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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

WARNING: Todd Drexler and Sideline Sports
Cecil Copeland, Photographer
Marietta (Atlanta) | Ga | USA | Posted: 1:41 AM on 10.28.09
->> I shot the Big South Conference Baseball Tournament in Asheville, NC back in May for Todd Drexler and Sideline Sports. I have yet to be paid for that week's work. I have tried to handle the collection of this debt on a one-to-one basis with Todd, but have had no success. I know for a FACT that there are two other shooters here in the Atlanta area (one of which is a member here!) that shot events for Todd Drexler and Sideline Sports back in March. Neither of them have been paid for that work. All attempts to communicate with Todd and collect their invoices have met with no success. I know for a FACT that there are other shooters that have shot Conference athletic tournaments for Todd Drexler and Sideline Sports that have not been paid for their work. I know for a FACT that there are other shooters that have shot other events/games for Todd Drexler that have not been paid. Some of these other shooters are members here as well.

Todd Drexler is a member here, and Todd Drexler is screwing other members here (and non-members, too!) ... and it just shouldn't be tolerated or accepted by anybody. Todd Drexler and Sideline Sports has a week's worth of images from me - and he's profited from them and I haven't been paid for shooting them. This kind of business practice and ethics by Todd Drexler and Sideline Sports is abhorrent - and I just can't sit by and wait for Todd Drexler to victimize somebody else. Todd Drexler's photog-homicide has already happened to too many people .....

I wish that back in May that I could have read somewhere how Todd Drexler and Sideline Sports treated hired photographers ... a warning back then would have saved me a lot of grief and effort. I'm hoping that this information will save somebody else a lot of grief and effort later.

So this is a warning to all of you, but particularly those shooters in the Southeast, that if you're contacted for work by Todd Drexler and/or Sideline Sports that you might want to think twice or even three times before accepting an assignment from Todd Drexler. Or, if you do shoot an event/game for Todd Drexler and Sideline Sports, that you arrange to be paid in full in advance. Getting paid in advance may save you a lot of grief and effort later .....

If the "others" out there that have had frustrating, disappointing dealings with Todd Drexler and Sideline Sports feel like commiserating, drop me a line off-forum unless you don't mind being public with your experience ....
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Perry Knotts, Student/Intern, Photographer
Saint Augustine | FL | United States | Posted: 8:50 AM on 10.28.09
->> They also have a youth photography division called Fotoactions that covers events in the Jacksonville, FL area.

As for payment... I'm still waiting and waiting and waiting for payment from an event last October. I've tried calling and emailing Todd and he has never picked up the phone, returned a call or answered an email. Plus there are at least four other photographers I know who haven't received payment as well.

Frustrating.
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Delane B. Rouse, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | US | Posted: 9:30 AM on 10.28.09
->> Interesting...he just updated something on his SS page today..
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Delane B. Rouse, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | US | Posted: 9:32 AM on 10.28.09
->> and the site for Fotoactions comes bask as:


Website Disabled. Contact cservice1@comcast.net
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Matthew Sauk, Photographer
Sandy | UT | United States | Posted: 10:06 AM on 10.28.09
->> I hope you have documented all of this as well.

Is there a way to take this douche bag to small claims court? Do you know where he lives?
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
102 Yards From The Beach | CT | | Posted: 10:09 AM on 10.28.09
->> Apparently Todd Drexler lives at 2114 Myra Street, Jacksonville, FL 32204, US
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 10:30 AM on 10.28.09
->> Steven,

It appears what he did early this morning was take down a very long list of schools that he claims as clients. There was a long list there last night that has disappeared this morning. I guess he was afraid people would start contacting his clients about his business practices.

By the way, I don't have a dog in this fight and don't know any of the parties involved... it was just an observation.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 10:34 AM on 10.28.09
->> Here is what was posted last night and removed this morning:

"We are Currently the Official Photographers for Athletics for the following: Southern Conference, Atlantic Sun Conference, University of Central Florida, University of North Florida, Jacksonville University, Bethune-Cookman University and Stetson University.

In 2008-2009 we are glad to welcome the following schools and conference to the list above Davidson College, Mercer University and Conference USA.

