Art and Photography

Shooting kids soccer games

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  • Dec 6th, 2009 5:15 pm
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May 6, 2005
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Shooting kids soccer games

I want to try to do new things and thought about shooting soccer games... All ages really but younger sounds like more "fun" shots.

I thought on the off chance I might be able to get parents to pay for prints should I actually get any decent shots.

So, I of course have some questions:
- you think this is feasible?
- how would I handle telling whoever why I'm there/what I'm doing?
- what about if some people just think I'm a creep or don't want photos taken?
- do you think any parents would pay (small amount... Learning ezperence for me) for any photos/prints?

Any other insight into doing something like this? Just sort of randomly thought it up... And I love soccer!
22 replies
Deal Expert
Mar 25, 2005
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Sure its possible, however you are going to have to establish your personal unique selling proposition (USP). There are literally hundreds of parents equipment with the biggest cameras and lenses out there. I shot my cousin's games and was amazed to see what these people haul around. Soccer moms with a D700 and 200 f2. I got a chance to see some of their shots and they were fairly average. It is clear that a majority have no idea what they are doing, effectively trying to use their camera as a P&S.

Read up on what the pro's say over on FM Forms. There is a large bank of knowledge out there.
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Kasakato wrote:
Dec 2nd, 2009 10:12 pm
I shot my cousin's games and was amazed to see what these people haul around. Soccer moms with a D700 and 200 f2.
What the hell, lol
Are you serious?

200 f/2 + D700 is $8000 give or take :| :confused: :eek:
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Lulz wrote:
Dec 2nd, 2009 11:21 pm
What the hell, lol
Are you serious?

200 f/2 + D700 is $8000 give or take :| :confused: :eek:
Well I was in a rich(er) neighborhood. :cheesygri

Though a large number of people out there still had the typical D40, D3000, D5000 set up.
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Kasakato wrote:
Dec 2nd, 2009 10:12 pm
It is clear that a majority have no idea what they are doing, effectively trying to use their camera as a P&S.
I blame Sony for this. They were the first to have Live View on DSLRs. Years later and Sony still suck - they should just abandon it altogether.

I know two photographers who dropped about $10k or more into a Sony system (bodies, lenses, flashes, etc.) and are now, 6 months later giving it up totally. They came from Nikon backgrounds.

They are having a helluva time trying to get rid of everything though (4 months and counting with 0 interest anywhere), no one in their right minds want to get into Sony gear heavily. (No offense Korruption, I know you're the only resident Sony user in these parts.)

Sorry for the tangent Kaitlyn.

Question, what separates you from every other camera toting parent out there? If I was a parent, and some stranger started taking pics of my child offering me to sell them, I ask myself, why would I pay you for shots and prints when I'd be just happy with my point and shoot, or my beginner DSLR? I could easily
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What problems did they have with the sony gear? I thought the new A850 is a pretty good value for a FF no?
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CSAgent wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2009 12:10 am
I blame Sony for this. They were the first to have Live View on DSLRs. Years later and Sony still suck - they should just abandon it altogether.

I know two photographers who dropped about $10k or more into a Sony system (bodies, lenses, flashes, etc.) and are now, 6 months later giving it up totally. They came from Nikon backgrounds.

They are having a helluva time trying to get rid of everything though (4 months and counting with 0 interest anywhere), no one in their right minds want to get into Sony gear heavily. (No offense Korruption, I know you're the only resident Sony user in these parts.)
Sony only started Live View on their DSLRs in 2008 with the a300/350. Canikon had it since 2007 with the 40D and D300.

If Sony does suck so bad, they wouldn't have made it to #3 within 2 years since they started making DSLRs.
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Aug 5, 2007
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i believe it was the olympus E-330 which was the first digital SLR to incorporate live-view in its general production line. (Q1 2006)

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Jun 23, 2009
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haha i read your post wrong and thought it was a big news story. Filming kids soccer games might be better
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Nov 19, 2005
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You probably won't be able to sell the photos to the parents. Depending on the league that you're photographing they probably already have a professional photographer who is contracted and has the rights to photograph that specific soccer league and you photographing the kids and selling to the parents would be a definite contract "no-no" and the professional would not be pleased.

Finding something new and fun does seem like a worthwhile effort though. What else would be new and interest you?
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[OP]
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sfu_engineer wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2009 2:05 am
You probably won't be able to sell the photos to the parents. Depending on the league that you're photographing they probably already have a professional photographer who is contracted and has the rights to photograph that specific soccer league and you photographing the kids and selling to the parents would be a definite contract "no-no" and the professional would not be pleased.

Finding something new and fun does seem like a worthwhile effort though. What else would be new and interest you?
My primary goal would be to go out there and take some shots of them playing soccer. Without playing it anymore myself or having children/friends that play, it's not as easy to go out and "have a reason" to shoot a specific game. The option of selling/parents buying the photos is a distant second.

When I was playing + refereeing soccer, I cannot once recall ever seeing or hearing about any sanctioned photographer or some third party on contract for this.
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Kaitlyn wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2009 7:11 am
When I was playing + refereeing soccer, I cannot once recall ever seeing or hearing about any sanctioned photographer or some third party on contract for this.
Times have changed! DSLRs are very affordable now, the entry-level stuff that is... and with features like live-view, video mode and auto-mode everyone thinks they can handle a $600 entry-level DSLR with ease. I was at a friend's graduation ceremony in the summer and everyone there was lugging around a DSLR, most did not know how to use them (you can tell because they're literally holding it like a point and shoot, holding the camera in front of them with both hands looking through live-view).

Do you have any acquaintances that plays soccer or have kids that play soccer? Even family friends or friend of a friend? I agree with the weird/creepiness of showing up at a children's sports game, pulling out a big telephoto and just snapping away, you'll probably have the cops on you in no time. I have a bunch of friends who play in a softball league in the summer so that's pretty much the only time when I get to do any sports photography.
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You probably won't sell anything to be honest. Parents interested in good shots of their kids will have their own cameras, and the kids interest will extend to a tiny sized pic to put on facebook or whatever.

I've shot at local tournaments and league play (ultimate, not soccer mind you.. it's pretty huge here in Ottawa) pretty regularly in the last couple years and the main benefit has been generating a little business via website traffic from players.

Also - shooting amateur/kids sports when you know some of the players is a ton of fun. When they're all strangers it's a chore, imo.
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I'm not a DSLR Snob, neither am I as pro as some of you here on this forum....

But I just have to comment how I hate people using their DSLR's like a P&S~!
Or if they shoot in AUTO-MODE~!


But seeing Soccer moms with D700 / 200mm F2.0.... my question would be... why not D3 ? D700 is weak Mrs. Smith~!
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