenses. Yup.
     
  16. I am reminded of White Water Rafting company, in AZ I think. They stationed a few photographers on the river near rapids, they would take pictures and promise to send them the next day. They had few sales, as you can figure. What they did is train carier pigions, to fly from the photographer to the lab. By the time the customers came back to the station, the pictures were already developed and in frames. The customers could see themselves and their sales went up. With this said, I am not saying to print the pictures, but having an an assistant to be able to quickly organize and display pictures why you are still taking pictures could help you out.
     
  17. ( If you took photos of my kids without permission and put them on a web site, I think I'd be contacting my lawyer. )

    You could contact your lawyer, but you wouldn't have a case. If your kids are in a public place, they are fair game.
     
  18. I have exactly the same problem Erin! E-mail me.
    -Kathy
     
  19. Erin
    I am attempting the same thing and also am on the fence as to how to market my pics. Please, shoot me an email so we can shoot ideas around. mspease@bellsouth.net

    Melinda
     
  20. The potential of lawsuit for posting the pictures is almost nil (it's never non-existent). Schools, otoh, are in a very different legal situation when it comes to posting pictures. Parents are essentially required to send the students to school and schools have a more defined duty to protect the students, deal with custody battles, have defined privacy laws to observe, etc.

    FWIW, the film guys (maybe digital now) that shoot my daughters' soccer league did shoot on spec, they've built up business over time, present binders with up to 7 or maybe 8 5x7s (or maybe missed entirely) for each player from certain games and you can choose from what's there on a sliding price scale - up to $20 or $25 for all of them - no other choices, etc.
     
  21. See the above thread on how to do it.
     
  22. I have a great setup with my company TimeForPictures. If you would like to email me, I can discuss it with you. Very seldom do I do less than $1,000 per tournament (1 day) and then I get some residual income from online sales as well. You can see my site at www.timeforpictures.com
     
  23. Pretty sleazy way to try and make money. I'd rip up your card in your face if I was at my kid's game and you came around pimping your shots. I'd then call the cops and have you removed from the grounds. That's not what little league sports are for - it's for the kids and parents to enjoy themselves.

    It's pretty easy to think of a legitimate way to do this. If you can't figure it out, then...
     
  24. Sounds like J.D. is off his/her medication again. It also seems like you are a very angry and bitter person and on the verge of blowing a fuse. Chill dude! Take some deep breaths and count to 10.

    J.D. writes~~~~> "Pretty sleazy way to try and make money."

    What exactly is SLEAZY about it J.D. hmmmmmmm? Myself and 1000's of other photographers across the USA are taking great efforts and pride to try and immortalize your child playing sports. Something the parents and child can look back on with fondness for decades.
    You need to understand that if your child is in a public place, and can be seen with the unaided eye, then they are fair game.
    There is NO EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY! Jeeeez you make it seem like youth sports photography is the same as child p*rn*graphy. Obviously one is a legal and legitimate business and the other is a Federal Crime. Get a life!

    J.D. Continues~~~~~> "I'd rip up your card in your face if I was at my kid's game and you came around pimping your shots. I'd then call the cops and have you removed from the grounds."

    And when the cops showed up I would have them take YOU away for littering. I would then show the nice officer my business license and explain what I just said about NO EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY!
    And he would drive away and go back to work inforcing REAL CRIMES.

    And as far as me "pimping" my shots. What about the snack bar that is pimping their (overpriced) hotdogs, sodas, and candy? They are buying things from the store, marking them up and "pimping" them to the players and parents for a profit. Atleast what I am doing is: one-of-a-kind and unique. Heck 24 hrs hours after you have digested your (ballpark bought) sodas, candy and hotdogs, you flush it down the toilet. My photo's and other photographers like me capture special moments at 1/1000th of a second (or faster) using expensive equipment. Besides my products are NOT: fattening, loaded with sugar and won't rot your kids teeth.

    More from J.D. ~~~~~> "That's not what little league sports are for -it's for the kids and parents to enjoy themselves." Actually that isn't entirely true. If you think about it youth sports is big business. You pay $$ for your kid to play on the team, you pay $$ for their uniform, gear, shoes, etc. You pay for gas driving to all the practices, and games. You pay for parking. You buy their food from the snack bar. Myself and other professional photographers are just trying to get a small piece of the pie. We provide a service and a product that many people want. The problem we have is deciding on the best ways to: apply, advertise and market our images to "qualified" buyers. If you are so worried about your little prince or princess being seen in public (and photographed) then I suggest you take your child out of youth sports all together. Or maybe you can cover their faces with vales like M.J. does with his kids. I'm sure his kids will turn out just fine.

