Advice and help on becoming a world class photographer by Sports Photographer Vince Rush

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Cameron Indoor Arena Practice

CameronCameron Indoor Arena during a pre-season practice in 2015 by Sports Photographer Vincent Rush


Faces In The Crowd

By Ohio Sports Photographer, Vincent Rush

Are you shooting sports photography to earn a secondary income, or are you shooting sports photography because it’s a hobby that you have no intention of ever expanding into a business?
If you are doing it to earn an income, and are like most aspiring sports photographers, you shoot a Friday night or Saturday football game and capture hundreds of action shots and run home to your computer and upload your favorites to a website such as Smug Mug www.smugmug.com and then sit back and hope the cash starts coming in.
You will also notice that there are several other photographers at your local events, with the same intentions.
I’ve always said, live by the philosophy of “Observe the masses and do the opposite”
One of your “hidden treasures” in any high school event is the kids in the crowd.
I consistently sell more 5×7’s and 4×6 prints form my journeys up into the stands that the actual game photos, simply because…NO ONE ELSE DOES!
There is a secret though, don’t just fire off snap shots that anyone with an I-Phone can capture. Be a little creative and always take a second to make sure you don’t embarrass anyone kid or post up some idiot that is flipping the finger in the background.
Oh. Yeah…I’ve saw worse than that in the background of some of my photos! Examine them carefully. There’s an idiot in every crowd.
I particularly take care to remove bad acne in a shot like that. I do not want a kid with a developing self image to be made fun of by his peers so I am very meticulous in taking care of that detail before I post a picture.
If you don’t want to sell the pics, but still want the efforts to produce fruit, post them on a local kids or schools Facebook page.
Kids will tag themselves and share the photos, garnering you some free “Brand Exposure”.
Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

I’m An Incredible, Amazing Photographer!

“Protect this House” by Cincinnati, Ohio Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Cincinnati Sports Photography

By Vincent Rush, Ohio Sports Photographer

Ok, not really!

I was just echoing the most overused quote on Facebook, regarding photographers.

It’s school season and more specifically “Senior Portrait” season and among my very close and personal 1400+  Facebook friends, I am constantly seeing photos posted, either great, good, average or just plain poor, with someone’s name and the word “Photography” attached to it.

Then of course the subject or parent goes on to describe what an “Amazing Photographer” said individual is.

As a photographer myself, I am always amazed at some of the pictures that aspiring “photogs” allow to be posted in an effort to establish their brand and style.

In today’s world of photography, with camera technology and lighting techniques along with a basic understanding of Photoshop or other editing software, anyone can take acceptable quality portraits and produce a picture that any Mother would love.

I have never claimed to be anything special, other than an exceptional sports action photographer. I know my niche and what I’m good at.

Every photographer should take inventory and know what their true talent is…as well as what it’s not!

And even at that, I know the real secret to being a “Great Photographer” is in knowing what to delete and what to share with the world.

When I began building my brand, which is more important than building a business because without the brand, the business can’t survive, I was very protective about what I shared with the public.

That discretion allowed me to build my value and identity as a sports photographer.

Every “Photographer” I see on Facebook, has a few great shots that I myself wished that I had shot. However, I often see those pictures sandwiched in between mediocre snap shots that anyone with a “Point and Shoot” could have captured.

I am also seeing, in my opinion, waaaaay too many snap shots posted with a watermark identifying the picture as property of, “XYZ Photography”.

Is everyone with a camera today a professional?

I can however, also appreciate anyone trying to build a little business and produce additional income in today’s economic climates.

I admit, I had no traction in 2006, when I was given a Nikon D2x, as a gift and began shooting for the first time since 1990.

There was also no Facebook or social media back then, so I cannot say that I would have not taken the same route.

But even back in the day, I was very careful about what kind of pictures I exposed on my website and handed out at ball games.

Two good examples of what not to do come to mind;

I have a photographer friend that shoots a lot of low budget weddings and senior portraits.

