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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

How do you answer this Question.
Rick Osentoski, Photographer
Martin | OH | United States | Posted: 8:47 AM on 02.11.11
->> Got this email today:
" I have professional sports photography as my life's career goal. I am 64 years young and I do not have digital equipment which would give me fast shutter speeds. I also do not have any extra money to spend on digital equipment. Please advise me what I should do. I will be looking forward to your email. Thank you."

What do you say to that......

First thought was to rethink your career choice.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Wesley R. Bush, Photographer
Murfreesboro | TN | U.S. | Posted: 9:20 AM on 02.11.11
->> Why even reply?
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Rick Osentoski, Photographer
Martin | OH | United States | Posted: 9:25 AM on 02.11.11
->> That was my thought but this guy emailed twice now.
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Jamey Price, Photographer, Assistant
Charlotte | NC | USA | Posted: 9:44 AM on 02.11.11
->> Tell him to take the gear he has and go shoot middle school or high school sports. Start small and work to bigger things. Sell prints and save the money to buy digital equipment.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Adam Cairns, Photo Editor, Photographer
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 10:11 AM on 02.11.11
->> What a timely topic! I just sent this email to Mario Andretti: "I have a nice Pontiac that gets me to work and back, and my lifelong dream has been to race at Indy. What should I do?"
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (9) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Jim Colburn, Photo Editor, Photographer
McAllen | TX | USA | Posted: 11:25 AM on 02.11.11
->> Reply:

"You're 64. You're poor. You're obviously stupid. Go and hang out at Denny's. Stop bothering me with inane questions."
 This post is:  Informative (3) | Funny (15) | Huh? (2) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (25) |   Definitions

Scott A. Schneider, Photographer
Minneapolis | MN | USA | Posted: 11:28 AM on 02.11.11
->> I'd suggest either ignoring the message or giving a courteous response; you never know who you're talking to.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Rick Osentoski, Photographer
Martin | OH | United States | Posted: 11:37 AM on 02.11.11
->> Jim,

I'd love to answer it that way but like Scott said you never know who it is...
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Bryan Hulse, Photographer
Nashville | Tn | USA | Posted: 12:22 PM on 02.11.11
->> Come on man! Jim was just joking around. Don’t be so sensitive!
Jim: That made me laugh!
Down the road just post a one word response to a bland topic, that is completely neutral with no humor what-so-ever, and see if you STILL get 'Inappropriate' responses.
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Jason Orth, Photographer
Lincoln | NE | USA | Posted: 12:25 PM on 02.11.11
->> Jim, can one lose weight on your steady diet of sh*t sandwiches?

Rick, why not be the guru or the nice guy? You never know who that person may be.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 1:08 PM on 02.11.11
->> Thanks Jim. I was only asking Oz for a little help and insight. And I don't like Denny's!
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 1:21 PM on 02.11.11
->> Liddy does it ... AGAIN!

Thanks I needed a good chuckle today ;-)

Rick it's your choice on how or if you should respond ... if it were me, I would take the polite approach ... cause you never know ... that way, even though you are annoyed, you will end up appearing as a good guy for the effort ...
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Curtis Clegg, Photographer
Sycamore | IL | USA | Posted: 1:46 PM on 02.11.11
->> You could suggest a book from the Bookshelf... this one is in stock at Amazon for $16.30 and from the reviews on that site, it addresses film photography extensively.
http://www.sportsshooter.com/education/book_profile.html?id=702
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 2:17 PM on 02.11.11
->> Find something that pays. Shoot it. Over time, use the money from shooting to improve your gear. You'll be improving your skill set as you shoot more. As you do this, you'll be able to shoot more different things. Find a niche market no one else has access to - for example, grandparents with their grandchildren. Take advantage of every opportunity. Don't sit still. Work, and work smart. Learn from your mistakes. Don't undercharge, don't make enemies from those you need as friends. Always take a profit.
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 2:49 PM on 02.11.11
->> And get around other professionals. Don't claim to be one right off the bat, just learn from them. It'll make you improve more than anything else. Join a PPA chapter and learn to market yourself and sell prints, it goes a long way.
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 8:00 AM on 02.12.11
->> "How do you answer this Question."

