Make Money Photographing Amateur Sports
There are many ways to go about making money from Amateur Sports.
Most of these ideas will require a small financial investment. In addition to your digital camera and digital photo editing software, these ideas will all require a substantial investment of your time.
First find out about all the sporting events taking place in your community. Here's a few to think about:
|Bowling Tournaments||Netball Tournaments|
|Tennis Tournaments||Skateboard Tournaments|
|Dragon Boat Races||Fishing Derbies|
|Sailing Regattas||Curling Bonspiels|
|Basketball Tournaments||Soccer Tournaments|
|Volleyball Tournaments||Dirt Bike Tournaments|
Now, Think Golf And Golf Tournaments.
Why? Because wherever there is a golf course, there will be golf tournaments.
Approach the course management and negotiate a deal for you to take photographs throughout the tournament. There are a few alternatives here. You could:
- Negotiate a set fee with the course manager for you to take candid or posed photos throughout the tournament. You could then arrange either to deliver hard copies of your digital photographs to the club to be collected by the customers or upload the images to a web site to be downloaded (or both). The course management could then notify members wanting hard copies when they are available and arrange for them to be picked from the club or provide the web address to those who want to download the pictures.
- Offer the course management the opportunity to use the prints for onsite display or to incorporate in their marketing materials. If they want to use the images in their marketing materials, be sure that they understand copyright remains with you and negotiate a licensing fee to permit them to use your photos in their own materials. You should also make certain that they print the copyright information and an attribution to you on the photos which they use. For instance: "© Copyright - Photography by Joe Blogs Photographic"
- Request permission to wander around taking candid photos of golfers
teeing off, putting or groups of golfers interacting.
A note of caution here. If you go for this option, make sure you're far enough away from your subjects for your camera noise not to interfere with their game. If they are about to hit a ball and hear your camera snapping away you will rapidly become extremely unpopular with the contestants - and whatever you do avoid flash altogether.
- Wear a T-shirt that promotes your business. Wear a cap with a sign announcing your digital photography service. Carry brochures, posters and order forms. Take orders when possible. Hand out business cards.
- Take candid snaps without orders. Then if you can get permission, set up a booth in or near the 19th hole. Download the pictures you have taken into a laptop to display them, take orders and collect email addresses from the golfers and spectators. If you can print pictures or burn them onto CD/DVD on the spot you could sell copies there and then (But be aware that printing and burning CDs/DVDs at the event will be a time consuming chore, it is probably a better idea to take orders for the disks and send them to your customer later). Alternatively upload low resolution images to a web site, notify the golfers and spectators on your email list and include the price you are charging for prints or high resolution digital image downloads.
Think similar approaches to other sports we listed earlier.
Children And Sports
What about following a Little League or Children's Soccer team throughout a season, taking candid shots and action shots? At the end of the year, you could create a scrapbook, photo album or burn a CD/DVD using the best of the pictures, then sell them to proud parents. Don't forget to take pictures of the teams' more unskilled players. The children and their parents will thank you for it.
Create A Sports Calendar
Here's another approach. Create calendars using photos of the Little League children, golf tournaments, or other sporting events you have covered. Sell the calendar to athletes, managers, coaches, facility management, parents, etc. If there is a venue such as a golf course or bowling alley involved, arrange to leave calendars at the front desk where prospective buyers can order them. You could offer the venue a referral fee for all orders received via them, that way they may actively market your calendars to their clientele. (This subject is discussed at length here,).
You could assemble a slideshow presentation of your pictures, or a screensaver, and sell those electronic items. Alternatively, you could distribute screensavers or slideshow presentations free of charge and incorporate advertisements for your digital photography service in the presentation. Encourage recipients to send copies to their family, friends and contacts. The more people who receive your promotional material, the better, this is called viral marketing and it's a hugely effective method of marketing your services.
Oh, and one other thing, make sure your business name, contact information and web site address goes on every calendar (ideally on every page), album, scrapbook or CD/DVD that you produce.
Suggested Equipment and Supplies
In addition to your DSLR Camera (which should be capable of fast, continuous shooting so you don't miss any of the action), suitable Lens(es) for your shoot, a plentiful supply of Duplicate Order Forms (One copy for you and one for your customer) and Business Cards to hand out, you should also consider having:
- Spare, fully charged Camera Batteries so you don't run out of power whilst shooting.
- Extra Memory Cards so you don't run out of storage for your photographs.
- A Laptop Computer to display your photos for your potential customers to choose from.
- A suitable Photo Printer to produce good quality prints.
- If you intend to supply your photos on CD/DVD then you should consider a CD Printer so that you can print up your disks with the event name and your business details. It will print your photos as well.
- Good quality Photographic Printing Paper in two or three different sizes to supply prints at the venue (also consider photo mounts, branded with your details, to give your work a professional look)
- Blank CDs* and or DVDs* to burn your photos onto if you are going to be supplying them on this media at the venue
- * Ideally these should be pre-printed with your business and copyright details and the title of the event. But be aware that printing off CDs/DVDs at the event can be a time consuming chore, it is probably a better idea to take orders for the disks and send them to your customer later.
- Spare Ink Cartridges for your printer if you are printing at the venue
- A Web Site, The easiest way to get a web site set up is to use Wordpress. For this you will need:
- A Hosting Account (get one that offers cPanel which makes it very easy to set Wordpress up)
- A Domain Name (Try NameCheap or GoDaddy)
- A Payment Provider - PayPal offers an excellent service and it's free to set up (you will need to set up either a business or premium account with them)
- A suitable Wordpress Plugin to password protect your download area before you receive payment. (There are number of plugins available - some free, some you have to pay for)
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