During 2007-2008 Sideline Sports worked with over 70 NCAA Division 1-A universities and athletic conferences they included the following: Conference USA, the Atlantic - 10 Conference, the Sun Belt Conference, the MEAC, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Southern California, Notre Dame, Florida State University, Oklahoma State, Duke, Villanova, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, Rutgers, Kansas State and Indiana Univeristy."
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Princeton | IN | USA | Posted: 11:17 AM on 10.28.09
->> Cecil, why don't you sue him?
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 11:21 AM on 10.28.09
->> I have to wonder if seeing as the work was never paid for, do the photographers that have been stiffed have a claim against any of the users of the images? Sort of like a mechanic's lien works when subs aren't paid on a home improvement gig.

Just a thought, even if he does get a WFH, failure to pay would null the contract. Soooooo who owns (C) in the images? Might be worthwhile to check THAT out and maybe contact the schools or other users of images that weren't his to license.

For the record we pay everyone at the event either at the start of the event or in the case of events with satellite venues, when the shooters turn in their cards. Personally in the case of event work I think that it should be done that way for everyone.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 11:22 AM on 10.28.09
->> p.s. Thanks for having the stones to "out" him.
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Richard Shiro, Photographer
Pelzer | SC | USA | Posted: 12:38 PM on 10.28.09
->> I also did work for Todd and his company. I also had a very difficult time in collecting. Only after threatening to out him here on SS did I recieve payment. Cecil I now wish I had said something here, but it is a touchy area to out someone on a public forum without sounding like a whiner. I was paid so I let it go and decided to not do work for them ever again. But since the topic is opened now I would also like to add Fred Warner and MototSportsAmerica to the list of people who take your images and do not pay.
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Kent McCorkle, Photographer
Alpharetta | GA | USA | Posted: 1:20 PM on 10.28.09
->> Unfortunately, my experience with Sideline Sports and Todd Drexler mirrors that of Cecil, Perry, and Richard.

It's now been over 7 months since I completed a weekend long assignment for him. I have not been paid and my repeated attempts to contact him have been completely ignored.

While I can understand that the current economic conditions might result in slow or delayed payment of an invoice, I cannot understand how Drexler can completely disregard requests for information from photographers who, in good faith, accepted and completed assignments for him.
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Matthew Sauk, Photographer
Sandy | UT | United States | Posted: 1:27 PM on 10.28.09
->> Someone needs to take this douche bag to court, what an ass
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Mike Janes, Photographer
Attica | NY | USA | Posted: 1:44 PM on 10.28.09
->> Class action anyone?
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Brian Dowling, Photographer
Philadelphia | PA | USA | Posted: 1:52 PM on 10.28.09
->> The fact that Todd deleted all his info lets me know he's up to know good. I haven't ever dealt with Todd(thankfully), but would like to help out my fellow SS brothers and sisters. =]

Here is his school list before he changed his info this morning. You can run, but you can't run from router cache =]]

http://tinyurl.com/yj46pb2
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Brian Dowling, Photographer
Philadelphia | PA | USA | Posted: 1:54 PM on 10.28.09
->> Todd Drexler: : Sideline Sports Inc.
Address: 2114 Myra Street, Jacksonville, FL 32204, US
Phone: 904-838-9068
Fax: 386-845-0213
Todd Drexler's Message: Sideline Sports Action Inc. located in Jacksonville, Florida ia a sports photograghy and graphic design company.

We are Currently the Official Photographers for Athletics for the following: Southern Conference, Atlantic Sun Conference, University of Central Florida, University of North Florida, Jacksonville University, Bethune-Cookman University and Stetson University.

In 2008-2009 we are glad to welcome the following schools and conference to the list above Davidson College, Mercer University and Conference USA.

During 2007-2008 Sideline Sports worked with over 70 NCAA Division 1-A universities and athletic conferences they included the following: Conference USA, the Atlantic - 10 Conference, the Sun Belt Conference, the MEAC, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Southern California, Notre Dame, Florida State University, Oklahoma State, Duke, Villanova, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, Rutgers, Kansas State and Indiana Univeristy.
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Michael Ip, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 2:22 PM on 10.28.09
->> Someone in the Jax area oughta do a door knock.
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David Minton, Student/Intern, Photographer
Denton | TX | USA | Posted: 2:30 PM on 10.28.09
->> Not meaning to hijack this thread or beat a dead horse, but this all reminded me of someone so I did some Googling and ...


