Triathlons - Anyone done them?

DuderinoDuderino www.flamphotogallery.comPosts: 26Registered Users Big grins
edited August 31, 2012 in Mind Your Own Business
I have been booked to do several Triathlons this summer in Norway. As I haven't done this type of event before I am hoping some of you will be able to give me a heads-up on this. I have decided that on-site viewing/printing is essential and therefore we will have about 10 terminals set-up in a highly exposed area. We have full co-operation from event organisers and we can set-up in the best way possible. I have also requested a list of contact details of participants in order to email them a link to the on-line galleries as well.

For the products, I am offering magazine covers, bordered prints with race time, certificate finishers photo with name and time. I will also offer small prints, keyrings and magnets for the larger events with kids and families to open up more markets. Any suggestions on products or feedback on this would be appreciated.

The largest event has 1000 participants. It will be split up into a long race, short race and a kids race. How would you go about this operation? I am aiming at 10 or 12 Vstaions. How many Vstations would you use? Will there be a massive loss of business with only 12? How does the on-line support this? Can we rely on the on-line gallery for sales? What kind of packages would you offer?

For two of the smaller events, they are pro athletes who probably do several triathlons a year. Will they buy photos? They might even attend all of the events that I will cover. However, as to my knowledge, in Norway we do not have much event photography, certainly for the smaller events such as 200/300 people. This being the case, I am hoping the market is not all ready saturated. There certainly wont be any other company offering commercial photography at these events. What products are these pro athletes interested in? Should I be offering a package of digital files etc? Are athletes too tired to view pictures after the race? At some of the events, it is a possibility to set-up viewing/sales the day after in the race headquarters. Is this a better approach?

Sharing your experience with this kind of event would be greatly appreciated.
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Comments

  • BiffbradfordBiffbradford Major grins Posts: 119Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 11, 2012
    Month old thread, but I looked at your webpage and didn't see any images from this event yet, so maybe it's not too late to comment. :D

    Here in the States, the big companies that shoot triathlons (and the big running races) have everything posted on-line. They don't bother with on-site viewing. The larger companies that work the big races will have one or two guys shooting the swim exit, one or two covering the cycling leg, and the same for the run - being sure to staff the finish with one or two photographers depending on how big the race is. The racers can come across the line in big bunches, so having one photog on each side of the road sure helps in capturing as many as possible.

    Are you the solo photographer? Then I'd hang around the S/F area working the transition between each leg, then park at the finish until the bitter end.

    Be sure to isolate the racers against a nice backdrop, or use a lens that gives good bokeh to really isolate them. The triathletes are really into their aerodynamics, so getting a nice side shot with them in their aero position is usually popular.

    I find that the elite athletes tend to buy less in general, but if you do get a great photo of them, they WILL buy.

    In my experience, if you can get shots that they haven't seen of themselves, then that will help sales. Everyone shoots with the 70-200mm f2.8, so try a different lens if you've got one. 300mm f2.8 has great bokeh and those photos sell well. My next lens is probably going to be a 135mm f2.0 to give better bokeh than the 2.8, plus giving an advantage in low light, all in hopes of increasing sales. Even just a 50mm f1.8 works well, if you can get in close enough. That's a tough lens to work, but will give great shots if can nail 'em.

    Personally, I wouldn't go crazy with magazine covers and such. Simple solid action shots will sell fine.

    Good luck! wings.gif
  • GlortGlort Major grins Posts: 1,015Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 12, 2012
    There are always a lot of questions about how to do events people have coming up but much less info on how they went and what people learned or would do different.
  • M38A1M38A1 Curious. Very curious. Posts: 1,313Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 15, 2012
    Being a triathlete myself, I can probably shed a bit of light on what the participants would be thinking.....

    First off, as mentioned here in the US, there are several large commercial outfits and a variety of smaller localized shops which shoot these events. They typically bring in a slew of photographers, they shoot general shots, transitions, bike, run and finish line shots. (everyone pretty much looks the same in the water, thus not a lot of actual individual swimmer shots). Then, within a short period after the event (typically less than a week) the images are indexed and migrated to their site under that events name. Entrants who have provided an email address during the registration process are sent an email with their indexed images already attached for viewing/ordering. Behind the scenes there are folks who simply index images to the racers number, or for more technically advanced races, the electronic timing chip on the athletes ankle is indexed to the date/time stamp of the image for a given location as they cross the mat.

    Sales are predicated on the ease of the athlete to find all their images in one central location and be able to select the images, sizes (or products in your case). If you have to go hunt in what's referred to the unindexed or "Lost and Found", you'll probably see considerably fewer sales from those galleries as a rule. To accomplish this, the numbering and indexing is critical. In simple terms, a swim cap marked front/rear, a helmet number (typically a sticker) for head-on shots, a bike number (typically a sticker) which can be seen from either right or left side firmly affixed to the frame and not obscured by a leg, and body marking (typically magic marker) with the athletes number on both the right and left side at the arm and quad. This gives your indexers the best opportunity to identify the athlete to index them so the images DON'T wind up in the Lost and Found section.

    My gut response would be the target market of allowing viewing on-site would be for those first-time athletes as this is a totally new experience for them. I believe they would be most interested in seeing their images as soon as possible. Yet this approach then brings to focus the ability to accurately index those images rapidly so they could just plug in their bib number or name and have their selections available on the spot. A lot also depends on how they are feeling after the event.

    The folks who have done multiple tri's probably wouldn't want or require the immediate need to view or order images. They've done this before, so it's just another event for them. Sure, it might be a longer distance, or a different location. Yet the 'wow' factor of seeing yourself probably just isn't there for the established racers who have one or two under their belt.

    As I'm not a pro yet know several, the ability to see their images right after a race probably isn't high on their list either. The business of competing and winning is their sole focus. If they don't win - they don't pay rent, so in many respects, the ability to see a picture of them would be really low in their hierarchy and ordering probably even lower as it's an expense. If they are at the pro level, they've got plenty of images of them.

    Regarding 'other products', here in the US there really isn't a big market I've seen for items other than individual racer shots, a few generic pre/post shots of the area and the Finishers Certificate. For the finishers certificate, you'll have to figure out a way to not only index the athletes images based on bib number in a quick fashion, but you'll also have to interface quickly with timing and scoring to get the times to print. I would surmise at minimum the Swim, Bike and Run time in addition to the total time would be necessary as well as adding in T1 and T2. Then if there are swim waves, you'll have to figure out the difference in start times between the groups. Having the Finish Line shot would be critical with the structure/clock finish time which again might not reflect the athletes actual time based on swim start times. The Finish Line would be where you would put your best photographers and have multiple photographers there with 100% rock solid skills and equipment as that is THE money shot. And you'd have to insure 100% coverage of shooting every person and indexing properly as they cross the finish line.

    I hope I've not bored you with this, and I'm sure there are some other tri-geeks out in Dgrin land who could also provide input... If you have questions, let me know.


    .
  • M38A1M38A1 Curious. Very curious. Posts: 1,313Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 15, 2012
    I've thought about the logistics a bit more and one hurdle I keep coming back to is getting the images indexed properly associated to a bib number in addition to how quickly that happens when you may have differing start waves, differing athletic abilities and differing finish times. AND you mention three different course lengths, thus differing finish times across the entire day. (That's assuming they are all done at the same time)

    You'll have sprint distance athletes finishing quick quickly in relationship to the long-course entrants. And along with that, you'll probably have a higher percentage of first-timers in the shorter distances so the time to index and get the shots in a viewable environment can really be tight. And as mentioned above, the first-timers would probably be your highest percentage wanting to see themselves.

