Sports Photography – The fun part of shooting stock photography
If you like sports, what better way to spend your time…photographing it for money!
This can be worth pursuing as both royalty free and rights managed. If you are a keen sports photographer and attend many national and international events, it may be worth considering uploading your images exclusively at a traditional agency such as Alamy or Getty Images.
If you are able to get a shot that no-one else gets of a famous sports personality or athlete, you could be onto a winner. However, bear in mind that with hundreds of professional cameras and video cameras shooting continuously at high speed at most events, you will have to be good/lucky/in the right place at the right time to get a highly desirable shot and that means getting out there!
A unique, current and well taken image of a sports personality doing something different, funny, amazing, unique and/or a bit naughty, could earn you the equivalent of a year’s salary for many people. The only way to get those is to be patient, ever-ready and willing to put the time in.
If I was to get an amazing shot that I thought was unique, I would quickly leverage the services of someone like Mr Paparazzi to do the donkey work for me. With their contacts and experience, you are far more likely to make a quick and lucrative sale using them than if you were to go it completely alone. Remember that you will pay a commission to the acting agent too.
Of course, images at a lower level of “everyday people” playing sports still sell remarkably well. Remember also that you will still need model releases if you intend to sell these as royalty free images. You could still sell these as rights managed, licensed or editorial but they would have to be something special to command a higher price.
I have in the past (as I mentioned earlier), traded a set of high resolution images for model releases and then set about creating as many diverse images in the time that I have with the models.
…and of course, if you cannot obtain a model release or have no one to shoot, try shooting the elements of sport with no people present.
I am going to be shooting a whole new set of sports images soon and for the “elements” shots, I am thinking of totally new angles and approaches to the shots…something different yet again. Maybe different perspectives, backgrounds, colours, angles…maybe add some humour even.
I am thinking about new and trendy sports such as kite surfing, ski-surfing, rollerblading and even skateboarding and BMX-ing which seem to go on forever.
I am still surprised sometimes at how relatively simple, basic images sell for reasonable amounts. These following photos sold quite well even though, and I don’t mind saying, they are fairly “average”.
One last thing with sports, if you do it well and become skilled enough, you can take images of anyone partaking in sporting activity and get the shot at such an angle, or in such a way that you cannot see their face. Bingo! A stock shot with no model release required!
Anything else you can think of
Whenever you buy something new such as a guitar, headphones, a food blender, pair of shoes, golf club, bike etc, use it to fuel your imagination. Ask yourself how you could use it in a new, unique way to shoot new stock for your portfolio.
I say this because I just received through the post, a pod-casting kit comprising of a funky looking microphone and some half decent headphones which I bought online. I looked at the image on the box and immediately got about 5 or 6 ideas of my own…great stuff!
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