It looks like SportsShooter's favorite "here's what NOT to do" example, Eric S. Swist, is back in the USA and working at the Conroe Courier, a suburban paper north of Houston.
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Michael McNamara, Photographer, Photo Editor
Phoenix | AZ | USA | Posted: 2:58 PM on 10.28.09
->> Would Steven have been given an "inappropriate" rating if he had just linked to the guy's SportsShooter page that lists his address and phone number?

http://www.sportsshooter.com/members.html?id=1893

And thanks to the wonderful SEO design of SportsShooter, when you Google "Todd Drexler," this thread is the second result.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 3:00 PM on 10.28.09
->> I would NOT recommend knocking on any doors that you don't personally have business with. There is a mile wide divide between harassing vigilantism and being informative. Anyone who reads this thread is now well aware of the business practices of the company and it's owner.

It would be my opinion that if you don't have a business relationship with Drexler and are not counsel for someone that does, don't call or go visiting. This is the one danger of posting information like this on an open board. Someone will take it upon themselves to get even and things will really turn for the worse.
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Grant Gartland, Photographer, Assistant
Bloomington | MN | USA | Posted: 4:00 PM on 10.28.09
->> EDIT FOR 3:00PM CST: And thanks to the wonderful SEO design of SportsShooter, when you Google "Todd Drexler," this thread is the top result.
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 4:02 PM on 10.28.09
->> When I see these threads I'm curious if instead of the normal lawsuit, has anyone approached law enforcement and attempted to file a theft of service complaint?
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Todd Drexler, Photographer
Jacksonville | FL | US | Posted: 11:03 AM on 10.29.09
->> ¬Guess it is time for a response from me. Especially with the threatening emails and phone calls from people who have no involvement in this situation and do not know the facts. I would not disagree with the basic situation in that there are several photographers that were hired by an ex-business partner Devlin Pierce and a former employee Jeff Huffman to work at sports events. I am aware that the photographers that were hired by Mr. Pierce have not been paid or have received only partial payment. I understand that as the majority owner of Sideline Sports and the sole remaining partner that it is my responsibility to make certain that these photographers are paid in full.

Unfortunately poorly handled event management, image management, customer fulfillment and operation management has lead to thousands of dollars of unforeseen lab fees, customer refunds, lawsuits for contracts not fulfilled, and at least $100,000 of lost business this spring alone. I at this juncture I am simply trying to survive and get my obligations paid. I am not making an excuse nor am I hiding out however it is going to take time to fix all of the problems and situations that were created by these former employees. I did a poor job of overseeing the overall operation of this company early last year as I put total trust in these employees. I was on the road fulfilling my role for the company and trusted others to fulfill their roles, My Mistake! I also under estimated the amount of problems out there and what was going to be needed to fix them. Fortunately most of the major problems are behind me now, however they have taken about 120 days or longer to resolve. These photographers will get monies owed to them but it will take some additional time!

I have been in this business for 15+ years and have never had problems like this occur before. I have also been a member of this site since 2003, I would think that if this was my normal business practice, it would have been addressed well before now.

I spoke with Cecil at great length earlier yesterday and I feel he has a better understanding of the situation. I hope I am not mistaken, as it was my belief that he would be posting additional comments to this thread.

To address the photographers out there who know much more about this situation and are continuing to work with me and for me during this time, All of you are very much appreciated!

I am not going to get into a sparing match on this message board especially with people that have no involvement and know very few facts. As pertains to the legal aspects, it is a very likely that I would be the one with a valid lawsuit.

FYI, I did remove the client list simply to protect my clients because of the firestorm this thread has created. All of my clients were made aware of these issues a few months ago and we have come to agreement on how they would be handled. Why do some of you feel it is your responsibility to become involved in a situation that you know nothing about and who have never been involved with me or my company? Why does someone from Michigan think it is their responsibility to contact my clients? FYI the contact you made has been my customer for over ten years and already knew about these issues, which incidentally did not involve them.

This is going to be my only post to this message anyone who has involvement in this matter should contact me directly.
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Jon Gardiner, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 11:19 AM on 10.29.09
->> Sounds like you should have contacted the unpaid photographers much earlier with this explanation to see if it is sufficient for them. At the very lest it looks like they donated their time and talent to help pay for your shortfalls...

Good luck getting this figured out. I hope it works out for all involved.

