« on: November 30, 2012, 09:08:06 AM »
This is a suggestion for discussion here- I’m not a pro photographer, and really- I don’t have a dog in this fight. But- for you pros out there struggling to make a living- here’s a photo need that isn’t being filled. As a bonus- it’s morning work and shouldn’t conflict with your wedding/event gigs.
In a true jack-of-all-hobbies, master-of-none vein- I’m a runner in addition to playing around with cameras. 5ks and half-marathons mostly, but I’d like to do at least one full marathon in my lifetime.
Anyway- these things, not so much the 5ks but definitely the half-Ms- are significant personal accomplishments after months of serious training. Racers collect teeshirts, buy pins, stay in hotels, travel on airplanes- all for the event. Many buy photos snapped of themselves by the “official” race photographers somewhere along the 21.1 or 42km courses. These courses are public roads or parks- open to all. The photos, as noted here last year in a different thread- are usually dreadful IF they happen to capture your bib number at all. And, worst of all- runners pay almost extortion prices for these terrible snap-shots.
I know that each race has an “official” photographer. But, since the courses are long and on public property- anyone has access to the event. If you’re a pro- why not stand somewhere at a convenient spot on the course with a teeshirt or sign-board on you and your assistant with your short, easily-remembered web address plainly visible to the runner? In addition- a meta-tag on your website should mention the race such that a search engine has no trouble pulling it up. Maybe go a little further and donate a couple thousand paper cups with your name on it for the aid (water) stations or pay the port-a-potty guy to put your poster on the side for the day.
Even if the photo hit rate is low- the Toronto Scotia typically has over 23,000 participants. Boston’s a little higher around 27,000 and there are 45,000 runners at the New York Marathon. There are many, many more races- in all cities and areas of the world.- Not just the major events- there are triathlons, "tough mudders", resolution races and the charity "run for the cure"-type events. Every metropolitan area has a dozen or two races over a year. And, sure, there are already event photographers out there- but from a participant's perspective- they're not doing an adequate job and it should be a free market.
I’m not sure what dollar figure gets you out of bed in the morning, but maybe selling even only a couple dozen photos at $15 or $20 a pop is worth 2 or 3 hours of your time... Anyway, for your consideration.