Story   Photographer   Editor   Student/Intern   Assistant   Job/Item

SportsShooter.com: The Online Resource for Sports Photography

Contents:
 Front Page
 Member Index
 Latest Headlines
 Special Features
 'Fun Pix'
 Message Board
 Educate Yourself
 Equipment Profiles
 Bookshelf
 my.SportsShooter
 Classified Ads
 Workshop
Contests:
 Monthly Clip Contest
 Annual Contest
 Rules/Info
Newsletter:
 Current Issue
 Back Issues
Members:
 Members Area
 "The Guide"
 Join
About Us:
 About SportsShooter
 Contact Us
 Terms & Conditions


Sign in:
Members log in here with your user name and password to access the your admin page and other special features.

Name:



Password:







||
SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Your Job Is So Fun Part Duex
Scott Mapes, Photographer
Jackson | MI | USA | Posted: 6:22 PM on 02.21.16
->> Just wanted to throw in my two cents about getting paid to take pictures. I see all the going back and forth about getting paid to shoot sports from the pros doing it for decades and the new guys chasing down the dream to be on the sideline of their favorite team trying to get paid and reach that holy grail of getting published in Sports Illustrated.

I too had that dream. I'm not a doctor or lawyer. I don't have some high profile job where I can just buy anything I want. I work in a freaking factory making air conditioning compressors for the auto industry. It sucks, its hot, its tiring, sometimes it is long hours. I see those posts about how would you like me to come to your job and work next to you for free. I would welcome that, you would leave before first break, trust me.

I know how to manage my money, and I bought the gear I needed to get started, bodies, fast lenses, etc. I thought, man I am on my way, I can get out of the factory life and just take pictures and make money I am set, and I can be on the sidelines super cool.

It didn't take long after looking at the situation that's a pipe dream. No way in hell are you going to make money shooting pro sports to support yourself and your family so I realized I am stuck in the factory until I retire.

I did however make my money back on my gear by shooting senior pictures, some weddings, and youth sports. It is not a living where I can just quit my job though. I do have a 401k and a pension plus insurance. Things I probably can't have just being a full time photog.

For those trying to break in and shoot spec for free thinking your gonna be the next Walter Ioos, forget it, probably not gonna happen. For you guys that have been doing it since the film days, from where I am sitting it doesn't look good for you, your probably screwed. Maybe some won't be, but the majority probably are.

I still shoot, but its for the local media, and they pay, not a lot but its a decent chunk that I put away for vacations and fun family stuff. Maybe buy something cool down the road. I don't get to shoot the glamour professional games but I have a lot of fun shooting high school games, proms, graduations and getting paid a rate to show up, not on spec. I do get to shoot NASCAR as I am only 10 miles from MIS. I sit in that photog room and while I am getting paid to be there I see a lot who aren't making a dime and think no way in hell.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

David Rosenblum, Photographer
Jacksonville Beach | Fl | USA | Posted: 11:06 AM on 02.22.16
->> As entertaining as that thread was, I was hoping it got laid to rest once it hit 50 comments. LOL

Glad to see your two cents. As for me, I did learn a few things on that thread, and at the same time wish I worded things differently to get different responses.

That part's in the past now. I'm trying to move forward on some new advice.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Scott Mapes, Photographer
Jackson | MI | USA | Posted: 4:02 PM on 02.22.16
->> I guess I get tired of seeing the back and forth. I work in the auto industry in Michigan and I have seen a lot of people lose jobs, lose their house, cars. Its not just the photo industry. It is everywhere. My dad was a pressman for the local paper (Jackson Citizen Patriot), they all lost their jobs, he was just lucky enough to take the buyout and retire. Before that, he lost two other jobs, Goodyear Tire moved to Tennessee, Clark Equipment moved down south also.

Not once did I see him whine and complain about it. He moved on and found something else. I just get tired of the complaining and hearing about all these people are ruining the industry.

The industry is ruined, they aren't ruining it, it doesn't take a lot to see that. We live in America, this isn't a communist nation. If you want to shoot on spec, shoot on spec. Don't let anyone tell you what you wanna do. That is your choice. Myself, I just can't do it, I want to get paid. Its not gonna bother me that others do it. I know a lot of people who are here on sportsshooter that shot for free and are now making money doing it. Is it a lot, probably not, but its never going to be a lot of money shooting professional sports.