    And if it was "easy to think of a legitimate way to do this" we wouldn't have a need for this forum. The whole idea of youth sports photography is legitimate. We are just trying to share ideas and experiences on the BEST ways to handle marketing and workflow.
    I originally posed this question to the "sports Photography" forum so I could come up with a solution on how to focus on the parents that WANT actions shots of their kids. That along with the best way to AVOID shooting on speculation for crazy, cantankerous, tightwad, old farts like yourself.
     
  25. Sleazeball. Just using the words "tactics" and "fair game" tells it all. Sleazeball. Have a sleazy day!
     
  26. I'm not sure I understand what the problem is. Do you have a problem with Youth Sports Photography, Action Photography at youth sports events, or the way Erin described trying to market the photos?

    I have had 2 girls playing softball for the last 5 years (spring and fall) and have never had a problem with anyone selling pictures at the event. They don't come "pimping" their pictures. They usually are set up at booths where I go to THEM.

    In the last 3 years I have conducted business in a simular manner. I set up a booth and the parents come to me to see "memories" of their children. I put up signs letting the parent know I'm there and I don't try to drag them to my computers. Usually I have parents and tournament directors asking me to work their events.

    I would just like to know what your problem is with this venture. Is it not "artistic" enough. I know for me it pays for equipment and allows for vacations and scholorship funds for 3 girls.
     
  27. What about the snack bar that is pimping their (overpriced) hotdogs, sodas, and candy? They are buying things from the store, marking them up and "pimping" them to the players and parents for a profit.
    I realize that you're in a tough business, but you need to be more selective about who you bad-mouth. Every "snack bar" at my kids' sporting events is a fund-raising venture for the league and/or a charity, and is staffed by volunteers. There's no "pimping" going on, and my kids don't have cavities.
    You've gotten some good suggestions. Why don't you check them out? Here's another one that seems to work well:
    Kids-n-Motion
    They go to big swim meets, and parents pre-pay to have their kids photographed. They do one or two kids per heat, first-come, first-served. I didn't think they would get many sign-ups, but I was way off (just ask my wife :). The fee is a credit toward ordering prints, and the company returns some of it to the swim league.
    BTW, a swim meet has to be one of the most target-rich environments in all of sports. The photographers worked our meet for eight hours on site, and had over 500 participants and their families as potential customers. And it's a lot easier to get multiple good photos of a swimmer than it is for most other sports.
     
  28. OK - Gary, what you're doing sounds properly thought out and respectable. But I think it's pretty gallsy to just show up at a game where you have no connection, know none of the kids/parents, start walking the sidelines taking photos of kids right in front of the parents, and then later go up to these people and say, "I've just taken photos of your kid. You can see them on this site, and they are for sale, etc." I'd just look at you like you were a complete lowlife scumbag. Sales? Of course not.

    Go through the league beforehand - get sanctioning from them. Have any orders beforehand. Know the jersey numbers of the kids you will be shooting, go up to their parents before the game and introduce yourself, etc., etc. You gotta be a numbskull to not be able to work this simple business plan out yourself.

    By the way, what a vitriolic and off-base lunatic response from the original poster.
     
  29. Erin,
    I'm doing the same thing with Youth Sports and so far is working ok. Havent had any "freaks" like JD to deal with, thank God. Email me and we can discuss further. I've shot Little League baseball and football and each league or sport turns out different. I set up booths and made some good money the following week at their next game. I've had one league order many many picts on line and others hardly any. One recommendation I'd like to make: talk to league president, event coordinator before hand to let them know who you are and what you're doing. I give 10% kickback to team or league. They appreciate you coming to them first.

    Good luck.

    Richard
     
  30. Whew, I know what you mean, Richard. The world's really getting crazy with all these people with a conscience running around...
     