Now my friend has really improved on their skill and mastery of lighting over the past couple of years and is really starting to do some outstanding work.

However, my friend also keeps damaging their “Brand” by publicizing some really, how do I phrase this…gnarly pics. By gnarly I am implying…non attractive photos of things like, overweight brides in unflattering dresses with even more unflattering tattoos, unless you’re a big fan of “Honey Boo Boo Child”

They are wedding pictures and Senior photos that may be only attractive to the Mothers of the photographed…if you know what I mean.

It’s OK to shoot those, and if your client is happy, that is all that really matters. However,  photographer should use a fair amount of discretion on what to “Share with the World”!

There is a reason Victoria’s Secret does not put the women who actually buy their outfits in their catalogs, much in the same way Canali or Armani would not put ME in theirs!

Another example is a local sports photography business, consisting of two guys in my community.

They will cover a sporting event for football or baseball and while they capture some great images, they then dump 400 pictures from the game on their Smug Mug site, forcing a parent to have to sift through to find a photo worth paying $15-20.00 for.

I have had good success carving out a niche to where I rarely do general game coverage anymore.

Most of my business is now “client shoots”, where a parent hires me to come and cover their kid or their team for an entire game.

The price for these events I do range anywhere from $300-$400.00.

I then present the client with a CD of edited…I REPEAT…..EDITED photos and keep the total to between 60-80 shots.

I have a website at http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com that has numerous examples of sports photography and illustrates what I am talking about.

I also get asked every year to do a handful of senior portraits for $500, of which I provide 4 poses, on location, and present a CD to the parents. I typically do about 5 a year.

I asked one of my friends recently, what they charge for the same thing and twice as much work, when it came to senior portraits.

While I never got a clear answer, I assume it was around $250-$300, forcing them to shoot 8.3 jobs compared to my 5.

This friend commented that is was hard to get that kind of money in a small town. While I noted that I lived in a smaller town, I pointed out that it’s not the size of the town, but rather it’s the perceived value of the service rendered. That value has been diminished, not because they are not talented, but because they are not particular about what they post as their calling cards.

So determine, what you are worth and what to you want your value to be perceived as? They are in fact two different things.

By the way, two GREAT sports photographers that I admire in Sports Photography is a guy by the name of Rick Lohre @ http://ricklohre.com and Barb Trimble @ http://trimphotoandvideo.com/

And two Cincinnati photographers that I really like in portrait photography are Moon Beam Studios @

http://www.moonbeamstudios.co/seniors.php and JMM Photography @ http://jmmphotography.us/

Happy Shooting! Vincent Rush, Cincinnati sports Photography


No Joy In Mudville….Joey Votto Out 3-4 Weeks!

Joey Votto and Cincinnati Reds Photograph by Cincinnati Sports Photographer Vincent Rush

 

CINCINNATI (AP) Reds first baseman Joey Votto will have surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee, sidelining him for three to four weeks.
The 2010 National League MVP hurt the knee in late June but kept playing. He had a medical exam Monday evening that detected the injury.
Votto was out of the starting lineup against Arizona on Monday night, getting a day of rest and a chance to have the knee checked. He went hitless in his first two games back from another All-Star appearance, then had a single and a double during a 4-2 win over St. Louis on Sunday night that pushed the Reds into sole possession of first place in the NL Central.
Votto leads the NL in doubles, walks and extra-base hits, batting .342.

Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds by Sports Photographer Vincent Rush

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/baseball/mlb/07/16/votto-reds-surgery.ap/index.html#ixzz20pmNtwC8

 

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://cincinnatiSPORTSphotography.com Check out my about.me profile!

 


Great American Ball Park


Sports Photography Trends: Summer – The Best Time For Booking High School Sports!