-J
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Doug Strickland, Student/Intern, Photographer
Danville | KY | USA | Posted: 11:20 AM on 10.29.09
->> My question would simply be to ask why the photographers who had not been paid in this situation (original posters) had not received answers to their emails and inquiries in the form of something similar to the above post. Simple communication could have solved this issue and this increasingly ugly thread would have never been created.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 11:59 AM on 10.29.09
->> Mr. Drexler,

Due respect sir, but please allow me to answer this question in your response above:

You asked, "Why do some of you feel it is your responsibility to become involved in a situation that you know nothing about and who have never been involved with me or my company?"

Because sir, we could have been your company's next victim. You're obviously a shooter, and not just a company executive, so you know how close-knit this community is and therefore you already knew the answer to that question before you posted it. You knew that would be the response by the community and that's why you took down that client list in the middle of the night.

Now, for the record, I didn't contact any of your clients and never intended to, but I can understand why someone working in those markets would want to. Why would a hard-working, honest shooter want a company that appears to be taking advantage of other shooters to continue to do business in their market when they (the honest element) could be servicing that client and actually paying other shooters in the area?

It appears, from the posts above, that you were ignoring phone calls and emails so they had no way of knowing what type of situation you were in and had to make the very reasonable assumption that you were just a taking advantage of people. Frankly, your response above does nothing, at least in my eyes, to remove or even reduce that assumption.

I really hope things work out you end up back on your feet and that all of your creditors end up getting paid eventually. I really do. But please don't ask why those of us not directly affected would have concerns.
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Robert Seale, Photographer
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 12:07 PM on 10.29.09
->> I think there is a lesson here. I know everyone wants to shoot sports. I know it's fun. We all have to realize that the days of making a living at this are long gone. There are a few exceptions to this rule, and nationwide, I can count those people on two hands.

Read it, learn it, live it:
THERE IS NO MONEY IN SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY.

The card companies are gone, there are 3 magazines left, the newspapers are disappearing and reducing staff, and the so-called wire service business models are all bullshit. Wake up people.

If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

Here's the other lesson here. Doesn't anyone check out their clients anymore? We all have connections all over the country, thanks to the internet, facebook, SS, whatever....we all know how to do a google search. I don't know about you, but every person or business I work for gets googled, checked out and evaluated. I've lost too much money over the years to start-up magazines and now-bankrupt clients....if I'm nervous about them, they get to pay up front, or I say no.

Regardless of this group's actions....who in their right mind looks at a business model like that and thinks that they're going to make any money? A photo service for Div. IA,II and III schools - are you kidding me? Do you really think those schools have any money? With a handful of exceptions, the people I know who do work for most Div. I schools come up short.

Check out your clients, check out their reputations, and check out their business model before you sign on.
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Alan Herzberg, Photographer
Elm Grove | WI | USA | Posted: 12:16 PM on 10.29.09
->> I've got to respectfully disagree with Brian. The dispute is between Todd/Sideline and the people to whom they owe money. Commenting on the situation on this board is one thing, and I certainly have no problem with Cecil's post if he's been ignored and unpaid as long as he says. But for the rest of us to interject ourselves in the dispute by contacting Todd's clients crosses the line. Even if you don't think so, keep in mind that contacting someone else's clients to spread damaging information about them can open you up to all sorts of legal liability. I'd be pretty careful about doing that sort of thing based on hearing only one side of the story on an internet message board.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 12:27 PM on 10.29.09
->> Alan,

I respect your point of view, and it's valid. I agree that that's good advise, but I think if I were working in a market where this was going on I'd likely contact the client (if I already had a relationship with that client) and explore how 'I' might be able to assist them and possibly, and tactfully make them aware that there might be some problems. This is not "spreading damaging information" as much as it's making a client aware of a situation. The damage was done by Drexler's company, not those who may have contacted the schools.

If I were a SID I'd want to know that something like this was going on. I think that a professional could approach a SID and, in a professional and respectful manner, make them aware of a potential problem.
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Jeff Mills, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 1:11 PM on 10.29.09
->> Figure I might as well chuck my $0.02 into this world where the penny is meaningless.

I have to say that while the overall situation is something I don't like to see, both in regards to people not being paid for their work, in addition to someones company facing tough times, I'm really glad to see how well the photographic community really tries to stick up for one another.

Now sure its a valid point that its really no ones business but those directly affected, but doesn't it make you feel good to know that your peers, people whom you probably never met, and maybe never will, still are wiling to help go to bat for you ?

You hear so much these days about people trying to undercut each other, steal clients away and things of that nature. Maybe its just business, who knows, we can save that debate for another day.

