Volume Sports Photography

Lesson 5/39 - Setting Up the Contract

 

Volume Sports Photography

 

Lesson Info

Setting Up the Contract

I don't like the words setting up a contract. It just sounds not very Mathew The Body. I don't like it. It's like I think some people get weirded out by the concept of like I'm signing a contract. So we call it a service agreement. It's still a contract. It's just a nicer way of saying it. Okay? So we set up a service contract. Like I said you have to have a clear start and end date and make it as simple as possible but have a lawyer draft it. I am sure that someone online is going ask if they can see my contract. Absolutely not. Don't take your legal advice from some guy talking on creative live. (laughing) Pay $150, get a lawyer to write it for you. Have it done right. Do it for your business. Don't take my advice on legal stuff. Just hire a lawyer. Do it. It's an acceptable expense. You'll pay it once and you can reuse the thing 100 times. So and it's not because I think my contract is bad or it's not because I don't want to share everything I know about this industry. It's because ...

I want you to understand what you're having people sign up. You need to know that and I know what my contracts read but you need to know what yours reads. And so just taking mine and flipping the names in. It it's not going to work. God that'd be really funny though if they got a contract that said for Kemmetmueller Photography and then I was like oh I got a new contract that you had someone sign for me at my work. Alright we have standard and commitments that we express in all of our contracts okay. We provided 100% satisfaction guaranteed. Which means there is no reason why we will not refund, reprint or re shoot any picture. For any reason. I don't care. Kid changed his hair cut and you want a new picture cool. You want a new team picture? You set up the time and I'll do it. I don't care. That has to be an unconditional guarantee. I think that what happens... Knowing that we re shoot three kids a year. And never a team. We will offer It and I sincerely want people to take us up on it. It's not lip service. I want you to absolutely love your products but offering that takes away the opportunity for people to complain. If you don't love it, I'll take it back and give you your money. I'll re shoot it or I'll reprint it. Now no I don't care if you don't like it. I will not give you your money back and let you keep it. I get that request a lot. No I can't do that. If you want it you can buy it. If you don't want it I'll take it back but you can't do that otherwise. There is no middle ground. So you have to offer the satisfaction guaranteed. Alight you have to have completion deadlines. So I guarantee that all of the sports pictures are going to be done three weeks after pictured day. That's when they are going to be there. Okay. You have to identify who is the person that they're going to reach out to at the studio. It's me. And that's a big thing that relieves concern for people. It's just you deal with the owner. You have my phone number. You call me. I'm the guy who sets everything up. That's it. I'm the person you talk to. You don't take to anyone else. I will handle it and then generally what happens is I get off the phone and I go Chelsea I need you to do this (laughs). And we will get it done but people want to know... Oh Chelsea is probably listening. Hi Chelsea. I wish you were here. Keep working. But we want to have that person identified. I also need to know who I'm contacting there. I need to have a contact for the league. I need to know whose responsible for scheduling. For creating the schedule and I need to define what the products are that they are getting okay. Scheduling in the teams is something we do. My wife's like a genius at excel. She's brilliant. She just sits there like people like to watch me photoshop which I think is weird and I like to watch her do excel. Which she probably thinks is super weird. But she like doesn't even look at the keyboard and she's like doot doot doot doot doot doot doot da da. And amazing things happen. So what we do for our leagues is a generally just say I need a list of all of the teams this many days in advance. We setup the schedule and then what we will say is if you have any teams that have special restrictions most of the time picture day is just picture day. Sometimes there's games that we work with. Depends on the sports. So if there's games then we have to knows how much time we have to leave for them to get to there game. So we're always going to do pictures before the game because they are going to look disgusting and sweaty. And so we have to know that and then we produce the calendar because that way I know that I'm running at maximum capacity. In the past if I let them setup the time line they stretch it way out and I'm there for hours longer then I need to. So we don't do that. We setup the schedule. Okay. Got to go over your licensing terms. Who has the rights to the images. Terms sharing them and are they transferable. Big thing that we're doing that is helping us maintain a lot of ours is we keep all of the images that we shoot for any league as long as we do that sport. Keep them forever as long as we do your work we will keep it forever. So it gives us the opportunities if there is a product that's damaged. We are getting into advertising collages in the next couple of years. We're kind of working on our cataloging them in a way that will make that possible. But that is a hook that is something a service that we offer and it cannot be transferred. So if they hire a new photographer even though the league may have a CD of my images. They may have them for their purposes. For programs and stuff. They cannot release those. They cannot transfer those images to another photographer to do a collage with my photos. It makes sense but it has to be in your contract. Okay. If you're going to do revenue sharing. How much? When will they get it? How will it be disbursed? If you doing a group of associations are you writing one check to one person and then their getting rid of it? Or are you writing individual checks to all of the groups? How are you disbursing the funds and when? This is when I want to know if people have questions about kickbacks stuff. Starting off can you kind of explain for people who aren't familiar with the business. Kind of what does that even mean? Like the, the... The revenue sharing? Yeah the revenue sharing and then let's see. Starting off with, yeah She Photos asks, " I just want to know where you even start with this kind of program? What is a good starting point? I find that some teams want you to give back but they don't have a lot of parents who actually end up purchasing things. And yet expecting a huge, and she's using kickbacks. We'll say rev share. (laughing) And not including all the costs that you already incur. So what is it and how do you start? It's rough. Geographically speaking market's very huge in this. Where I am, we are exceptionally blessed. We'll hit 90% buy rates ad really good averages. And that's not necessarily common everywhere. So I'm gong to share with you guys the things that we do and how we're running it but I fully would expect that there's going to have to be adjustment and pivots made depending on where you live. So it's not a blanket take this do this. You're going to make money. Cuz you might go broke and hate your life. So if you don't know where to start in a situation like that I would ask to see what their previous provider was doing for them. I would just ask can I see a copy of your previous contract? I'd look. I would see what the packages are. I would get into a percentage of sales but I would say maybe you could put in... Maybe they have a 10% revenue share right now and you're like well that's okay but I don't know if I'm going to make this much money. So if I have a minium order met of this much I'll do 10% and if we hit more then that I'll do 15%. If we know the parents are ordering. I've written in my contracts where sometimes the teams that we have that do not order are teams where they never get the order forms. So they show up on picture day and the kids are like I don't have my order form and I've literally I've shown up to shoot a 100 kid team and I'll have one order form. One. So that's a really good revenue day for me. Like that's awesome. So in those situations I have it in my contract where if kids don't get order forms they don't get anything. They don't get anything. They don't get a penny. So you have to put it in what you need. You have to put it in there and I would put in revenue sharing with conditions. We will do this but we need to do this. We need to make sure that we are covered in this way. And a lot of leagues depending on where