What to include in your proposal for schools, tournaments, leagues etc.
  • Keep it simple, staight forward and to the point.

    1. Include the length of time or dates you are proposing to do the work for -- i.e. if for a school year or if for a 3 day tournament, then time & dates of it.
    2. What type of photo items you are going to offer -- i.e. posters, custom collages, memory mates, traders, tickets, buttons, etc.
    3. What you will provide -- i.e. flyers, ordering envelopes, order forms, printing on-site, printed samples, matted & framed samples, any complimentary items, posting image on-line, skills, equipement, etc.
    4. What you'll need/expect from them -- i.e. power, tables, roster, exclusive rights, a helper that knows the kids, etc.
    5. Fulfillment, how you will fulfill the orders/proposable -- i.e. how long before orders will be filled, images on CD, printed, return/refund policy, etc.
    6. Your contact info, business cards and if available include links to website to show your work and how you did previous events. Print samples of previous works and/of types of photo items you will be offering.
    Include anything else that you feel is important to getting this job/contract.

    --------------
    Ready to edit to suit your business needs -- proposals, agreements, flyers, ordering envelopes, order forms, print samples, ideas and more are included in our Exclusive Marketing kit

Rookie mistakes, common mistakes and stuff to rethink --
We all have to start somewhere! We all can improve!
  • Don't post every shot you take:  Delete the crap and redundant images.  If it is out of focus, too far away, parts cut off, etc. then delete it and don't post thinking that just maybe they will want to purchase it anyway.  Its makes you look like you don't care you throw out there and looks like you take no pride in your work. 

  • Don't post redundant photos:  I know you are thinking of course they will want to purchase all 10 photos of Johnny catching the ball but almost all will not.  Just because your camera can take 10 frames per second doesn't mean you need to shoot 10 frames of the same thing time after time.  Parents will get overwhelmed with too many decisions/choices.  Most likely put it off to later when they have most time to decide (which they will probably forget to come back and buy) or feel why can't you pick the best one to show to me since you are the pro and I'm not.

  • Not post-processing and cropping:    Do some post-processing i.e. crop for best image and if needed sharpen, increase saturation, color correct, noise reduction.  There are several free software programs (i.e. Picasa and Gimp) to make these simple correction but we recommend Adobe Photoshop Elements for beginners and Adobe Photoshop CS2 or above for those looking to move beyond beginner.    Want to save a lot of time on post-processing? Set your camera up right -- set the white balance so the colors are correct, if not sure then select Auto.  Increase saturation and sharpness right in the camera.  If your camera has a noise reduction feature turn it on but only if you will be shooting at higher ISOs (1600, 3200, 6400).

  • Know your equipment and how to use it: P does not stand for professional know which mode to set your camera too.  Modes -- Aperture priority, Shutter priority or Manual.  Then know how to set your ISO, f stop (aperture) and shutter speed (will need to be at the very least 1/250 for younger players, at least 1/400 for high school level to freeze the moment) to get a correctly exposed image without motion blur.  If you don't know how to do these, see the manual that came with your camera or search online for the thousands of helpful instructions out there.  

    If it is an afternoon outdoor game I'll set my camera to Aperture priority (Av on Canon) and set the f-stop to few stops from max i.e. if f2.8 lens then f4 or f5.6 and I adjust the ISO so that I get a shutter speed of at least 1/800.  For night games like Friday night football as the light is changing I make changes to my setting as the sun goes down, working to keep my shutter speed @ least 1/400. Once it is dark then the settings shouldn't need to change unless different areas of the field have different lighting.  The end zones are usually darker than the sidelines.  You can see the EXIF info (settings) @
    EXIF info -- see how over 1000 photos were created

  • Know the limitations of your equipment: Don't try to get great photos at a dark gym or night game if you don't have fast glass ( at least f 2.8), stick to day time games and well lit gyms until you can afford that better glass.   Also if you camera shows a lot of noise @ higher ISOs and you'll need to shoot @ a higher ISO to get correct exposure then either have a very good noise reduction software program like Topaz DeNoise, Noise Ninja or  NoiseWare 2.   Noise is colored specs where there shouldn't be any.

