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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Selling pics of bike race?

    Hey all,

    I'm racing this weekend (cycling) at one of the bigger races around here. My heat is one of the first two, and instead of just hanging out the rest of the day I thought I'd take my camera and shoot some pics of the other races. I've seen other photographers out there. They post the pics to a website and then post a link to the pics on the racing forums. I'm thinking I'd like to try this and see if it amounts to anything. What are the ins and outs of doing this? Can you guys recommend a site to post the photos to that will assist in taking the transactions? I'm assuming there are some out there that do this and charge some kind of commision on the pics sold? All help is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Re: Selling pics of bike race?

    I was in a similar position recently. I photographed a ballet for the lighting designer, and the parents and studio got excited and wanted to buy some. So I figured try to sell them. Well, that fell through... But, in the research, the best website I found was Their Pro service is $150/year, you get 85% of the mark up, unlimited hosting, unlimited bandwidth. You make the galleries, they take the orders, print, and ship. They also have cheaper services that are just a little less customizeable. Hopefully this helps.

  3. #3
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

    Re: Selling pics of bike race?

    What you're asking about is called "fullfillment." I've got a shared account at Printroom. I've been using them for years. I've been hearing good things about Smugmug, but I haven't used their service. Printroom has great print quality and I figure why mess with something that's working for me. You can make one-off prints from the services and see who's quality you like the best. I would put print quality first and then worry about the other details. If the print quality is bad, you won't have very many return customers or referrals.

    Some larger races have rules about selling photos. Sea Otter sells the "retail photo rights" to one company and other photographers aren't supposed to be allowed to sell photos to racers. Since the race is on public land I don't think that would actually hold up in court. However, if you want a photo pass, it's best to cooperate. You should check to see if the race promoter has some kind of deal with a photographer. If they do, you might be asking for some conflict - justified or not. I'm not saying you shouldn't shoot if there's an "official" photographer. Just be prepared for some hassle. One race promoter I know of actually had a lawyer send letters to photographers who didn't pay him for photo "rights."

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  4. #4
    can't Re-member lidarman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Boulder, Colorado

    Re: Selling pics of bike race?

    I can comment since I have done this a lot.

    1. Like PJ says, races are usually contracted out to photog companies such as, brightroom, etc. It's sometimes tricky dealing with the conflict of interest if you shoot beside the contracted company.

    2. I have shot for a buddy of mine under and for You can usually get on their shooter list and they pay using different schedules for $40/hr $60/hr and even profit sharing.

    3. The hard part about doing it yourself is getting the exposure. The contracted company usually has their site right on the racer entry materials so automatically, everyone knows where to go if they want pix. Plus the photog company gets the addy of the racers and can send them a postcard with their pic on it and direct market. They can do this cuz they get a list of the racers names and numbers to match it all up easily.

    I think the easiest way is to just do photos for hire. You won't make thousands but you will make some and have fun. And there is less work. You shoot and make a CD. Then shoot it off.

    but on the sites, printroom is $100 a year plue 16% off the photo price above the base cost. Thus you pay 39 cents for a 4x6, sell it for $10, you get 10- $.39 - 84% of the $9.61 (or $8.07)

    Smuggmugg is $150 a year and they take %15 off the net profit.

    Both sites use EZ prints to fullfill the orders. Both allow you to sell the digital file which is a plus.

    Both have nice functionality, but I think smuggmugg has a slicker looking interface.

    I wish one of them would sell gallery wrapped canvas.

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