What is Volume Sports Photography?
All right. I think that, the craziest thing when I talk to people about getting into volume photography is there's a fear. There's always fear of going into a new line of work, into going into something. Trying to figure out, if you're going to be ready, if you're gonna be prepared, if you have the money, the resources, the time, and the talent to do it. And, it can be terrifying. There's this great story that everyone should know about, it's the Hernando Cortes was a conquistador in the 1500s. So, real guy. That was a job that you can have back then. You could be a butcher (crowd laughing), you can be a blacksmith, you could be someone that goes and conquers people in other countries. And so, this guy in the 1500s, got a crew together, 500 soldiers, 100 sailors, a bunch of ships, and left Spain and came all the way over to conquer the Aztecs. But a lot of people had tried before, and they all lost. They all came, they all fought, they all died, they all went home. They didn't all die,...
some of them ran away. And they went home. So he did something that no one had ever done before. He got there, as he's approaching, he's going across the ocean, people are starting to kinda grumble, I don't know if we can win this fight, I don't know if we can do this, I'm not sure if this is the right time for us to go in, what if we lose? So he got there, said take everything off the boats, let's go. And he burned the boats. Only way we're going home is on their boats. The only way we can do this is by succeeding. I'm a firm believer that we need to turn our, we should do this, we might do this, I could try to do this, to, I must do this. I don't have plan Bs. I don't. It's gotta work. I gotta figure out a way to make it work. And so I think that a lot of people I talk to, that are considering getting into volume stuff, there's this inherent fear. That, what if I take a job and I don't know how to do it? Don't be afraid. Figure it out. You're smart enough, you're talented enough, put in the work, and you can do it. I'm not that smart, I'm not that talented and I'm doing it all the time. (laughing) I just got great hair. (crowd laughing) So, let's talk about why we do sports photography. It is, it's a lot of fun. We'd see the same kids for years and years and years. We kinda like, we get to watch them grow. It's not like a weird emotional relationship, it's just kinda fun to see the same kids in your community. You get to see what they're doing, you get to kinda see where they're going, you shoot their senior pictures, they come back, you shoot their little brother, you find out where the kid's in college, what he's doing, it's awesome. I photographed weddings for kids we've done sports portraits for. It's a really cool feeling to be able to be connected to my community in that way. It provides my traditional portrait business with a ton of exposure. Being out there doing sports photography gets my name in front of all of the people we want to work with. So that's a huge, huge thing for us as well as, it's the most dollar per hour I will make. Out of anything we do. Any job we do, I make more money with the least amount of time on this. And that is due to a lot of things including our workflow, which we're really gonna focus on. 'Cause the backend, if you don't know that, is gonna kill ya. And you're gonna do an awful job, you're gonna lose money, and you're gonna hate everything, you're gonna be up until three o'clock in the morning posting on Facebook how you're swamped in editing hell, and I'm gonna be laughing because you're on Facebook posting about it instead of working. So let's go through it and get it done. You'll make a lot of money. We have two kinds of accounts. Okay? We have what I call our standard accounts and our extreme volume accounts. Our high school accounts, our standard accounts, we'll go out and we'll photograph one to four teams. It'll be like a varsity, a JV, and a ninth grade A and B team. That's kind of normal. Before teams of one sport, so, soccer, LaCrosse, have your pick. Generally, for those types of jobs, it's me and one assistant. That's who goes. It's not that big of a job. Sounds like a lot when we're gonna go through all the jobs that we do for these schools, but most of them, that's all it is. It's a two person team. Our extreme jobs, is when we're doing 30 to 200 teams in a day. That I don't do by myself. (laughing) So, those jobs are, we have five or six of those that we do every year, and those jobs are jobs where we're gonna bring in a bunch of contractors and it's a different level of preparation and different level of shooting. So let's talk about our standard job. We do 100% of the school sports at two schools in our community. We do all of them for the entire school, if it goes in the yearbook, if it's shot on school property, it's done by me. We also have agreements with six other schools where we'll go in, and those schools have structured their accounts differently, so coaches, parents, can decide who the team is going to use for the photographer. Some of our accounts, the district will say, this is who you use, others, they'll say, we don't care, pick someone. The contract schools that we work with, this is one of the schools that we work with, we do football, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls tennis, synchronized swimming, cheerleading, adapted soccer, boys and girls hockey, gymnastics, softball, band and choir portraits are part of it, homecoming's part of it, we do club day, danceteam, boys and girls basketball, nordic ski, alpine ski, boys and girls swim and dive, wrestling, adapted floor hockey, boys and girls LaCrosse, boys and girls track, baseball, adapted bowling, and adapted softball. So, it's a lot of work. And we're really lucky to have this type of work because what it does is it allows my studio to have a pretty solid flow of work. 'Cause all of these are split up over the course of the year. And all of these are photographed by myself, and one other person. Minus football, football's a big one. We also have extreme accounts. We do, our smallest one is 35 teams. So these are community-based teams, most of them are not connected to a school district, it would just be like, your rec basketball program, your rec soccer program. These are huge for us. Took us a lot of years to get into this market, but once we did, and we delivered, we really, really were able to start getting the momentum on our side.