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At the moment I am a student at college and in my free time I photograph school sporting events. Sometimes I do this for fun, sometimes i am asked to do by certain sports coaches. The problem I have is that i give these photos to the school to use on their website and in the annual school magazine.
I've now decided that what I'm doing is wrong as, by giving out the photos for free, I am effectively taking business away from the pro in town who is paid by the college to photograph school events. I need to know how I should approach the person at school and tell them that I no longer want to give the photos away but sell them. I'm afraid this will ruin my relationship with the school. Thanks
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If you don't ask you don't get and they will probably respect you for it. Why should you do this for free - time is valuable!!
And dont worry as its unlikly they'll pay you anyway.
If you're genuinely concerned about taking business away from the pro just say you'll only cover events that the pro does not attend. But something tells me the real concern is that you want to ask to be paid for something that you've been doing for free up to now? This is more tricky and you'd have to decide who's gaining most from the informal relationship - you or the school? You're certainly being allowed some close access to the action and I would argue that the skills and images you build from these privilaged locations is worth a lot more than a few quid for a picture on a website.
BTW, are you sure the college pays for the pro? As a teacher of too many years to own up to I have never heard of a school paying for a photographer except for the portrait shots they sell to parents...and then the school makes a profit from this collaboration. If a pro turns up to a school event it is usually the local paper invited to come along if they want, but no money changes hands. If it's a slow news day the local tog will turn up and the evening paper will have a double page spread of a sports day or what have you. The school gets some free publicity and the rag sells a few more copies to parents and grandparents.
I think that one thing you should do is consult the professional as they may be in a good position to help you. The other thing you could do is work with the college and start to make the prints for sale to the students whilst still allowing the college to use your prints for the internet etc. for free - they become a big advertisement for you by getting a small note that images are available for sale from you in the same way that the local papers do.
just remember the local rag send togs for the "news" aspect, but they also make money selling prints later. so whilst it costs you nothing to get the press tog at an event, if you want a print, you pay a lot for it - where you stand to benefit the most. don't charge the school for using them but sell prints yourself
edit, I must learn to read the post above....
Quote: I've now decided that what I'm doing is wrong as, by giving out the photos for free, I am effectively taking business away from the pro in town who is paid by the college to photograph school events. I need to know how I should approach the person at school and tell them that I no longer want to give the photos away but sell them.
Ah, so by selling them it won't be taking the business away from the pro .... hmm ...
And when you come to sell them, don't forget to inform the taxman within 3 months of making your first sale...
The secret photographers rulebook:
section 47 Working for free .
Working for free has never and never will lead to paid work.
Asking to be paid for work you now do for free:
The client will think you are a cheeky **** and show you the door and call a real pro photographer or find another idiot to do it for free.
The difference between a pro and chancer, the pro makes his living from photography, just as a builder does not build free sample houses in his spare time, the pro tog does not do free work on the hope he will eventually get some paid work, because he would be broke and therefore by definition, a chancer, for explanation see rule 1
In my opinion, it helps to work for free for experience, but when you're ready to get paid work, you're better off looking elsewhere and moving on.
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