I love to shoot, I love the tight deadlines, love the challenge of shooting in the low light high school venues. I hear a lot about how hard this job is. I have found for myself, its not that hard, its pretty easy for me and I would love if I could make a full time living off of it but thats not gonna happen. Technology ruined it.

If that is the route you wanna go, do what you think is best, don't let people guilt you into not doing it. If it works for you good, if not, well its not the end of the world. You may as well do it, if you don't someone else is going to do it anyhow. You are already on the field doing what you love to do, may as well enjoy it. Life is short, you may not get the chance later.

I know this will probably piss a lot of people off. But those same people are not going to be crying for me if the factory I work at shuts its doors as many in my town have over the last 20 years. I will just move on and get another job.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

David Rosenblum, Photographer
Jacksonville Beach | Fl | USA | Posted: 5:03 PM on 02.22.16
->> You said it best, Technology ruined it. It will continue to do so too.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Scott Holstein, Photographer
Tallahassee | FL | USA | Posted: 8:14 PM on 02.22.16
->> http://bit.ly/1oymeJD
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 8:15 PM on 02.22.16
->> Oh yes. Let's blame technology.

So let me get this straight. So far you've blamed:

1) The mentor you never had.

2) The people at your college that didn't force you to take business classes.

3) The revolving door of people who "suckered" you into signing spec contracts.

4) And now finally, "technonogy".


Um, no, technology hasn't ruined this industry. People shooting for free (or near-free) and having a dozen excuses as to why they're doing it, have runined the industry.

Sorry to be such a jerk but this is how I feed my kids so I can only watch a guy ignore solid advice and come up with excuse-after-excuse for so long before I get fed up.

Please though, keep doing what you're doing. Icon is going to make you a star.
 This post is:  Informative (7) | Funny (0) | Huh? (1) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Michael Proebsting, Photographer
Barrington | IL | USA | Posted: 11:47 PM on 02.22.16
->> I think here in the Chicago market uspresswire has had at least (25) different photographers "working" for them in the last (5) years alone.

My guess is they all didn't leave beacuse they were tired of counting all the $$$ they made for their efforts.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Preston Mack, Photographer
Orlando | FL | | Posted: 9:23 AM on 02.23.16
->> My brother is an Opthamologist - an eye surgeon.
Before he was practicing, he interned at a surgical eye center.
I'll never forget what the Dr's wife told him that summer.

"There is always room for Neiman Marcus"

Basically, there is always a high end market. Of course, there is always Walmart too. There is a space for all types of businesses to thrive.
The question is where do you fit in?

Do you value your work? Do you respect yourself? How much do you cost?

If you do not see value in yourself, no one else will.
 This post is:  Informative (2) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

David A. Cantor, Photographer, Photo Editor
Toledo | OH | USA | Posted: 12:21 PM on 02.23.16
->> Photography was sooo much better when it didn't have any of the technology stuff...!
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

David Rosenblum, Photographer
Jacksonville Beach | Fl | USA | Posted: 10:21 PM on 03.03.16
->> Brian, I don't understand why you feel the need to constantly bash me on here. I never blamed any of the above on anything. I blamed myself.

No, I didn't have a mentor, or teacher, to help show me the way. If you're one of those people that learned and built everything about your photography business alone, without any input or advice from others, I applaud you. Unfortunately, I feel I would have benefited from some sort of apprenticeship or something. Everyone is different.

In hindsight, a business class in college probably would have been a good idea. No one suggested it, I didn't think anything of it at the time, and I was happy to just graduate and place a degree on the wall in my office. I guess you've done everything perfect in life and never had the thought of "if I could do it all over again."

Yes, it appears spec shooting is a revolving door. Like I said in my first post, and probably a few times after, I wasn't aware it was what it turned out to be. That is not Icon, ZumaPress or Southcreek's fault. To me, it was someone giving me a chance to do what I wanted to do. I viewed it as a foot in the door. I thought that was the path I needed to take, like an internship or something.