    Some things I'd have to consider in addition to the above to make it easy on my shooting would include:
    1. Does the race promoter provide adequate body marking resources, markers and manpower prior to the swim?
    2. Does the race promoter provide high contrast vinyl stickers showing the bib number for placement on the helmet and bike? (Paper stickers just tick the athletes off as they leave a paper residue whereas vinyl ones come off cleanly)
    3. Does the race promoter provide high contrast bib numbers and safety pins for the competitors to pin the number on their jersey? (most established triathletes use a racebelt that the bib number is affixed to and it rides in the back on the bike and in the front on the run as a requirement to participation)

    Without these three items, the indexing portion of the equation would be quite difficult and remember, the goal is to have as few images shot placed in the Lost and Found section.

    *Have you considered weather and how you would protect the Vstations?
    *These competitors are also going to be sweaty and most probably dripping/slinging sweat or water, carrying dripping water bottles, dripping long hair, and have sticky fingers from eating afterwards, so are your keyboards protected?
    *The prints you offer will be done on site, right? Tied in with the above, have you thought about the weather, sweat, water etc. and what happens if a single drop lands on the finished print? Will it fade/discolor the finished print? Will you provide clear vinyl bags to insert the prints after printing?
    *How about power requirements for 12 computers and monitors?
    *Backup server/software in case of primary failure?
    *How will you load the images?
    *Where will your indexing happen? Will you have your equipment/computers available for that function? Will you have your indexing staff present? Have you done any analysis on the number of images you expect to be shot for the event and the level of effort of indexing that many shots?
    *Have you figured out how you'll handle payment? Merchant Processing (ie: Credit Card), Cash only, bill for prints? And the technical aspects of remote processing? People required?

    So you'll really have to think through the logistics of this if you want to provide the capability to allow competitors to view their images at the event.

    If this were an area of shooting I was trying to enter on my own from scratch, I'd probably try to steer away from immediate viewing and focus on getting lots of good shots, a rock solid indexing function, an email distribution that shows them the images indexed to their bib number and a visible link taking them to your ordering site. That way, you focus on shooting and quality delivery instead of getting wrapped up in what could sour a lot of people quickly with your intended service.

    Finally, once you have all the images on-line, keep that gallery open for a period of say, six months, and periodically blast them all an email on discounts and such. Allow ordering for digital images as well as the prints and products. And send them an email when you are getting ready to close the album down indicating a clear date that will happen and maybe a "last chance" offer to purchase with discount. After that, toss up a banner on the event page and charge an extra $$ amount as an "archival retrieval" fee. ie: never give up on them until maybe eight months post event.



    .
  • DuderinoDuderino www.flamphotogallery.com Posts: 26Registered Users Big grins
    edited May 17, 2012
    Some great ideas and thoughts here. I am now 1 month from this triathlon and have made some plans. We have full backing from the event organisers so we can manage this well. We will have a 60m2 tent with tables set up. Instead of viewing stations and indexing, I have decided to print every shot of the finish line. The photographers will be told to shoot one image per person in this area so not to have more than 1000 prints. We will have adequate tables to display and the tent is large enough to accommodate the table. The printer will be able to print quick enough. All these things have been calculated. As there is a short race and a long race, as well as a kids race, the tent will be divided into sections. We will place the prints out in order as they come in, thus indexing them by finish times. We can add table top signs with time intervals to help them find their time zone. They will pick up their print and bring it to the cashier area where our sales staff will take payment. We haven't confirmed if we will print orders on site or post. Post will be costly but much quicker in the selling area, and we can throw more people at taking orders than processing prints/products etc. 1000 in a just a few hours is rather a lot and this might be the best way to deal with the numbers.

    The action shots will be on-line only. These will be indexed with race numbers if visible and will be also categorised into short race - swim for example. I am prioritising the on-site selling for many reasons, not least due to feedback on this forum. Many people have struggled with on-line sales and as I do on-site printing everyday, where we print every shot and put it in their hands, we know it sells well. But of course, we can only print 1 shot per participant and this will be the finish line.

    At the finish area, they will immediately collect a finisher's t-shirt, then there will be a sponsor's wall set-up where we will make portraits. Has anyone seen this before or have any thoughts on this? Having this will allow us to get at least one shot of everyone, as we can organise the people at this point. They can wear their t-shirt or not, and this will give us the option of printing this shot instead of the finish line if we are missing people there or photographers are shooting more than one image of each.
  • DuderinoDuderino www.flamphotogallery.com Posts: 26Registered Users Big grins
    edited May 17, 2012
    One thing I didn't mention, when they bring their print to the cashier, there will be a selection of products available and they will fill out their order forms at this point. Along the tables, there will be samples and prices for them to all ready decide what they want. If they want to purchase their print from the table they can. This is a 6x4 standard print. Our other products will be 12x8 certificates etc.
  • GlortGlort Major grins Posts: 1,015Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 17, 2012
    I Think you have adopted a very good approach to this event. You are setting yourself up for 2 bites of the cherry with the down and dirty quik and easy pre printed shots and coming back for the second bite with the on-lines. All bases covered.
    Doing the finish line shots and printing them off i think will make it a winner for you right there.

    One idea I'd suggest is with displaying the pics. I was at a theme park where they had roving shooters and they displayed the prints on verticle boards. They had a plastic strip screwed on that was just deep enough to hold the prints and spaced accordingly in lines. Having displayed prints on tables many times myself, I took note of this as I thought it was a much better way of doing things and provided much more display space within a given area. It also seemed a lot easier to view the pics than having to look over a table and kept them a lot neater and easier to re arrange and add later pics.
    Might be to late for you now but just a thought.

    I noticed you said "Printer" . Is there only going to be one or will you have a couple or spares?
    How much are you going to be selling your 6x4's for and had you thought about doing 5x7's?
    I have to say I really HATE 6x4's. To me there is no better way to make a pro pic Look like an amateur snap shot than print it exactly the same size as wart-mart do. But that's just my personal hangup.

    I think you are very wise not to bother printing the extra orders on site. The postage cost won't be as high as the sales you'll miss having people working on the delivery after you have their orders rather than concentrating on getting the orders in the first place. If you had the means at all, I would be trying to also print the sponsors wall pics. This would allow you to do a deal on buying 2 pics and increase your average sale. Even if you did the 2nd print for 50% of the cost of the first one, It will make a big difference to the bottom line.

    Anyway, sounds like you have come up with a very good and impressive solution to this event and laid a great ground work for success with it.
  • DuderinoDuderino www.flamphotogallery.com Posts: 26Registered Users Big grins
    edited May 17, 2012
    Thanks for your thoughts Glort. From you, that is a confidence boost. I have thought about all the details and of course given 1000 people and the fact that we have not done this event before, I am going to just run with it a bit. Of course it will turn out that I could do things better, or I have overdone some things, but I think we are well prepared. About printing the sponsors wall portraits, I would love to do this, but at the moment, there simply is not room for them all. The standing board/wall is a good idea which I thought about, but it just seems impracticable to implement given materials etc. It is perhaps simpler to hire in tables delivered to the tent. Also, due to the numbers, it will all ready take them a while to find their images. Having to find two images would be more time consuming. Of course we could match them up and put them out together but this is more stress on the printing/laying out process. Given the fact that we will constantly get hammered for 5 hours, I think I need to decide on either finish line or sponsor wall. Sponsor wall is good because we can get individual shots and make sure we shoot everyone. However, the finish line is more memorable and important and will sell better I guess. I am really pushing the race time photos and certificates as a way to make the image special. A complete souvenir of the event rather than a snapshot.

