By Ohio Sports Photographer, Vincent Rush
“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.
And two Cincinnati photographers that I really like in portrait photography are Moon Beam Studios @
Happy Shooting! Vincent Rush, Cincinnati sports Photography
(Please note this post is written from the perspective of a professional photographer. If you want to do photography for charity or use it to provide social outreach or pure art, this post may not be something you’ll care to read. Thank you.)
Every time – every single time – someone says – “Your price is too high,” it means that you have the wrong prospect. You don’t have the wrong product or price. You have the wrong prospect.
A man with $2000 in his pocket out to buy a car walks into a Jaguar dealership, sees a lovely XJL sedan and says, “I like that. How much is it?” The salesman replies, “$120,000 sir.” The man says, “That’s too much.” Is it? Obviously the problem here is not that the Jaguar isn’t a nice car or that it costs too much. The problem is that the man simply can’t afford a car in this price range. He’s not the right prospect. There will never be a meeting of the minds here.
So this illustrates part one of this problem. Wrong prospect always leads to no sale.
What is the solution? Is the solution to sell a different product or reduce the price? Absolutely not. The solution is to find the person who can afford that price and wants that product.
Photographers often charge too little because they have an “opinion” based on their own experience about what the market will stand for. But that’s the core problem. The photographer isn’t the buyer. The photographer doesn’t necessarily represent the market. You should be aiming higher than your own income bracket if you want to grow your business so find clients who CAN afford your higher prices and sell to them.
Most often it’s your opinion that is the problem. It’s not the price. It’s not the product. It’s your opinion about what the market will stand for.
Let me give you another example. If you live in a world where the average income is $50,000 a year, you probably haven’t considered adding a Rolls-Royce Phantom to your garage. This may lead you to believe that since you can’t afford it, nobody can. But that’s wrong-headed thinking. Want proof? Rolls-Royce sells a model called the Phantom. It’s $380,000. Now they also sell a special edition of the Phantom called the “Year of the Dragon” edition. That version of the car costs $1.2 million. Guess what. They completely sold out of those cars – worldwide – in 60 days. So while you may not be able to afford that car, it doesn’t mean someone else can’t.
There are people in this world – in fact in your neighborhood – who can write $100,000 checks without even asking their spouse for permission. There’s plenty of money around, even in a bad economy. You just have to find it.
So study demographics. Which zip code in your area is the most affluent? Where are the country clubs? These are the places where your prospects for high-end photography exist.
Not everyone cares about making a great deal of money in their photography business. Some prefer the social nature of the job or the artistic nature of the job. For them, this isn’t going to resonate. But for those of you who would like to make more money, start thinking about finding the RIGHT prospects – the ones who can value and afford what you do.
An article by Scott Bourne posted on Twitter on Feb 6th, 2012
Re-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 email@example.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com Check out my about.me profile!
Little League Sports Photography by Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Cincinnati Sports Photography. This sports photograph was shot in Englewood, Ohio at Centennial Park as Eaton was playing Hamilton West Side Little League. The picture is a composite of two separate images and an enhanced contrast to create the effect.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com Check out my about.me profile!