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Author Topic: Alternative (to weddings) revenue stream  (Read 4112 times)

dpollitt

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Re: Alternative (to weddings) revenue stream
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2012, 02:15:00 PM »
certainly an untapped market

I don't agree at all. Many event photography companies exist. It is hard to run 50yrds at a marathon without seeing someone with a 70-200mm.  If anything, for the amount of people who really want to purchase shots, the market is already full of options.

Personally, the shots that the event photographer has taken of me are usually just fine. I don't want a 20x30 canvas print at 300dpi of myself running down a street, do you think the market does? 
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Re: Alternative (to weddings) revenue stream
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2012, 02:15:00 PM »

kubelik

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Re: Alternative (to weddings) revenue stream
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2012, 02:24:56 PM »
I disagree that this is a gold mine being sat upon, for all the reasons listed by folks above.

however, I entirely agree with the sentiment that a lot of the official event photographers for these sort of things are TERRIBLE.  I'm not going to name specific races, but it doesn't seem to be affected by how big or famous the race is.  I've done small-town half-marathons with really awesome photo coverage (one pair of photogs every 4 miles) and big-city events where I only got blurry shots of me at the finish line with someone else's head halfway in the frame.  vice versa, I've also been in some small town races where the coverage looked like they shot it with a point and shoot (I don't know how you get photos from a 50D and 70-200 f/4 to look like P&S images, but they pulled it off).

I guess the biggest problem is, frankly, the photography ranks really, really low on the organizers' priorities.  and as a runner I agree with that.  I'd much rather have sufficient porta-potties at mile 8 than a pair of olympic photojournalists capture the look on my face when I realize there aren't any porta-potties at mile 8.  just sayin...

wellfedCanuck

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Re: Alternative (to weddings) revenue stream
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2012, 02:38:00 PM »
A few comments from my peanut gallery. 

10Ks, Halfs and full marathons... YAWN.  Try Ironman competitions.   Yes.  I do all of these.

Hey, thanks for providing an example towards which I can aspire...   ;D


I have shot both Olympic Distance and Half Ironman distance races and the reason the photos are so much is the pass through of actual purchase is little.  There are several class of people who do these races, the "bucket-listers" who are looking to finish, the "weekend warriors" who are penny pinching to do as many races as possible, and then the pro/semi-pro who likes to have photos for FB, sponsors, etc. 


I appreciate you sharing your experiences, but I think you've missed a whole segment of the population. I can't provide any sort of scientific analysis but I can tell you with some certainty that there's a whole class of people - doctors, lawyers, airline pilots, accountants, police officers, firemen- for whom it's become a cultural thing. These people have organized clubs and social groups, posted to Facebook pages and created web sites.

Nobody takes it too seriously but at the same time they're doing 2 or three halfs (halves?) per year. My professional association sponsors one each spring plus a 5K in early summer. Many of these people would buy a photo each and every time if it was only ten bucks- it's a little more personal than the medal or the teeshirt. Being in the group photo to be posted in the corporate magazine has become de rigueur. Unfortunately, in our case these company trophy shots are still being taken with iphones and pocket cameras.
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kubelik

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Re: Alternative (to weddings) revenue stream
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2012, 02:43:49 PM »
Nobody takes it too seriously but at the same time they're doing 2 or three halfs (halves?) per year.

I think that's actually what discourages people from buying the photos.  when you're doing 2 or 3 of these events every year, why buy a photo?  it's not a big deal to folks anymore (unless maybe it's your first marathon or something like that).  and you already have the t-shirt to wear.  frankly, I don't even know why they give out finishing medals.  what the heck are you supposed to do with those things?  it's not like you won an olympic event.  you can't exactly put one on as jewelry to wear to a formal event (I guess you could, it would be hilarious and awesome).

wellfedCanuck

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Re: Alternative (to weddings) revenue stream
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2012, 03:03:34 PM »
frankly, I don't even know why they give out finishing medals.  what the heck are you supposed to do with those things?  it's not like you won an olympic event.  you can't exactly put one on as jewelry to wear to a formal event (I guess you could, it would be hilarious and awesome).

Haha, yes.