    About the printer, I use a Fujifilm ASk1500 Dyd Sublination Thermal printer. This is in one size only - 6x4. We will use this for the mass printing/display. We do not intend selling those images, rather, they will function as VStations. The products we will offer will be 12x8 prints. Of course, I am a money man, and therefore I will also offer the 6x4 if they want it. I am looking at the following prices (this is in Norwegian Krone about 7.5 NOK to 1 Euro):
    6x4 Print 100nok
    6x4 Print in a strut mount 140nok
    12x8 Print 150nok
    12x8 Race Time and Event Logo Print 180nok
    12x8 Finishers Photo Certificate Print 180nok
    12x8 Magazine Cover Print 180nok
    Package Deal of Race Time, Certificate, Magazine and 6x4 Print 500nok

    Online same thing, plus the emailed images will be 180nok the same as the prints as this incurs no cost and therefore we will prefer to email.

    I have only one printer and yes it is a risk not having a back up. If all things goes tits up, we will nail the online instead. However, I run this printer everyday and I know it well. I will be the person printing and concentrate only on this until all prints are out. It pops them out in 8 seconds so I figure it will take just over 2 hours to print. From first to last finisher it will be 3.5 hours so I think we can keep up with them. I will write the file name on the back of the print so I can find the image quickly when doing the orders (if I have time). I will staple the print to the order form and pop it in a box for our order processing.

    I am glad you support the post later model for this, as I know you hate having homework. I am not bothered about having work to do when I get home, but I am concerned about costs. But I know we can serve more people and quicker without fiddling about with PS typing in racetimes etc.

    I am hoping to get my card payment terminal before the event. If this fails, I will let them pay by invoice and send the prints on receipt of payment. This model works well here in Norway but I do expect to drop a few sales given the after thought. But, I should have my payment terminal in place. The next problem is only having one machine for so many people. I am thinking to have the guy with this at the end of the sales desk, and the other cashiers can do everything in taking the order, but send them to the end to pay, where they can queue with their order forms.

    Any thoughts from anyone is greatly appreciated.
  • jbakerphotojbakerphoto Major grins Posts: 251Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 17, 2012
    I am likeing your approach as well. I am just wondering what your workflow is going to be to get the pictures to the printer. it really sounds like you need to be tethered. if you wait too long to go download them(even every 15 minutes), I would think they would be gone by the time you print.

    I have shot some larger events (1/2 marathon and mud run) for one of the big companies and you will get a lot of group shots for the award/tshirt shot...Try to be setup for the tshirt shot before they are are ready to exit/are able to find there family. (funnel them through) Also you might want to get candid group shots before the start as well and maybe have those ready at the finish as well.
    40D,Rebel XT,Tamron 17-50 2.8,Tamron 28-80 3.5-5.6, Canon 50 1.8, Sigma 70-200 2.8, Canon 580EX , Sunpack 383 w/ optical slave

    www.jonbakerphotography.com
  • GlortGlort Major grins Posts: 1,015Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 17, 2012
    Duderino wrote: »

    Also, due to the numbers, it will all ready take them a while to find their images. Having to find two images would be more time consuming.

    I understand it's not practical for you to do it but I did have in mind they would take the time to look for the 2nd Pic. What I saw at the theme park ( some people had half a dozen taken) and in my own experience is that people will stop and look for all the pics they have had done. Having a bit of a crowd is also a good thing as it brings in more people to look. The upshot to me with looking for other prints has been buying pics for friends. We get a lot of that and it's funny when the people have looked at their own pic and don't buy it then a friend sees it and buys it for them thinking they haven't seen it yet. Gotta love that!

    Perhaps on your time frame you need to get the people through as well. That would be a consideration.


    I am really pushing the race time photos and certificates as a way to make the image special. A complete souvenir of the event rather than a snapshot.

    We do not intend selling those images, rather, they will function as VStations.
    I think the time pics and the certificates are a bloody brilliant way to go. I have found with my own event stuff that commemorative prints are well taken up. Between our different offerings, they account for at least 50% of our print sales.

    I KNOW however that a lot, probably the majority of people are going to assume the 6x4 is THE product. You can have signs everywhere but I reckon you'll still have at least half unawares that there is more on offer by the time they get to the counter, 6x4 in hand, ready to pay and go. As such, I'd suggest to make sure you have plenty of staff ready to help with the up selling. The more you get on the day the better and the less you'll loose to good online intentions that don't come through.

    I also think you'll do well just from the sales of the 6x4's and will be a great marketing tool as a reminder of the other things your offering and as a great take home on the day to show friends the next day at work etc.

    I think your price point for the 6x4 and your other products is very good. First thoughts were a little cheap but second thoughts in relation to the sport and demographic is your probably spot on. This will be a numbers game like most events so better to go for volume than outright value of the sales.
    I am glad you support the post later model for this, as I know you hate having homework. I am not bothered about having work to do when I get home, but I am concerned about costs. But I know we can serve more people and quicker without fiddling about with PS typing in racetimes etc.
    Yeah, I don't like homework but I do love money and I'm happy to do the homework if it means more money. :D
    Although I think you have come up with a better and more impressive approach to this than I would have, I think you are absoloutley doing the right thing mailing the orders out and I would have done that the same with that part for sure.

    Homework is a hangup but I know for a fact that on the couple of occasions when we haven't printed onsite, it makes no difference.... even when my clients were used to getting their prints on the day. I have also asked clients that have given us big orders if we could mail them out because it took heaps of pressure off. It freed us up to do other orders both taking and printing and also gave us more time to get the big order spot on quality wise.

    Onsite printing is just the delivery of the product after you have their money. Getting their money in the first place is the main Priority. Money is better spent on the salespeople than the delivery people. :D

    I am hoping to get my card payment terminal before the event.
    I'd be pushing for that now with whoever is providing it.
    I got a terminal recently rather than the paper slips we had been using and the bank made a point of letting me know if we did a big event, we could get extra terminals on a short term loan.
    It may be worth asking your provider if they have loan or replacement units you could brrow for the weekend.

    Where I am we have come home from successful events and barely have enough cash for a feed for the family in a half decent restaurant! One day with the swim school I had great sales and only one was cash. People are lost without their plastic here. Me being at odds with everything of course barely ever use it and then only when I have enough cash in my pocket to cover what I'm buying if it don't work. Been embarrassed with stuff ups with plastic before.