Honestly.

For an individual at or on the cusp of retirement, with obviously limited income, to do otherwise is a disservice. When one considers the time and capital investment required to achieve his stated goal, one must be realistic and quite frankly blunt in their response.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Jeroen de Jong, Photographer
Waalwijk | _ | Netherlands | Posted: 10:12 AM on 02.12.11
->> My reply would be something like:

Your 64, but it's never to late.
You say you can't afford the gear. Try to find a job and buy a good camera and a medium tele for a start. Yes, this will set you back 6000 dollars, but it's a start. Keep working you ass of to make as much money for the rest (25.000 dollar, including a big tele, 2 other camera's other lensens, flashlight, laptop, bags and all other stuff)

Since you work on a normal job, you have to be prepared to make long day's. First of all, you need to earn money to pay for the cameragear, but you also have to invest in your spare time. That time should be spent near de sportfields to get the experience. You will probably work 70 hours a week in total, but you need to work for the money and you need to invest your spare time to practice. Don't go directly to the things like NBA-games, but go to amateurgames. It's a great startingplace.

After a while, try to get in touch with a pro-sportsphotographer and try to learn from him. Not by the internet, but one-on-one. Try to look for clients for your pictures, research your market.

After a few years you have enough experience to do everything on your own and be a player in this very competitive market where you probably will not going to earn back your investments because you probably suffered a hart-attache because of those long days of hard working.
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Shaun Ward, Photographer
Perth | Tayside | Scotland | Posted: 5:13 PM on 02.12.11
->> Send him a postcard, drop him a line,
Stating point of view.
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, Wasting Away.

Give him your answer, fill in his form
No hope for evermore
Who will he work for, Who will he shoot for,
Now he's sixty-four?
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Jim Colburn, Photo Editor, Photographer
McAllen | TX | USA | Posted: 10:22 PM on 02.12.11
->> "Come on man! Jim was just joking around. Don’t be so sensitive!"

All I have to do is wake up and I get Inapropriates.
 This post is:  Informative (2) | Funny (3) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Jim Colburn, Photo Editor, Photographer
McAllen | TX | USA | Posted: 10:24 PM on 02.12.11
->> Is 15 a record?
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Walt Middleton, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 10:36 PM on 02.12.11
->> Hey Rick, I get those things all the time...
I'm not sure why...
I always do one of two things...
1: Just ignore it...
There is no fault to this. You are a busy person and it takes time to answer that question appropriately.
2: Ask him some questions...
Why he wants to do this, What he has done in the past, most importantly... what does he like to shoot? That will help you answer his question.
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Thomas E. Witte, Photographer, Photo Editor
Cincinnati | OH | USA | Posted: 11:09 PM on 02.12.11
->> Jim- No. I think the record is around 108. I remember the post vaguely but not what the thread was titled. Sweet talk Jason or Grover in to directing us to it.
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Rick Osentoski, Photographer
Martin | OH | United States | Posted: 11:19 PM on 02.12.11
->> Walt,

I get them all the time too, just thought I'd share this one with the age and broke stipulations to it.

I have to say that Jim and Jeroen's made me laugh out load, Jeroen's had me to the end.
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Steven Mullensky, Photographer, Photo Editor
Port Townsend | WA. | USA | Posted: 11:23 PM on 02.12.11
->> There is absolutely no obligation to answer the question. Especially from an unknown sender. I wouldn't lose any sleep by ignoring it.
But, then again, it gave a lot of fodder for the grist mill.
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Marshall Smith, Photographer
Stamping Ground | KY | USA | Posted: 5:57 PM on 02.13.11
->> Send him a link to this Message Board, specifically this thread. I'm sure he will find it interesting. I know I've learned a bunch in a year just from reading the posts.
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Jim Colburn, Photo Editor, Photographer
McAllen | TX | USA | Posted: 10:09 PM on 02.13.11
->> Wow, up to 21 people that don't understand.
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 1:12 AM on 02.14.11
->> I would reply, I would tell him that there's a ton of people wanting to do the same job, the competition is tough, the pay is low, the hours are long and that it's not worth the effort and that is why I DON'T bother with it anymore. I would tell him that if he loves photograph and wants to make money at it, he should find another way of making money with it, like portraits, Weddings or social events.

