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Old Jun 5, 2009, 5:21 PM   #1
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Default Beginning a company

Howdy

Im an amateur photographer and have been asked to shoot for a local sports magazine to help me become better and get my name out there. So far so good... in my first weekend I handed out cards from the magazine I am shooting for with some of my details also on there and from that Ive had calls asking if they can buy photos.

Ive talked to the editor and owner of the magazine and they told me that I can and should sell them for myself. Im unsure where to go from here though...

Im currently looking at doing the following:
- Make a small business then make a website and sell them online
OR
- Sell them as cash jobs

Any help would be appreciated especially from those who have made it their profession or set up weekend business.

Cheers
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Old Jun 5, 2009, 6:13 PM   #2
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I'm hoping that JohnG will chip in on this as he has a better understanding of the US sports scene. I used to shoot a lot of sports here in the UK at local events but haven't for about a year as the financial rewards were not really warranting my time so now I mainly shoot portrait and weddings. A single good wedding can bring as much as a years sporting events.

Anyway, back to you, I would be careful how soon you are offering paid services as I notice you have only been doing this for a couple of months. It's very easy to get a bad rep if you don't produce good work so just ensure that you know you can do a shoot and come back with the results every time. Also make sure you have backups if you are being paid to get something specific as if you turn up and your kit fails you will be very stuck.

If you are going to events and selling shots from a website post event (this is how I worked) then you are not in such a difficult situation as you don't have to get any specific shots. I would say however, don't include any photo that is not of high standard as again this will cause problem. I've had a look through your flikr page and there are shots there that I wouldn't offer for sale, so ensure you are very critical of your own work. I still have shots that I offered for sale from when I first started out and these are a lesson in what not to shoot and try to sell. No one orders from these and probably I should look at getting them removed as they are not a good advert.
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Old Jun 6, 2009, 9:03 AM   #3
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Kronnic,

First order of business is - what is your contract with the magazine? If you don't have a written contract, you need one. It needs to spell out who owns copyright - you or them, if you do, what usages are they entitled too? Including what's called "secondary usage" - which typically means usage beyond printing in the magazine - either selling prints, or use on websites, whatever. It may not be a big deal now, but trust me - as the magazine and you get better, the legal issue will arrise.

Secondly - you don't have to give numbers, but are you getting paid by the magazine? If you're not, and you're hoping it will just 'open doors' or 'get your name out there' - you need to rethink a bit. If you and the mag are both just starting out - you will want to set something up in the contract for when you will start getting paid - tie it in to the magazine's success. Otherwise what is really happening is they're getting free work - and that's all they'll ever view your work as. When, down the road, you want money they'll offer you a pittance and if you balk they'll dump you for the next guy that just wants to get his name out there.

Finally - I agree whole heartedly with Mark. You need your images to be sales worthy from the get go. You often get only one chance to make a first impression and that impression lasts. If potential customers think the first work they see is shoddy then you're dead in the water.

More advice will depend on what types of sports you intend on shooting and at what levels.
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Old Jun 18, 2009, 3:56 AM   #4
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Thanks for replying John and Mark...

Firsty I have a small contract with the magazine. It states that all photos I give to the magazine are given free of charge until the magazine begins to sell X amount of units per quarter. Once this happens I am paid at the end of the quarter depending on what came of my photos.

The photos themselves can be used for what ever purpose they like EXCEPT being sold. The only person that can sell them is me which is why Im enquiring about beginnning a company so this can happen and they can be published on a proper website where I have 100% control.

Currently the magazine is working quite well towards opening doors and getting my name out there. I have been asked by others to come and shoot their kids and sell shots. I havnt started this as yet as once again Im unsure how to proceed with it. I have been told by a local photographer to get consent forms filled out by the parents so the photos can be published on the website as a show of what I can do but only sold to the parents and family and given to the magazine for our regular article on local kids sports.

As for my shots I have been quite picky with them. Some I look at today and think I should take them off but I leave them there as a reminder of what NOT to do. My flickr is open to everyone but at the same time the only place it is posted is here.

Cheers
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Old Jun 18, 2009, 6:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kronnic View Post
Thanks for replying John and Mark...

As for my shots I have been quite picky with them. Some I look at today and think I should take them off but I leave them there as a reminder of what NOT to do. My flickr is open to everyone but at the same time the only place it is posted is here.

Cheers
Leaving bad images up, also reminds customers of who not to hire. If you want a reminder of how far you've come, leave that reminder where only you can see it.
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Old Jun 18, 2009, 7:41 AM   #6
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Went through this avo and deleted them
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Current Setup: Canon 1D Mark IV + L Series Lenses
Main Interest: Sports
Published work: Intensity Sports Magazine, Rapid Bikes Magazine & The Record (AFL Magazine)
Website: www.epicmoments.com.au
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