    I wouldn't worry about the time factor too much. They will come in progressively and your hourly customer rate won't be too bad. People here at least are generally pretty patient with these type things and will see your flat out and won't worry too much especially with the product you are offering.
  • DuderinoDuderino www.flamphotogallery.com Posts: 26Registered Users Big grins
    edited May 18, 2012
    jbaker, the group shots pre race are a great idea. I will implement that for sure. About being tethered, does this mean wireless transmission? I have thought about it, have no experience in it, do not know what kind of signal we will get, and simply can not rely on a new set up for a gig of this importance. However, I am open to ideas and new set ups will no doubtedly improve our operation in the long term. However, I have planned to have a 'runner'. We will be a couple hundred metres away from the the finish I heard. Although this sounds too far, we have been assured we are by the exit, beside the cafe, so all people will past by us. That said, the runner's job is to deliver the memory card, pick up a new one, then get back to the photographer and repeat. They will do this all day long. Might get them a bicycle. I had though they could also lay out the prints on the tables, as to use them a bit more, but now that you say I will miss people who leave too quick, I will rethink this part. My one concern is that the photographer will not be able to swap memory cards due to workload with shooting every second. If they put the camera down to swap, they will miss people. Perhaps I can use a backup camera, and simply swap out the cameras. This might be the solution, as long as we have a speedlite flash on both, if it is the portrait shots. We will think about it. I guess this is one of the things that we will have to wing-it on the day. But thanks for the pre thought. I also intend to have an 'Usher' who will make the people collect their t-shirt, then get their picture taken. This will allow 100% accuracy rate in getting them shot. Also covers your concern of letting them escape to meet their family. This will be a tight and strict process :D

    Glort, I still have not decided whether it will be finish line or tshirt shots that will print. But based on my calculated print times, I can not print both as we do not have time. I think it will simply add too much stress too given the numbers. Plus on the other side, it is another enticement to see the online shots where they will get all shots. Which one should I print???????

    To cover the problem of people thinking the 6x4 is THE product, I intend to have an easel set up in the entrance to the tent with the product samples. I will also have samples littered on small table top easels through out the tables. I intend to have one or two staff on hand in the table sections to help and to explain the whole process. This is important to get them to collect their print and pass to the cashier. Maybe the staff will have order forms and instruct them. We will think more about this. Of course, when they get to the cashier we will nail the up sell anyway. Nothing like getting all the products for about 25% discount :D I do this in my day job here taking passenger photos. Keyring, magnet and strut mounted print in a bag, hanging on the wall when they return from the boat trip. 50% take the whole pack for 200nok instead of one piece for 80nok.

    What are your thoughts about the magazine covers guys? I think I got that idea from Glort a few threads back. Just before the swim school pics I believe. So far there hasnt been too much excitement in the posts for that. What are your opinions?

    Glort you mentioned the take home products are a marketing tool. I guess I have now decided all orders will receive the business card which directs them to the web images too. A good idea.

    I got confirmed from Fujifilm today that they will not be renting me a printer for the 12x8's so that confirms that I will be going for the post later option. But again Glort, another good though is that we can then PS perfectly all the images and deliver outstanding results rather than rushing on the day. Wont increase sales, but it will be better customer service and this can help us win more events, perhaps.

    I have just emailed the card reader provider to ask for more machines for the weekend. Lets see. Here in Norway about 90% of transactions are by card, even for ice cream. Good idea to get more, but as well I am sure once they have decided to purchase they will be willing to queue to pay by card. Another concern is how long it will take. My experience with mobile card terminals is that they tend to need to connect before processing. This can take a while. Just look at paying in restaurants at the table etc. It takes ages sometimes. Well, I will have the invoice option set up as a back up.
  • M38A1M38A1 Curious. Very curious. Posts: 1,313Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 18, 2012
    Duderino wrote: »
    What are your thoughts about the magazine covers guys? I think I got that idea from Glort a few threads back. Just before the swim school pics I believe. So far there hasnt been too much excitement in the posts for that. What are your opinions?

    Again, my comment is tempered from what I'll call a seasoned athletes perspective, specifically in the US. I personally see no value as a customer wanting a magazine cover type shot. Having done tri's on and off for 25+ years I just haven't felt the need for that type of shot to be on my wall or in a scrapbook. And I really haven't seen much of that offering over here as well or people asking for it. I'm personally well over the 'wow' factor of the accomplishment and I think most seasoned triathletes would be in that same bucket.

    For your situation, I would have to venture the 1st timers would be the highest percentage of possibly wanting something like this. And across those 1st timers, there's two groups to include 1) those that simply set the goal and accomplished it, scratch it off the list never to to again, and 2) those that are really hooked on the initial rush of the accomplishment and want to do another or longer distance. I believe that's where the potential magazine cover sales would come from.

    Another factor which may play into my observations is these events (Tri's, cycling and running events) are just sooooo common here in the US and they are all shot allowing the participants to order prints. I can't say I've ordered anything from the last three or four events for the simple reason they are just like any other event - a picture of me on the bike, or on a run course. The only significance to me are the larger accomplishments like the full IRONMAN distance races. Heck, I didn't even order finish pics for the Half-IM last year.

    I don't want to deter your potential sales, but I just don't see the magazine cover as being a big order item. But I do have a couple questions back at 'cha.....

    1) How mainstream is Triathlon now in Norway? Are they popular, ie: what's the number of events within say, 200km of your location? What's the average participation in entries for the average event?

    2) What are the distances of the events? You've mentioned short and long course with a kids course. Here in the US there are five basic distances to include:

    Sprint
    Swim of about 750 meters
    Bike of about 20-30 km
    Run of about 5k

    Olympic
    Swim fixed at 1500m
    Bike fixed at 40 km
    Run fixed at 10k

    Half-IRONMAN
    Swim fixed at 1.2 miles
    Bike fixed at 56 miles
    Run fixed at 13.1

    IRONMAN
    Swim fixed at 2.4 miles
    Bike fixed at 112 miles
    Run fixed at 26.2 miles

    Kids
    Swim is about 50m
    Bike is about 3km
    Run is about 1k


    Again, I'd probably put the kids and sprint type distances as the highest percentage of potential magazine cover type sales and reduce that as the distances grow based on the fact that the longer distances are more seasoned athletes in general.



    .
  • GlortGlort Major grins Posts: 1,015Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 18, 2012
    I take it you do have a relief photographer for when the other guy wants a drink/ sitdown/ toilet break?

    With changing the cards, I don't think that will be as difficult as you imagine. I doubt they are going to be firing over the line every second, my perception is they will come through in a group then a gap then a single or a few then a gap and a group and.... I think it will be OK, just might have to wait a few moments for the gap.

    The runner is definitely the way to go. If it were me I'd be doing wireless because I have done it before but I also worked up to it intesting and learning and without that you'd be mad to try it on an event like this as you say. Given the distance, I might also be looking at putting a repeater in somewhere half way along to keep the signal at it's best. A repeater up a tree attached to a big battery would be the way to go. :0)
    I have done wired at about 100M but in this instance I imagine running the cable would pose all sorts of problems in itself. The runner will be the most reliable by far.

    Have you also thought about some walkie talkies so the shooter or anyone else not close to HQ can communicate? I bought some when I started the horse work and wouldn't be without them. They make things sooo much easier in a load of different ways.


    I would print the finish line shots myself. That's a money shot more over than the t shirt one. The tshirt shot could be ok in holding back the money shot for the other products but I think in this case you would be better to create the most excitement possible by showing the best one.

    As for the mag covers, I pretty much agree with M38A1. They are going to be popular with the kids. The adults, not so much I think.

    I agree with waiting to pay but the better you can look after the people and more efficient you appear the better.
    The terminal I got is a mobile one that uses the mobile network. So far we have had no problems with connection speed. The one I have will store 100 transactions if if can't connect then process them when it can.
  • DuderinoDuderino www.flamphotogallery.com Posts: 26Registered Users Big grins
    edited May 19, 2012
    Here the pro tri's are about 200-300 people. This one is an Olympic long race and short 500m, 20k and 5k short. Dont have details about the kids. The number of events seem to be perhaps 12 tri's throughout Norway for the year more or less. Or at least the ones I have found. The distance is 400km2 perhaps.

