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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Advocating a Business Tips Section for SS
Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 5:59 AM on 09.06.14
->> On the left side of the Sports Shooter page we have different categories for you to find great content.

I would like to advocate a new button for Business Tips.

We have buried in the message board some great content, but it would make a lot more sense to have a business section.

I can see tips about:
*Selling Photos of NCAA Athletes
*Model Releases
*Contracts
*Copyright
*Cost of Doing Business
*Differences in selling to public, editorial and commercial pricing structures
*Gear Advice in terms of how to start out, how to grow and when best time to rent vs buy
*Marketing Advice
*Understanding shooting on spec [stock photography]
*Shooting for base pay and keeping the copyright
*Accepting a Work-for-hire agreement

I am sure there are more topics, but what I am noticing is these discussions come up and if you have been around for a while you might have seen discussions on all this. However, for the newbie and those who might have been doing this as a hobby and want to transition to part-time or full-time photography giving these people the resources to make decisions that make them profitable vs going bankrupt will help all of us in the industry.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 7:23 AM on 09.06.14
->> Stanley -

This is a great idea, however, SS needs to address the many features they have abandoned.

Special Features - Last entry 2/1/2009
Fun Pix Contest - Last Winner July 2010
Polls - Last Poll 5/3/2009
Educate Yourself - Last entry 2/2/2010
Equipment Profiles - Only 2 people participated in 2013 and two in 2014
Bookshelf - Last entry 1/3/12
Our Store - Nothing for sale
Sponsors Links - several have had the same ad since dirt and some information is outdated.
Easier to become a member than it was a few years back.

Not sure why the powers at hand are letting this site go to waste. I do enjoy the message board and the classified ads however so I guess I'm getting my $25.00 worth??
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Gray Quetti, Photographer
Jacksonville | Fl | USA | Posted: 8:50 AM on 09.06.14
->> I think Stanley has a great idea but I agree with Kevin that most of the features other than the Message Board and Classified Ads is just sitting around rotting. I used to visit this site multiple times daily and now I can do it a few times a week and be updated in a minute. There are only a few new posts per day and not much reply on those unless it's controversial. I will still pay my $25 for the content I use but I think the staff needs a shot in the arm and some new vision to keep this thing going. $25 per ever how many thousands of members we have should be enough incentive to perk this site up.
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Gene Boyars, Photographer
Manalapan | NJ | United States | Posted: 9:19 AM on 09.06.14
->> Stanley, it is a nice idea but honestly those topics have been discussed so many times here without people listening it is frustrating. I still see way to many people being happy to work for little or nothing just to be at the "big event". It is sad but that is the way our business has gone and will continue to go. That is a big part of the reason many of the more famous and talent members have moved away from here. It is hard to keep talking about these topics when you feel like no one is listening. (Putting my soap box away and moving towards retirement totally)
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 12:23 PM on 09.06.14
->> Glass is half empty attitude is a good reason to go ahead and leave the profession.

Things like this website, The Strobist and other websites/YouTube have done an incredible job educating people on how to make better photographs. I would argue Sports Shooter could be blamed for the problems we complain about so much here.

We have equipped your competition so well that you no longer can stand out because you know how to use strobes or use remote cameras any more.

Click on Special Features and just read. What would take years to learn prior to these resouces could be done so quickly because the information is now so easy to get and well presented.

We even have workshops that will teach this and make you a pro.

"It is really hard to keep talking.." is the reason we need this section. Matthew Brady was concerned with the competition. Too many people think this is something new--its not.

If you were to find this website today and wanted to learn how to run a business--well good luck. However, you want to learn how to use remotes, lighting, or what lens to use you can find it easily. For business advice you are left to searching the message board for the most part.

What can we do to play the cards we have been dealt?

If we have done such a good job of outlining in many articles how to shoot and because of that we now have more competition, don't you think if we did as good of job teaching business practices more might do a better job pursuing this as a career?

I am not saying this will help all stay in the business. But I would love to help more people from losing their shirts trying to make it.

The other thing those of us need to learn sooner than later is if a hobbyist wants to shoot the games for free because they have a day job and just like to do this—they have no obligation to stop giving their work away.

If the only way for you to compete is to try and keep them off the field you have more problems than you are willing to admit.

There is a good possibility that certain venues can no longer support pros. If you still feel like you want to shoot, then you may have to do the same thing the hobbyist does and make your living in another area of photography.