  • Know the limitations of your skills: Someone asks you to shot their daughters gymnastics meet and you have never done this before, then be up front about this.  But that doesn't mean that you say no, unless you don't have the right equipment to shoot it. This can be a great learning experience and new income opportunity. Ask if someone at the meet can help you with what to shoot, like Suzie's best/favorite is the balance beam and Vicki's is the horse. Also with What makes a good shot, with sports like gymnastics and cheer its usually at the peak of the stunt.  Do research a head of time so that you have at least a basic understanding of the sport and team.

  • Don't offer just the standard 4" x 6", 5" x 7" and 8" x 10" prints: Offer products that set you apart from the mom and dad with a camera and your competition like -- personalized posters, collages, tickets, traders, memory mates, magazine covers, buttons, calendars, etc (we offer lots of templates to make this part very easy for you to put out quality and unique products @ http://www.templatesunlimited.com )

  • Work with a great lab that will make you and your products look good: A pro lab ...you don't want your name associated with crap only with quality!  See our recommended labs & suggested pricing.

Questions to ask yourself = Do you want your good name associated with cheap and poor quality?  Do you take pride in your work?  Is it the best you can offer for this situtation under the given circumstances?  Are you working to improve year after year?  Are you willing to invest back into your business and purchase better equipment?

 

Here is a good way to introduce yourself to a new team or show your new products:

    We know that most think its bad business to give prints away (and it is) - if no one else is already covering this team, try this -- go to a game take some action shots, then using the best ones for 1 or 2 players put together a personalized poster/collage. Print at least as 8" x 10" (8" x 12" or 12" x 18" would be better) put your contact info on the back. Go to the next game you can and ask for the parent(s) of the player(s) you did the posters for and give them the posters and ask them to show to the other parents.  The parents will show them around and using a larger print will have a much better impact than what most are used to seeing, as in a 4" x 6" or 5" x 7" action photo.

    Be sure to include  price sheets/postcards with pricing to pass around to all the parents.

  • Be sure to have business cards or postcards with your info including your website.
  • If you need a print sample sample to so please let us know and we'll help you get started

On your website some of the things to include:

  • How to contact you

  • What you shoot and are available for

  • Viewing of photos (password protect if you feel its needed to protect the kids)

  • Have photos sorted by events/sports -- team -- game, so it easier for them to find their player

  • How to purchase photos

  • How to purchase posters/collages

  • Be sure to get their email address so that you can send emails, most people do need to be reminded

  • Profolio
Why network with other photographers?
EXIF info -- see how over 1000 photos were created

Whether you are new to photography, looking for ideas, expanding into a new sport or just curious...
Check out our photos for baseball, softball, cheer, football, golf, hockey, lacrosse, rugby, soccer, tennis, track and field, volleyball and wrestling.
Also HS seniors, couples, landscapes, animals and more...

 

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NEW! template types! Team Composites, mug, t-shirt and phone templates
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Team composites
Pro Smoke template series for creating team composites, team banners, senior banners and posters
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NOTE: All 3 of these posters can be created with the same template

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Just add photo and edit text and colors
Series of coordinating templates for creating custom posters with Adobe Photoshop and Elements 

The Two Three style of poster 

If you can also feather a photo create this style of poster | How To Create The Two Three style of poster
Series of coordinating templates for creating custom posters with Adobe Photoshop and Elements 

The Pride style of poster 
If you can also cutout/extract a player from a photo create this style of poster | How To Create The Pride style of poster
Series of coordinating templates for creating custom posters with Adobe Photoshop and Elements 

Singles that include templates for creating all 3 types Sets that include templates for creating all 3 types |  
Series that include templates for creating all 3 types 

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How to create a true signature poster
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