I will blame technology on a lot of things, not just photography. Technology advances even put my family's business under back in the 80s. It does a lot of damage to old school professions. Hand every one of the people at an even a film camera, and I bet only 1/3 of them at the most come back with a decent image. Hand everybody a 1DX, that number increases greatly. Let's be honest here, it's greatly increased the number of people we are all up against.

I have not ignored any advice. In fact, I've been putting it to good use. Almost immediately after talking to someone from here I got an offer to cover something at a price I wanted to put on it. What sucks is, my first child is due on the date of the event, so I had to pass it up. Feel free to bash me on that decision too.

Look dude, I don't understand what problem you have with me. Or do you just talk like this to everyone you don't know? I came on here solely to seek advice from professionals, but for the most part, I get the immature high school-bully BS.

What was your lone advice to me, not to shoot for Icon? I know a few people who have used something like Icon as a springboard to Getty, or the AP. Is that the pinnacle of it all? Probably not, but they do pay something more than spec, from what I'm told.

Maybe my first mistake was not specifying that I wasn't looking to get rich covering events. There are several ways to make a living with a camera, a lot of them I don't care for. I did learn from a few people that I can still be involved in sports with a camera and make some decent money doing it. I still have a mortgage to pay and, any day now, a kid to feed. I struggle and live paycheck to pay check like a lot of people. I'm relatively young (mid-30s) and and almost completely deaf. I miss a lot of things out there in the world. I rely on my eyes a lot, to read and try to learn everything I can that way. Maybe I've read all the wrong things. Who knows.

Look, if it satisfies you to come on here and publicly bash a lesser human in front of all his peers, then whatever makes you happy I guess.

All I wanted was some professional advice. All I got was someone doing his best to make me feel like the biggest POS in the industry.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (3) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Mark J. Terrill, Photographer
Simi Valley | CA | USA | Posted: 2:55 AM on 03.04.16
->> David,

I'm not sure what the pinnacle is anymore. I used to think it was Sports Illustrated, but that dream is dead. Now the dream is just keeping a job.

Since the playing field is pretty level thanks to the current technology, I suggest trying to make yourself stand out from the pack. There are still people out there that excel because they see the world differently. Look at the work of Al Bello, Donald Miralle or Dave Burnett, who shoots most of his stuff including the Olympics with a Speed Graphic. Use different angles, different lenses or remotes. Just try to think different if for no other reason than to keep from being bored. Actually reading your instruction manual which can give you a big leg up too. Most people don't know what their cameras are capable of.

As for the bashing, I'm not concerned about you but I'm hoping this thread has gotten through to others. I think you have handled it very well and with a very even temperament. Try not to take it too personally, but listen to what people are saying.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 6:35 AM on 03.04.16
->> @ David - I think that Brian was just reinforcing his position that the problem isn't with anything other than the people who created the problem in the first place. You have confessed to be one of those people, have seen its impact on yourself personally as you struggle to develop paying opportunities, and are now looking for ways to move forward.

You'll find support when your focus is on your future and not your past. Any time you look over your shoulder you will most likely get a 2x4 upside your head. As Mark Terrill was dead on when he said, "As for the bashing, I'm not concerned about you but I'm hoping this thread has gotten through to others. I think you have handled it very well and with a very even temperament. Try not to take it too personally, but listen to what people are saying."

@Brian - Let's cut David a little slack. I spoke to him on the phone several weeks ago for about an hour. He's a good guy, has accepted full responsibility for his situation, is willing to do whatever it takes to move forward, and is a good listener (even with his hearing disability). I think the "Ass Kicking" phase is over.

We all need to understand that David needs good thoughts and encouragement even when he says something dumb like, "Technology ruined it. It will continue to do so too." Knowing David, I think he probably meant to say "Technology has changed the game. It will continue to do so too." David just needs to think a little harder and clearer before he says something. We did discuss that on the phone as well.

David is on record above saying, "wish I worded things differently to get different responses. That part is in the past now. I'm trying to move forward on some new advice." Doesn't mean that he will slip in a bone head statement from time to time.

