I am often asked....

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  1. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Well-Known Member

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    ....by folks at the track why I don't become a legitimate Photographer. There are multiple personal reasons but there is one glaring reason....I often waste hours of my time looking thru the 81224 images in my Motorsports collection for a particular image for someone....once I find this image I will contact this person only to have them never return my message. I recently had a racer tell me that they wanted a particular image. I explained to them that I would simply upload the file to the Costco of their choosing and they could go pick it up. If they liked it, next time they saw me at the track just throw me a couple of bucks. Never heard back from them. Had another racer ask me if I had any images of him. He told me what races he attended. Spent about 2 hours digging thru 18k images...editing the real crisp shots. Exported them to a file on my desktop. Told him I had 85 or so nice shots of his car. Never heard back from him. Have been handing out business cards to folks. One particular racer asked me if I could make his images a priority. I took 3500 images that weekend. Spent a couple of hours on the following Monday combing thru all the images, looking just for his images. Made a collection of just these particular images...that was 7-8 weeks ago.
     
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    • yellow rose

      yellow rose Master Of Insanity

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      Fair warning. As you've already learned, many racers are flat out flakes. Just what they are. They think it's your privilege to shoot their car.
       
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      • DesertRat

        DesertRat FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        Easy answer, cash deposit up front. Racers spending all their money on fuel and parts.
         
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        • RSie

          RSie Idiot In Training

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          This post hits home to me. I've been a 'pro' photog (with a day job) for the last 6 years or so. Business license, website, insurance, separate biz bank accounts.. the whole deal. Mainly youth hockey stuff, but I've done other motorsports, weddings, senior pics, baby pics, etc. 2 years ago, I did 8 or 9 hockey tournaments, Friday night through Sunday afternoon, including a stretch where I did tourny's 5 out of 6 weekends. 5 hours Friday night, 12 hours Saturday, 8 hours on Sunday, up and down multiple ladders over frozen ice, dodging pucks. 20k photos for the weekend to go through.
          When I first got back into it again (I was huge into photography back in the film days, so the exposure triangle was no stranger to me), people would tell me "you should go pro!". Most of those same people, after I did go 'pro' would want all my pics for nothing. Come on guy.. 5$ for a color-corrected, straightened, cropped photo of your kid, and you'll go on my site, screenshot it with the logo all over it and post it on Facebook looking like that instead of buying it from me? Is that $5 gonna break you? Might not be able to get that Escalade waxed next week, or new $600 skates for your kid I guess. Good luck printing that into a decent 8x10.
          I'm dropping out.. maybe do a few senior pics here and there. I dropped my insurance this spring. Some health issues play into this too.. to many scars on my eyes. Bell's Palsy (both sides) screwed up my eyes, the lids don't close all the way, and too many hours in that cold gave me 2 permanent scars on the left eye, and 5 scars and a non functioning tear duct on the right.
          That said.. I loved every minute of it. Catching those kids in the moment of glory is an awesome thing. And there are those that do appreciate it.
          Anyways, after this rant, my advice to you is don't go 'pro' unless you're ready to go full bore, and deal with assholes all the time.
          Take a break if you need it. Explore different things with your photography... think about doing some wildlife stuff. Or flowers. Or macro (spiders are cool!). Or street photography

          Don't let assholes kill your love of it.

          And, if you like doing it, and YOU like the pics you take, you are a 'legitimate' photographer.
           
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          • Riddler

            Riddler Project EH-Body

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            I've been doing photography for our local horse community and also cars/motorsports. I feel the motorsports/cars is a lost cause. Unless you can edit and print at the track you can't make any money at it. The horse community here is very loyal and if you support them, they support you.

            Just do what you love, post teaser pics and go from there. My best seller these days is selling an edited photo for $25 for the digital. I sell the pic full size edited and that allows them to develop it. But I have a disclaimer that says the photo cannot be used for commercial purposes.

            Riddler
             
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            • jeffnmo

              jeffnmo Just another Mopar Maniac

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              What the hell is wrong with people, they just don't give a shit, they talk and talk and there words don't mean a thing. Every time I take the Dart out people talk to me, maybe one out of ten is worth giving the time of day, maybe.

              Jeff
               
            • DJC

              DJC Well-Known Member

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              I love photography. That's why I'd never consider doing it for a living. Seems like too much of a struggle to sell a product most people don't see the value in. "Why pay you when I can just use my iPhone and Instagram filters?".
               
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              • RSie

                RSie Idiot In Training

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                'Personal use' license. Anyone who buys a digital from my site has to agree to it. They get emailed a copy to use when they are printing it at Walmart or wherever.. most places ask as I have my logo in the corner. Gramma wants a print? Fine. Gonna sell it? NOPE!
                 
              • RSie

                RSie Idiot In Training

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                Some do though. They see the value of someone who knows what the hell they are doing with a decent cam. Phone pics look nice on a phone.. print that at 16x20 size. People don't do prints anymore though, which is the best thing about photography. I look every day at a 4x6 print of my kid playing hockey, that I bought from a different photog.. cost us $40 years ago when we really couldn't afford it.
                 
              • RSie

                RSie Idiot In Training

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                Dammit, kinda hijacking @inkjunkie 's post. Sorry man. You do good stuff, love the pics you've posted!
                 