you are the need to for revenue sharing varies. Where are studio is there's probably 10 houses that are over five million dollars within two miles of my studio. It's a pretty nice area. We don't have associations that need these funds as badly as some of the associations outside of where are studio is. Some of them need the money to be operational. Some of them don't. Some of them would much rather have the services and the things that you could use to bring attention to their brand, over cash in hand. And the cash in hand is a really tricky thing for photographers because especially if you're getting into really big accounts where they're going to say we want $10,000. That $10,000 to their year end number is really really small but it might be incredible huge to yours. So for them to get $10,000 more that literally might just be them uping their enrollment fee two bucks. [ Man In Black Shirt] As far as like when you're doing the massive amount of teams are you doing them prepaid or how is it as far as the other forms? Oh we are all over that. We got a whole section on that but everything we do is we do prepaid envelopes. Paper envelopes that go home. We will do prepaid online sales and we will do... They can purchase at the site. So we have three options. One thing that we do not do and have not done ever with our sports teams is I've never done online viewing to order. It's just an easy way to kill your sales and to make it much harder to get the job bundled and out the door. When we're done on picture day my orders are done. Like I'm walking out of there with a bin. I'm ready to work. If I have to go home, If I have to go to the studio, process all the order forms, create online galleries, put them up, wait for parents to be able to view them, wait for them to be able to get off their butts from the couch and go get their wallet from the kitchen, punch in what they want to order, deal with them screen caping my photo that's got proof stamped all over it and posting them on Facebook. Instead of all of that and then waiting weeks to start processing the orders I go home from my shoot and I'm ready to rock. I don't do online ordering. And I've never had an association that has pushed me hard on it. They will spend less it will cost you more and it will be a bigger pain in the butt. We don't do it. In very very rare circumstances we'll go over this later I might to a screen share If we can't identify a kid but I will never do an opportunity for them to see the picture before they buy it but I do offer 100% satisfaction guaranteed that If you do not absolutely love your photo I will refund, reprint or re shoot it with no questions asked. Association support, they have to pass out the flyers. This is some of the stuff that we put in are contracts. They assign who we talk to. They book and pay for the location. For big big big jobs like the big huge ones that we do we do not shoot that outside. We don't shoot that outside because I can't reschedule 4,000 families if it rains. I can do it for one sport, for one team but we shoot those inside it just has to get done that day. There's no margin for it to not and then it will require a certain window. It requires a certain window of time for us to get the work done that they need. Which is what we were talking about earlier with that lacrosse one when they needed the pictures. We tell them how much time we need to guarantee that their stuff will be done if they have requests. Legalese. You'll have to have a very legal ease portion of it. The best advice I can give you cuz I'm not gonna actually read you all of the stuff in it. Is have a limit of liability. Basically our limit of liability says that if we mess up we're totally off and everything's horrible and nothing works and I forget to take the lens cap off and none of my employees show up and I lose the memory cards, I'm not liable for more than I was paid. So the worst case scenario I refund everything and we walk away. And I think that's important. You don't want to get yourself on the hook where they can say oh well you messed up on this team so we had to hire this other photographer to do this to meet our timeline. So your on the hook for this, for this other... No. No I'm not. You put in a limit of liability. It's huge. Alright, and the final thing you have to do. After all that's done. You get the contracts signed is you have to burn the boats. You do the job. Burn em and get to work. Going back to the revenue share another question to come in from ajaycreasy who was just asking, do you offer revenue sharing to for example a gymnastics school that aren't a none profit business but like a for profit gymnastics school. Absolutely yeah and a lot of non profits make money. (Chuckles) Don't be confused. There's a lot of them that are businesses. We have non profits that we work with that have staffs of people. They make money. They get paid and non profit and for profits businesses they may use this as a fundraising technique and I don't think there's anything wrong with either one of them. SO yeah I totally would. If that's what they need but it would be really structured in a way where basically we can do one of two things. We can give you money or we can give you services and if I'm giving you money I'm gonna show up, I'm gonna do my picture day, I'm gonna deliver all my stuff, I'm gonna give you a check. Peace out. We will see you next year. That's kind of where that ends. If we're showing up and we're saying we don't need a ton of money that's when we start doing free event covered shoots. That's where we start donating photo booths to events. That's where we start donating picture packages and photo booths for silent auctions. That's when we start providing poster prints for marketing. That's when we'll do calendar designs. That's when when we'll do... That's when that happens. But there's only so much money. So either the money that I'm gonna write you in a check that's where that money is going to go. Or I'm gonna use that money to pay money employees to provide you with all this other stuff. But I can't do both. [Woman With Blonde Hair] On the topic of revenue sharing when it comes time to share that revenue, do you also have to share your books? It's available. It's always available. You'll see it more with schools then you do with private. Like with the smaller leagues. Schools will require when you deliver yearbook photos you have to give them an itemized list that literally says this grade, this kid, this package. They walk through every single thing And so a lot of schools will require that and that's really not so that they can double check your math. What it is, is it's so that if junior walks in and says where are my pictures they can say we didn't get them. Or they were delivered. That's what that list is kind of for. So it's that itemized list and opening your books can happen. A way around that cuz I've never really been super comfortable with sharing my books. I just don't like that. It will be if you have a good... and this is tough advice to give because you could really... It can negative impact you a lot. If you have a good baseline and you know what you're gonna sale. You have a good idea of what your averages are going to be. You know of the kids. You know, I'm gonna go shoot this many kids. I'm gonna gross this much revenue. I prefer going a per kid dollar amount and I just say every kid, a thousand kids, I'll give you two bucks a kid. Three bucks a kid. I'll give you five bucks a kid. Whatever that number maybe. 10 bucks a kid. They must spend a lot giving 10 bucks a kid. But you give them an amount and the allure to them is it completely helps them pre plan their budget. Cuz they know exactly how much money they're going to get from you and you don't have to open your books to them which is nice but if you commit to it and you haven't don your math right you might be giving them 30%. So it's a trickier thing cuz you're on the hook. Like the risk is on you for that. So if doesn't work and if you don't sale and if kids don't show up. Well if kids don't show up you don't pay. Cuz if you have teams that no show you don't for them but if you don't give the orders and if it falls short of your expectations that comes straight out of your cut. And that's why the percentages is more attractive if you're going into a new account. Where we are if we do soccer and baseball and basketball and hockey I would feel pretty comfortable knowing what I'm gonna make off of football. In the same area. I would feel pretty comfortable gaging where I'd be but if you don't have that, I would be more likely to go with a percentage cuz then yeah and then if it sales really well If you sale a bunch you write them a way bigger check. (chuckles) but you've sold a bunch it's that and they see your books.