 

RIGHT NOW is the BEST TIME to book high school sports…do you have your marketing kits ready?  The grads have thrown their hats in the air, and the coaches are taking a sigh of relief, FOR THE MOMENT.
Many schools require staff and personnel to work for a week, or several days, past the last day of the classes for students, so NOW is the time to act!  These couple of weeks following classes are PRIME TIME for speaking with any high school coach.  During these weeks most coaches are more accessible and more willing to meet – and listen – to what you have to offer.
Take advantage of this calm time, as a lot of coaches are hard to locate during the school year.  When they are busy it is tricky to find a “best time” to speak with them, and finding the “best time” that they are willing to listen can be even trickier!  Very often they are busy, and will only give you a few minutes of their time, if that.  You want to approach them at a time when they have more time to listen to you.
Plan ahead.  Do you have your marketing kits together and ready to go?  Be sure to have samples of unique products that will make you stand out among your competitors.  Have a calendar with you for scheduling.  Have testimonial letters from other schools and coaches.  Be prepared to leave detailed information with the coach/decision maker so they can refer back to what you discussed.
One HUGE advantage to approaching school coaches now is that more than likely there areMANY coaches there at the same time.  Once you’re in the school, track down other coaches of other sports.  Now is also the best time to show up unannounced and visit with as many coaches as possible.  Make the most of YOUR time and the coaches availability.  Don’t miss these lucrative couple of weeks…the BEST TIME FOR BOOKING SCHOOL SPORTS!

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com Check out my about.me profile!


Indian Hill Lacrosse vs. Summit Country Day

Ohio Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photographer


The Importance of Image and Presentation for Youth Sports Photography Businesses

 

Regardless of what business you’re in, first impressions are everything. A great first impression and a professional look can help a youth sports photography business book more business, and increase its sales on every job.

Presentation when booking the shoot

You will need to adapt your dress and presentation for different situations.

If you’re approaching a coach before a practice, you’ll want to dress more casually (khaki pants or shorts and polo shirts) than you would if you were meeting with league or school officials.

 

It’s also a necessity that you have professional looking business cards on hand to leave with the person/people that you’re meeting.

Business cards should look professional, not printed at home on card stock, and have a simple layout with all your relevant information clearly visible (address, phone number, email address).

 

Also, try putting your picture, preferably a nice business portrait, on your business cards. It’s much harder for someone to throw away a business card with a picture on it and it also reminds that person of you.

 

One mistake that youth sports photographers make when trying to book new business is that they put down their competition. Never be negative about a competitor. This makes you look unprofessional and can cost you the shoot in the end.

 

Don’t assume that the coach/organization is unhappy with their current photographer. You want to expand upon what your competition is doing and present yourself as a better solution to their needs.

 

Some other important things to consider:

* Continuity is important. Everything should be branded with your company name and logo.

* No tobacco use in or around school property or the meeting area. Also, no visible tattoos or unacceptable piercings should be showing.

* Smile! Be a cheerleader for your business.

* Have a professional way to show samples.

* Presenting your samples electronically, on an iPad or Laptop, perhaps even with projector, will help you save money on physical samples.

* However, you will want to have physical samples of any specialty products that you offer.

* When making your presentation to a group of people be sure to have copies of your presentation to pass out. For a one on one meeting, having a single page flyer that outlines your services will suffice.

* Know your products and offers thoroughly. Have pricing available that will fit people and areas from all walks of life.

* Have a calendar and scheduling agreements with you, in case they want to book with you on the spot.

* Everything is about expectations.

* Make sure that your expectations regarding a shoot line up with theirs

* Do what you say you’re going to do when you’re going to do it.

 

Your professional image says a lot about you and your business and it can mean the difference between booking a shoot or watching your competition collect the sales.


Boy of Summer by Sports Photographer Vincent Rush

Boy of Summer by Cincinnati Sports Photographer Vincent Rush


One Sports Photographers Pipe Dream to Fix Major League Baseball

 

This is the time of year, I like to post my meaningless diatribe about the “State of Major League Baseball” and my plan to…”FIX the game”. Oh sure, winning the powerball lottery has a much better chnce for me than this ever being taken seriously

Now, I posted this last year and got comments such as, “baseball doesn’t need fixing”, “The season is the perfect length” and “Fan attendance is fine”, These were, I assume…”PURISTS”.

