1. Weatherfield

    Weatherfield

    Messages:
    10
    Name:
    Leila
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Hello everyone, thanks in advance for your help.

    I am a second year student at uni studying photography. I want to be a sports photographer once I graduate. I get a lot of work experience at uni by taking pictures at my university games etc.

    My gear is okay got two bodies...will need to invest in better lens etc
    but what I dont understand is how the wire service works. So when you go to a football game for example do you get paid to be there? or do you get paid per photo? How much do you get per photo?
    Can you pick what games you want to do?
    How do you know if your photo is being used a newspaper do you get an email? sorry Im still learning.
     
  2. KIPAX

    KIPAX Waldorf

    Messages:
    19,735
    Name:
    KIPAX
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    You can work for an agency or for yourself.. obviously agency is the easier option

    You have to be a at a decent proven level to get paid to be at a game for an agency .. then its a set rate and depends who is hiring you

    If getting paid per pic then for an agency it 60% to 70% per pic used and no guarantee of a pic being used.. agency will tell you if it has and usually decide what games to do.. this is the bottom end of the market and you can go to multiple games and never make a penny or you can get one pic used in multiple papers.... have to be honest and say you wouldnt make a living with this approach

    There are only so many football matches you can get to in a week.. the big games have far more photographers than newspapers with most papers sticking to the bigger agencies for pics..

    I make a living from sports photography and I find the best way to do this is to stay as far away from the premiership and big games as I can :)
     
  3. Weatherfield

    Weatherfield

    Messages:
    10
    Name:
    Leila
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Thanks for your honesty kind of disheartening. Interesting, so basically I can invest a lot of money in my equipment insurance etc and it will take forever make it back. I don't only want to do football though but I know football is a major sport in this country

    So how do sports photography agency make money if all the big agencies get the clients
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
  4. KIPAX

    KIPAX Waldorf

    Messages:
    19,735
    Name:
    KIPAX
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Its only dissheartening if you dream of being at manchester united or chelsea.. champions league or traveling the world doing major finals.. Like I say.. I make a living and I do sports photography :)
     
    Diving Pete likes this.
  5. Weatherfield

    Weatherfield

    Messages:
    10
    Name:
    Leila
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Good point. It's the sport that counts not the team as much. Only comes a problem when the lighting is wack
     
  6. Gary Coyle

    Gary Coyle In Memoriam

    Messages:
    13,765
    Name:
    Gary
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Nah, thats when i used to do my best work under poor lighting, i loved the challenge and it forced me into "hacking" my camera by using combinations of settings you would never associate with low light photography
     
  7. KIPAX

    KIPAX Waldorf

    Messages:
    19,735
    Name:
    KIPAX
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I remember when you gaffer taped that big torch to the top of the lens.... didn't look silly at all :)
     
    whiterosesom likes this.
  8. Tobers

    Tobers

    Messages:
    3,025
    Name:
    Andy
    Edit My Images:
    No
    A while ago I did an annual report on my blog of earnings from league football photography across 2 seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12). You can see that post here:

    http://tobinators.com/blog/index.php/2012/07/everything-else/annual-report/

    It gives number of matches attended, publications per match, total income, income per match etc. You'll find it quite enlightening I'm sure. I was getting 70% from my agency, working on-spec i.e. paid if pics were used, no guaranteed payment. I made many times more income from shooting non sport ie advertising, private commissions, events etc.

    As Kipax says, there are ways of making money through sport photography, but shooting Premier League aint it. You need to find people who are willing to pay, establish excellent relationships, and work social media like crazy which is exactly what Kipax does.
     
    Lardyc7 likes this.
  9. Gary Coyle

    Gary Coyle In Memoriam

    Messages:
    13,765
    Name:
    Gary
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I never went to a game "on spec" and only worked on a 70-30 split on a couple of occasions i covered RU for a southern based agency, always liked the security of a "payday" did 99.9% of games where i was paid a set fee to supply the trade papers and then sometimes sent into Nationals/Regionals on spec from same game, sometimes worked for several outlets covering the same game which was always a nice earner, £60 fee from agency, £60-75 from Yorkshire Post, £30-60 fee from local paper of opposition team and £60-100 from National per pic depending on usage, those days were rare, maybe 2 games a season but doubling up was quite frequent
     
  10. Weatherfield

    Weatherfield

    Messages:
    10
    Name:
    Leila
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Great advice everyone but how do you which l agency to work with?
     
  11. Gary Coyle

    Gary Coyle In Memoriam

    Messages:
    13,765
    Name:
    Gary
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Which sport, some agencies cover 1 sport, some lots of sports.
     
  12. Weatherfield

    Weatherfield

    Messages:
    10
    Name:
    Leila
    Edit My Images:
    No
    I want to cover a variety of sports not just football
     
  13. Gary Coyle

    Gary Coyle In Memoriam

    Messages:
    13,765
    Name:
    Gary
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Then you need to look for an agency which covers what you want to shoot
     
  14. The Image Team

    The Image Team

    Messages:
    285
    Name:
    Nicholas
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Until you have done it, got it sussed and realised that you are never going to get the money shot standing where every other tog is you are going to struggle to make reasonable money on big events. I specialise in Motorsport and for me it is easier. Ok, there may be 30 togs accredited to British GT a season for example, but there is also 2-4 miles of track for them to be around. The money is made when you a) use your knowledge to pick the spot which is likely to see action but not be stupidly popular and b) use your luck to press the important button at just the right time.

    If 20 snappers all get the same photo, you might be lucky and get one publication take yours and pay you a little bit. If you are the only snapper to get "THE PHOTO!!!!" from an event, you may find several major publications interested in it, you may even get a bidding war going on for exclusivity. It's not been unknown for motorsport Togs to buy a new car for cash based on one photo taken at Le Mans or another big event because one of the national mags or rags wanted the image with exclusive rights.
     
