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Author Topic: Hmmmmmmmmm  (Read 2098 times)

Offline greypoint

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Hmmmmmmmmm
« on: September 02, 2009, 12:28:50 PM »
I'm not sure if this is an 'annoyed' or 'bemused' topic or just a bit of rambling thought :-\
During the summer I'm out on a lot of weekends around the local companion show dog circuit helping to raise funds for the dog re-homing charity I'm a trustee of. At these shows I often take several hundred photos mainly of the candid variety but also of the winners and a few show poses etc. These are then used to produce items for us to sell. I also upload a selection to flickr and sell a few prints - and give a lot away to supporters of the charity [when someone gives you a donation of £100 a few pictures of their dog seems a fair exchange!]. At one show we arrived at a few weeks ago the secretary thanked me for the pictures I'd sent of their last show for use on their website and said in a slightly ironic tone that they'd be alright this time as they had 'god's gift' taking pictures for them. A young man I'd seen before spent the day snapping away - I did my usual, the light was'nt brilliant but got some useable stuff. The following week we arrived at the next event and the same man has a stand set up - he spent the day photographing dogs in the ring [including using flash which is a bit of a no no with a lot of exhibitors]. He was showing on a laptop the pictures he'd taken the week before and taking orders. Again i took several hundred shots at uploaded to flickr.
I learnt at the weekend that he'd complained to the organisers of the first show that I'd been taking his living away by taking pictures and making them available online. Now, one thing I'd never do at an event would be to try and take business from someone who'd paid for the privilege of attending - but you can usually tell the pros - they tend to have cameras with white or vr lenses and flash guns attached and not a single kit lens. And I'd expect them to produce stuff that was worthy of payment. I have a link to this chap's site and it's not exactly impressive stuff - I do at least try not to upload blurry,out of focus, totally blown shots oh, and a few with green eyes ::) and given the time scale I'd have hoped he might at least have removed a few distractions from his crops.
As I said, this is a bit of a ramble. I'm a bit worried that we're going to be invited to attend events in the future but be told only if we don't take photos as this 'professional' will be there. Perhaps I should go into this whole thing a bit more seriously and offer my services first? I enjoy doing it but at the moment there's no pressure as it's immaterial if the stuff's any good or not. 40 years around dog shows does give me a bit of an edge as I know how a dog should look in show pose but I've seen photography in this field by real experts and believe me I'll never come close!
Agility is my favourite. At the big open show held locally last year there was a pro set up, but only on one day. At this year's there was stand but they seemed to be only taking shots when someone asked. I'm sort of wondering whether to pitch for next year but I think it would take at least two photographers and I wonder if taking orders rather than producing prints on the day is as good an option. I've seen a lot of the stuff my boss has bought of their ponies and the quality varies considerably.
Any thoughts?
This is the sort of thing I do at present

http://www.flickr.com/photos/greypoint/collections/72157606000763536/



Offline Bigbill

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Re: Hmmmmmmmmm
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2009, 12:46:32 PM »
Hello there Greyperson,,,,,
Very interesting post and very typical.
At the end of the day your goodwill counts for less than nothing,as you are finding out.As ive found out,some folk will pay good money for any old crap,which puzzles me greatly.
You do sem to have a bit of a downer on your abilities,ive not seen this blokes site,and not seen much of your stuff,BUT,my feeling is that you really should take him on at his own game,40 years is a lot of experience,USE IT,your in a good position in that its not your living(that would be a lot of pressure,whch i know a lot about) so,be confident and take a look at edging him out,i wouldnt normaly say that,but his attempt at getting you removed justifies it.
After 40 years a lot of people will be happier to deal with you than him,,,,, GO FOR IT !!!!
Please keep us posted.

Shine On

Offline Alfonso_Frisk

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Re: Hmmmmmmmmm
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2009, 01:04:09 PM »
Agree 100% with Bill.
You have the experience, the venues, the contacts and you know your subject and target audiences
You are actually doing it now anyway without the real rewards.
Go for it girl
RR
Alf
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Offline Oly Paul

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Re: Hmmmmmmmmm
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2009, 01:33:51 PM »
Sue if its something you feel like you would want to do professionaly then go for it as you certainly have the equipment and know how.

If not, I'm not sure you have anything to worry about as most of these outdoor shows are on land that the public have access to and would take a blanket ban on photography which I'm sure would not go down to well with the contestants and the public. Also the photgrapher would have to have it written into his contract terms with the organzer.

Plus if I read it right ,all your sales go to the charity you represent and I'm sure no dog organization would want the publicity of not supporting dog charities. ;)
Regards Paul
One day I hope to be the person my dog thinks I am.