              • Ddaddy

                Ddaddy I'm changing the World... one pixel at a time! FABO Gold Member

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                It’s the same in my World of custom Photoshop images. Of the dozens of people I have done custom images for here, only one has ever paid me for the work...and it was by their own choice.

                The people I have provided t-shirts and calendars for have paid me for the item they get, but nearly no one has paid me anything for the work of creating just an image despite it taking me multiple hours to do and even though they have my info to make even a token payment in appreciation.

                What I have learned is that the only way to get paid to to give people a tangible product that they have to buy to get. People just don’t, and won’t, pay for the image by itself.

                Sell them a print, shirt, canvas, banner, calendar etc. and they will pay to get it. Just the image?

                No.
                 
              • RSie

                RSie Idiot In Training

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                You! I saw some of the stuff you posted the other day, forgot about it. I do want to buy some of your photos, or prints.. absolutely awesome stuff!
                As a rule, I hate photoshopped stuff. Not the kind of stuff you do, but senior pics asking to 'make my waist smaller' or some crap. If I can't do it in lightroom, it's not getting done. Yeah, I can fix that pimple on your cheek. No, I'm not giving you bigger boobs. I shoot reality. That scar? That's you. Find another photog if you want that crap.
                I LOVE your stuff!
                 
              • Ddaddy

                Ddaddy I'm changing the World... one pixel at a time! FABO Gold Member

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                Thanks! I have spent the past 15 years learning to combine my formal Art education with the technical skill to create things digitally as if I was working with traditional physical media.

                If there is something I have done that you would like to have, just let me know. :)
                 
                Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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                • inkjunkie

                  inkjunkie Well-Known Member

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                  Pretty much anything I upload is done at 2048 pixels (long side), 90 ppi, 75% quality. Somebody wants to try and print THAT have at it. I have been to the local motocross track, pretty much same thing there. I get it, that most of these folks have all the images they want. Not looking to sell anything...but if you are not going to follow thru buying something don't ask me to spend hours looking. The end of race season is not to far away, so I will be going back to chasing my dogs around the yard with my camera. I very well may contact the local high school and ask about shooting some of their sporting events. I have asked some folks in the FB group for this area, they all have said the school would not have a problem with it. This winter I may not be able to do much anyway, looking at having both of my carpal tunnel surgeries done again and a 3 level lumbar fusion, so I will be spending a lot of time recovering. I also may be starting on building my next motorcycle.
                  Their is a "pro" photographer at the track. He has told me not being able to print at the track is what is causing some of my issues. Well...I use a desktop for editing, with a calibrated monitor and a fairly decent Graphics card. Given the fact that this guy pretty much lives at the track in his camper, and he does all of his edits on a Laptop it is easy for him to say this.
                  If, and that appears to be a big "if", Spokane County Raceway is still around next year I very well may change my policy on selling images...and simply say no. Just do social media stuff. Go back to this being just a hobby, a way to entertain myself.
                  I am not the "official" track photographer. Perhaps if the track is still active next year, and whoever becomes the next promoter does not change the way things are (the other guy is the "official camera guy") I will just send anybody that asks for pictures to him.

                  No problem on the hijack. I put this "out there" for others experiences/opinions.

                  Looking forward to this Friday/Saturday/Sunday. Friday & Saturday is the Funny Car Event. Not looking forward to every "photographer/videographer" hanging their "camera" (cell phone) or "video camera" (cell phone/go pro) over the wall on a selfie stick, completely oblivious to the guy behind them. Here is where having a 400mm F/2.8 lens comes in handy. Just go out 175' or so, set it up on the Mono-pod and have a good time...that or just mount my 70-200 and get in front of them...
                  I have been thinking about going back to being in the bleachers. With the gear I have I can get some incredible shots from the bleachers....just have to hope that nobody sets up umbrellas in the stands.
                   
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                  • RSie

                    RSie Idiot In Training

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                    Are you me? Right down to the 2048, I usually go a little lower quality though. I have a pretty good setup going with the tournaments. I offer the host team free digitals in exchange for exclusive shooting areas around the rink.. any raised platforms, announcers booth, over the glass with no net is off limits to anyone but me. Still a crapshoot.. 6 teams sign up prepaid at $300 for all pics of their team is a good weekend. 1 team signs up, I'm breaking even after hotel, food, gas etc. Then all the hours processing. The wife has gotten very good at culling.. she can knock down 1200 pics from a game to 600 pretty quick, lol. That doesn;t really carry over to what you are doing though.
                    While I do most of my processing on my desktop, I do have 3 laptops I bring along for a shoot weekend. 2 have lightroom, and are both calibrated. One thing that might help you, is most of the calibration stuff that I've used allows 2 uses, one for the desktop and one for a laptop. I bought a canon selphy 4x6 printer, load a couple shots into lightroom, print them out on the selphy and leave them on the concessions counter. Seemed to help sales.
                    Don't get me started on cell phone photgraphers.. one of the reasons I won't do weddings anymore. 20 people standing up in my way trying to get a pic of the Bride walking in, just so you can immediately post it on facebook and get some likes, not even watching the ceremony. Sit the hell down, and get out of my way!
                    Should we start talking ISO and apertures and bore the hell out of everybody? :)
                     
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