  31. One thing we should all remember is not to "just show up". In my case, when I work a tournament I have exclusive rights to shoot on the field. I pay for this with the commission that I pay the tournament director. I've had to have photographers removed from the parks because they thought they could just walk out onto the field and start shooting. Parents try to do that to, and because of liability reasons and of course because this is a sports tournament, they can't be allowed to either. What I usually try to do for some of them is to take their camera and shoot a couple of shots for them. They are really appreciative and some have turned out to be my best customers.

    I think in this type of photography we have to remember ethics and courtesy. Remember to book engagements, not show up to shoot. If you are an independent photographer that has been hired to shoot a team or individual and find someone else has rights to the tournament, talk to that photographer. You may have work out an arrangement. Advertise to your customers, don't try to direct sale to them. If you can get them to see your work, it should talk for itself. If you can't setup viewing stations to let people see your work, bring a single laptop and printer. Print off contact sheets and create game albums. Then take orders. And last of all, always remember that these are just kids. We're here to preserve memories and if we preserve bad ones by the way we act, it won't be long before we're not doing this anymore.

    By the way, let's all play nice. We may differ in opinion, but we're all trying to learn. Name calling doesn't help any of us.
     
  32. My business model is a little different ...

    1. Look professional, be courteous, and just show up.
    2. Take great photos.
    3. Go back to your van and print up 8x10's from your marine-battery-powered laptop and
    pro inkjet. You pick the best photo, do whatever post is necessary (get to know your
    camera/software/printer workflow with the end goal of little or NO post processing).
    ~optional~ build pshop actions to add tasteful text with event title & date
    4. Put them in nice fiberboard matte/easel, wrapped in a pro envelope with your logo.
    5. So with 10~20 really nice, packaged prints, go sell them to parents, ready to go. Be
    courteous to those who don't want to purchase. "I'll be around if you change your mind."
    6. Wear a fanny pack with a wireless Visa POS processor/printer.
    7. Shoot it, print it, sell it, be done

    I avoid websites as I think it kills the motivation to purchase. I think people visit the
    websites, download the webproofs, send to family, and wear out the "wow" of your shot.
    After a time, they forget to order a print and are off to other things ... living their lives.
    With my method, if they don't purchase now, they will never share that awesome photo
    with Grandma. It's gone. That really nice man with the big white lens and the shiny mini-
    van took it away (never to be seen again).

    Plus, uploading to websites is a pain, and the good pro print services charge too much.
    And do their prints look as good as a pro-level inkjet?

    What's my website for? A way to contact me if you ever need a re-print. My prints are for
    life ... if it fades or you spill coffee on it. Send it to me and I'll reprint it. Also, I'll take
    orders for poster size prints over the web ... but only to existing customers (most will
    order poster size on the spot).

    And for goodness sakes, keep your print prices up. How can you drag $7k worth of gear
    onto a field and be profitable charging $10 for an 8x10? If the shots are really good, ask
    $50. You're using the same gear as Sports Illustrated ... charge like it.

    For some events I'll honor requests to be the 'official' photographer, but I often think the
    task of documenting the event gets in the way of poster-worthy photography. I have a
    very good system of knowing of several events on any given Sat or Sun. If some 'official'
    photographer throws me out of one event, I've got at least one other one other to hit.

    I took great humour from the previous 'sleeze' comments. He who is without sleeze of
    anykind can cast the first stone. What? Are you curing cancer or something ... or maybe
    just selling cars?

    Your thoughts?
     
  33. What % of those 10-20 prints get sold?

    What % of parents are gone before you generate the print?

    What % of events do you get bounced from?

    We bought four excellent 5x7's of my son from his summer championship meet, ordered on the web, with dozens of shots to choose from; total cost was about the same as your single 8x10. Your shot would have to be pretty special for me to spend $50 for one print.
     
  34. I can't imagine you selling a large quantity of $50 prints at any of the events that I work. Once again, I work under the premise that I'm recording memories for the families of the players. I work strickly on volume. $5 may seem like a lot to charge for a single 4x6 print but it's really not (considering the cost of our equipment and insurance). To some it may seem like I'm not charging enough (for those same reasons). I'm trying to find a happy medium that will benefit me and make it affordable enough that the parents can enjoy several of the hundreds of shots I might make in a single day. It seems to work. We sell hundreds of photos in a single day and I've become friends with many of my customers. They know me by name when they see me at events. I believe we have to overcome the image of the wolf "preying" on the families of these players. We may be professionals, but they are not.
     

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