People here could of taken an indifferent approach, saying if your not paid, well that's your tough luck for not researching your client. But they didn't, they instead chose to help a fellow photographer out and try to make a situation that isn't right better.

Thats an increasingly rare thing in this modern age where most of us hardly even know our physical neighbors living next door to us. So I for one really applaud people like Brian for trying to help do what they feel is right and I'm glad to know that if I ever was in a similar situation that my fellow SS members would have my back as well.
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David A. Cantor, Photographer, Photo Editor
Toledo | OH | USA | Posted: 1:47 PM on 10.29.09
->> "Read it, learn it, live it:
THERE IS NO MONEY IN SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS7nqwGt4-I
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Thomas E. Witte, Photographer, Photo Editor
Cincinnati | OH | USA | Posted: 2:29 PM on 10.29.09
->> David, all that link succeeded in doing, was terrifying me beyond all comprehension of ever becoming intimate with my wife again until I get in touch with a good urologist.
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Mike O'Bryon, Photographer
Ft. Lauderdale | FL | USA | Posted: 4:06 PM on 10.29.09
->> Ever notice how the maya culpa always seem to follow "outing"... never seems to proceed it...

Makes you wonder if "they" are sorry... or just sorry they got caught

-- Mike
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Darren Carroll, Photographer
Cedar Creek (Austin) | TX | USA | Posted: 8:31 PM on 10.29.09
->> Mr. Witte:

A Friday afternoon or Saturday morning flight to Orlando without noise canceling headphones and with a seat somewhere aft of row 7 or so will have the same effect.

Mr. Seale:

Bravo.
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Joey Wilson, Photographer
Savannah | GA | USA | Posted: 10:58 AM on 10.30.09
->> > To Todd:
I hate that this is my first post to the SS message board, but I guess it is as good a time to jump in as any...
I understand your situation and believe me, I hope you get all your obligations fulfilled. My emails have gone unanswered, but I'm assuming now that you have received them. I will have patience as you rebuild and retool your organization and will wait for my payment without ugly words or the thread of legal action. I'm going to trust you to come through this situation and I am willing to allow you the extra time need to get things done.
-Joey
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Greg Foster, Photographer
Atlanta | GA | | Posted: 1:14 PM on 10.30.09
->> Mr. Carroll:

The Disney Express?

Mr. Seale:

Another bravo, for your reality check.

Good luck to all parties in getting this sorted out.
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Willis Glassgow, Photo Editor, Photographer
Florence | SC | USA | Posted: 2:57 PM on 10.30.09
->> Folks,

After several prompts from some SS photographers and other colleagues, I have decided to chime on this discussion. While I am only indirectly involved in this issue, there is another issue that might need to be addressed when it comes to me and the photo agency that I own and run.

Sideline Sports also owes us money and I have spoken with Todd a few times over the past couple of months to resolve this situation. Many of us hope that this issue of not being paid will be resolved in the near future. It is not a pleasant situation for any one. Sideline Sports is also our competition, so I must be careful of what I write.

The bigger issue for me, is the reputation factor in all this. While Sideline Sports and WG Sports Photos run some similar agencies, it basically stops there. Our business philosophy and plans are very different from each other. While Sidleine had the philosophy of high risk & high sales to the general public, WG Sports Photos philosophy is low risk & lower end sales and profits, shooting for many different university clients. We do NOT sell prints to the general public, except for 2 NAIA events that we are asked to do this. It is just my belief that it is too high of a cost and risk to do this on a large scale basis.

We also hire many different photographers from around the entire country. We don't do spec work or sales percentages or anything like that. When we hire a photographer, that person is GUARANTEED the set rate way before the game. (Unless they totally screw up a game and the images are worthless.)

While Robert Seale is so correct in many facets of the sports photographers business, but I have to disagree that the sports photography industry is dead. In 2008 we had our best year ever. In the past 6 years WG Sports Photos has shot an average of just over 500 games a year. So far this season, we are on track to do a record year. ALL PAID games. That's no freebies or spec games. Don't get me wrong....It has not been easy. I work long hours and am a very demanding person to everyone that works for us. We produce good work and our clients are happy. We make a decent profit and I keep my costs low. I buy what I need, not what I want, and I'm not retiring anytime soon to the Hamptons. But there is work out there to be had, you just have to find it. It is a difficult process..... no argument.

