Walk Softly...carry a big lens!

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by Jeff Mims, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    Mississippi
    Amazing how people perceive you if you have a big lens. I carry the D300 and 300 f/2.8.
    At the football game last night, the ticket booth said.."you look like you are here on official business.". I went ahead and paid (away game). My local school lets me in free. Then two people come up to me, and ask if I sell photos, gave me their son's jersey numbers.

    At the softball game Thursday, I get several questions. There was a tourney today, which I didn't go to, but people were asking about me..and if I had a website. Apparently, one photo is very popular, and the Dad of the pitcher may want to buy some.
    This one in particular:
    102033139.gif

    And I ALMOST put my gear away when I arrived. Raining, High fences, no field access...had to shoot thru the fence. But the rain went away (still real muddy) and I thought..well, I'm here, but I probably won't get anything.
    Moral: Walk softly, carry a big lens, and always give it a try. I may or may not sell any pics, but I've gotten a lot of interest. This from a game, I almost didn't even shoot at. :smile:
     
  2. eng45ine

    eng45ine

    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Interesting thoughts Jeff. If you aren't selling much, it is only because you aren't a pushy salesperson. Your images are real nice and the players/parents would enjoy having your work in their homes. Alex told me that he gained much success by bringing large prints along with him for the parents to view, he said that when they have them in their hands, they can't resist not bringing them home. Get the word out Jeff, your work is too valuable not to end up in their homes.
     
  3. niknd501

    niknd501

    May 13, 2006
    Illinois
    Jeff - this image is great. This family really needs to have it. Even if you give them one.
    If you do that makes them want more pics. I am not a pushy salesman and never will be but I do give away some 5x7's just to jump start things. I think that's cheap way of advertising. Also will throw in a freebee to my good customers from time to time.
     
  4. Randy

    Randy

    May 11, 2006
    i would raise the top of that crop a little but it's a very good pic
    If you don't hand out cards I don't think you can sell many
    I only shoot events where parents make up the majority of the fans.
    Soccer is #1 followed by softball.
     
  5. topher04r1

    topher04r1 Guest

    it's so true jeff .... big glass talks.... !!
     
  6. shtarka1

    shtarka1

    Feb 1, 2008
    Boston
    They Do Command Attention! Great Shot!
     
  7. kiwi

    kiwi

    Jan 1, 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    I feel so grown up now I can walk with the 300 over my shoulder like the big boys. Would look pathetic without the hood on, but, I don't care. Lol.
     
  8. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    Mississippi
    :biggrin:
     
  9. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    Mississippi
    Thanks for the kind words Frank.
    And no, I'm not a pushy salesman.
    On the one hand, I'd like to make some sales, to help fund my hobby..and on the other hand, I don't want a second job. Shooting sports is my recreation, my stress reliever.
    At the same time, I'm getting more and more requests for photos. So I'm setting up a new site (Zenfolio) and will have cards made to hand out to parents.
    Taking a huge 11x4 or bigger photo is a good marketing concept, but the administration of the school specifically asked me not to market to much to parents. No problem selling, just don't want the parents "bothered". Handing out cards, directing to a website..no problem.
    That way if they want to buy..great. If not, great. No on site sales, and no one feels pressured to buy anything.
     
  10. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    Mississippi
    I suppose it's just the way people see you..with big glass. Having a big lens doesn't make me a better photographer, per se. However, that's what folks see on TV at sporting events.
    I wasn't paid much attention until last year when I started using a 300. Now I get lots of attention. Inquiries about my website, do I sell pics, do I work for the local paper..etc.
    And comments...
    Most common is: That's a BIG camera!!
    :smile:
     
  11. MrCupHolder

    MrCupHolder

    543
    Jul 3, 2008
    Australia
    I shot some photo's this weekend at a local Division 1 Australian Rules game using my D700 (with grip) and a 300mm F4 lens that I was trying out. That gathered enough attention that one person thought I worked for the local paper and I could hear others around who noticed the lens at least.

    Dunno if I'd like the extra attention that a 300mm 2.8 would bring.

    Still not sure if I'll buy the 300/4 though. It is AFS version and is nice but even then still not sure what I'll do. I also used the 170-500 sigma I have and it was doing a pretty good job as well. Still going over all the photo's as a comparison to see if I can notice the IQ difference.
     
  12. I am only shooting U8 and U10 soccer right now (that's what my kids play), but am starting to get lots of comments already (the hood on the 70-300mm makes all the difference....until I get a proper lens)

    I got some business cards made up 3 weeks ago, and am already handing them out, based on the initial comments from the parents!

    I am already at these events and am enjoying this hobby so I might as well recoup some costs / upgrade my lens / provide some nice pictures for the parents
     
  13. Randy

    Randy

    May 11, 2006

    that was how i started...i used to give the pics away...when i started selling them the same parents bought alot and then i started shooting 1-2 games on Sat & Sun and now I stay busy with it....1-2 games during the week and 2-3 on the weekends....if you provide good pics and keep your prices down and hand out alot of cards you can do 5-10k per year and have alot of fun at the same time
     
  14. Enjoy it. Thankfully, our city has a good income, with a lack of photographers who can actually capture the action.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2008
  15. I gave away a LOT of pictures last winter for hockey

    I was just shooting my boy for the year - then during playoffs, due to parent requests, I started shooting everyone

    I posted about a 150 pictures and provided FULL RES pictures to anyone that emailed me...I spent 2-3 weeks sorting / cropping and emailing about 10 parents..

    Luckily he is changing hockey teams this year, so I can start fresh! - I will approach the parents this time with business cards, and ask if they are interested

    Soccer has been going OK - but I was away for the last 2 weeks, and there is only 1 week left - but I will be ready for the future
     
  16. For hockey, you could also try and shoot 2 or 3 games, with everyone ... and have a lot more to choose from, for when you start handing out the business cards. I don't have experience dealing with hockey parents, but hopefully they still have money to buy photos after spending a fair bit on their kid already. Best of luck.
     
  17. Yup - definitely don't want to focus on just 1 game

    I would rather get them 10-20 great pics throughout the year

    some kids just don't get ANY action in one game - you need a series of games to make sure they are included
     
  18. Just wait soon they will ask you how to use the buttons on their camera and if the pict they just took is any good.