    I will not use wireless for this event. I have been told the distance between the tent and finish is 500m and crouded, so this throws up all sorts of issues. Perhaps 2 runners in replay or meet half way. They will be tired though. But if it is crowded, perhaps we have a bit more time before they get away in the car.

    About breaks for the photographers, there will be gaps between action for that. Well on paper at least. Will just have to wing it a bit a make sure they take them when they can. We will use walkie talkies that I will borrow. Of course the runners could relay messages too.

    Perhaps I will ditch the mag covers. The biggest requirement for having a few products is that I like offering a package as an up-sell. A race time and logo, certificate, normal print all in 12x8 size, and the 6x4 freebie on the day, should manage the package at 500nok (600nok total value). Any thoughts on this? Any other packages to offer? There is the possibility like Glort's swim school packs of one print in several sizes but I dont imagine this is the right way to go for this.

    So you think I should print the finish line? The disadvantage is we can miss people, could have several people in the shot not just one isolated etc. The tshirt shot can be everyone, idividually, controlled. Perfect for printing without dropping people. Of course, officially, the finish line is an action shot, and after all action shots will be online. Might be better to print the portraits and leave the swim, bike and finish to online. More insentive to look with several to look at as well. Any thoughs????
  • M38A1M38A1 Curious. Very curious. Posts: 1,313Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 19, 2012
    Duderino wrote: »
    Here the pro tri's are about 200-300 people. This one is an Olympic long race and short 500m, 20k and 5k short. Dont have details about the kids. The number of events seem to be perhaps 12 tri's throughout Norway for the year more or less. Or at least the ones I have found. The distance is 400km2 perhaps.

    Perhaps I will ditch the mag covers. The biggest requirement for having a few products is that I like offering a package as an up-sell. A race time and logo, certificate, normal print all in 12x8 size, and the 6x4 freebie on the day, should manage the package at 500nok (600nok total value). Any thoughts on this? Any other packages to offer?

    So you think I should print the finish line? The disadvantage is we can miss people, could have several people in the shot not just one isolated etc.

    That's quite a bit smaller market than the local tri-scene here. Professionally run tri's here locally will run about 2000 entrants or more. Heck, just today I participated in the Real Ale Ride (beer manufacturer) in a little town about 50 miles away and there were 1500 people riding bicycles. But it's always fun to learn how these are done in other parts of the world, so thanks!

    Please, don't let me be the sole contributor on whether or not you ditch the magazine cover concept. I've just provided my personal experience, but if there's any doubt, then try it for a single race and see the results for evaluation at the next event.

    Finish line shot? ABSOLUTELY! That's the one that will show the actual accomplishment, ie: crossing under the Finish structure, tape or however they have it setup. They typically will have the event name and the clock time. It's always a sigh of relief crossing that line as you KNOW it's over at that point and the entrants will typically be smiling regardless of their mental or physical condition. We always joke approaching the finish line ".... sunglasses off, hands in the air and SMILE as you cross". :D Having multiple entrants will happen, it's just the nature of the sport. Personally, I've always tried to time my finish to be solo strictly for the finish line image, but there's been a few races where others came from waaaaayyyyyyy back at a dead run and sort of spoiled that. So just accept it will happen.

    I really can't wait to see some of the end products! thumb.gif


    .
  • M38A1M38A1 Curious. Very curious. Posts: 1,313Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 13, 2012
    Any news on how this is progressing for you?

    Is the tri-shoot this coming weekend?



    .
  • M38A1M38A1 Curious. Very curious. Posts: 1,313Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 27, 2012
    Any updates? Based on your earlier post, this should have happened the 16th, right?

    How did it go?


    .
  • M38A1M38A1 Curious. Very curious. Posts: 1,313Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 8, 2012
    The OP seems to have left the building..... I would have liked to hear an update on what worked well and what needs improvement.

    But I did find the gallery of shots posted here:
    http://flamphotogallery.zenfolio.com/hovetri


    .
  • DuderinoDuderino www.flamphotogallery.com Posts: 26Registered Users Big grins
    edited July 23, 2012
    Hi guys. Thanks for following the thread and sorry for the delay in updating. Generally sales were a lot less than anticipated. On-site was messy and on-line was successful but slow.

    We invested a lot of personnel and costs in doing the on-site set-up, and were guaranteed from the organisers that there would be only one exit point which we would be besides. However it tuned out just in front of us was two other roads to slip through, so in face there were three exit points. Our position was beside the card park so of course everybody had bicycles with them which they were reluctant to lean on a post holding up our tent. We printed out all the finish line shots, one each and placed them on a table. It turned out from what people were saying that they wanted to see the sponsor's wall portraits instead. We only had capability to print one pictures per participant, so after a lot of thought, decided the finish line was the emotional highlight. Oops. They were tired too and couldn't really be bothered to look for their prints, and after we told them they were on-line as well and they had action shots there as well, most people wanted to go home and look. The amateur race was more successful, as expected. We managed to get enough sales to pay the staff, but the rush we were expecting never came.

    So over to on-line it was. First problem, we were 7 hours from home, without wifi, so uploading had to wait until late the next day. First batch of emotional purchases lost! Well I spent 24 hours painfully uploading all the shots on my not to good home wifi. the race having finished 5pm Saturday, we finally managed to send out the mass email to all participants with the link to the gallery at 5pm on Monday. Feedback to all you photographers - you should be aiming for 12 hours max! On my next triathlon in a couple of weeks time, I will be uploading same day (if I can get wifi). I hope to have the images on-line, even before they have finished the race. It is a 10 hour race.

    Well, sales. We are still getting orders in, which is the blessing of selling on-line. I have sent out 2 or 3 reminder emails since the initial one. After a couple of weeks, I also added some pre-race photos to the gallery so that I could email everybody again notifying them of this. This was successful, because even though those pictures didn't sell, it did generate a few more orders. My next plan is to offer a 50% discount on digital images. I think this will come just before I do my next triathlon on 3rd August. Of course digital images cost nothing so to generate some 50% income at this stage will be an added bonus.

    All in all, we made a little bit on this gig, but definitely not what was expected. I offered a Race Time Photo with event logo, an official certificate photo with event logos, split times, finish time and name, and an original photo. On-site, the prints we had on the tables were sold in a strut mount.

    For the next gig, I will be offering a panoramic print which has three images in, event logo, split time and finish time. It will be offered print only and framed.
  • GlortGlort Major grins Posts: 1,015Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 24, 2012
    Isn't it a bummer when you think you have all the bases covered then on the day there are a whole load of things that come up that you never thought of in the first place. Still, you can always learn.
    I know what you went through with the uploading of pics. It was ALWAYS a drama for me and usually took several attempts as well.

    Obviously next time hammer the organisers that you want to be at the first exit at very least and positioned so they at least have to walk past you to get to the others.
    I'd also get a bike rack from somewhere so they do have somewhere to park their bikes while they look. If you have as big an area as it appears in the pic, put it at the front of the tent so they keep an eye on the bike while they look at the pics.