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Offline greypoint

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Re: Hmmmmmmmmm
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2009, 01:51:07 PM »
Thanks. I don't honestly think there's a lot of money to be made at these sort of events [except perhaps at agility] so it may well be that he gives up the idea anyway. I think I may try and push things a bit more with regard to sales [got an order yesterday!] and possibly try to get more of an official tie up with the charity shows we go to before anyone else can muscle in. We're going to a few open shows during the winter by invitation. They sometimes have an official photographer representing one of the canine weeklies but not always, as there are a lot of shows taking place on any given weekend, there may be an opportunity to get more work photographing the winners if there's not a pro present. We can but try!

Offline Simple

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Re: Hmmmmmmmmm
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2009, 01:52:28 PM »
That is a difficult one Sue,

Personally I think I would have a word with the guy in person at the next show. Tell him who you are, what you do and how long
you have been doing this just as you explained in your post. If he than still has a problem tell him what you think of his work and that you will now set up more
professional as a competitor and wish him luck. It is also a good opportunity to enhance your own photography and attempting to get closer to the "experts" photography, which is,
I am sure, well within your means. The pictures on Flickr are fab. and I am sure many a dog owner would be proud to have them.
On the other hand, if he is amiable and genuinely interested in what you have to say, there would be an ideal solution for the two of you to work together. He can learn an awful lot
from all the experience you have, and you can make a buck or two at the same time.
Like Paul said it would be silly to ban making pictures at a dog show.

Offline Zenmer

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Re: Hmmmmmmmmm
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2009, 01:58:32 PM »
Having worked with a couple of pro photographers at Championship Dog Shows I know they do get very tetchy if the feel someone is muscling in, but then they get invited and make their money from the pictures, normal procedure would be to report anyone they felt was attempting to trade and the organise would quickly have the offending person(s) removed, seen this happen first hand.
Two things are infinite : the universe and human stupidity; I’m not sure about the universe

Offline greypoint

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Re: Hmmmmmmmmm
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2009, 02:46:37 PM »
As I said before, I'd never poach from a genuine pro who was trying to make a living and had to charge a reasonable amount in order to do so. I also spent years at Ch and open shows watching the pros - the results you saw of their kennel visits in the magazine annuals were often fantastic. This is smaller scale and the rewards a lot less! I do feel there is a potential market there but, as you're dealing with the same people a lot of the time, you need to come up with something a bit different or a bit special to get them to keep parting with their cash. We do a steady trade in fridge magnets, key rings, bookmarks, notepads, cards etc.which is useful.

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Hmmmmmmmmm
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2009, 03:12:03 PM »
I don't honestly think there's a lot of money to be made at these sort of events

Trust me on this.  There is more money in taking pictures of dogs than any other branch of photography.  Except possibly horses.
It's Guest's round

Offline greypoint

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Re: Hmmmmmmmmm
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2009, 03:30:29 PM »
Well don't tell everyone :2funny: :2funny: :2funny:

Offline Zenmer

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Re: Hmmmmmmmmm
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2009, 04:32:14 PM »
As I said before, I'd never poach from a genuine pro 


Does taking pics for friends for publicity at motor racing count as poaching   ::) :-[  cos iI do that a lot.

Jonathan is right, there is a lot of money in dog photography  ;)
Two things are infinite : the universe and human stupidity; I’m not sure about the universe

Offline bones615

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Re: Hmmmmmmmmm
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2009, 04:39:17 PM »
Dont let him spoil your fun, take him on or join him. We went to Helmingham hall dog show in suffolk recently & there where at least 2 studios set up in tents & I assume some body covering the event so there must be plenty of money to be made. On the other hand would the pressure of having to get results spoil your day???
I would not have thought it would be in anybodies interest to stop photography at an event in favour of one particular person unless they are taking a cut of the profits, especially for charity work.
 Lots of great shots in your flickr gallery.

Simon

Offline Sarasocke

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Re: Hmmmmmmmmm
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2009, 05:37:23 PM »
A very interesting subject ... ;)

You may have noticed, I take a lot of dog pictures too, tho I'm not in Sue's class  :tup:
We have our own Open Day coming up and I have been asked by a pro if he could set up a studio. A "certain" percent would go to our charity. As the whole day is in aid of our charity, I declined. There will be a few amateurs like me around who will provide low resolution pics for free, originals are sold in aid of our charity. In this case it was easy for me, as I am doing the organising.
Carol aka Sarasocke 
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Offline greypoint

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Re: Hmmmmmmmmm
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2009, 05:42:07 PM »
I think my main problem was not getting in first with all the show organisers - I'm sure most of them would be quite happy for us to make money for the charity in any way we can and if the main event is for another charity we could always make a donation to that if make some sales. I shall try and get more organised over the winter ready for next spring!

Offline Eileen

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Re: Hmmmmmmmmm
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2009, 07:17:05 PM »
I think you're right about getting in first Sue. Don't let yourself be pushed off to the sidelines. Your pictures are great and I am sure people would happily pay for them (as others have said, they sometimes pay for much worse). But regardless of whether you decide to go into a formal professional role or to continue working for your charity I think you should make sure that you retain the right to take pictures at these events.

 

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