Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Post Your Photos > Sports & Action Photos

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Dec 17, 2006, 4:11 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 429
Default

How do I go about selling some of my sports photo's of college and pro sports?

I want to learn how to sell them to magazines or any other outlet. Is there any rules to watch out for? I also would like to sell some of my wildlife work too.I am not looking for offers I just want to know how to go about doing it. I currently have floor access to most events through a newspaper friend so I am able to get real close to the action. Any advice?
RP33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Dec 17, 2006, 9:43 AM   #2
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Well,

I'd suggest starting with newspapers. Put together a portfolio and check with the sports editor or sports photo editor and guage their interest. You're going to need to build up a resume of local work before any national publication is going to touch you. You're going to face very stiff competition and in all honesty, the odds are stacked heavily against you. So, the best way to beat those odds is to build a resume of success. You say you have a friend at the paper - use that angle to get your shots considered for the paper. If you can't get work at that paper then try a different one.

As for pro sports - what sports are you considering? The reason I ask is this is an even tougher nut to crack if it's a major sport (football, baseball, basketball, Tennis, Golf). You're competing against the best in the business there.

The major publications don't hire Joe Shmoe - they have their own photogs or work with stock agencies like Getty to get their stuff. So you have to work your way up. Sports shooting is highly competitive and you have to battle folks with the best gear (and yes, when going for major publication the best gear makes the difference) and the experience. The progression for success will likely look like this:

1. Local weekly newspaper or school newspaper.

2. Local minor daily newspaper

3. Local major newspaper

4. Publications / stock agencies.

Let's face it you're wanting to apply for a job in a market where there aren't many. So, just like applying for a job on wallstreet - they want a resume. In this case, the resume is published work. So, get published then build a resume of that published work. Don't want to burst any bubbles, but you're not going to vault to the top without work. Look at your work compared to the major daily newspaper in your area. Is it as good? If so, then there should be no problem getting a job there or another major paper. If not, then keep working until it is as good. And, don't forget that part of that work is your cut lines - each photo should have one.


JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 17, 2006, 7:24 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 429
Default

Other than a full time job or position ( I have a full time job I like) is there any other way to sell the photo's. You mention Getty and things like that, do they only buy from their photographers or do they buy a few from here or there?

Most of the sports I get to take pictures of is Division 1 Basketball, NBA basketball, NBADL basketball, and pro Golf. PGA and LPGA. Is there anywhere I should look to market those type of pictures. I do sell to the local paper for my friend but it is a very small paper.



RP33
RP33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 17, 2006, 9:08 PM   #4
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Again, you're talking about the top of the heap with pro sports and Division I. People who make their living off this. Pick up a major newspaper - is your stuff as good as theirs? Be honest with yourself. The papers and major publications can afford the best out there. There are no real short cuts - you're either as good as the pros already doing it or you're not. As a hobbiest and side-job sports shooter myself - I've looked at the work of the real pros and I'm no where near in their league. In all honesty, you can't expect to do something on the side and be as good as the best out there.

It's like wanting to be a CFO with the only background being balancing your own check book.

If you want to sell work, cover local sports and sell to parents - or contact other papers and sell freelance. Since you can't afford to do something full time it's going to be impossible to get a staff job at a paper and build up the practice and expertise necessary to compete with the pros. So, set your goals a little lower. If you want to sell Division I and pro work then you need to make it a full time commitment. If you're not willing to do that, you're not going to get good enough to take the job away from someone who is earning their living doing it.

Have you tried contacting other newspapers for freelance work?
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 18, 2006, 5:53 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
StevenC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 218
Default

I find that prospecting works best if you want to get published in reputable papers / magazines etc i.e. sending out little samples. The trouble is, because they have access to the highest quality pro's, if you freelance your way in to a paper - particularly with sports - then it's got to be a belter of a shot as the chances are if the paper wanted a shot, they'd have sent someone out who does it for a living, and in fairness, probably has much higher 'quality' gear.

I find, like I think JohnG mentions, that taking shots of the "lesser knowns" like kids seems to work as they, and their familys buy them.

I've sold alot of pictures to "proud parents" in this way, for about the same amount of effort as it takes to get into a newspaper that's worthwile i.e. decent pay.

By biggest tip would be to be approachable, don't go hounding your way around an event you are covering. Try to talk to people, get them on your side. They are much more likely to buy from someone they have spoken to and met than just some "random on the internet".
StevenC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 18, 2006, 11:41 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,396
Default

Both college level and pro sports are usually protected by trademarks and copyrights.
You need to get clearance from the team management and owners to try and sell any images you take of them.

Try looking for some info on getting involved at http://www.sportsshooter.com/
PeterP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 18, 2006, 2:16 PM   #7
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Peter brings up a good point. Actually you won't be able to get any release to sell Division 1 or pro sports photos to anyone for non-publication. The copyrights copyrights of the players' images are owned by the pro league or the NCAA. You can sell to a paper or magazine but you can't sell to a player's family. And, to make matters worse - you can't even GIVE a photograph to an NCAA player. That photo has monetary value - and accepting gifts can put their eligibility in jeopardy.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"When I mentioned selling to parents I was referring to local sports meaning high school or recreation league. And in either case you still need to check with the AD or the league in question to be sure they don't have a contract with another photographer. If they do, you should respect the contract even if the league isn't going to enforce it.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 19, 2006, 6:22 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
k1par's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 608
Default

I have to throw my 2 cents worth in here also. JohnG and the others make real good points. You are not going to sell photos to major publications until your experience level is up there. The best way to start is with a small home town paper be it daily or weekly. I have had the pleasure of having a few of my shots published in either large magazines or major newpspapers but it is still rare. I find great satisfaction (but not a lot of money) in having my photos published in both of my local weekly papers and I do sell quite a number of shots to parents. If your heart is set on becoming self sufficient by selling yuor photos it will take a lot of time and effort. The best advice I can give is what another photographer told me when I was in high school and just starting to take photos, "Start small and think big". Beself critical of your own work and set your own standards high on what you think is a sellable photo. Listen to the assesment of your photos by your peers with an open mind, you never know where a new idea will come from. Most of all you need to enjoy what you are doing whether it is taking pics of the kids next door in a pick up game or the pros doing their thing on a field of dreams.

That's my 2 cents but with inflation it is now worth a penny and a half. Seriously if you goal is to sell photos to make a living be prepared to put a LOT of hard work into it.
k1par is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 24, 2016, 2:18 AM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 1
Default

I would look at the situation differently. If I was you I would take photos at smaller events to get loads of practice and start selling them to the players.

In that way you'll build your portfolio, understand what people want and to really understand if you want to do the work necessary to be a sports photographer.

Like many others have mentioned aiming to shoot college or pro sports for publication is at the top of the pyramid but there is still plenty of money to be had and beneath that.
GeoSnapShot.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 24, 2016, 6:17 AM   #10
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Wow - I think this is a record: bringing a 10 year old thread back from the dead I gotta ask - how did you happen to respond to a thread from 2006?
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 5:58 AM.