    There is a very significant thing you raise though in the participants being tired. That to me is a real Consideration. It potentially puts so much of what you do in the bin straight off. Maybe it's not worth doing the onsite for this type of event? I don't know what your sales rate or closing ratio was but even if you only worked on getting 25% of the onsite sales if you did online only, I'd be weighing that with your staffing and materials cost.

    Is it at all possible for you to work with the organisers and try and sell pre paid packages or prints?
    Have the organisers send out or with an email info on your services and an offer for prebooking and postage. Sell the pics before they are tired and post them out afterwards. I know there is a lot more involved in that but I'm just trying to think of ways round that too buggered to care about pics problem.

    One other thing that stands out to me like the proverbial from the single pic you have is your setup.
    And please don't take this the wrong way, it is meant to help.

    Basicly that wooden folding table etc their look so amateur and unprofessional it makes me cringe.
    It's not what you have there, it's how it presents. It looks like a guy that bought his home computer and printer and is banging them out. It's hard to explain but it looks uninviting and " hopeful" rather than appearing you are a serious business and looking like you are there to sell.
    I read what I'm trying to say years ago and it hit me like a DAF truck but it's not easy to explain.

    To me this looks like there is no expectation of selling, you are trying to make some pocket money rather than being a professional business. Most of us are trying to make pocket money but it's not the way we want to appear.

    If you separate the big Dollars from the actual presentation in the pics below, you will see what I mean. Their signage is great, their presentation looks expert and they basically draw people in whom know they are going to spend money. You don't need the semi trailer to create the impression, it's the little things that do it not the big ones.

    actionf.jpg

    05.jpg

    My suggstions for you -IF- you feel it is worthwhile doing onsite with this.....

    Signage.
    Can't see from the pic but did you have a banner of any sort outside the tent?
    I mean something 6Ft long x 3ft High MINIMUM. That stood out like dogs balz.
    This company above have been smart in their choice of colours. Black on yellow is the 2nd highest visibility colour combination and I'd suggest outdoors in the settings they are working in, it would be THE most visable colour combo.
    GET A BIG BANNER. Even if it just says " See your Photo Here".

    I would also invest in some A frame's with posters. I think the std size is about 600x900mm. You can built the frames yourself out of some cheap timber with a couple of hinges. That's what I started with then I made some of my own and got a few more that I found broken behind a bottle shot and simply repaired the broken welds and replaced broken rivets, gave them a coat of spray paint and they are and look good as new.

    The signs can be printed cheap at office places. Here they cost me $30 Printed and laminated.

    Table/ Counter.

    Your present setup is a shocker and now that you have done your first event like this you are ready to start turning the tuning dials and improving right? :D

    For this sort of thing I have several of the plastic topped folding leg tables. Some are rigid 6Ft long, others fold in half which are great for putting in your car.
    For this I would not do a table but a counter. I made up inserts for the legs which slip in to raise the table to a counter height. I got a length of rod for each leg and welded it on a bit of flat bar so the legs don't wobble and it gives the table more stability. Works great, cost nothing.

    If you don't have the crap and rubbish around your place ( be thankful!) where you can just grab stuff like this, go to an engineering shop. They will have loads of suitable offcuts lying around and probably knock it up for you on the spot.

    Once you have the table, ( I would do 2) get some fabric ( I like Black) and put that round the front and sides of the table. If you want to have the table in the door with nothing behind you, put it round the back as well.

    All I would put on the table/ counter top is your monitor kb and mouse. Put the printer underneath out of sight. Anything else on the table should be promo items etc. Keep the top of the counter clear and free of clutter. You want to look slick and pro and keeping the table clear is a no cost way of doing that.

    All the rest of the clutter that you have to have ( and I have more than most!) goes under the table out of sight. You could also have 2 tables in an L shape near the door, one with more samples on it.

    Get some poster/ A frame signs made up and put them on the front of the table. Either screw them into the plastic table through the fabric our get some velcro and put one side on the fabric and the other on the sign. You can sew the velcro onto the fabric or glue it. Prep everything up at home so it's ready to throw together in 2 min when you get there. Set up your printer and computer so you know what you are going to sit them on and that all the cords reach etc.

    Maybe for your 3rd event, spend some more on signs for inside the tent and maybe sample posters with your prices and maybe packages laid out in actual size on them.
    If you could find anything suitable, I'd also have some carpet for the front of the counter. Probably old offcuts with a hose and a scrub that you get out of the carpet store dumpster would be OK.
    People aren't going to look that close but it will make an impression of professionalism and that you are serious vendors that are there to sell not hope someone buys.

    I'd certainly be putting more effort into the presentation just on those things than worrying about your packages IF YOU ARE GOING TO KEEP DOING ONSITE.
    And the quicker you do it, the more money you will make and the faster it will become worthwhile for you.

    Presentation is everything and if you use your head, it doesn't have to be expensive. I have made counters at trade shows out of stacked up milk crates. I put a couple of screws in to hold them together and a bit of thick cardboard doubled up I found in the dumpster for the counter top.
    I put $10 worth of fabric around it with a $2 piece of a different colour on the top to set it off and it looked a lot better than the counters everyone was hiring for the event for $200.

    If you are going to use those tables, Cover them with material as well. If you go to fabric shops you can get what is known as " Bolt ends" Which they will generally put in a pile and is the last few meters of material on the roll they generally sell at very reduced prices.
    I use Unbleached Calico which is a light straw colour or I'd advise using black or red. Other colours may be good to tie in with your company colours or logo.


    Anyway, I hope you get what I mean about creating the buying environment and the presentation.
    I'm still concerned about them being tired and wanting to get home but I think this will go a long way in helping your sales and profitability.
  • M38A1M38A1 Curious. Very curious. Posts: 1,313Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 24, 2012
    Glort is on the right track with the "pre-paid" concept. I know for several of the events I've attended, you can, up front when you register, purchase various photo packages. The digital images are associated to the race number tied to the athlete and sent to their email account after they've been indexed and uploaded.

    Looking at the gallery of images, I saw there would have been some difficulty in indexing those race numbers for a variety of reasons. This would probably necessitate some discussions with the race organizer for them to list a specific rule that race numbers be visible on the front during the entire run. This is a partnership with you and the race promoter, so you want good opportunities to deliver the goods and they want good images of their participants. And I hadn't considered the much cooler temperatures at your events where athletes would cover up in longsleeves or running tights, thus possibly covering up body marking. There was body marking, right?

    I'm sorry to hear it didn't go as planned, but I think you've learned a tremendous amount with one event under your belt. I surmise it can only get better from this point forward.

    .
  • DuderinoDuderino www.flamphotogallery.com Posts: 26Registered Users Big grins
    edited July 28, 2012
    Thanks for your feedback and thoughts. You are absolutely right about the presentation Glort. Every point I agree with. But to be honest, this hasn't registered with me as a problem or a cause for the lower sales with this event. Simple truth is, for this type of event, online only must be the way to go. The 3 exit points, bikes, being tired etc. all contributed to it making sense to go see the pics online. Plus, as we were printing out, we printed only the finish line and they wanted to see the other 4 or 5 shots. So I too would prefer to go online. Just that of course we wanted to capture as much cash on the day to recoup costs as possible rather than the good faith 'I will check later'. But to be honest, we did manage to sell onsite and our setup was flawless (almost). Well, afterall, Ironman is online only so I guess that says something!!!

