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bazep




Joined: 20 Oct 2008
Posts: 2840
Location: Thinking about coming out of retirement.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:32 pm    Post subject: Event Photography Reply with quote

Anyone got any experience with this or can offer any advice?

I've never really considered making money out of my other hobby, but after a couple of sporting events (cycling and running) I have really enjoyed it and folk have started saying I should get paid for it (or just starting to assume that that's what I do for a living). It has got me wondering if I could or if I'm better off just taking snaps of friends for free. I'm not a newb and have invested in some reasonable kit so there wouldn't be any probs with the actual pics. I am thinking it might be possible to do this on the odd weekend for local events. I have a decent job so I'm not looking to "go pro" as such just maybe a little sideline.

I was going to ask this on one of the togging forums but wondered if there were any friendlies here before I get flamed for even suggesting that a non-pro togger could even pick up a camera.

Any views? (don't worry I have my tin hat on...)
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Nellie




Joined: 20 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i wouldn't mind paying a fiver for a photo, I do object to having to pay 12 for one though
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2 scheds




Joined: 28 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you aim for high volume, low margin - you'd probably destroy most of the competition.

The asking prices I've seen are nearly as shocking as some of the entry fees out there.

IMHO there's lots of money to be made by a photography outfit who don't treat their propective customers like idiots.
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White Noise




Joined: 25 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

antbliss on this site is an event snapper, you could give him a PM
WN
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White Noise




Joined: 25 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2 scheds wrote:
If you aim for high volume, low margin - you'd probably destroy most of the competition.

The asking prices I've seen are nearly as shocking as some of the entry fees out there.

IMHO there's lots of money to be made by a photography outfit who don't treat their propective customers like idiots.


or an event snapper that gets his fee from the organisers before the event and pictures are free!
WN
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mdava




Joined: 31 Jan 2005
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Location: Surrey

PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2 scheds wrote:
If you aim for high volume, low margin - you'd probably destroy most of the competition.

The asking prices I've seen are nearly as shocking as some of the entry fees out there.

I've always wondered why someone doesn't do that.

Another thing to add though: I've never tried it, but I reckon that taking the photos is probably the easiest part. You need to sort, label, process the photos and have a website/database setup that will enable everyone to find their photos by name/number and then order them (thinking about that, maybe it's no longer worth bothering to print them - just sell the .jpgs and let people print them themselves, or arrange some sort of link to an online printing outfit).
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bazep




Joined: 20 Oct 2008
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Location: Thinking about coming out of retirement.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

to be honest I'd be happy doing it for an Agency or similar. As you say mdava - I reckon there could be a fair bit of set up required to get to the point where I could go it alone, and given I only hope to do the odd job I'm not sure it would pay itself off/be viable.
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DrDaveB




Joined: 27 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2 scheds wrote:
If you aim for high volume, low margin - you'd probably destroy most of the competition.

The asking prices I've seen are nearly as shocking as some of the entry fees out there.

IMHO there's lots of money to be made by a photography outfit who don't treat their propective customers like idiots.


The basic problem is that only N% of people will buy one, even if they are really cheap. As the price drops the % increases slightly, but not massively. In order to support your time and equipment you need to have an income of X per race attended. If you charge very little then you don't get that far even before you have to handle the issues that arise.

Having done it, unless you are a 'big organisation', it doesn't earn much, if anything by the time you pay for equipment and travel. AntBliss does it pretty well...

My fairly low level set up of equipment was about 4000 worth.

For small races of about 600 runners, I usually took about 1200-1500 photos, whittled it down to about 600-700 good ones (or good enough to sell!) and cropped etc. Marking up on the system took about 1 hour per 250 images.

All the code was developed myself - that was about 6-8 weeks development work (while I learned php) from being an experienced developer in other languages.

Digital downloads were a great sales method.
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Robbie




Joined: 22 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried it and there is very little money in it. As has been said - you don't sell many photos, even when they are cheap. Most organisers want you to pay them either an upfront or % fee (or both) just for being their "official" photographer. If its on private land then you need to be careful taking unofficial photos.

The amount of time I spent uploading and adding numbers to photos after an event was enormous.
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bazep




Joined: 20 Oct 2008
Posts: 2840
Location: Thinking about coming out of retirement.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers for the views all.
How long would an event of say 1000 entrants take you in total (excluding the event)? It is appearing to be way more hassle than it's worth for what I was hoping would be an easy addition to an already learned skill/hobby.
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Robbie




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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1000 entrants?

I used to upload files around the 1.5mb size, so if you take 2 photos per entrant then you have 3gb of photos to upload for starters - standard broadband connections have pretty low upload rates remember.

To then go through and put bib numbers on for that number could take 3/4hours easily. And its mind numbingly boring.

Big companies outsource the numbering - but that's a cost.

Remember you will need webhost (needs to be fast) and software to host the files (another cost). Also a way of taking money - lots of people don't like paypal!

Its a LOT of hard work for little gain. You'd be better taking photos of friends and getting them to buy you a pint for your troubles.
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White Noise




Joined: 25 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robbie wrote:
To then go through and put bib numbers on for that number could take 3/4hours easily. And its mind numbingly boring.


is there no piece of software that could do number recognition for you a bit like number plates (though i guess this is pretty expensive)
WN
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Robbie




Joined: 22 Jun 2007
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Location: Norwich UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

White Noise wrote:
Robbie wrote:
To then go through and put bib numbers on for that number could take 3/4hours easily. And its mind numbingly boring.


is there no piece of software that could do number recognition for you a bit like number plates (though i guess this is pretty expensive)
WN


I looked for - but never found!
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FatPom




Joined: 26 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anything where you get to call yourself a 'togger' has to be worth going for. Very Happy
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Scousephil




Joined: 17 Feb 2006
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Location: Glasgow, Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stick to doing it for pals. The pressure to perform and turn stuff around and get it all 100 percent is not worth the hassle and the costs involved would take years to recover because someone suggested you gave the pictures away cheap and unless you were doing it week in week out then it just becomes another job and you think well i don't have to do it this weekend and something comes up and you find yourself out in the pouring rain and snow and wind covering an event you really don't want to because you have to pay for new gear 'cos all the old gear is knackered and meanwhile all your family and mates are off having a good time....blah blah blah etc etc etc. If you have to ask JUST DON"T DO IT! And don't forget if you do do it you could be taking the bread out of the mouth of a real "Tog" who relies on this sort of stuff for a living.
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