Business lesson 101

Unless your photos help organizations with their bottom line, then why should they ever hire you? Who cares if your photo is “better” if the photo doesn’t help the organization financially? They are running a business and once you understand that it is easier for you to find a way to help them financially—because when you figure out how you can improve their bottom line you have found your leverage.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 12:59 PM on 09.06.14
->> If you want good business advice -- contracts, law, copyright, licensing, legal situations, etc. -- join ASMP. Their site has some info available for free; the wealth comes from membership.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 1:56 PM on 09.06.14
->> Doug

Been a member since 1987 of ASMP. Business advice needs to be made more available.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 7:20 AM on 09.07.14
->> WOW!
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Bradly J. Boner, Photographer, Photo Editor
Jackson | WY | USA | Posted: 8:16 AM on 09.07.14
->> Stanley —

Good suggestion. However, I've been a member of SS for almost 10 years and have seen many good suggestions for additions/upgrades, and the only addition to the site I can remember is when the Photoshelter search bar could be integrated into our member pages.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 9:03 AM on 09.07.14
->> Why are those posting here on this thread still members?

I have been member since 2003. If most everyone else agrees and no one feels the need for changes like this and feel nothing will change then I find little reason to continue my membership.

Why should SS continue in light of these responses?

Sounds like a hopeless community.
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 3:47 PM on 09.07.14
->> Rick Rickman used to write a business-oriented column for SS. I haven't seen one in a long while.

--Mark
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Bradly J. Boner, Photographer, Photo Editor
Jackson | WY | USA | Posted: 4:44 PM on 09.07.14
->> Stanley —

I feel ya, man. My membership is up in November and I probably won't renew.
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 2:14 PM on 09.08.14
->> So to all those advocating changes and updates, how about volunteering to take over those sections? Perhaps the admin would welcome your contribution.
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Bradly J. Boner, Photographer, Photo Editor
Jackson | WY | USA | Posted: 3:34 PM on 09.08.14
->> Clark —

If this were a free site you might have a point. But I think a lot of paying members have a hard time volunteering for admins who make money off membership fees.

Further, I think some members have volunteered and apparently were turned down:

http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=42203

Also in that thread, which was from January, we were told "patience, grasshopper..." when discussing site upgrades. After years of hearing this, my patience is gone. The "latest" newsletter was more than a year ago. More than 40 members have updated their pages since the beginning of this month, yet Al Bello's infrared photos from Winbledon have been the Special Feature for weeks.

It's just my opinion, but when fresh content is so sporadic and site upgrades are virtually non-extstant, the ability to post in the message boards just isn't worth the 25 bucks anymore.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 4:11 PM on 09.08.14
->> It looks like there is at least 2100 active SS members. At $25 each that's over $50,000 per year not including sponsor revenue. And we should volunteer (or work for FREE)because????

I'm not sure why Stanley is calling for our resignation from SS. I simply was making a point that there doesn't look like there is any commitment to either maintain or add new features to this site. I'm still content with what features remain (mainly the message board).
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 10:27 PM on 09.08.14
->> Stan didn't call for anybody to leave SS. He simply expressed his own opinions.

(Disclaimer: I write a monthly business column for the NPPA and, although I have done a lot of volunteer work for the NPPA, I do get paid to write my column.)

--Mark
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 1:19 AM on 09.09.14
->> Mr. Leary wrote: "Why are those posting here on this thread still members?"
-----------
I am still a member for the message board's entertainment value. While it certainly has diminished with the loss of members like Walter Calahan, John Harrington, Thomas Witte, Dave Amorde and names of a couple dozen infamous posters who I've since forgotten unfortunately, there is a new cast assembling and marking their territory. I miss regularly reading post from those folks who brought so much to the table and this site. Honestly, I am still a member because the cost is far cheaper than cable and better value.



Mr. Leary wrote: "I have been member since 2003. If most everyone else agrees and no one feels the need for changes like this and feel nothing will change then I find little reason to continue my membership."
-----------
If we are throwing around membership dates, I've been a member since 2002. I find very little reason not to continue my membership. Plus, I think Chuck Liddy would miss me. And every once in a while it is fun to start threads like this one
http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=728 to make people smile.



Mr. Leary wrote: "Sounds like a hopeless community."
-----------
Not really. There's lots of good stuff to talk about like Go Pros on dogs, airline requirements and the use of drones. As long as discussion stay within the confines of pushing the shutter or changing f-stops, the community is alright and even better if some great injustice has been directed to a member of the journalistic or photographic community. However, when it comes to discussing business, there are more than enough examples throughout the message board that makes it abundantly clear that SS is not place for exploration and deliberation on topics relevant to sustaining viability in this era's competitive environment.