  15. Weatherfield

    Weatherfield

    Messages:
    10
    Name:
    Leila
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Thanks for the advice. I was thinking of going down the sports photography agency route as I approached local newspapers and didn't get a reply or a positive response if you know what I mean
     
  16. KIPAX

    KIPAX Waldorf

    Messages:
    19,735
    Name:
    KIPAX
    Edit My Images:
    Yes

    Try the local paper again... did you send any pics or just an email.. you need to do a game and send them some pics... have you an online portfolio?

    for football your better getting your own licence then you dont need an agency.. it is possible to do but takes a full football season and a heck of a lot of effort for little reward other than the licence at the end of it ..but once a licence then your good to go :)
     
  17. Weatherfield

    Weatherfield

    Messages:
    10
    Name:
    Leila
    Edit My Images:
    No
    I have a licence for the varanama national league.
    I approached one paper and they weren't willing to pay but still
    Give me photo credit.

    i should try that actually send in samples of my work.

    The other paper I sent samples of my work and they never replied

    My website is being updated at the moment.

    I have a portfolio although not as extensive as a whole football season. I would like to cover other sport at some point maybe I can focus on football first and see how I get on.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  18. KIPAX

    KIPAX Waldorf

    Messages:
    19,735
    Name:
    KIPAX
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    A licence for league football.. Not being funny but anyone can get a licence for the conference.. you dont even need a camera.. just ask and get... i was talkign a league licence as league/championship pics sell ...conference dont so much..
     
  19. Weatherfield

    Weatherfield

    Messages:
    10
    Name:
    Leila
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Ooooooo yeah they I thought that when my licence number came in the post. Lol.
    So maybe I can focus on national league to build my portfolio and then approach a paper to cover league one and two and championship league games?
    Is that what you mean?
    I tried to approach the league team closest to me but they said I need a licence
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  20. GooGaBu

    GooGaBu

    Messages:
    1,350
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    As has been mentioned before - it takes some building of networks/contacts, etc - but it is possible to make a living from Sports Photography.
    I did football (men's) for two seasons for an agency, and despite getting paid .. really didn't see it worth freezing myself on a rainy evening in mid-January at Premier League game..

    Most of my income these days comes from traveling all around the World covering games/tournaments for International clients. Creating the network of contact/clients has taken years - but it has been worth it.
    Although - it's far from glamorous.... taking red-eye flights and only seeing inside of the airport/arena/hotel.. while you know there is a beach only kilometres away ;-)

    There is money to be made in the UK from 'minority' sports .. so instead of fighting for the small number of published pics with football togs ..it might be financially better to cover a three day tournament of a minority sport and be the only photographer there.. and get paid well.
    In the end, when it is your job - you don't look at how high the level of sport is what you cover.. but what the bank balance will look after you get paid for the job.
     
  21. KIPAX

    KIPAX Waldorf

    Messages:
    19,735
    Name:
    KIPAX
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I did a girls cup final tonight.. probably 200 people watching.. I guarantee I will make more money than most of the photogrpahers at the Man City v PSG game on at the same time.. Sad thing is so many of them will think they are in the big time because they are at that match...
     
  22. Gogster

    Gogster

    Messages:
    405
    Name:
    Darryl
    Edit My Images:
    No
    My tuppence worth, sorry stumbled upon this thread - appreciate it's quite old now, but someone else may find it useful.

    I'm a big rugby fan and had been photographing concerts for a number of years. I decided to contact a number of agencies and publications and sent them images from my local team that I had taken (at the time I had a 300mm 2.8 and a 1D4) two got back to me and I was commissioned to photograph 4 events, two pre-season games between premiership teams and a cup final competition, all rugby union.

    My first bit of advice would be to consider what Tobers said in his post and look at the hours he spent going to the games and processing the images. Unfortunately for me (of course I say to my wife it's all very fortunate!) we had a two year old and a 6 months old. Spending 8 hours travelling to and from games and processing was just too much.

    Secondly, it's a pretty cut-throat world. Unlike the sedate world of taking local rugby images for myself and forwarding a few onto local rags, these organisations wanted live uploading and bylines, something I'd not done before. Being unskilled in this area I really struggled. Between trying to take the shots of the actions and not wanting to miss any action shots, I found it difficult to recognise players I was unfamiliar with and, if there shirt numbers were hidden, you simply don't have time to scan the field waiting for someone to turn around so you can name 2-3 players featured in a shot, without missing some of the action. The agencies found this frustrating and I found it stressful.

    In the end I decided against working for agencies and went back to photographing local matches, although I get the odd commission here and there it's a lot more sedate. The local rags won't pay for shots any more, so it's my choice whether I send them anything.

    Just my tuppence. Hope it helps.
     
    GooGaBu likes this.
  23. Willid1

    Willid1

    Messages:
    1,505
    Name:
    David Williams
    Edit My Images:
    No
    http://mattsayle.co.uk

    This chap turned up on here a few years ago asking for advice!!

    He's done rather well

    Can be done if you have the passion.

    D
     
  24. shapeshifter

    shapeshifter

    Messages:
    1,110
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    When you know how much he has earned then come back and say "He's done rather well".

    Sports photography as pointed out pays a pitance or nothing. Anyone can put websites up with photos on.
     
    purpleclouds, newbie1 and KIPAX like this.
  25. Willid1

    Willid1

    Messages:
    1,505
    Name:
    David Williams
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Yes I did think that - but a good story all the same, perhaps you don't remember Matt on here every week asking for advice and posting loads of photos.

    It was great to see him improve over the months.

    D
     
    shapeshifter likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice