Business idea.....opinions

msucurt

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OK, i need some serious opinions on this, as i think me and my brother has thought of something that could be pretty cool. We are both huge sports fans. I coach high school football and track. He is a avid football fan and his son goes to a local high school here. We were discussing this idea....and i thought i would run it by you guys...

We live in a very big high school sports county. There are 4 big high schools and many middle schools. Also there is a big community in terms of pop warner, little league baseball and softball to name a few. My brother and i were thinking on the idea of hiring 4-5 photographers (maybe him and i, his daughter, etc...not sure yet), and going to say all the local h.s. football games on friday night. Take as many action shots as your budget allows. For instance, take 100-200 action shots from each of the local h.s. football games. Have a site dedicated to download only the best action shots for sale. I believe local athletes/parents/grandparents/friends would purchase the nice photographs for presents, etc.

The site would have all the action shots from the previous night's game. The purchaser would go on the site...look around. If they see a shot they particularly like, they have the option to buy prints such as 4x6.....5x8....etc.....We would print these shots out on the highest quality paper...allow for customizing the prints (i.e. name, titles, borders, shading,etc)

I do believe this could be pretty good as there are always kids in school playing sports, and u know as well as me that there is nothing better seeing yourself in an action shot (i.e. football, basketball, soccer, etc). Kind of like these...

Would love any and all ideas if i should pursue this, or if this has any chance of being successful

thanks
 

DeepSpring

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It could work well. I would say take way more than 100-200 shots tho. There is a big company that comes and shoots my schools football once a year
http://www.maxpreps.com/ . You have to check with the schools and all tho because it might not be legal for you to sell the pictures because of private property issues and what not. You would also have to give flyers or something to the couches to distribute to their players so they can find your website.
 

gtkelly

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Pretty good idea really. Best idea would be to approach the school and see if you could get a contract in place - they would help you promote it to the parents who are really your target customers.

Might offer to return a percentage of the profits back to the school's athletic department to sweeten the deal for them...
 
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msucurt

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Also, sports photography is some of the hardest to do. You've got to have really nice (fast) equipment for that.

Could someone point me in the direction of some decent equipment for this type of work. (i.e. links, ebay, etc). I have been looking, but would like to hear what you guys would recommend for a camera.

thanks
 
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msucurt

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You know the more and more i have thought about this over the last 2 weeks, i think i may go in this direction. My brother and I would set up a n elite website and would allow photographer / freelancers to upload their sport action shots from high school sporting event. Whatever is sold, they would get a % of the money. This allows me to take the technical issues of photgraphy out of the equation, and would allow me to just maintaining the website, shipping, printing, etc. Would like some other people's opinions/knowledge on a few things. Here is what i would like to do....

1) Creat a website that sells high school sport action shots. (Would start here locally in my area, and my state, and then branch if possible to the whole SE).

2) Be able to receive photos via uploading from local newspaper sport photographers. Here is the part i am not sure of. For instance, during a friday night football game, "the gazette" sends one of their sports photographers out to take some game photos, and the next morning you only see 1 picture in "the gazette". What are the chances of that photographer uploading the rest of the action shots for a price or cut back to him/her? Would "the gazette" have rights to these photographs, or would they mind if the photographer uploads them for a cut of the profit from my site?

3) market this widely as possible. Radio, newspaper, tv, word of mouth, etc. Try to eventually make it like eastbay.com for buying shoes, sports clothes.

4) Advertise to other sports photgraphers and freelance photographers about the website, and they will receive a % of any photo of theirs shot and is sold.

5) Maybe somehow set up contracts with the high school, so that they could receive something monetarily (not sure though???)

6) suggestions / opinions ??

thanks all
 

Jon, The Elder

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My brother and I would set up a n elite website and would allow photographer / freelancers to upload their sport action shots from high school sporting event. Whatever is sold, they would get a % of the money.

Who and how does the bookeeping work? As a freelancer, how do I track what is sold? Just your word? What advantage over setting up my own site and keeping all the profit from sales.

