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Old Nov 28, 2005, 11:45 AM   #1
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This may be a totally stupid question, but I'm going to post it anyway. I was recently asked by a player's parent to shoot action shots of her in a college basketball game. Fortunately, it was a general admission event, so I was able to get a front row seat. I was still limited since I couldn't get on the floor or use a flash. I see here a potential to make a little money with my camera, but is it possible for a freelancer to get better access at college and highschool games? I know I'm not worthy to rub elbows with the pros, but as I improve my skills and equipment, would it ever be possible to get better access at small colleges or highschools? For example, is there such a thing as a press pass for freelancers? Just wondering.
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Old Dec 20, 2005, 6:27 PM   #2
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Check out your local newspaper,may you could work something out with them
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Old Dec 20, 2005, 7:34 PM   #3
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Be aware that many schools and professional teams place strict restrictions on the taking and use of images from their games since the sale of images is part of how they recoup their investment costs in holding the games. This question has arisen in other forums recently; some events won't let you in with a lens that's "longer than 3"" or whatever if you're not an official photographer.

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Old Dec 21, 2005, 9:49 AM   #4
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High school should not be a problem - at least for regular season. SImply contact the athletic director at the school and it shouldn't be an issue. Come post season time - it's a different story. Schools are usually alotted a certain number of passes for the floor, so you may or may not get one.

For college - the answer is: not likely. But, much will depend on what level the program is. If it's a competing Division I school it is highly unlikely. Passes are usually restricted to credentialed shooters (i.e. you are employed by a publication). You also need to be careful regarding NCAA rules regarding copyright of images. I know for football, you are not allowed to sell photos. Same is true in professional sports - you can't sell an image of a pro player. Not sure what the regulations are for NCAA basketball - but I would verify if I were you. Again, the smaller the school, the less likely there will be an issue. I would still suggest the same approach as above - contact the athletic department of the university and see if you can get a pass. The worst they can do is say NO.
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Old Dec 21, 2005, 3:58 PM   #5
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I agree with everything said above. I just want to add something.

Taking pictures as a favor for someone and getting someone to pay for something is completley different. There is a quote I always use from the Amercian Society for the Prevention to Crulity to Animals. It is something like this: "Don't give away baby animals (cats/dogs.) Charge for them. Even if it's a single dollar. You'll be surprised what people will take for free that they won't pay a buck for."

The same is true here. Once you enter into a business proposition, the standards are much higher. Here are some examples. People won't want the print to fade, so you'll have to get better prints made. They'll want it to be a standard size so it's easy to matte/frame. This will limit your crops not to what looks good, but to what fits a frame well. It will have to be to their standards of good, not yours. And people paying money for something will/should have high standards.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't try to do this. I'm saying that you can't expect to just jump in and do it. Do it for yourself for awhile. Show people the pictures and ask if they'd pay for them. Do your research before you jump. It just might be into deep water with sharks.

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