Some of the most difficult things to do is get the photographers paid in a timely manner. So I understand how hard this can be at times. Sometimes the money just isn't coming in very quickly. Since we do not take out loans or lines of credit to pay photographers, we must wait for our clients to pay us. It is at times very difficult, and it might take 30, 45 and yes even 60 days to get someone paid.I feel very bad when it takes us that long to pay someone. I encourage any of you out there to inquire to other photographers about us and our reputation of paying other photographers. Or you can even ask me if you like. I have no problems ever talking with someone who might have questions.

WG Sports Photos has been in business for 9 years now. I made mistakes and have taken my lumps. Mark Loundy took me to the cleaners about a contract that I had several years ago. I was inexperienced when it came to contracts and things of that nature and he rightly called me out on it in one of his columns. It hurt like hell for someone, especially a colleague, to criticize something that I thought was fair. But the thing was, he was right. I spoke with many photogs after that and I corrected those mistakes. Hopefully, I will not make any more serious errors like that in the future.

Folks, this is a hard business and it will never be easy. If you want to hang in there....great. Fight, work hard, be smart and you will succeed. If not, I wish you luck in something else. It's sad to see some of my comrades hanging up their gear and calling it quits. But it also leaves less competition for ones staying in the business.

Good luck to all of you.

Willis Glassgow
WG Sports Photos
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 3:54 PM on 10.30.09
->> Willis,

The following statement stuck out to me: "Since we do not take out loans or lines of credit to pay photographers, we must wait for our clients to pay us."

This is a bit semantical, but I would suggest that you are indeed taking out a line of credit - it's just with the photographers themselves and not a financial institution. You are leaning on them to help finance your operations and as it pertains to their labor expense they bear the full burden of your receivables lag. This is certainly not unique to your organization or event photography in the least - and it is not inherently wrong, unethical, etc. Virtually every corporation in the world utilizes a variety of payment terms and cash management tools to mitigate the negative effects from netting their cash flow lead/lag. If everyone is aware of how long that lag can be up front and is agreeable, then that's simply between the parties involved.

That's a long winded introduction to my question - Have you (or others in similar situations) considered utilizing traditional credit sources to finance obligations after a defined period of time - e.g. 30 days - thus sharing the burden of revenue lag with your contracted shooters? It would seem reasonable that a defined payment schedule would have value to potential contract shooters, and could be factored in to the rate paid - perhaps even to the point of offering two rates - one with a guaranteed payement date and one that is paid coincident to your receipt from the client.
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Dave Doonan, Photographer
Kingston | TN | USA | Posted: 4:09 PM on 10.30.09
->> Is waiting to be paid by a client before the photographer gets any different that a restaurant or other retail business works? I don't think so. I used to be a chef and in some restaurants, the vendors got paid later, sometimes late, because sometimes it is a hand to mouth biz. I don't think its any different that how some of us pay bills. I know personally, I pay the rent, car payment, etc AFTER I get paid, I don't pay them on a credit card. If you are a working photographer, and you are hired by someone, you have to do the homework to see if they are legit. We have a great source here, USE IT! ASK QUESTIONS!!
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Willis Glassgow, Photo Editor, Photographer
Florence | SC | USA | Posted: 4:12 PM on 10.30.09
->> Mark,
That is a very good question and to be honest I have looked into lines of credit of this nature to be able to have cash flow and therefore enough money to pay photogs in a more timely manner. But banks will only give large amounts of money when it comes to lines of credit. Many times it is a minimum $25,000.....and the requirements for such a "loan" are ridiculous, and the interest rates are astronomical. None of us would even qualify.

While I don't love the system I have right now when paying photogs, it is the only way I know how and to be as fair as possible. And in all seriousness, if anyone has a better way, please let me know, because the more fair I am with photogs the easier it is hire and get good shooters for games. It would be a win-win situation for everyone.

Willis Glassgow
WG Sports Photos
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Matthew Sauk, Photographer
Sandy | UT | United States | Posted: 4:14 PM on 10.30.09
->> Willis,

With that speech you make me want to work for you :)
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 4:25 PM on 10.30.09
->> Dave,

In some ways no, in others yes. I would wager that the vast majority of employees in any retail establishment are paid on a defined schedule, and that many of the vendors have preestablished consequences for failing to pay timely on a predetermined schedule - whether that is the assessment of late fees, termination of future deliveries or curtailment of utility service. If you delay making your car payment, the bank likely assesses a hefty fee for doing so. Delay it long enough and they will repossess it. Which would make more sense, bridging a temporary delay in cash flow with a short term credit facility (credit card), which you could then pay off prior to incurring any finance charges or paying your car payment late, incurring a fixed late fee and getting a ding on your credit record?

