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Old Feb 25, 2009, 12:27 PM   #1
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Just a question I am not sure how to answer myself. Typically I am a wedding and portrait shooter, but now that my younger children are in school, I have been going to every event at the school.

As you would expect, I have my cameras attached to my hip and at first shot to better my skills and nothing more. Then everyone and his brother started asking if I would get them photos of their kids....I know that I am not where I want to be as a sports shooter yet, but I figured the best thing to do would be to put my shotson a site and begin selling them... IF PEOPLE WANTED TO BUY THEM...

I charge $5 a 4x6 print...I live in rural South Carolina and wanted to know if people on this list thought that was a fair price??? So far the parents areresponding well, but I am not sure I am charging enough, or maybe I am charging too much... Just need some thoughts please.

If you go to http://www.HHARaiders.com you can see some of the shots. Long term, I would like to do this for many other schools in the area. Again, once I am comfortable in my sports shooting skin.

I would really like some advice here and would also like to know if anyone out there does anything similar.

I am really looking forward to some responses here.. Please help.



Doug




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Old Feb 25, 2009, 1:08 PM   #2
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I guess you just have to decide for yourself. You know time vs trouble then consider joy. If you really like going and doing it and if the parents are thankful and that makes you happy then that means a lot. Probably the $5 for 4x6 pics covers your cost and still allows for a little extra. For the parents $5 for a nice pic of their kid is a no-brainer and are happy to give it to you.

Seems like everyone is happy. To charge more ... hummm I know you could. You have nice pictures. You'd just have to see if ... $6 worked then $8 and so on there will be a "pain" limit to the parents wanting the pics and being willing to pay a certain price for them. To me it seems like $5 is such a shrug of the shoulders number that you can just say "yes I would like that to".

I'd not go lower unless say they wanted 5 pics and then you said $20. Guess it depends on if this is a hobby and as your then anyway you mise well take some pics or if it's a make some money thing. If it's the 1st charge the $5 and be happy with the little pocket change and if you sell a couple pics per game then ... you got in free or had a free hotdog. If you think of it like that then it's a happy thing and no stress.
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Old Feb 26, 2009, 11:42 AM   #3
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You have some really nice shots.

What kind of equipment do you use?

To me, as a lay person, $5 seems like a really good vaule. You might be able to charge a little more, but with these prices you're probably generating a lot of good will/word of mouth and no gripes.
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Old Feb 26, 2009, 12:21 PM   #4
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Doug,

Here's the challenge you face:

$5 is a somewhat reasonable price. You'll generate a good return for the sports your kids are in because you have a constant presence. And, you're already there taking photos so it's not a big additional cost to you.

BUT, once you go to the second part of your plan - branching out to other schools, you have to determine what your business model will be. Once you branch to other schools your model has to change. You're no longer going to be at every game whith other parents who see you game in and game out and bring you business. You are now into the realm of "shooting on spec" (spec standing for speculation) - show up, take photos and hope to sell them. Business takes a big hit once you move past the teams you're covering every game. Now you have to balance your time/effort against rate of return.

My advice is: determine how much money in sales you have to make per event to justify the cost. Then figure out how you're going to generate that business. The price of the photo is really the smallest part of it. The tougher part is identifying which teams will generate you revenue and how to market to those teams/parents. If you have no marketing and just show up and shoot a couple games people wont know who you are or why you're there.

Then you also have to deal with whether or not the team in question has a parent photographer like you're doing. That person may not be as good as you are. But there are a lot of such parents that give away photos for free. For recreational sports it can be tough to get someone to cough up $$$ when they can get a photo for free.

And, of course, as you branch out to other schools you have to deal with access issues - are you going to be allowed on the court or on the sidelines or on the diamond at other schools?
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