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Shooting D1 basketball for first time
Paul Bobenmoyer, Photographer
Cheyenne | Wy | USA | Posted: 9:03 PM on 11.30.15
->> All,

My son plays D1 football and after shooting one of his games I been asked to shoot a few of their basketball games. I have shot basketball games, but not regularly.

Was wondering if I could get some pointers and tips from you folks with experience. I want to make a good impression and value the advice and experience here......thanks in advance
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Chris Peterson, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbia Falls | MT | USA | Posted: 9:37 PM on 11.30.15
->> Are they paying you? Please say yes...
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 10:19 PM on 11.30.15
->> Paul...

This is the third thread you've asked similar advice on. First off, ditto to Chris' question.

D1 schools should have a budget for photography -- at least all the ones I've dealt with over the past 40 years do. The biggest problem nowadays with the plethora of everyone being a photographer what with digital cameras that produce good technical results for even the basic amateur, schools don't want to pay for pictures when there are plenty of people willing to shoot for free.

Second, here's the link to a Photo District News story from two weeks ago on getting clients to pay what you're worth. Just keep in mind that even though you are starting out, you still have worth -- not as much as a decades long Sports Illustrated photographer, but more than free.

As to shooting basketball, the first thing you need to do is become a master of your camera and image files by being able to lock down proper exposure and correct color. The easiest method is to shoot in RAW and use a X-Rite ColorChecker Passport to calibrate your camera. Once you don't have to worry about the technical aspect of your imagery then the only thing to fret over is making the picture itself. Also, fyi, having really good technical quality is the easiest way to justify being paid for your work.

As to shooting basketball, the second thing you need to do is forget about trying to shoot everything as it happens. As a beginner you will get overwhelmed and end up with hundreds of average/poor photos instead of several good ones. Consistency is the other justification in being paid for your work. So instead of covering everything, concentrate on certain aspects of the game one at a time. Get used to shooting layups, dribbling down court, the coach along the sideline, the players on the bench, defense, etc., and concentrate on the star(s) of the team. By confining yourself to one thing at a time and getting a couple good pictures of each you will build your portfolio with variety and quality. Once you achieve that then you'll be able to multi-task everything happening at once.

As to shooting basketball, the third thing is your equipment. What do you have? A kit camera with slow lenses or a high-end body with quality f/2.8 glass such as a 70-200mm zoom and 300mm? If a kit, then you will be ham strung by the technical limitations. If good equipment, then you'll never pay for it if you don't charge something. And how many cameras do you have? You need at least two -- one for in front of the basket and one for down court. If you have one, then don't bother trying to shoot something that is beyond the camera's capabilities (i.e. resolution). Use what you have effectively.

You need to concentrate on producing quality over quantity. Then as your skill progresses, the number of good/great images will increase as you get better. It is a slow process that takes a lot of practice. Be patient.
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Paul Bobenmoyer, Photographer
Cheyenne | Wy | USA | Posted: 10:49 PM on 11.30.15
->> Sirs

I completely apologize if this is a repeat thread I do not post on here a lot so unsure of what I asked prior except my most recents. But thank you I will keep to a minimum.

I will be using my Canon 7D and 7Dmkii with my 70-200 2.8 and a 24-70 2.8 wide angle.

I understand shooting quality over quantity, I have every intention of doing just that.

Thank you for the advice......
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 8:08 AM on 12.01.15
->> Just buy Scott Kelby's book. In as little as 1 hour you can thumb through the book and learn what has taken many professionals decades to learn. Perfect short-cut to success.

Combine that with working for free and you'll have more gigs than you can handle.

Seriously now. Paul, there are no short cuts. You learn by doing ... both the technical and the business end. While you think you are under attack here in the forums there are some serious dudes trying to get your attention to change your disposition about the industry of sports photography. That needs to change first before anyone will take you serious enough to provide advice. You are very lucky that Doug took the time out of his busy schedule to share his thoughts (good ones) with you. You know he charges $150 per hour for his consulting services don't you??? He just put your invoice in the mail.

(We have all been there so don't get upset.)
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Tim Vizer, Photographer
Belleville | IL | USA | Posted: 9:41 AM on 12.01.15
->> Check with scorers bench at halftime to see who are leading scorers, rebounders, etc. because those players will most likely figure into any stories the SID sends out to media or posts on the school website. Also, everything that Doug and others are saying here.

Do homework earlier, make yourself familiar with players and their positions or roles on the team. Always get coach shots, and something that locates the game. Try angles from various places around the court.

Plus anything special or additional the SID requests. Good luck!
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Paul Bobenmoyer, Photographer
Cheyenne | Wy | USA | Posted: 1:54 PM on 12.01.15
->> All,

Thank you for the inputs, it is very much appreciated. I will use every bit of it. I however did leave out pertinant information that would of clarified things a bit better. For that I am truely sorry for my misrepresentation of myself. I should of stated that I get an oppurtunity to prove myself to this university, by shooting one football game and one basketball game. Then I get to sit down with them to discuss what my work can bring to the table for them, and that quality work will come at a price and establishing a long term contract between myself and the university.

Thank you again for the inputs......
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 2:29 PM on 12.01.15
->> Paul...

THANK YOU for clarifying. You doing one football and one basketball game to prove your worth for being paid to shoot future games and not giving them free pictures in return is important and in my opinion -- and probably the same with others -- is what we at SportsShooter stand and strive for. (Disclaimer: I am not speaking on behalf of SportsShooter.)

Good luck. And don't try to make dozens of photos. Create 6-10 good ones as a showcase for your ability. A photographer who can make a few eye-catching images is worth more than one who can shoot a hundred so-so ones -- especially when it comes to marketing the school. They want to be known as the best, not as so-so. So show them only the best. Instead of filling their tummy with junk food imagery, tease their palates with steak/lobster and leave them hungry for more.

And when you get to the negotiating table, come back to us for help. We'll be happy to assist. In the meantime, be cautious on quoting them an hourly rate whereupon they get all rights to all pictures made during those hours. A more professional approach would be to price your work on its value, such as X amount for low-res web use, XX for editorial print, XXX for a poster/calendar, XXXX for etc. Take the approach that this way they are not paying for rights they'll never use, but only for what is important to them.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 4:56 PM on 12.01.15
->> X2 what Doug Said and I think most of the SS community would agree.

This thread proves one thing. If you really want to make a serious run as a professional sports photographer you will have many people here on SS to help and offer their support. We just don't have any shortcuts for success. It's hard work but very rewarding on many levels.
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Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 5:30 PM on 12.03.15
->> This question is like "How long is a piece of string?"

I have been shooting D-1 basketball for 10 years, and I am still learning, still experimenting and will keep doing so. First thing is, know your sport. Unless your goal is nothing more than to follow one person around then your results will almost certainly suck if you don't know what you're shooting.

Settings: ISO minimum 3200; I shoot 4000. Shutter, 1/1000th. f/4. RAW. Process with DxO Optics Pro 10. I use a single 70-200mm 2.8 Canon "L" lens on a 5D MKIII and sit in the corner. BUT!! These are the settings that work in the vast majority of D1 arenas in which I shoot. Yours might be different. Good luck.
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Thread Title: Shooting D1 basketball for first time
Thread Started By: Paul Bobenmoyer
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