Do you have a marketing plan and budget to handle the "radio newspaper, tv, word of mouth, etc."

"Maybe somehow set up contracts with the high school".......have you ever seen or written such a "contract"?

Your profile doesn't show any location or gear you have....will you be buying the gear new and if so what are you thinking of purchasing?

You have a vague idea of what you want to do, now I suggest you sit down and go step-by-step as to HOW you are going to get there.
Right now you have a "pie-in-the-sky" situation, time to come down and get real.

I shoot for money and have developed a profitable niche market that has taken 3 years to really start making good money.

Know up front that it will be 80% business and 20% photography, the fun part will be gone.
 

sabbath999

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Would "the gazette" have rights to these photographs, or would they mind if the photographer uploads them for a cut of the profit from my site?

If he is one of their employees, then they own the pictures. My guess is (as a former newspaper editor) that there isn't a chance in hades that they will release them to somebody else to make profit.

If he/her is shooting freelance on assignment, it depends on what he/her deal is with the paper... but I wouldn't count on getting any of his/her pictures.
 

JIP

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Could someone point me in the direction of some decent equipment for this type of work. (i.e. links, ebay, etc). I have been looking, but would like to hear what you guys would recommend for a camera.

thanks

Here's a good start for lenses I'm not sure what system you use so here's a couple

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/183202-USA/Canon_2531A002_Telephoto_EF_300mm_f_2_8L.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/364708-USA/Nikon_2154_300mm_f_2_8_G_AFS_ED_IF.html
 

jstuedle

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To do sport right, a good fast (high frame rate) DSLR and one of the above lenses along with a couple others is a good start. Most sports shooters I know have 2 high end DSLR's, and high end lenses to go along with them. Quality shots are what sells. A photographers skill and quality equipment is needed to consistently get high quality images. After hanging about 20K on your neck, if you don't have the skill to deliver its hard to learn on the fly when the bill collector comes calling. And if you don't deliver, the buying public has a long memory. But if you can pull it off, more power to you.
 

MikeR

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Where I live it is common for the photographer to get a deal from the school, Either the AD,principal,booster club or the parents club of a particular sport, each school gives the responsibility to a different person/club. A common practice is to give a portion of the proceeds back to the school. Most of the photographers use either Exposure Manager or a similar site to post and sell the photos
 

TCimages

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I have a friend that does this very thing. In addition to the site, he sets up a couple laptops and printers on site. He has a couple photographers on the field at all times taking images. He has them shoot for a while, pass the memory card for downloading to the laptop. Folks come by veiw the images, print and buy.

He has made a business out of it, but it requires a tremendous amount of time and energy.

BTW- I'm not sure of your skills, nor am I questioning them, but not just anyone can pick up a camera and take great action shots. Even the best equipment can be challenging with late evening or night sports events.

Good luck
 

Alex_B

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to do this properly would require a rather considerable investment (getting all the sports photography gear for several photographers ... or should they bring their own gear?). Also running such a business involves many hidden costs which you do not see at first glance. So you need to do a proper market analysis, set up a business plan and all. This is important since without a return of investment in the end you will be rather sad I guess, especially if part of it was based on loans.

The four of you might be on good terms now, but what if business does not run so well? so make sure that this is not all just based on trust and goodwill but that you have some contracts which are waterproof and also define who gets which part of the money and who pays the bills.

The idea itself might work, but it could also be that the market is oversaturated after a few successful rounds of image sales. Do you live in an economically strong area? Do people have the spare money to buy the images from you? Or is it just very few people who would actually buy the images? You cannot live from a few sales per month, you need really a hell lot of sales.
 

eddiesimages

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I think selling the photos, or at least taking orders the same night would be a better idea, you'll get more impulse buyers than if they have to go to a website the next day or week. But, no matter which way you go it is a huge investment in the equipment needed. What kind of licenses or permits do you need from the city/county?
 

MikeR

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HS sports photography is fun and you can make money from it. But your potential customer base is usually limited to the players families. If you are planing on having multiple photograhers at each game along with support staff, except for large invitational meets, it may not be worth the trouble.
 

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