Selling Motocross Prints. Overwhelmed..!

Started Apr 23, 2007 | Discussions thread
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James Cover Senior Member • Posts: 2,621
Selling Motocross Prints. Overwhelmed..!

About 3 weeks ago, i went to a local motocross track just to get some shots for personal use. This has turned into an overwhelming amount of work.

I picked two shots from my first visit, and had them printed to 20"x30", then dry mounted. I've made 3 trips back to the track since getting the prints done, and I always carry them with me. Since then, I've gotten 7 requests for these type posters.

I just show up with my D200, Sigma 120-300mm attached, and people keep coming up to me to ask if I would take photos of their son or daughter. I show them my samples, give them a price, and they agree.

I haven't done any soliciting, but the track actually encourages it. In fact, one of the staff approached me yesterday, and told me that i could walk right out onto the track to shoot.

Unfortunately, I work a fulltime job, and I'm coming back from each visit with about 350 shots. That's a little over 1000 shots in 3 days. Trying to edit all of these is very time consuming. It's my day off, and I'm spending all day indoors, trying to get it done.

Any helpful suggestions for streamlining this process would be appreciated. I shoot RAW, and I'm presently organizing the photos by bike number. First, i put the shots in their respective folder, then check the framing of each, if it passes, i check the sharpness at 100%.

However, I found that images displayed at web resolutions can look super sharp, but not so at 100% magnification. Those that don't pass the 100% test aren't suitable for large prints, imo, so I'm putting these into a separate subfolder, in each rider's parent folder.

More: Every single person who approached me asked if I had a web site. Not just the people who requested prints, but everyone, parents, the riders, teenagers, pre-teens, even a 42 year old motocross rider. Anyway, when I told them that I didn't most just kept going, and I made no effort to solicite them. In fact, in my last two outings, I was actually "hired" to shoot 3 riders by their parents, so I was kinda caught up in that and didn't take the time to mingle, or look for other work.

In the past, I've always had shots made into 4"x6" prints off of the scaled down web version, usually 752px x 503px. And these looked great. I've even printed up to 8"x12" from this size with good results.

So here's the plan. I'll continue to take shots at the track by request, if that is the case, or just randomly. I'll then process the photos and put them up on a site for everyone to view. When approached at the track, i'll give out my card containing the web address, and tell them that if they see a photo they like, they are free to save it and have it printed, free of charge. However, if they'd like a large print, I will sell them one. Because of the sharpness issue, I will post them on the site accordingly, so that people won't request a large print of a non-qualifying image.

One, I think that offering to give these photos away will create good will, and since they will only be able to get good quality prints at smaller sizes, like 4"x6", I personally don't care that i make nothing off of them.

Two, i think it will generate interest and business, especially, when i show them my 20"x30" samples, which everyone to date has drooled over.

Pricing: My cost for a 20"x30" printed and dry mounted is as follows:

Printing: $18.00
Dry Mounting: $20.00

I am currently offering these for $129.00. I just took 7 orders, so that's $903.00 gross sales, and $637.00 ($91.00 each) profit. Not bad for three days work, doing something that i love, and hardly anyone even knowing what i offer, because i've done zero soliciting at this point. I just show up with my cam, shoot away, and mind my own business for the most part.

But this is where it gets a little tricky. Since I've been able to get a good 8"x12" print from the 752px x 503px, i don't want to display them that large, but only large enough for a decent 4"x6" to protect my interests.

I will do some tests myself, but does anyone have any experience in this regard, and know how big is not too big, so that people WON'T be able to make their own 8"x12"'s, but WILL be able to get a decent 4"x6"..?

Once I get organized, I'll start mingling more, passing out my card, etc., but right now I'm overwhelmed with the amount of work involved and don't want to overcommit. I don't even want to think about shooting at an actual race. One of the father's told me that that is when there is a photo buying frenzy. I've just been going to the practices.

Anyway, sorry, this is thread is so long, and not written well. I'm trying to get back to editing all of these shots, create a site, etc.

Please, give any feedback on workflow, organization, web display resolution etc. that you feel is pertinent. Appreciated.

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