Is it realistic to think that I could...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by thebheads, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. thebheads

    thebheads TPF Noob!

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    Hi guys, I am an amateur photographer that has kids in sports and was thinking about buying a fast lens and starting to take some pics of teams. I can hand out business cards with my hosting site and sell pics to parents. If I was determined enough I could hit all the local sports and maybe the drag strip taking pics and slinging business cards. Even the beach, doing tourist photo's (is that legal?)

    Any feedback is appreciated greatly!
     
  2. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Start out pro bono or no more than the cost of prints for your kid's team. Build a fan base, word of mouth. Expand from there if interest happens. It's the crawl, walk, run thing.
     
  3. B Kennedy

    B Kennedy TPF Noob!

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    ^^ Agreed. But not so far as charging only for the cost of prints. Definitely put some mark-up on it because you don't work for free. Once you start putting your company name on your work you don't want to sell for only the cost of printing because then thats what your name will amount to (as I've read many a times in photo business books as well as on some of my own threads).

    I do have to say that I photographed my cousin's cheer team for a whole 2 years before I started my business. And I never sold a picture to them, gave to them for their yearbooks, etc (I was really good friends with the coach as well.) Long story short, a great relationship there earned me countless paying jobs. Word of mouth usually starts slow, but before you know it you'll be getting more and more work. It's worked for me and I'll be in business a year come this November.
     
  4. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've heard this general system works really really well. My cousin does it and makes good money at it. He also burns through shutters on his cameras like they're going out of style. :lol:

    Some tips I picked up from him...

    - Shoot JPEG only.
    - Don't correct your images until they are purchased.
    - Try to get shots of each and every kid from a few angles.
    - LOTS of extra memory cards.
    - LOTS of business cards.
    - Say hello to the parents and make a point to be friendly- they will invariably ask you what you're up to, and you can explain and give them your card.

    Just a few pointers. I'm not a pro at this, but thought what info I could remember might be helpful.
     
  5. B Kennedy

    B Kennedy TPF Noob!

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    YES YES AND MORE YESSES!!! The dance recital that I recently shot, as well as last years dances, 3-4000 pictures per event, broken down and organized into individual dances at least 10-20 pictures per kid so to speak. The parents absolutely loved them. I shoot JPEG only and post the pictures online. When I receive an order, I process the pic and then upload it. It's a lot of work when you hope to make the money after you spent the time, but usually, especially with children, the parents pay for those candid shots!!! and like manaheim said, they go absolutely nuts over them
     
  6. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    ^^^^ oh you just reminded me of one more tip...

    He has some sort of system where he writes a number of the event on the business card that he hands out, and then puts that up as a catalog of images up on his site. People can then go right to the event that they were at.
     
  7. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    :confused:
     
  8. thebheads

    thebheads TPF Noob!

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    WOW... I have posted in many forums and have never got support as great as this.... Thanks for all the tips! I have been stewing on this for months and I think I am finally going to take the plunge.

    Are there any real concerns with stepping over boundaries on the ball field?

    Can I just head out and start shooting, and throw my cards out? or do I have to worry about the photographers under contract with the little league?

    What about at the track? Do you think I would have to give a cut to the owners?

    Do any of you have the websites of your family members that do this type of work? I would love to check them out!

    Thanks again

    Oh yeah.... I am now in the market for a
    Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor Lens if anyone has one to sell.
     
  9. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Glad to help where I can. Other shooters on here have more experience with this than I do, though, so wait for them to weigh in.

    I would think you would want to make a point to *not* be stepping onto the field. Keep to the sidelines, keep out of the way. (be sure to introduce yourself to the coaches, btw)

    In my limited experience with shooting games, I found the 80-200 2.8 I had to be more than sufficient zoom range to cover my needs. Occasionally with baseball I found myself wanting a 300. The VR would certainly be handy and you'll likely be wanting a circular polarizer.
     
  10. Omitinibu

    Omitinibu TPF Noob!

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    All extremely good ideas.. but lets get to the question.. the LEGAL aspect of it... Mainly you will need to inquire at local city hall for more information simply because it varys from city to city.. so it may be legal with out a business license on one block and illegal to the next (depends on where you live and the type of business) you will also need to look into copyright for if your selling your pieces of work you dont want someone else claiming ownership and selling it for a profit as well... you will also have to consider taxes cause you dont want to get charged with tax evasion by the IRS after all that is technically a business.. you will be soliciting your work as a photographer..

    overall just inquire within your city.. be sure to ask about zoning(commercial residential.. etc) if your going to have or eventually plan on having people go to your house for portrait photos as well.. hope that helpsl
    Joe
     
  11. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    I am doing something similar for my daughter's marching band.

    They put together all the pictures at the end of the year and sell it at the fall indoor concert.

    All I asked for was 'credit" on the images. My contribution to the fund raising.
     
  12. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

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    manheim
    may i ask why you should only shoot Jpeg?

    my Canon 450D Jpeg has a DPI of 72
    where as RAW is 240 DPI
    and raw is more versatile, and i have a 16 gb (15 gb true size) memory card + an 8GB + a 16.4 GB (not compatible with my camera as it is over the 16gb quota so use it for back up)

    aside from the fact that shooting in RAW i can only get 6 continuous shots before lag kicks in where as with jpeg i can get about 30 before lag
     

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