I would treat him like I would want to be treated.

I would reply to him the same way I have replied to similar questions over the past 26 years of my professional career, always in a helpful, respectful, kind and calm manner. Why act like a douche, when it takes a few seconds to reply?
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 6:18 AM on 02.14.11
->> I think the operative question is did he mean "professional sports" photography or professional "sports photography."

I'm guessing it was the former. I'd tell him to buy a ticket in the cheap seats, use his ancient film equipment to take crappy photos like everyone else in the cheap seats (using flash at night of course) and he will have photographed "professional sports."
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 3:57 PM on 02.14.11
->> I usually get this same question, but from the other end of the age spectrum. "My daughter is really into photography and wants to study it in college. What camera and other stuff should I get her for high school graduation?" When I tell them to get ready to drop 5-7k, they seem to be ready to point their kid in another career.

Jim...seems lately that honesty gets the inappropriates. If the guy was applying for a job, you can not discuss age. But this was an e-mail from a total stranger. So Jim's advice is spot on. Some times the truth hurts, which is better than stringing the guy's hopes along. Hell, one post here states the 64 yr old will end up with a heart attack, and that post did not get an inappropriate. My father died on a heart attack, but I at least know Jim was joking, but you gotta get the message across, and some folks do not get the message unless you use a 2x4 over their head. Jim was just bringin' the lumber.
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David Dermer, Photographer
Cortland | Oh | 44410 | Posted: 6:10 PM on 02.14.11
->> "Im 22 and I noticed you drive a 2011 Corvette, and while I might only drive a 1993 Lumina I would love to drive a new Corvette. I however dont have the money for this car, and I would love to hear your advice on how I can buy this car."



sorry I had to do it.
Im not even a car guy
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Scott A. Schneider, Photographer
Minneapolis | MN | USA | Posted: 6:20 PM on 02.14.11
->> Sam: There's a difference -- a big difference -- between being honest and being mean.
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Tony Sirgedas, Photographer
Pierce County | WA | USA | Posted: 6:38 PM on 02.14.11
->> Rick, offer to sponsor him as a member of Sports Shooter so he can personally take all the abuse instead of you.
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Bradley Leeb, Photographer
Champaign | IL | USA | Posted: 6:38 PM on 02.14.11
->> I'm with you Scott. According to some, with the philosophy of being honest in mind, I guess it would be ok to drive around some of the lower income neighborhoods in town yelling out my window at people, "You're poor!" I'm sure they will appreciate my honesty.

It's amazing to see someone "jokingly" post a blatantly offensive, rude, and mean comment on a public forum of professionals, and then turn around and whine about why the general public undervalues what they do for a living. Why should anyone take you seriously when it comes to the things that DO matter?
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 6:58 PM on 02.14.11
->> For all of us, this love of photography is a journey.

He needs to continue his. A lot of the advice on here is spot on. Provide him with the link.

The magic word is hard work, and it does not discriminate based on age or camera. (If this guy expects to start at the top, he's going to be very disappointed.)

My first Iowa Newspaper Association first place award many years ago was not for NFL, NCAA, or even high school. It was for a 8 year old pee wee swinging thru a strike with his eyes closed.

I think it was Ron Mar who advised to make the best images you can WHEREVER you are. Brad M has essentially said the same thing. If this man wants to be a sports photographer, there is absolutely nothing stopping him except his excuses as to why he can't.

Tell him to read this thread and go make good images.

End of story.


M
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Vinny Tennis, Photographer
New Holland | PA | USA | Posted: 7:12 PM on 02.14.11
->> Film cameras are OK, I am sure most of us started with one. My first camera 30+ years ago, a Vivitar XC-3, no motor drive one shot then advance the film. Taught me to anticipate the peak action. Today, I still anticipate the action, and wonder what the heck is that young whipper snapper beside me shooting off 8fps as soon as the ball is hiked and doesn't stop until the whistle is blown???? All I can think about is how much longer they have to sit there and edit images.