Actually, that could be another race-related industry- scrap metal recycling.  ;)
« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 03:06:26 PM by wellfedCanuck »
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TexPhoto

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Re: Alternative (to weddings) revenue stream
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2012, 03:40:51 PM »
I like the idea, but what about trying this out with some races that don't have 23,000 runners.  Why not find smaller races, get in contact with the race officials and become the official photographer, or if not "the" official photographer, than "an" official photographer.  Seems like you could give them (the race) photos in exchange for the being able to take the pics and show your website name.  See if you can get your website into the package given to runners. 

I photographed a skateboard marathon a year or so ago, and the skaters came to me asking for photos.  Now, it was a 1 mile course that they went around 26 times, so they had lots of chances to see me.

crasher8

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Re: Alternative (to weddings) revenue stream
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2012, 04:38:57 PM »
I have really great responses at skateparks. The kids are very receptive to showing off their talent and have some sweet ego's to go along with it. Plus an awesome move captured well skating if very different than a sweaty 50something trying to fill his bucketlist. LOVE skate images.

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Re: Alternative (to weddings) revenue stream
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2012, 04:38:57 PM »

Maui5150

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Re: Alternative (to weddings) revenue stream
« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2012, 07:52:30 AM »
I appreciate you sharing your experiences, but I think you've missed a whole segment of the population. I can't provide any sort of scientific analysis but I can tell you with some certainty that there's a whole class of people - doctors, lawyers, airline pilots, accountants, police officers, firemen- for whom it's become a cultural thing. These people have organized clubs and social groups, posted to Facebook pages and created web sites.

Nobody takes it too seriously but at the same time they're doing 2 or three halfs (halves?) per year. My professional association sponsors one each spring plus a 5K in early summer. Many of these people would buy a photo each and every time if it was only ten bucks- it's a little more personal than the medal or the teeshirt. Being in the group photo to be posted in the corporate magazine has become de rigueur. Unfortunately, in our case these company trophy shots are still being taken with iphones and pocket cameras.

Nope.  Have not missed your segment.  I think you for one over estimate it, i.e. people really quickly fall into the bucketlisters or the enthusiast and the excitement of photos, especially PAYING for photos quickly wears off even at $10 a pop.  You also over underestimate the time ans expenses to do decent shots, go through and select, process, tag, and make available.  A few orgs I know that are out there GIVE their photos away... i.e. they pay the photogs just like they would pay Brightroom, but instead of having sales, they give the photos, just like the swag T-shirt or medal, etc. 

Even if such a segment may be a little larger than I think, it is still vastly smaller that those in the groups I mentioned.  You have 50 people come into your area at the same time, and you only have a few seconds to acquire, frame, focus and repeat.  Triathlons as well tend to spread out a lot more than your average road race, so much easier to shoot the bike or the run portion.

Long and short, you have a small window to pick and choose your targets, spend 3 seconds trying to wait for the target to put on a decent face or another runner gets in the way and you have lost the opportunity to shoot another 1 or 2 runners that you will not get. 

It is EASY to sit there, pick out a dozen people you want to shoot at a race, shoot them, and maybe even shoot them in multiple places or from the same place in say and out-n-back portion of a race. 

It is a far different beast to have a race with a thousand people and try and shoot 950 of them to try and find the ones who MIGHT be one of the smaller segment that might want to buy photos.  There will be people who are always blocked by someone else and you never get a clear shot, their face or set up looks crappy, and taking a bad picture is worse than none at all, and actually as bad as some of race photography is, a lot is discarded because of how embarrassing it is, and lastly you even have a dozen people come through, you pretty much have to pick them off as best you can and half the time after you shot someone and moved on, THEN they give you a better look that you snapped. 

Forgot to mention.  Most of your shooting locations, there is a small "sweet spot" where the background is appealing, you don't have a mail box, road sign, telephone pole or other crap in the way.  There is also a sweet spot of angle shooting the runner or cyclist that looks good to blah, as well as once a person starts getting at an angle to you, you loose their bib number or the bibs drift to the other side of their hip, etc.

My suggestion... Find a large race... sit out there and try and shoot.  Granted a lot of event photography is crap because the shooters are not athletes, and my photography in this milleu is better because I have a relationship with the athletes; I shoot them as I want to be shot as well as from feedback of what people really like.  I think what you will find is that your photography may be a better than the event photography, the majority of the images drift down the scale as you start shooting volume compared to when you are able to focus on a dozen or so athletes. 

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Re: Alternative (to weddings) revenue stream
« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2012, 07:52:30 AM »