    Presentation wise, although I fully agree and would expect something like Glort described, it is cost verses benefit. With this job, the costs were all ready escalating, and every cost had to be balanced with the expected sales and kept a lid on. This is why the final sales were disappointing, due to the costs. We probably did about USD1500 on this job, but costs were about USD1000. I was hoping for around USD8000 in sales. I know some of the presentation ideas could be very cheap, but in Norway everything is hard to get a hold off and expensive. We live in little villages between mountains and fjords. Also, doing these events is not my day job. If it was, of course I would invest in many of the things mentioned. The set up in the attached picture is truely impressive, and yes I would expect a high average spend as a result. But my day operation is making passenger photos of a boat trip. This operation is absolutely flawless. On a good day I can sell nearly every picture. For example, today I sold about 80% of images. This is a permanent set-up so is easy to fine tune. And fine tune it I have. But the events as designed to be a cash boost for the one-off days we get them rather than the company in this picture which does it day in day out. There is a difference here. I was planning on getting a couple of beach flags that said 'event photos' or something but the were too pricey. We did however have some signs and displays outside the tent. The sample products were hanging on a couple of sales stands etc. I can show pics if you want???

    But I truly believe online only is the way. Next week I am shooting Norseman Extreme Triathlon www.nxtri.com . This is supposed to be the world's most extreme Tri. 3.8km swim, 190km bike, then a marathon. The last 17km is up a mountain to 1800m above see level. Quickest time 11 hours. Slowest time 20 hours. There is an opportunity to do onsite the day after as there is a ceremony in the hotel. But imagine when the ceremony wraps, 250 participants all coming to see their images at once. No thanks. Hello online. It is actually being run twice, 250 participants on each day. We will shoot swim exit and bike at T1, then drive 190km through the field to the front to catch them mid way through the run. Then we head back to the start for day two. That is a job and a half. Alarm bells are ringing for this one so I have slashed the budget to essential costs only. USD100 accommodation and USD250 gasoline. Two man crew only. We will each get two shots of all participants, so there will be 4 shots for them. The photographer I am using is my trainee assistant who insists on not getting paid. She just appreciates that I train her and give her the experience. A nice fit for this risky job. Well, 500 participants should be an interesting gig anyway I think. But with the costs so low, I think we can make a nice profit. I am hoping for at least USD1500 in sales very modestly, based on that being the last Tri's sales. But if we actually get it right, I mean, upload to the web within 24hours, or even before they finish the race, then I think we can do more than that. I am offering some higher value products too to increase sales. There is a new panoramic print with three images in it, race time, split times, name and event logo. This will be offered in 2 sizes as print only, canvas and framed. I think that is the ultimate triathlon product. Swim, Bike, Run.

    The good thing about online is the after sale. I just got in another order online from the first Tri for nearly 10% of my total sales so far. A month after the event, that is a nice sale. We just dont know when they are going to order and so long after, that is a sweet bonus. Plus soon, I intend to run a discount on digital products.

    Pre-paid packages sound interesting and is something I have never considered. I will bear it in mind in the future though.

    18th August I have my third Tri and I will be able to see how the online only works for me. Again that is a 5 hour race. No hope of onsite viewing.

    Another thing that is coming to light, is the opportunity to offer the web gallery to other photographers hoping to sell images at other events. There is no reason why I have to shoot the event. I can offer photographers commission on their sales from using my gallery. This might be a very clever niche here in Norway, as many events are small, far away and expensive to do. Yet the world is full of photographers. Let them log in and upload their shots, and they take a cut. Any thought on this guys??? That might be the better opportunity in this game so far I think and a real marketable product.

    The other thing that is bugging me is Zenfolio's inability to customise the search tool. It is so necessary to tag the image with the race number for quick searching. But Zen searches the entire website so any file with that number would appear and it is not possible to add a little search box within a gallery. This would be so useful. I have noticed on the bigger companies sites that you just enter your number and all your images pop up. Of course the race number needs to be visible for this to work. But I can not currently offer that. What I did for the first Tri, was categorise the galleries into small sections. Men, women. All participants, red shirt, blue shirt etc. Without actually entering search criteria, the participant is able to find a small selection of images. Of course they have to do this for each shot, swim exit, bike, run etc. I guess that loses us sales. But one feedback come in that they found the shots within 3 minutes so I guess we are at least half way there. But it is a lot of work for me to set it up that way, at a time when time is absolutely in the essence as 24 hours seems to be the bulk cut off point for interested viewers.
  • GlortGlort Major grins Posts: 1,015Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 29, 2012
    While online is far from my preferred method of selling, It seems to be the marketing initiative of choice here.
    That said, If there are people out there doing onsite, I'd try to see how they are doing it and what you could learn from them.
    I had a quick look and I couldn't find anyone specifically saying they did triathlon pics onsite so that may mean I wasn't looking in the right spot or it's not done.

    If you are going to do online, drive it and drive it hard. I'd be trying to get links on the organisers websites, organise flyers to give out at the events, wall paper the car windows and also print up some posters. You have to make them see the site name so many times they know it off by heart.

    I absoloutley, positively, would not miss the opportunity at the hotel. PRE-PRINT the main shots at least and have them laid out on tables. Don't worry if you can't do them all or have them all available, do the ones you have learned are most requested and have them ready to go. Sell those, maybe even put an offer on them of a bonus print if they buy x online or a discount off their online purchases and sell at the function. You'll have a captive audience that will still be hyped but rested enough to walk and stand. Don't let it go.

    I would line it up with the organisers that you will do some promotional pics for them of officials, speakers, special guests whatever in exchange for them promoting you and letting the people know that " feature" Photos of the event will be available at the presentation and then again have it announced during the presentation.

    As for 250 Guests.... so what? I Shoot, print and sell to an average of 600 guests a night as a regular thing with my corporate/ charity/ dinner dance work. You'll get quite a few buying before the event when they come in, a few might wander out during proceedings depending on how it's set up and yes, You'll get a rush at the end but not as bad as you think. A lot of people will hang around talking and whatever and spread the initial hit out. 250 is not that many to begin with really.

    Now just to clarify, I am NOT saying do a show and print at the presentation. What I am saying is have SOME (if you can't do all) of the prints at the event ready to go. Not sure how many you are taking of each person but you mentioned they wanted a particular ( forget which) shot earlier so print that one for them to buy to take home to that far away Village to show family, friends and workmates and then have your logo and web addy Printed right on the bag/ envelope you put the print in.... Preferably with an offer or incentive to view and buy the rest of the pics online.

    This is essentially what you did at the last event. You were trying to cash in on the immediate onsite sales and the online. It was a good strategy and easier to repeat here.

    I don't know if you preprint with your everyday work you mentioned but if you don't, the concern you have about cost of leftovers will not be an issue. You also have the upside to this that any you don't sell on the night you might get rid of through online orders so your wastage will be minimal.
    I Pre print all my indoor function work and the amount we get left over is chicken feed.
    Hell, for my school work, I preprint 3 8x12 for every kid. We get quite a few leftover but what we make on the immediate take home buys makes the cost of leftovers a complete non concern.

    The other thing with doing the pre printed sales is you could also slip in some info about pre- orders for the next races you are attending. I'd push it as something like "Guaranteed priority coverage" for those that pre-order.
    I have heard of a great business model where photographers were only photographing X number of competitors at an event. They had to sign up with a deposit in order to be photographed at all.

