First try at motocross photos, what do you guys think?

Discussion in 'Photojournalism & Sports Gallery' started by Destin, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. Destin

    Destin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I recently got the chance to cover an international motocross race through a local online newspaper I'm interning with. I also used the opportunity to take photos to sell to the riders. I had full access to go where I wanted on the track, they handed me an orange safety vest and told me not to get run over, that was it.

    EDIT: I tried embedding the photos in this post but it didn't work and I'm not in the mood to fight with it.

    You can view the album on my smugmug, HERE.
     
  2. jeph

    jeph TPF Noob!

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    Did you have any luck with the selling to the riders part? And how did you go about marketing?
     
  3. Destin

    Destin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, this was my first time really trying to sell photos at an event. My plan was to hand out as many business cards to possible to the racers, and definitley to the parents at the kids races. The problem I had was that going into the weekend all I had for a website was my facebook fan page, with watermarked copies of the photos on it at half quality as proofs. In order for them to purchase a photo they had to pay me through paypal, not exactly an easy option or something most people are willing to do.

    After the weekend, I imediatley signed up for smugmug pro, and am loving it. Haven't sold any photos from the race on it yet though, as none of the people I gave cards to know about the new website :(

    I ended up selling about $100 worth of prints over the weekend, to people that lived near me and could therefore pay in cash.

    the track is literally less than a mile from my house though, so I plan on returning often.

    Another thing: I thought about having them announce over the loudspeaker that I was selling photos, but there was another photographer there that beat me to it. I'm considering spending $40 to get a 4 foot banner made to hang at events I go to
     
  4. Canosonic

    Canosonic TPF Noob!

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    Nice photos there! The only problem I think there is now, is that people will have pretty much a big problem on their hands finding themselves in the gallery.:)

    I'm no pro, but but I have to try recommending approaching people before the race and offering a photo or two? Like to have a real agreement and focus only at people who really need that, or who are willing to pay?

    Nah, what weird thing to do...

    Anyway, good luck on your next shoot!
     
  5. Destin

    Destin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Haha that's a good idea, in fact I did talk to one mother before the race who gave me the number of her kid and told me she would buy any good photos I got of him. So, I concentrated on making sure I got good shots of him, and she bought $40 worth of prints.

    I have alot of ideas in my head for how to go about organizing the photos next time. This time it was an all day event with over 600 racers. I wasn't within range of the starting gate or the announcers tower most of the time so I had no idea when new classes were starting, or which ones they were. Next time, I'm going to pay closer attention to that, and create a new folder on my card every time a new class comes out, that way I can seperate them by class on the site and they only have 100 photos or so to look through to find themselves, instead of 800 lol.
     
  6. LaRoo

    LaRoo TPF Noob!

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    Exciting! What did you use to shoot?

    (Sounds like a great idea to approach the mom before the shoot, but I'm not sure about going up to the riders themselves -- wouldn't they be concentrating on their race ...?)
     
  7. Destin

    Destin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, my budget is tight so I'm still on entry level gear. The list of everything I used throughout the day is:

    Nikon d40
    18-55 kit lens
    55-200 4.5-5.6
    50mm 1.8
    sb-600 (just to fill in shadows)
    ebay flash triggers
    Manfrotto tripod (used to hold flash unit)

    And yeah, don't approach the riders before the race. I went to their trailers after the races and handed out my card.
     
  8. molested_cow

    molested_cow No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Your photos look rather static for fast action sports. If I had the vest you had, I would go right to the hairpin areas and stick the camera right under the bikes as they slide by. Also, you have a 200mm lens, try to do some close ups. Most of the photos have the rider right in the middle with backgroound that doesn't really compliment the composition or the subject. Try to be creative with how you compose the shots.

    For me when I consider a composition, I think about the context of what I am shooting from emotional level. It is emotion that is captivating, not saturation, sharpness or the long list of technical elements (although you got to get them right first). If you want to sell your photos, you have to first captivate the buyer.
     
  9. Destin

    Destin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I get where your coming from. I totally understand, and that was kinda what I thought off the results myself. I would have loved to get my camera right up under them in the hairpin corners, but I couldn't safely do so. There were too many wrecks in the tight corners, and too many bikes coming off the track, that it just wasn't a good idea to get that close. The other thing is that the bikes didn't slide as much as I expected them too.

    As far as backgrounds go, for an event like this what would you consider to be a "captivating" background? The only thing around is the track, dirt piles, trees, and some sponsor signs..... If I had a fast lens, such as the 70-200 2.8, I would have gone for some nice bokeh most of the time, but that wasn't an option...although it will be in about 2 weeks when I get that lens...
     
  10. KKJUN

    KKJUN TPF Noob!

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    I think that the photots of the kids jumping on the first page (there might've been similar ones on the next pages, but I didn't come past site 3) could've really been a lot better if shot from a lower angle IMO. And hat about some panning next time you go there?
     
  11. Destin

    Destin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, Panning didn't cross my mind until it was too late. I've done it before, I just never thought to try it while I was there for some reason. I plan on going back for a race in a few weeks, I'll be sure to give it a go!!
     
  12. zoogirlbc

    zoogirlbc TPF Noob!

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    They look good. For the new website, put the address in the main info part of your Facebook page, under your profile pic, in the description of all your albums and also post a link to it on your wall a few times. It only takes a few people to find out, word gets around quickly so I wouldn't worry too much about them finding it. At least you had a card to hand out, I didn't get it together for five shows..... but everyone managed to find my site without it (I've been covering horse shows). Try getting the announcer to mention you are there (if they say your website name that's bonus). It may help too if you can stick a big sign and business cards and/or brochures with website/price list etc. where the riders sign in. Good luck!
     

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