Utilizing short term credit facilities to manage operations is an extremely common and prudent business practice, considering the consequences of not doing so. If your vendors get tired of waiting for payment and curtail service/deliveries this threatens the future viability of the organization. A reputation for late payment is reasonably expected to be reflected in the rates and terms/conditions that one pays in the future for goods and services. Upfront payment, deposits or other collateral may all be demanded prior to delivery.

As I stated above, if everyone knows what the deal is going in, it's merely part of their negotiated deal. However, it is reasonable to believe that vendors/contractors will factor in slippage in the payment date in their willingness and rate for future business.
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 4:28 PM on 10.30.09
->> Willis -

That makes complete sense to me - the issue was considered, investigated, the relative benefits and costs reviewed and a decision made that best fits your situation.
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Brad Barr, Photographer
Port St. Lucie | FL | USA | Posted: 4:33 PM on 10.30.09
->> >>Willis,
If I remember your ad correctly in the classified section, you offer to pay 150 for a game. TBH, I would not even consider waiting to be paid for that small an amt. If it takes 60days to fill a 150.00 salary, then that needs to be disclosed prior to accepting the job. I pay my shooters the day of the event. If the situation with the client dictates otherwise, my shooters know that going in.

No surprises when it comes to peoples pay....people are kind of funny that way. Myself included.

As long as its disclosed up front, then the shooters are going into the agreement with their eyes open, and that's fine. But clearly, that was not the case in the OP.

Curtis thanks for the heads up! We should all have the nads enough to stand up and be heard. Hope it gets resolved for you and the other guys who havent been paid.
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Willis Glassgow, Photo Editor, Photographer
Florence | SC | USA | Posted: 5:05 PM on 10.30.09
->> Brad,

When I do hire someone to cover a game, I do tell them when we can pay and the amount of time it can take. Most people do not love that part and nor do I. But at least I do not surprise them with this fact. As for you and being able to pay people the same day. I think that is fantastic and you should be commended for that. Unfortunately, we do not have that option. But we are dong the best we can.

As for the amount that we pay per game, well of course that's your your choice in whether or not to work for that price. But you have to understand what clientele we are dealing with. Small colleges and universities. They have small budgets and therefore cannot afford to pay huge amounts of money for these games.

Brad, you do great work and your wedding website is outstanding. I wish you all the best in the future.

Willis
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Dave Doonan, Photographer
Kingston | TN | USA | Posted: 5:43 PM on 10.30.09
->> "If it takes 60days to fill a 150.00 salary, then that needs to be disclosed prior to accepting the job."

First of all, I have shot for Willis and he informed me of the situation going in and I am fine with it. Secondly, I resent the pretentiousness of Brad when he says he wouldn't even consider working for that amount. I am fine with the rate, and I understand I am shooting for him to AUGMENT my income at the paper. Not everyone is privileged to work for major clients that pay top dollar, some of us are scratching to make a buck and do what they love.
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Rick Rowell, Photographer, Photo Editor
Vista | CA | USA | Posted: 6:36 PM on 10.30.09
->> Dave, with all courtesy, you took Brad's statement out of context. He said,"TBH (To be honest ?) I would not even consider waiting to be paid for that small an amt". The key word here is,"waiting". That doesn't mean he would never work for that amount. Nothing pretentious about that. Although he probably wouldn't, you cannot assume that he never would, unless he say's so directly and in this case he did not. The reason I chime in here, is because this is something of pet peeve with me. Dave, we all make mistakes I understand that. But it seems to me as if more often these days people do not read carefully enough or listen carefully enough and then start going off half cocked and hell bent for leather. Slow down and read it twice or three times before answering.
With courtesy for all and respect for those that have earned it, Rick.
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 6:50 PM on 10.30.09
->> Are we at 50 yet?
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Doug Holleman, Photographer
Temple | TX | USA | Posted: 6:55 PM on 10.30.09
->> "Read it, learn it, live it:
THERE IS NO MONEY IN SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY."

I accept that. In my experience it seems to be more true every year. I'm broke and currently trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do for a living when I grow up, which hopefully won't be much past my 50th birthday.

The big question is, if it's true, then why are we all here at sportsshooter.com?
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