    I managed to get a few at one event I did where I offered basically as many shots as I could get on disk for $100. It was a good move because even though we shot everyone, we would have lost our shirts on that event had it not been for the pre signups.

    I'd definitely consider pre-printing and selling at the presentation though. I think it will be profitable at the event and go a long way to boost online and future event sales if you work it right and think smart. :D
  • DuderinoDuderino www.flamphotogallery.com Posts: 26Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 8, 2012
    So we have just finished our second triathlon. This time we made big improvements. First of all, we got rid of the on-site sales. It just doesn't make any sense for this type of event. Second, I got mobile Wifi so that we could upload throughout the day. Also, I have made a gallery for every participant and put all their pictures in. This makes it very quick and easy for them to see their pictures. We have added a few higher priced products, of which we have all ready sold one. After 24 hours of the gallery being finished, we have had 11 orders. It expect to get a steady flow of orders coming in for the next 30 days or so judging by the last tri we did. As soon as I had finished categorising the pictures into participant's galleries, I requested the event organiser make some contact with the participants with the web link. I am not sure what has been done, but there is a Twitter link on the event homepage. There will be a newsletter later this week and I will make some posts on the event Facebook page to get us noticed. I have also set up the gallery with a email registration requirement to see the images. This way I can contact the viewers later with any offers etc. The gallery can be viewed here: flamphotogallery.zenfolio.com/norseman

    As this was a long event (10 hours first place, 20 hours last place), I set up our on-site uploading in a bus shelter. We were positioned on the roadside near the finish for the running shots, so the bus stop was ideal. I had a generator to power the laptop and charge the camera batteries, and we just uploaded as we went. It did take a couple more days to categorise the pictures though which is something we will look to improving in the future. Our next tri is in 10 days, so I think we will keep this operation set up. Lets see how the sales go in the next days.
  • GlortGlort Major grins Posts: 1,015Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 9, 2012
    Well done!
    Sounds like you are quickly Fine tuning your setup.

    If you are not going to always be able to get a place to set up, I'd suggest you look at getting one of those pop up gazebo's from ebay.
    I got a 6x3M one and it's far exceeded my expectations. It was cheap as and the thing has done a load of outdoor events in blazing sun, pouring rain and gale force winds. The Winds it didn't like but the thing hasn't leaked a drop in the 2.5 years I have had the thing.

    You can get them in 2.5x2.5M versions now which would be great for what you need. I'd just be real hesitant about not having my own shelter. If you do an event and it rains and there is nothing handy around, it could make things difficult.
    Plus with your own gazebo, you can get some signage made to fit and use the thing as an advertising medium.

    Another thing I have is the 1.8M folding plastic tables. I have the 1.8M long ones and the 1.8's that fold in half. They are great for putting in and out of a vehicle. With the gazebo, the table and a couple of cheap folding chairs, You can work in comfort and get stuff done.
    For the times you are onsite, that sounds real important to me.

    I have also spent quite a few nights sleeping with the family in my gazebo. They make awesome tents. If I continued on doing the distant events I was going to buy another gazebo the same and have one for the vstations and one for accommodation.

    With your generator, an alternative is an inverter and a car battery.
    A generator is complete overkill for what you are powering.
    I made a " Box of volts" as I called it to run my computers and printers for T&I work. I got a plastic esky ( Ice box/ drinks cooler/ insulated box, whatever you might know them as) and put a good size car battery in it with the inverter and a powerboard. When I get onsite I take the inverter out and sit it on top of the box with the lid sideways so the battery can breathe and any gasses can escape. I pick the batteries up from wreckers ( when I don't have any on hand ) cheap and they last years even though they are used. Here a decent new battery is $150+. I get good used ones for 40-$50. I dont even buy new batteries for my car, haven't for years because the worst I got out of a used one was a year and I only paid $20 for that one anyway.

    Inverters are cheap as. You would have heaps of reserve power with a 500W unit for what you are doing and have reserve to run lights, a full size computer, TV screen, printers etc. People will tell you that you have to have a pure sine way model or you'll ruin your equipment. That's absoloute poppycock. Almost anything with a power transformer conditions it's own supply and I have run Computers, laptops, chargers, Radios, routers and TV's for years on the cheaper Modified sine wave Inverters without a problem.

    That said, the pure sine wave units are coming down a lot in price so if you can get one at a reasonable cost, they may be a bit more efficient but they are not an nessicity no matter what the well meaning but inexperienced with the things may say.
    For running a laptop and chargers ( and even a printer and energy saving light) a decent 80-100Ah battery would last you all day and night.

    The benifit of an inverter over a generator is generally they are lighter and more compact, you don't have the smell or worry of fuel when you carry them in the car, they make no noise or fumes, there is nothing to get hot and burn anything, including inquisitive kids and they are loads cheaper to buy.
    I have several generators from a little camping one to a large and heavy diesel that will power a fairground but I prefer the batteries and inverters wherever I can use them.

    Good luck with tri 3!
  • M38A1M38A1 Curious. Very curious. Posts: 1,313Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 13, 2012
    Such an improvement in the pictures of athletes over the first event. thumb.gif

    This race seems to have a few things going for it to include the wrist marking of athlete numbers, athletes wearing their bib in the front on the run, and proper helmet stickers/bike stickers with their numbers for better indexing capabilities.

    If you can just swing a camera at the Finish Line, that would really compliment the great work you've been able to achieve.

    Can't wait to see your next events results....


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  • DuderinoDuderino www.flamphotogallery.com Posts: 26Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 14, 2012
    Yeah this race was impressive with it's numbering. I could hardly believe my eyes when the bikes started rolling past with about 5 visible numbers. It was because of this that we are now offering individual participant galleries. It is a lot of work to identify and categories the images, but when it is all done, with a quick email out to the participants, it is super efficient and the sales have so far been very positive. Going into this tri this weekend, I have all ready made all the 200 galleries, and will be uploading and categorising throughout the day. As they are uploaded, I will be able to sort them. Of course, when not shooting. But this job has about a 3 hour gap for us as they cycle over a mountain and them come back.

    You are right about the pictures being better. We shot with some new gear. I have made a concious decision now to only shoot with the very best equipment. Quality pays. After all, these events are full of photographers and they have the best of evrything. The facebook pages for these events are loaded with great photography that is what the participants expect.

    For the next one, we will shoot the finish line as well. The reason for not doing it on the last one, was that it was up a mountain at 1700 meters above sea level, and it would have affected the whole operation going up there. I was hoping to get a photographer to sell on commission who was up there, but so far no takers.

    Actually on the next job, I will be shooting with two cameras simultaneously. One rigged on a tripod and cable release for a beautiful wide shot with a view, the other hand held shooting 85mm prime lens head on into the cyclists. I think I will be able to trigger with the left hand at the same time, but lets see :D

    The more shots the better and now with online only, we can shoot a lot of coverage.
  • DuderinoDuderino www.flamphotogallery.com Posts: 26Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 19, 2012
  • M38A1M38A1 Curious. Very curious. Posts: 1,313Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 24, 2012
    Posting this strictly as a reply to your thread title... rolleyes1.gif

    "..why yes, just this past Sunday to be exact". (I didn't shoot it but I'm the subject of the shot)
    021958992-L.jpg
  • M38A1M38A1 Curious. Very curious. Posts: 1,313Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 28, 2012
    So is this the Tri you and your crew shot? What an amazing race... bowdown.gif

    http://youtu.be/L5N7R9Wbe_E


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