Event Photography

lilbird1981

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Hello,

I am new to professional photography, but I would like to start photographing at sports events, i.e. mountainbiking and running events. I would then like to put up the pictures on a website and sell them.

Do you know if I need permission to take pictures at events and then sell them?

Thanks,
Jenny.
 

~Stella~

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If people are in public, then they are fair game - just don't use them for advertising or selling a product.

Probably a good way to start is to go out and snap away and hand out your card to people that you took photos of and let them purchase off your website. Also make photos of the actual event available. I'd also hand my cards out to coaches and as many grandparents as I could find.

People with little kids love that kid of thing, especially if you get candid action shots of parent and child together. I would totally buy a good photo of my husband cheering his favorite team with my boys or my kid in action scoring a goal if I wasn't there to capture it.

I'm sure pros that do this will have better practical advice - mine is more from a parent's perspective.
 

Blank

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First thing to do is contact the organizer or promoter and see what they say. "Do you have any objection to me covering your event", should be your question. If you don't, and you take the "public place, I can do what I want" attitude, you efforts will go cold very quickly to sell. You need to be polite and professional and you will get the same in return.

I could spend days on this topic becuase this is what I do. My efforts and professional approach to new and exisitng customers has given me access to lots of areas and repeat business.

I'm happy to get more specific with my experience if you ask more specific questions.
 
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lilbird1981

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Thank you very much for your replies!!

I asked at a few events round my area, but the organisers said that their event is already covered. However, in my opinion, on big running events / mountainbiking events there can never be enough photographers. I took part in a 24 hr race last year, and only had 3 pictures!!

Do you think it is illegal to show up at an event, then take pictures and hand out my card to people?

Thanks,
Jenny.
 

Blank

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The answer is no, you don't need permission as Stella mentioned, but your chances for sales are hindered. If you are there and the event is covered by someone else, you will be approached and asked what your doing, your reply is obviously taking pictures, they then ask are you selling them and at this point you choose a direction. You can either go the "public event" road or you can oblige and find another approach. Also expect a visit from the commisioned photgrapher. You will also definately be denied access to key areas (if they have any).

You do have every right, remember that, but there will be some sort of retribution if you continue as planned, even possible announcement over the PA system.

Would you turn up to formals at a wedding and shoot away behind the hired guy? Then throw the party a card? Some actually do, believe it or not!!
 

JE Kay

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What I've found in shooting events, running, biking etc is whether the event is held on public courses or property or a closed private course. If it's public, fire away and do what you want for the most part. Like they say, you won't get into the private areas without permission or a pass.

If it's a private location, show up and shoot at your own risk. It's not generally a good idea, not with a big white lens on your camera anyway. ;)
 

K&DActionPhoto

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Hello

This is a good subject which we have been around. We sometimes get the same response as "the event is covered". If that is presented to us we respect that they do not need another photographer getting in the way or upsetting the hired gun. I guess I understand that, and also the opinion that we should be able to take shots also. We kind of believe if we dont step on too many events and push ourselves in, we may get a chance next time. Just an opinion and maybe not the best. We always ask permission, give our card, AND offer our photos to the event coordinators/managers. We have done this with classic car, mortorcycle, and Karate Tournaments we have done.

Thanks and good luck
Kevin and Dawn Cobello
 

gsgary

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We usually pay a small fee or % but we print on site with dye sub printers, catch them at the event because once they leave they forget to look on line
 

fokker

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This thread is relevant to my interests. This is kind of what I've been doing for a while now at a few different events, but eventually I'd like to do it and get paid for the trouble :) Obviously I still have a bit of learning before I'm comfortable charging for my work, but that's why I do it for nothing now. I think mainly I'd just like to be able to justify buying some nice long lenses (300 mm f/2.8 for example :drool:)
 

skieur

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Hello,

I am new to professional photography, but I would like to start photographing at sports events, i.e. mountainbiking and running events. I would then like to put up the pictures on a website and sell them.

Do you know if I need permission to take pictures at events and then sell them?

Thanks,
Jenny.

A lot depends on where you live and the location of the events. In Canada, there is usually no problem with taking photos of most events without permission. On private property such as arenas and perhaps schoolyards, the property owner/principal/school board etc. can make their own rules related to photography, but in Canada there are usually so many people taking pictures that there are no restrictions. In some parts of the US, it is more restrictive with perhaps only one person allowed to be the official event photographer but that is only on private property.

Have you thought about printing the pix out on location and selling them at the event? This has been done successfully by some photographers.

skieur
 

bennielou

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It's easy enough to approach the promoter, head of the team, whatever, and just let them know that you will be taking photos which you wish to sell.

Not only is it a courtesy, it's a good way to get your name out to others. You never know, maybe they will pass your card around. :)
 

keith foster

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We usually pay a small fee or % but we print on site with dye sub printers, catch them at the event because once they leave they forget to look on line

I totally agree with gsgary. My experience has been people will impulse buy at the event. If you want to sell you are going to have to actively do it. Waiting on sales from your website will not generate nearly as much interest as you can do right at the event.
 

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