Rick, I think you need more info from him. Give him vague answers to find out what his immediate expectations are. And also tell him that depending on his lenses, he could pick a a relatively inexpensive DSLR, which could quickly pay for its self by saving on film costs. I have seen great shots taken with Digital Rebels and D3000 cameras. This will allow him to shoot/practice more without having to buy/process film every time.

Good luck
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 9:53 PM on 02.14.11
->> Vinny,

Eight fps is low frame-rate video.

--Mark
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Tim Cowie, Photographer
Davidson | NC | USA | Posted: 10:56 PM on 02.14.11
->> Send him Liddy's contact info and tell him that his best chance of breaking in is to go work with him. Tell him not to be discouraged by short or nasty replies.

Make sure he understands that his MO needs to be persistent. Chuck only likes to hire guys that are persistent and he will test your will. If he contacts him 50 or so times, then and only then (regardless of what he has been told to this point) will he land a very high paying job that includes top of the line gear.

Remind him that he may even have to follow Chuck around for a week or so,
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 11:37 AM on 02.15.11
->> Scott...so did you not mark the hearet attack post an inappropriate? That was mean, right???
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 1:49 PM on 02.15.11
->> NICENESS goes a LONG way.
You have no idea who this man is, who he knows, who he may pass your name on to. MAYBE by being nice, there can be some photo jobs for you by being NICE.
If anyone ever receives an email like this and doesn't know how to, or want to, respond, why not send it to someone who can be more tactful, nice.
I once photographed a law student who was 82 years old. Yes, 82 years old. His dream was to be a lawyer. He told me I was the first person he encountered who smiled at him and treated him with dignity when he told them his dream. He asked me why I smiled and I said I thought it was wonderful that he was following his dream no matter how old he was. Whatever happened? I started getting corporate shoots with law firms. By the way, my husband and I are currently shooting for 40 firms in NYC.
Thank you Mr 82 year old law student!
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Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 1:49 PM on 02.15.11
->> "If you don't have money to spend on digital equipment, and since film manufacturing and processing is a fading industry, I'm not sure how much success you're going to have. I would say you're going to be severely under capitalized. Any advice from me would be moot until you solve your larger financial problems."
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TD Paulius, Photographer
Orland Park | IL | USA | Posted: 12:27 AM on 02.16.11
->> Why not direct him to Patch?
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 9:03 AM on 02.16.11
->> Opps.. that should be Rod.. that's what happens when you're stressed and suffering from not enough sleep.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 10:01 AM on 02.16.11
->> ah, Jim..does this mean if you want to avoid inappropriate ratings, you need to quit waking up? :)

M
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 10:19 AM on 02.16.11
->> Debbie that is an AWESOME story.
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 10:46 AM on 02.16.11
->> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9jpyE1aKXY
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Rodrigo Pena, Photographer
Beaumont | CA | USA | Posted: 10:02 AM on 02.18.11
->> Rick, send him to me, I'll point him in the right direction. My dad, who is a retired portrait studio photographer and former sports writer/photographer for the local newspaper, gave up photography because he felt he was too old. His eyes were giving him trouble and his pictures were becoming blurry as a result. He never even used autofocus because the equipment that he used, didn't have any. I told him that he should invest in some good digital gear. I told him that the pictures practically take themselves because of the wonderful autofocus and excellent automatic settings on digital cameras these days. He told me that he did not have the money to spend on the camera and gear. So I let him borrow one of my backup bodies and lenses. He came back from the local junior college football game with an ear-to-ear grin on his face and really good photos. I hooked him up with a good, used, digital camera and he is re-living his passion: sports photography.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 10:36 AM on 02.19.11
->> Rodrigo and Debbie;
Great stories.You both had karma come back to you.
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Thread Title: How do you answer this Question.
Thread Started By: Rick Osentoski
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