Selling photos / getting published conundrum

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Matthew Jones
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#1
Hi everyone. I've been told that your not allowed to sell photos from msv tracks / British superbikes for commercial gain. This is a bit of a conundrum as how can you get photos in print if you can't sell them to the media and therefore work towards media accreditation etc ? or is it a case of supply a publication for free ?
 
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Darran, Daz or ****
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#2
Hi everyone. I've been told that your not allowed to sell photos from msv tracks / British superbikes for commercial gain. This is a bit of a conundrum as how can you get photos in print if you can't sell them to the media and therefore work towards media accreditation etc ? or is it a case of supply a publication for free ?
I think you will find that any sport has official and licensed photographers therefore would it be fair if you took their business away from them?
You might be able to use photos if there is no financial gain but you would need to double check with a particular sports governing body.
 
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AndrewFlannigan

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#3
Some people might call this restraint of trade or anti-competitive. Others will see it as a reasonable business practice to protect the interests of all concerned. It all depends on who you are and how it affects you.
 
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Richard
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#5
Hi everyone. I've been told that your not allowed to sell photos from msv tracks / British superbikes for commercial gain. This is a bit of a conundrum as how can you get photos in print if you can't sell them to the media and therefore work towards media accreditation etc ? or is it a case of supply a publication for free ?
Basically yes. Most circuits / promoters will want to see at least 5 published pieces in the preceding 12 months before they will grant you media accreditation. There is some leeway on this but the main thing is that you are shooting for someone, be that a website, print publication, team, driver/rider, tyre manufacturer etc. You can't just go trackside to shoot for yourself in the hope of selling the photos on, you have to have someone who is willing to use your work before you're allowed on the other side of the fence. Then you need the correct insurace etc. BSB is the hardest series in the country to get accreditation for, they have very strict requirements, as increasingly do MSV.

Very, very few people make any meaningful money from motorsport photography. It's a very crowded marketplace and as you'll see from the motorsport forum on here or a quick look through Instagram, there are a lot of very talented people out there. I've been shooting trackside for over 5 years and have spent far more money on travel and accommodation than I've ever got back in photo sales.
 
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Andrew Cliffe
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#7
You start from the lower tiers of motorsport - eg club bikes such as BEMSEE, and forge a relationship with your publisher. Accreditation is generally easier lower down. You'll still need PLI and a lucky break, but if you can build a relationship with either a bike magazine or local newspaper, you can start climbing the ladder.

I shot for about a year from spectator side supplying local newspaper with photos of local drivers and after about a year I was able to apply for accreditation.

The dynamic changes then because you have to be out getting the shots you need, even if its teeming down with rain, you've got a stinking cold and nursing a hangover. If you just want to be there to get closer or different angles, then that's probably the wrong reason to seek accreditation.
 
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Richard
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#8
The dynamic changes then becasue you have to be out getting the shots you need, even if its teeming down with rain, you've got a stinking cold and nursing a hangover. If you just want to be there to get closer or different angles, then thats probably the wrong reason to seek accreditation.
This. You are not there to watch the racing, you are there to photograph and document the event. If it's freezing cold, blowing a gale and chucking it down you still have to be out there, getting the shots and providing a service.

Could you post some examples of your work? What makes your photography stand out from the very crowded pack such that someone would ask you to shoot for them?
 
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Glen
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#9
Would also add that in the ten years i have been trackside working for MSVR covering BSB there are only a handful of people that actually make any money for working trackside although they would like you to believe they do ;-)
 
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Simon
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#10
I shot for about a year from spectator side supplying local newspaper with photos of local drivers and after about a year I was able to apply for accreditation.
This is exactly what I did at small club events, although I generally covered car events only. As far as I was aware, as long as the photos were for editorial use, and given they really were small clubby events, this was fine. I also covered a lot of real grass roots motorsport such as Autograss. Over that period of time, the editor I was supplying gained confidence that I could shoot to the brief he was giving me, and that I could deliver every time. At that point, he was prepared to support my accreditation at events. From there, I built up contacts through networking and started to pickup work for Motorsport News and Autosport Magazine as well as still supply the local paper. It probably too me 3 or 4 years to get to this point, as competition is truly fierce. It is hard work, the days are long and you have to shoot how and what someone else wants you to shoot. I now just shoot from spectator land, having decided to take a step back 7 or 8 years ago now after a family illness made me readdress my priorities outside my Monday to Friday full time job. If I'm honest, I enjoy my photography much more now as a result.