Meanwhile, attendance and revenues were in fact down, weather at the beginning of April still sucks, fuel and transportation costs continue to rise and we had a very good chance of having a late October World Series in…Minnesota!

Oh and yes…the All star Home Run hitting contest is still boring.

Oh, and now there is talk of adding more teams to the playoffs and a slight re-alignment by MLB.

Apparently MLB does not think is fine to remain “status quo”.

So here is my annual “shout into the black hole” for 2012.

Opening Day at Yankee Stadium

I was watching the opening game of the 2009 World Series last night and watching the mist and the cold of the night at Yankee Stadium, while simultaneously the NBA opening night game was on another channel and some college football game on another.

I have always wondered why baseball has to extend into November to finish the season. I love baseball and at least this year there seems to be a marquee match up, but it’s not always like that. Here is a plan that I’ve had in my own mind for fixing Major League Baseball, or should I say, enhancing MLB to cater to the fans and benefit the game it’s self. Bud Selig, if you read my blog, feel free to call me and discuss. I have more ideas than just this, but lets start with re aligning the divisions and creating a Regional plan that works.

I will also state that I am fully aware that the rating for THIS (2009) post season have been very good. But lets not forget that there is the benefit of a marquee match up and any time the Yankees are in the post season there is going to be a huge ratings boost. I will guarantee that if the series was being played right now, between the Rockies and the Twins, you would have a hard time giving advertising away and there more empty seats than a Vanilla Ice reunion tour.

I know baseball went through re-alignment a few years ago, but that means it can be done again, for the better of the game, by being better for the fans.

I also know that this is not the first time the idea has been approached by columnists, bloggers and various sources. But while google searching the realignment arguments, I have yet to find a posting during the first three pages that either 1) Makes Sense or 2) Presents a valid reason behind their plan.

And while there are those who scream that my ideas mess with tradition, I state back that the definition of stupidity is to keep doing the same thing over and over, simply because you’ve always done it like that, even if it doesn’t work.

Here’s a thought; Lets not change anything and re-address the issue in ten years when there are less fans and less revenue and we start caring about the health and the future game and less about upsetting the ghosts of the past. There isn’t really a corn field in Iowa where Shoeless Joe will walk out of the tall stalks to pass with you if you make him happy. It was a movie.

Baseball needs to make a radical shift in the way it does business and markets its self if it wants to continue to grow and develop a generation of fans from the ranks of the youth. Today’s kids have more alternatives than ever baseball has more competition than ever before.

Look no matter how much the old “traditionalists” with hair growing from their ears want to believe that the spirits of Jolting Joe DiMaggio, Ty Cobb, The Babe and Ted Williams are going to re-appear and curse the game if Major League Baseball breaks from tradition, the fact is that interest in the game, fueled by a weakening economy and and alternatives to going to the park such as High Def TV and 300 cable channels with several games on per night.

The Vincent Rush / Cincinnati Sports Photography Plan for Fixing Major League Baseball

Lets create 3 Divisions of 10 teams each in a way that makes sense regionally;

Eastern Division:
Boston Redsox
NY Yankees
NY Mets
Toronto Blue Jays
Philadelphia Phillies
Baltimore Orioles
Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves
Tampa Bay Rays
Florida Marlins

Central Division:
Pittsburgh Pirates
Cleveland Indians
Cincinnati Reds
Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox
Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins
St. Louis Cardinals
Kansas City Royals

Western Division:
Seattle Mariners
San Francisco Giants
Oakland A’s
LA Angles
LA Dodgers
SD Padres
Arizona D Backs
Colorado Rockies
Houston Astros
Texas Rangers

At the end of the season, top 8 teams in baseball advance to a seeded bracketed playoff system based on record. The winners of each division are in. If the winner of a division has the 9th best record, then a 1 game playoff or shall we say a “Play In” game would exist between number 8 and number 9, but only if that was the unlikely case.

