From fashion to sports, suggestions for changing genre?

Discussion in 'Photojournalism & Sports Gallery' started by theLincster, Apr 16, 2019 at 8:25 AM.

  1. theLincster

    theLincster TPF Noob!

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    For 7-8 years, my wife and I focused on model, fashion, individual and family portraits, and wedding photography. A couple of years ago, we sold all of our equipment and thought we were doing the right thing. Now we are sorely missing it and are considering getting back in, but this time we're thinking that maybe action and sports photography is where we'd like to focus our time.

    We're considering shooting football, baseball, basketball, soccer, rodeo, and maybe racing, and let any portrait work come to us. We're still up-in-the-air about what all we'll shoot, but first thought is that we'd focus on action and possibly work our way into league portraits. The reason is that neither my wife or I like selling and am hoping that action work may sell itself, or hopefully be easier to sell than portrait packages. I may be kidding myself here, but that's also why I'm posting here...

    Also, we used to be all Canon but are considering Nikon this go around. Which is better for this type of work in your opinion and why? What equipment should I think about getting that maybe I wouldn't considering our shooting history? What lens recommendations do you have for what I am considering shooting?

    Thoughts, ideas, suggestions, things to keep in mind, etc... ?? TIA!


     
  2. goooner

    goooner Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm not sure how you plan on making money from sports/action photography. I think weddings (if you are good) is probably the more regular form of income. On gear, I think the D5 is probbalythe best for sports currently on the market (the d500 for a little more reach). For portraits probably the D850 (add the grip and fast cards and it will do a decent job as a sports camera.

    Indoor sports normally has very challenging lighting, so fast primes will probably be required. Be prepared to drop some serious cash.

    This coming from a hobby photographer so I have no experience in selling/marketing photographs.
     
  3. theLincster

    theLincster TPF Noob!

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    I once helped a friend shoot an entire baseball league in ONE Saturday. Roughly 500-700 kids, plus teams. 7a-8p to get them all. IT WAS HELL... but, IMO, was nothing close to a wedding. They cleared $28k in sales in that ONE day worth of work. Profit was around $12k after labor and product costs, iirc, and more than I was making on weddings... and there was nowhere near the same time in post. I'm not looking to dive in that deep to start out but eventually think I'd like to get to that.
     
  4. goooner

    goooner Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Well, good luck, sounds great. The investment in a D5 might pay for itself then, with a D850 and D500 as backup if you are 2 shooters.
     
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  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Gear is simple: Two bodies, Canon or Nikon, it's really a Ford / Chevy thing; that's all there is to it, so whichever you prefer. 2.8 glass from ~15 - 200, a couple of speedlights and a a decent 5 light set with a ranger of modifiers. As for the genre, just because you know someone who made $12K in one day... well, I know someone who won the lottery. It's going to take a day or two to become established in an already saturated market before you're even going to get regular gigs, never mind two months pay in one day!
     
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  6. theLincster

    theLincster TPF Noob!

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    I get that on gear. Being a canon guy, I always thought Nikon shots were sharper and richer in color. It's the only reason I'm contemplating changing after 8 years of Canon. Would love to hear why each think theirs is better in regard to action and sports.

    I know I won't be going out and making anywhere near that in the beginning. I will still need to get in with the local leagues and work my way into shooting them, and I know that will take time. My question is more about the action side of it and maybe how to handle it from end to end – gear, sales, etc... I would assume the approach to sales would be different than what I did in the past for action, not necessarily sports portraiture. I obviously have a bit of knowledge in it, but am trying to be open-minded and not let my past experiences cloud my judgement moving forward.

    I just want to get back behind the camera and, since I love sports, I thought it would be a good place to start. Just hoping my fellow peers might be able to part with their wise and knowledgeable experience to help someone not falter where they may have in their time doing this type of work.
     
  7. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I was told by one pro that there is not much money in sports pics, unless you get exclusive access or shoot where the public can't go. There are so many parents and amateurs with decent gear that do decent work, that you can't sell to them. At the local high school I see some parents shooting with pro level cameras and lenses.
    Most schools already have photographers they they work with, for school pics. So breaking into that market will be tough.

    Field and court floor access.
    From what I was told, court and field access is harder to get as you go up; high school is easiest, college is hard, pro is VERY HARD.
    Club level, I have no idea. But if you are shooting for the team, the team gets you the access.​

    DX / APS-C
    D500 for FAST action. ​
    FX / FF
    D750 for high school level night games under lights and gym. College and pro venues probably have more light.
    D850 for max resolution for LARGE team pics where you need to see everybody's face, and day games.
    This year, our T&F team pic has 140 people in it :(
    I am going to lobby to break T&F into Varsity and JV, to get the count lower, so everybody's faces are larger and easier to see.​
    I do not know anything about the single digit Nikons, as they are priced beyond my budget to even look at them. ​

    As for lenses, the standard kit + a bit more: 24-70/2.8 + 70-200/2.8 + 200-500 + 50/1.8
    • This presumes that you are approved by the school/league/team, so that you can be on the sidelines and on the court floor.
    • The 70-200 (on my D7200) is my standard field lens (football, soccer, lacrosse, baseball in-field)
      • I debated between the 24-120 and 70-200. Each has pros and cons. The 24-120 lets me track the play closer in to me than the 70-200, but the 70-200 lets me reach farther than the 24-120. I got the 70-200. But even after getting the 70-200, I sometimes wish I got the 24-120.
    • The 200-500 would be for baseball/softball, when shooting baseball/softball from the outfield, or shooting the outfielders from infield.
      • Or during day games on a 2nd camera for field sports, to get the long shots on the other side of the field. It is too slow for night games.
    • The 24-70 for the gym.
      • I use primes 35/1.8 and 50/1.8 (on the D7200). The FAST primes were affordable, and beat the f/2.8 zoom in the dim gym. Though I do miss the flexibility of a zoom.
    • I've seen guys shooting a 300 or 400/2.8 at some of the field games, for extra reach to the other side of the field, that the 70-200 does not have. But that is bulky and heavy and needs a monopod to support.
    You will need a good flash for team pics, as you don't always have control over the lighting.
    If you are going to shoot team pics, you may also need to get a portable riser. Its a neat piece of gear.
     

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