After the mass influx of threads in the sub-forum, I decided to get my friends at The PhotoMOB together as well as other photographers that travel to national events to compile a sort of FAQ, if you will, about paintball photography and what we go through. I just want to show that photographers aren't rude people and that there's a reason why we get annoyed easily. The goal is to help players understand what makes us tick, why we go to events and why we get irritated when players ask for photos. If you have any questions, or comments, please feel free to post in this thread in a mature way and a photographer will answer!
Photographers: This is NOT a place to advertise your services or to try to rope teams into booking you. Please keep that to actual threads when events roll around.
What is Paintball Photography?
Paintball photography is simple: it's photographs of the sport of paintball, be it tournaments, scenario, rec ball or practices.
Why take photos of Paintball?
For me, personally, I have a legitimate love of the game and I think that could probably be said for a lot of us. I was never a great player, but I still wanted to be involved somehow and photography made sense. Other people have been involved with photography and wanted to give paintball a try.
I've seen some prices, why are they so high?
Prices are set based on quality of work and the time it takes us to process/edit them. Almost all of the money we make from teams goes back into fees incurred at the event, such as food, hotel and rental car so it's close to impossible to make a profit unless an event is local. When one person is paying for the photographer, it does get expensive. However, the cost of a team package spread out through your team will cost each player about $10 or less, give or take. Other photographers even have lower prices/shoot for free while still having quality photos. Be sure to check image quality before you go with the cheapest guy (see below).
I don't need a photographer, there's always free pics after the event
While that is true, how many times have you looked at a photographer's galleries and only found 3 images of yourself? The only photographer we know of that gets a mass amount of photos of everyone is Gary Baum of paintballphotography.com, but he's said himself that he shoots sponsored teams first and that he encourages teams to actually book photographers instead of waiting. There are NUMEROUS benefits from booking a photographer. Some examples are:
There's so many photographers, though, how do I choose?
- Photo priority: Your photos are completed first and sent out before general galleries are touched
- Guaranteed photos of you and your team!
- Some of us offer discounts to repeat customers, you end up saving money. Do research on who offers this
- Magazine Submission: Some of us shoot for magazines or online media outlets such as Paintball X3 or Pro Paintball and it's a good way of getting you and your team some national exposure
The market is competitive, yes, but that doesn't mean that you can't find quality from anyone. In fact, there's many photographers that are all shooting high quality images. There are things you need to consider when deciding between photographers. Some great questions that you can ask are:
- What packages do you offer?
- What does each package included?
- When I receive your images will they be full-res with watermarking?
- What's your typical turn around time?
- What usage rights do I have to the photos?
- Do you have references?
- Where can I view your previous work?
- How many years have you been doing this?
Most photographers have their team packages laid out in their threads and what comes with them, but don't be afraid to ask a question if something isn't answered. Do your research and don't settle for the cheap guy when his photos are sub-par.
How do I tell the difference in image quality?
That's a great question! Let's take a look at some photos
Looks like a great photo, right?
Well, it's not. Exposure is fine, composition could be a little better but it's not in focus in the right places. It looks fine when it's resized, but on close inspection, we see this.
Completely out of focus. Make sure that you view images that a photographer posts at the highest resolution possible, don't let a small image fool you!
It's after the event, where are my photos?
Be patient. If you weren't a paying customer, then photographers have no obligation to capture photos of you. Please don't get mad or upset when nobody has a single photograph of you if you didn't book a photographer. Remember, you don't have to book a full team package, if you find a photographer at an event, see if they'll take a photo of your game. You may not get all the benefits, but you'll still get photos.
Photographers seem rude when people ask for pics, why is that?
Understand, we've gotten a ton of PMs on local boards and on PbN, asking us when photos would be up. We have lives outside of paintball photography, as this is not a job for us. School, work and other things get in the way. A majority of the people PMing us are people that aren't even customers. It's not an effective way to find photos; wait for a photographer to post a thread stating when their photos will be up and look at websites.
I'm a Photographer and my thread keeps getting deleted, why?
Only PbN approved photographers with the Photographer's badge
can make threads offering their services. If you don't have the badge, make sure to apply. If you get denied, then don't get discouraged! Keep practicing!
Well, I hope that helps everyone. Remember, if you have questions, then feel free to ask in here