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Ask Sports Shooter: Getting Paid

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by steveking, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. Thanks Steve, even though I have already read it it is a great article. I like the idea of posting those to the board.
  2. that's a pretty sad bit of info
    funny enough...

    it's summer and checkups are the way i make a living THIS time of year
    funny enough, the hospital across the street... i have supported for years...
    and who's dept. of pediatrics i chaired for many years.... GIVES AWAY FREE PHYSICALS for the whole summer... taking business away from ME

    as you can see... this "freebie epidemic" is widespread in all professions
  3. tjk60


    Dec 4, 2007
    troy, mi
    Yeah, I hear ya Greg!

    I don't make very much money doing all the shooting I do, although I don't really advertise it much either. I post every game I shoot on my smugmug account, and the only pics I give away are to my family from important events like baptisms and First Communion ceremonies, and the VERY occasional one of my kid for the yearbook (I want them to look good, and most pics in the yearbooks are horrid).

    I ran into one of the mom's from my kid's teammates the other day and she asked if was ok to 'petition' the school on my behalf to allow me to be the T&I shooter for all the sports teams as well as the ind. pics for the students. I told her that I'd be happy to do it, and even take a few vacation days to do so, but I would be charging full price, just like the last company. Her response? We'd pay more for better pics!

    I'm waiting to hear what I'd have to 'give away' to get this gig, I don't expect it to go anywhere, but you never know!
  4. Thanks for the story, I am one of those guilty of "giving it away" to parents of teammates, but no more. What broke the streak was not even getting a thank you for a shot I worked on all afternoon of a friends' daughter. Now, if you want to see my results check them out on Smug Mug and buy them if you really like them. Just like the old bumper sticker says "........... nobody rides for free".
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2008
  5. Very good read, and some good advice.

    Sometimes the best job to have is the one you turned down.
  6. BrendaC


    Sep 24, 2007
    Not getting a thank you is what stopped me from giving my images away. This is the first year I sold them, did ok for not much advertising.
  7. Ditto. Same thing happened to me a few times now. I was giving parents CD's of their Kids. CD's with PP'd images that I spent lots of my time doing. Lots of those images appeared in last years year book too! Live and learn I guess. No thanks. No more.

    The only exception is the local HS AD. On rare occasions I will give him small prints to keep on his good side. In a way I am selling him the prints and the pay is easy access to his events.

  8. Dennis Carter

    Dennis Carter

    Jun 29, 2007


    Ditto, ditto. :biggrin:

    I've given stuff to probably 25 families. I received 2 thank you notes. I'm done.
  9. Duschoolboy


    Dec 17, 2006
    Great article. And thanks for posting. Its seems as if everyone is in unision in this post! I got severly burnt last basketball season with this, and now I dont do anything for free. Id rather keep my stuff in the bag then to break it out, invest time and money and not even get a thank you. It still has a tendency to get my blood pressure up. The sad point is that I really love to do it.
  10. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I have a very similar situation, I have been shooting sports at the local high school for the past four years. I sell images to the athletes via my Printroom site and I provide some other images for the seniors being reimbursed by the boosters. This year, very few images sold via my site and no reimbursement by the booster, no pay or even a thank you. So, I will shoot for my own pleasure and continue to sell images via my site.....but my generosity is no longer available relating to images for the seniors.
  11. Frank, Mike

    You both make a good point that goes to some of the points in the article, and at the same time goes to something else, at least I think so...

    Photograpahy, since the introduction of the Kodak Brownie almost 100 years ago, has become the Number One universal hobby, and as a hobby has been competing with the 'pro's' or 'experts' for that period of time.

    One of the challenges, that digital has caused, is that, IMHO, people learn faster with digital than film. With film, I got some great shots, but it didn't tell me what the camera did, or I had done, and shooting football at HS, I didn't have time to write down what I did with every shot. With digital, I can go out, shoot, try stuff and learn much faster.

    I shoot some reasonable images that folks want to buy, and I sell them. Right now it's not my primary business, so I don't invest the money in marketing that I could. So like Frank, I will continue to shoot and sell, without scr*wing the pro who shows up once in a blue moon, to a local baseball game.

    However, for the local paper that I provide shots for, which has very small circulation, for a variety of reasons, they do get some freebies, and I do get a credit. Bottom line is, in this case, they don't cover what I do.

  12. acena


    Mar 14, 2006
    New Jersey
    Thanks for posting Steve!

    I only go to games for free if it is a game I want to watch anyway or a team I want to cultivate, but the prints cost money. When parents ask me for the price, I just let them know that it is FREE to view their favorite images on your site. If they want the photos in their hot little hands, it will cost them money. If they want me to go to a few games throughout the year, it will cost them money plus the prints. If they want me at a specific time and place then it's more money plus the prints.

    No dough no show!!!
  13. Duschoolboy


    Dec 17, 2006
    I was called 2 weeks ago by a parent who said his coach failed in letting the team know about pictures so NOBODY had photos and it was the end of the season. He asked if I could and do team and individual photos, and some individual action shots. I politely said I would email him a price list, and informed him of the session charge (35 miles from my house) and he never called back! Whats bad is that my prices were WELL under the so called pro that came and shot there during the season. IMHO I would have been ashamed to offer some of the pictures I saw at thier online site to anyone. Go figure.....
  14. Mike,

    Way to go! Now go get back in touch with that parent and line up a deal for either this coming season or a few games and show them what you can do, all the while making money at it too.
  15. Another fine example of our wonderful relationship with our hospital.

    In my world they do free hearing testing (something I normal charge the insurance companies for) and then send me the patients to interpret their tests!:eek: 
  16. acena


    Mar 14, 2006
    New Jersey
    We're such a gimme society. Gimme this gimme that...Oh by the way I want it free because I am entitled to it.
  17. jStat


    Dec 11, 2007
    Janesville, WI
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
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