First round best 3/5 next two rounds best of seven. This, although it does not guarantee, it does create a better probability of the two best teams meeting at the end.

Start the regular season on the 15th of April and end on the 15th of September.

Either reduce the regular season schedule by the 25 games lost or make up a portion of them in more double headers throughout the season as a way of enticing fans to come to the park knowing that they can get a full day of baseball for the money. Double headers were and are still great for families on a Saturday or Sunday. It does not matter if the players like them or not. The fans are the ones who buy the tickets. Hey, if I just paid Albert 27 mill a year…he’ll play 2 when I want him to play 2.

Baseball will make it up on the increased revenue from concessions, better weather and the laws of supply and demand. If there is any doubt as to this theory, ask yourself how many teams sold out the season in the current schedule?

Regional divisions will help foster closer rivalries, and encourage more fans to attend more away games because of the closeness. There will be less time difference conflicts that lose TV viewers.

Baseball as a whole and teams in general will save money on travel throughout the course of the season and can promote it as a environmentally conscious step to help reduce carbon emissions through decreased fuel consumption. Do you realize for example that the Yankees made 10 road trips to Chicago or further. The average team made about 10 long distance road trips. What if all the coastal teams could eliminate the cross country treks?. If MLB wanted to maintain some form of inter league play, they could work coordinate cross country match ups. The savings on travel would be into the millions for baseball and the teams.

As a result of the new start and finish dates of the season, there will be less chance of snow games, rain outs, temperatures in the 30’s and re-schedules. Baseball will also not be starting the World Series and competing with the beginning of the NBA season. The Series will end in October with only the NFL to compete with.

One conflict will be how to determine who plays in an All Star Game, or if it will be necessary to continue.

Or what if a team moves, folds or MLB wants to expand? What if Florida moves to Indianapolis? Then simply tweak the division by moving a team or two. The key is to be progressive and decisive and not wait 10 years to make up your mind.

Another obstacle, as I’ve said before, is the always strong opposition of so the called “Baseball Purists”. What is purity in the game any more? If these “Pure-ists” were committed to their mantra, all players would be wearing baggy flannels and using the old mitts of yester-year, there would be no designated hitter and there would only be two teams that played it out at the end of the season. And lets do away with all domes and field turf, and the middle relief pitchers.

I think it would also, at this stage of the game become a big part of the Bud Selig legacy. The game is in better shape than when he found it, That doesn’t mean that he can’t set it up to be even better 20 years after he leaves.

Chances of this becoming anything more than a pipe dream????? About the same as my dream of seeing the All Star Home Run Hitting Contest done with Aluminum and Composite bats.

As an adult, I would actually sit through a HR contest if I thought there was a chance of seeing a 600 foot shot or a light busted out of the tower. As a kid, I would run out to Dicks and buy whatever bat A-Rod or Josh Hamilton just hit one out of Yankee Stadium with.

Think of the advertising dollars baseball would draw or endorsement money players would pull down from the likes of Easton, TPX, DeMarini, Rawlings or Miken! And don’t cry about tradition again. Since when does a batter stand at the plate and hit off of a batting practice pitcher during a traditional game? The Home Run hitting contest should be the same type of freak show the NBA Slam Dunk contest is.

A 7-15 year kid knows nothing about tradition! Baseball has to quit marketing to the “wing tips” and start marketing to the flip fops, to continue to grow it’s fan base.

 

Vincent Rush is an award winning Professional Sports Photographer and owner of Cincinnati Sports Photography. Based in Ohio, Vince Rush has covered Bob Hope, Oliver North, Chris Gardner, The Cincinnati Reds, University of Cincinnati Bearcats, NFL Pro Camps, NCAA Track Championships and various professional sporting events throughout Ohio.