Class Description

Add thousands of dollars in income to your existing photography business by adding team sports photography. Matthew ‘the Body’ Kemmetmueller runs a profitable volume business and is passionate about sharing his knowledge of the industry secrets with other photographers who want to start a business in this lucrative segment of the photo world.

In this class, Matthew will give you all of the information that you’ll need to start or expand your volume sports photography business. You’ll learn:

  • How to bid on contracts and what your pricing structure should be
  • The best workflow for photographing numerous teams in one day
  • The fastest ways to process orders and keep them organized
  • Lighting and posing for teams and individuals
  • How to use Photoshop to create banners and posters

By the end of this class, you’ll feel confident about entering the profitable volume sports photography business.

Reviews

a Creativelive Student
 

Fantastic class! Matthew is not only a great teacher who easily gets his ideas and thoughts across but he's fun, funny and engaging. I keep coming back to watch again, and again.

Brian T
 

I've watched Matthew before, on Creative Live, and in person. He never fails to entertain and his knowledge is great. This class on high volume sports photography is the best one I've watched. I'm trying to break into this are of business, and he does a great job of breaking down each area. He is a great public speaker, and does a great job explaining what I need to know.

Isaiah Salazar
 

I cannot full express my gratitude for this class. I have done T & I work before but just little aspects of it have evaded me.this class so far has been extremely helpful and it isn't even over yet. Thank you for not just being open, but being kind. Making it a point to say to "Play by the rules" and to emphasize "Run an ethical business" is refreshing. Don't Be Valdemort! ha ha.