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Old Mar 12, 2006, 7:44 AM   #1
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This is probably not the right place to put this post but this is where I see a lot of real nice work so I was guessing that someone in here would know how to help me. I take a lot of sports pictures and I am scheduled to take some event pictures soon. How should I go about selling these pictures when someone ask me if they can get one. What to charge? I have been just giving out disk with the pictures on them so they can do what they want with them. I have been giving them away while I was learning and now I want to start making some money for doing this. Any ideas on how to get started?

I am soon to be taking pictures at a motorcycle rally and will probably be asked this again. I will be working for someone else at the time so I may not be able to sell those but may be able to set up a shoot or something from the event. What would I charge or even what should I offer them. I would like to offer them disk as I don't have to waste my time printing pictures they might not want. What should I charge to shoot and make a disk as I am so new at this I am sure my work will not be as good as someone who has done this for years?

Any opinions and help would be greatly appreciated.:?
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Old Mar 13, 2006, 1:11 AM   #2
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A friend of mine does sports pics. Here is her website. I believe that she has the pricing and what the items look like online.


I will be doing some of this work later on in the year too. I hope this will help you.

Good luck!

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Old Mar 13, 2006, 10:12 AM   #3
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You should worry about who has the rights to the images. Once you start to show up to events as a "commercial" photographer the rules change.

Make damn sure that you have permission from the track owner to sell images.
You mentioned being there for someone else, so you should watch out if they don't own the rights to your images. The music industry has problems around this, with people being hired such that all their work isn't actually there but is owned by who hired them. Really ugly stuff.

As for pricing, that is very locational and subject dependent. Different areas of the country have different rates based on their local economies. So be careful about taking someone else's prices as you don't know if they really apply to where you are.

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Old Mar 13, 2006, 1:52 PM   #4
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First, I agree with Erik - make sure you check copyright status. As an example, NCAA colleges in the US have their athletes copyrighted. I can't take a picture of an NCAA athlete and sell it. Similarly, I am doing freelance work for a local paper. I may submit 10 images, and if they print one they own the copyright on it - I cannot sell it. But, the other 9 (if not printed) I retain the copyright. Also, copyright aside, once you start selling stuff, the whole legal situation changes. You have issues regarding liability, etc. So, at least in the US, you have issues about setting up a corpoartion or LLC to help protect yourself from lawsuits and the like. There's a difference between selling an image here or there and wanting to run a business. So, look into whether you CAN sell the images then look into what you need to do to set up some legal protection.

You may also want to look into using a web service to do your hosting/printing. I know www.smugmug.com allows the ability to have a pro site - I think it's $150 a year. But, the benefit is: when you upload pics you can have a watermark displayed automatically to cut down on piracy. You then have the ability to set prices by pic size. Smugmug takes the orders, prints and mails the orders and cuts you a check every month.

If you're not in the United States, you may want to see what other similar websites exist that deal with your country. This method offers the least amount of work on your behalf.

The problem with supplying just a CD with all images is that it isn't a very good business model. If a customer wants 1 print or 50 prints, you end up charging the same amount. Unless you're going to burn specific disks based upon the order - which is poor in the sense that you have a lot of overhead and to make it worth your time you would need to set a minimum order qty (i.e. you wouldn't be wanting to burn disks with just 1 or 2 images on them). It also doesn't account for how many or what size print they make.

THings are different for an industry like weddings or such where you have a single customer. For sports, you're going to have lots of customers who are likely only going to want a few of the images. If you have 50 orders, do you really want to burn 50 disks?

Just my opinion.

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Old Mar 15, 2006, 11:37 AM   #5
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I'll pipe in here...

Selling sport shots is "exactly" what I'm doing right now. Started off very simply just shooting my kids at football. Folks loved the shots, wanted copies, I'd email them for free, then they asked me to print them 'cause my prints looked better. I'd charge them my cost for paper and ink. This got too crazy ... fast.

What folks have said thus far is true about copyright. There aren't any copyright issues shooting kids sports (I've checked with lawyers) in the venue's I'm shooting in although if the tournament directors don't want me to I don't. Fortunatley, I'm very low key at the events, just me and a camera bag, no tables, printers, or pushing product on folks. The directors like that and the parents love the service. On the down side, from what I've heard from people that do set up and print on-site, they get 85% plus of there sales at the site with just 15% or less on-line post games.

In a very short period of time I"ve been asked by many towns to shoot their local sports tournaments (from 3rd grade up to 8th grade so far).

I looked at a bunch of sites to host my images. Started with proimageguide, nice, great support. But I quickly grew out of their service as they don't do printing. I looked at printroom, smugmug and others, but decided to go with exposuremanager for the following reasons: nested gallereis,unlimited storage, prof. printing and self full-fillment on the same gallery, soft proofing, best price I could find and many others.

Other things to look out for:
1. If you sell prints your equipment may not be covered under your home owners
2. Liability, what if a someone runs into your equipment and gets hurt.

My new site was just put up... www.lacascio.com


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