Mr. Krows wrote: "And we should volunteer (or work for FREE)because????" Which coincides with the statement by Mr. Boner: "If this were a free site you might have a point."
--------------
Given the fine gentlemen who operate the site have not solicited submissions - at least not publicly acknowledged - or instituted major upgrades thus far is yes, either a sign that they may be happy with that status of the site as it is or that they may not have the resources - not necessarily money - to invest at this time.

Why share your knowledge - oh, and do it for "free"? I submit for consideration concepts like "Paying Forward" and "Goodwill", as two. Both may be just as or more rewarding as accepting payment for that knowledge.

However, technically speaking, every time you, me or anyone else post to the message board we are providing free content - actually paying for the privilege to post and generate pageviews for SS, thus sustaining the value of the site. Yeah, I'm doing my part to help the poor starving admins keep sportsshooter alive and well.

On the other hand, given the comments in this thread and the other mentioned above, there is a clear opportunity for an enterprising individual or group of people to build a better (or competing) portal providing the desired features and services for the serious professional. In my opinion, SS will remain the same as long as their is no compelling factor to do otherwise. For me that's fine. As Gretchen Wilson sings, "I'm here for the party".
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 5:48 AM on 09.09.14
->> @Mark - Guess I misinterpreted Stanley's comments directed to those posting on this particular thread. I was a little thrown off by -

"Glass is half empty attitude is a good reason to go ahead and leave the profession."

"Why are those posting here on this thread still members?"

"Sounds like a hopeless community."

@Clark - "In my opinion, SS will remain the same as long as their is no compelling factor to do otherwise. For me that's fine." It's fine for me as well.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 9:15 AM on 09.09.14
->> I'm seriously confused with the whole point of even starting this thread. Since I know very little about updating websites and the ensuing complications that I'm sure exist I would hesitate to call the owners of this site to task. One thing I can say without hesitation is that over the years SS has always been worth the $25/year. As Clark said, the entertainment value alone from some of the message board stuff is well worth $25. But the random posting for learning more about our craft is the real deal. Not that I toss around money like I have an unlimited supply but $25 over a whole year is nothing. I guess maybe a message to the owners might have been more prudent instead of calling them out on the message board. I've messaged them several times over the last 11-12 years about different things and always get a response. But it's a free country. It's $25. I think if you're really upset and don't like the site any longer it's an easy decision. Just my $.02.
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Douglas Cottle, Photographer
Tuscola | Illinois | United States | Posted: 10:17 AM on 09.09.14
->> "As Clark said, the entertainment value alone from some of the message board stuff is well worth $25. But the random posting for learning more about our craft is the real deal."

I agree as well. If my math is correct, it costs a member 6.8 cents a day.

"Just my $.02."

Liddy, you are up to 8.8 cents today. Need change for that dime? Throwing money around like that. You're a madman!

I realize the admins of this site are also full time working professionals. I bet they have families too. I'm also a full time working photographer and I really do not have a day off unless I force myself to take one. In my world, there is always something to do for my business at all hours of the day. I can understand why there have not been any updates. Plus the site works! When was the last time sports shooter crashed?
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Garrett Hubbard, Photographer
Washington | D.C. | USA | Posted: 10:54 AM on 09.09.14
->> Stanley, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.
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Bradly J. Boner, Photographer, Photo Editor
Jackson | WY | USA | Posted: 11:12 AM on 09.09.14
->> I agree that the message boards are still full of insight and knowledge (and it's really the only fresh content on SS.com anymore). But anyone can read them; you just need to be a member to post to them. Again, only speaking for myself, but the 25 bucks just isn't worth the privilege anymore. I doubt anyone will miss me, anyway.
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Mark Perlstein, Photographer, Photo Editor
Plano | TX | USA | Posted: 12:52 PM on 09.09.14
->> I wish the SS members that just want to complain would just leave, and do so unannounced.
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Bradly J. Boner, Photographer, Photo Editor
Jackson | WY | USA | Posted: 1:05 PM on 09.09.14
->> Right, Mark P., because the things we're asking for — fresh content on a regular basis and some sight upgrades and enhancements — are just totally outrageous expectations.

Please.
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 1:18 PM on 09.15.14
->> And here are just two reason why SS is worth the $25 annual fee:

http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=42633
http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=42629
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Thread Title: Advocating a Business Tips Section for SS
Thread Started By: Stanley Leary
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