Good luck @StreetTripleMatt if you decide to pursue this. I'm not aware of any short cuts, but absolutely go for it if it's what you want to do.

Cheers,

Simon.
 
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Matthew Jones
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#11
Would also add that in the ten years i have been trackside working for MSVR covering BSB there are only a handful of people that actually make any money for working trackside although they would like you to believe they do ;-)
I'm not after accreditation yet. I should of asked how if your not allowed to sell photos to a publication do you just supply them for free ? And then hope that things escalate from there to where you can then sell photos?
 
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Glen
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#12
I'm not after accreditation yet. I should of asked how if your not allowed to sell photos to a publication do you just supply them for free ? And then hope that things escalate from there to where you can then sell photos?
Social media is your friend,take and share images and you might get lucky with a team or sponsor who may provide an event pass for a weekend in return for images. From here hopefully you can progress to working for a team or sponsor on a regular basis and hence get enough published to get the next step up on the ladder.

Its not hard getting accredited but it is hard making any money as everyone actually works for free or very little i find in BSB if thats what you are after doing.

We are actually told at BSB that we cant sell images to the public and can only supply media outlets,riders,teams and sponsors but i can guarantee you will see most selling or promoting selling there images on social media and even some very openly on e-bay, no one seems to care to be honest.
 
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#13
As one photographer told me once: "getting trackside is the easy part, making a profit in motorsport photography is the tricky bit". Most club level series/ publication's can't afford to pay photographers so initially you will most likely have to work for free. If they do pay you it will be probably be enough to just contribute towards the cost of your travel expenses.

If you want to make money in motorsport photography, trackday photography is a good palce to start. Its much harder to get a job in it though, as there's far fewer positions available than there are in motorsport photography. But if you can get a role, you will earn profit at the end of the day.
 
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Mark
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#14
Most club level series/ publication's can't afford to pay photographers ...
I'm amazed at how often that argument comes up, and it is complete and utter rubbish. Of course they can afford a photographer if they want to.
Given that a reasonable shift fee would be around £160, that's less than the cost of one tyre in most cases. And if a publication can't afford that much, then they shouldn't be in circulation.

So they can afford it - but they don't have to. Mainly due to the numbers of photographers throwing themselves at the potential customers for free.
 
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#16
If you absolutely have to get in print, submit to the likes of Motoring News. They don't pay for the images (therefore you aren't selling any) but it does allow you to build a body of published work.
 
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Name
Tony
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#17
Very very few publications pay for images. I'm the official photographer for a club circuit. The post meeting press report gets sent out along with around 10 images to every newspaper within a 60 mile radius of the circuit, plus the motorcycle press. I don't see a penny from that, as the papers don't pay. One of the bike papers ( no longer in print form) used to pay me £15 an image, and used to take 6 images per meeting. Then one year, I got an email saying they were dropping club racing from the printed version and any images used online would be at no cost to themselves. Although I have plenty of work published, the money comes from website sales, The only track photography I do now is my local circuit, and 3 or 4 of the Irish national meetings.
It should also be noted that race circuits are on private land. It used to be stated by the ACU that any images taken at circuits belonging to the ACU, or the official photographer at that circuit.
 
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Name
Richard
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#18
Social media is your friend,take and share images and you might get lucky with a team or sponsor who may provide an event pass for a weekend in return for images. From here hopefully you can progress to working for a team or sponsor on a regular basis and hence get enough published to get the next step up on the ladder.

Its not hard getting accredited but it is hard making any money as everyone actually works for free or very little i find in BSB if thats what you are after doing.

We are actually told at BSB that we cant sell images to the public and can only supply media outlets,riders,teams and sponsors but i can guarantee you will see most selling or promoting selling there images on social media and even some very openly on e-bay, no one seems to care to be honest.
Does this include selling BSB images to stock agencies i.e Getty, Alamy etc?
 
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