Finally, what's the starting point for David's new journey? I suggested that he take an inventory of the things he is passionate about and start developing relationships with people that might be interested in do business with him. He has done some work for a realtor friend of his taking photographs of her new listings and was paid. David's actually pretty good at it and seems to enjoy it. Great photographs delivered fast can add tremendous value to sale of a home so paying for them shouldn't be a problem. The business is also sustainable and somewhat predictable .... homes are put on the market every day. Sure, some realtors already have a solution which includes "do it yourself". But many high volume / high end agents don't have time or want something more so they might like to use David's service. I also suggested that David secure his "Big 3 Team." Attorney, Accountant, and Commercial Insurance Agent. He'll need them all if he's going to make a run at this.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 8:35 PM on 03.04.16
->> David,

It is unfortunate that you feel I'm "bashing" you. What reason could I POSSIBLY HAVE to come on here and waste my time "bashing" you? Seriously stop and take a moment to think about it for a second. I don't know you and I'm certainly not trying to move in on your Icon gig.

What you incorrectly perceive as "bashing", is me simply trying to answer your original question, but I'm not really good at the whole Pollyanna response thing when I'm speaking with adults.

You asked: "How do I start getting paid for my work"?

My answer (and the answer of several others) was: "Stop shooting for Icon (free) and stop making silly excuses for shooting for free".

It doesn't get much easier than that.

Unfortunately it has become obvious that what you really wanted wasn't so much 'advice', as it was 'justification'. You clearly wanted someone to tell you to keep shooting for free for Icon and make a name for yourself and eventually you'll hit the big time.

Sorry, but that's the kind of useless and counterproductive advice you'll get from other hobbyists on FredMiranda.com not here. Here you get actionable advice from working professionals.

That you would throw that well-intentioned advice back in my face and accuse me of "bashing" you because I apparently didn't add enough sweetener to that advice is unfortunate and telling. Until you're ready to drop the excuses and stop playing the victim card you're not going to make it in this business.
 This post is:  Informative (2) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 8:56 PM on 03.04.16
->> ... and before anyone tells me that "Icon isn't the same as free. They pay a percentage of sales".

One of their shooters sent me a screen shot of their cut of their annual sales. I have the screenshot for any doubters.

He had about a half dozen sales. The largest sale was just over $5.00, one sale for $2.00 and the rest were $.62 each. The total amount due to him was under $15.00

^^^ that's the same as free. Let's not kid ourselves now.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

David Rosenblum, Photographer
Jacksonville Beach | Fl | USA | Posted: 9:49 PM on 03.04.16
->> Thanks
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 10:08 PM on 03.04.16
->> Good luck David. I wish you (actually everyone) the best in this business; but we have to remember that it's a business and treat it as such. I've just lost the ability to sugarcoat things.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

David Rosenblum, Photographer
Jacksonville Beach | Fl | USA | Posted: 10:18 PM on 03.04.16
->> All good dude
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Stanley Leary, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roswell | GA | | Posted: 10:23 PM on 03.04.16
->> We must make business decisions based on the present conditions of the marketplace and try to peak into the future.

There are two reasons you will shoot sports. Most of us will shoot if for "soul food", because it keeps us nourished.

Many of us shot it as well for "table food".

Today most of us still shooting sports are doing it for "soul food" purposes.

I know many other things that people do for "soul food." Playing sports to traveling are both costly things to pursue.

Sports photography always had shooters trying to break into the industry that would shoot for a while for free to build their portfolios.

The problem today is it is difficult to almost impossible to find a paying gig to do this as in years past.

So my point is to many today it isn't a business it is purely a hobby. They are true Amateurs as all of us are that shoot sports. The root to the word amateur is Latin amātor lover.

I think the mistake is to say that Sports Photography is only a business. I think for most it was always something they loved to do.

Everyone does not need to be a pro to be great in that field. We only need to look at the pinnacle of what many will cover this summer to the Olympics where majority of athletes are not paid. They are amateurs.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Add your comments...
If you'd like to add your comments to this thread, use this form. You need to be an active (paying) member of SportsShooter.com in order to post messages to the system.

NOTE: If you would like to report a problem you've found within the SportsShooter.com website, please let us know via the 'Contact Us' form, which alerts us immediately. It is not guaranteed that a member of the staff will see your message board post.
Thread Title: Your Job Is So Fun Part Duex
Thread Started By: Scott Mapes
Message:
Member Login:
Password:




Return to -->
Message Board Main Index
Rick says: "Stop Complaining!" ::..