I wrote a post back in 2012 in which I detailed the three primary problems I have with bib number searching for race photos. I argued that it takes too much time, costs too much, and isn’t precise enough. Much has changed with my race business since then, most notably the introduction of — you guessed it — bib number searching. I’ve had a few customers ask recently whether I’ve changed my mind about it, and the answer is … not really, but for a surprising reason. I’d like to quickly address my three original gripes with this feature before introducing a new one.
While I’d initially complained that this option cost too much in terms of both time and money, that’s no longer the case. I’ve partnered with a small startup company for the past year that handles the process of tagging my photos with bib numbers so the search engine can find them. This company gives my pretty quick turnaround — roughly 24 hours in most cases — and they do it for 1/6 the cost of their primary competitor. So at this point, it’s a little silly to complain too loudly about either the time or money invested in offering an option so many runners want.
With respect to the precision of the tagging, I’m fairly impressed with this new service. It’s entirely software-based and generally does a really good job of catching the numbers. There will always be problems when people wear their bibs improperly (under a layer of clothing, on their backs, on one leg or the other) but as long as the bib is properly displayed, the tagging goes pretty smoothly. Aside from the way people have been wearing bibs lately, there’s one flaw in the system that I haven’t quite found a solution for yet. If someone’s bib isn’t visible, I advise them to search using “none” as the bib number but that only works if NO bib numbers have been recognized in a given photo. So if your bib was obscured but another runner in the photo had theirs displayed correctly, you won’t find that photo by searching for “none.” With time, I’m hopeful that I’ll find a way around this.
So, if the time, money and precision issues have more or less been handled, what’s to complain about? Fun Stuff. The pre- and post-race shots that make up the Fun Stuff galleries are very often the real gems, and since people are searching more than browsing, the Fun Stuff photos get lost in the shuffle. For lots of reasons, I suppose, the bibs aren’t visible (and therefore aren’t seen by the software). Maybe someone put a jacket on after the race, or maybe the bibs are smashed together in a hug. I noticed fairly soon after implementing the bib search that Fun Stuff photos weren’t selling very well, and I just took a close look at my site statistics to confirm the observation. What I found is that page views in the Fun Stuff galleries as a percentage of overall page views for a race have dropped markedly.
Numbers help, right? Back in 2011 and 2012, before bib searching, the Fun Stuff gallery at a typical race accounted for around 10% of the total page views for that race. In 2014, that same race only gets about 2-3% of its page views from the Fun Stuff gallery. Overall page views continue to climb, as do sales, it’s just that those views and sales are the result of searching rather than browsing, and the Fun Stuff photos are just getting a smaller piece of the pie.
So, by all means, keep using the search function if you feel that it saves you time. But please, if you can spare a minute or two, take a quick look through the Fun Stuff … you just might find the shot of the day in there!
This is uncharted territory for me, as I typically sell photos à la carte through my website rather than in bulk. That’s the best way to get prints as each purchased photo receives individual attention in terms of color, exposure and cropping. Simply click through to a photo and you’ll see ordering options in tabs on the right for digital, prints and gifts.
As an alternative for those who want to purchase in bulk, I’ll offer packages on a per-routine basis as shown below. I can’t edit all 3500+ photos individually when selling in bulk, so what you’ll be getting is the result of some batch edits (tweaking the exposure or color on a whole routine at once). I’ll provide digital copies that are 1800 pixels on the long side. That’s the size needed to make 4×6 prints, and a great size for computer wallpapers, etc. Purchased photos will NOT be watermarked.
Please select the number of routines you want and click the appropriate button…
Any additional routines will add just $10 each, but you’ll need to email me to order. I’ll add two bonuses to the bulk process: an edited copy of the final “group pose” shot from each routine, and an edited copy of a complete group shot with each bulk purchase.
Please Note! After clicking the appropriate button and entering your info (or logging into PayPal), look for the “Names or Numbers of Routines You Want” section, where you’ll be able to tell me which specific routines you’re ordering.
Depending on how this works out, I hope to be persuaded to come back next year and do all three shows. Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have. Thanks!
As most of you know, I move race photos off to my archives every few months to make room for new races, and that move comes with a price increase. This year, I’ve held off longer than usual and will be archiving 40 (FORTY!) races next Wednesday, 11/20/13, at midnight. That gives you one week to place any orders you’ve been sitting on and beat the price hike. But wait … there’s more!
For every $100 worth of product ordered (shipping costs don’t count here) I’ll email you a $25 gift voucher! Order $100 worth, get a voucher; order $200 worth, get two vouchers. Orders cannot be combined to hit the $100 increments, but the vouchers are yours to use for future events, give as gifts, whatever you choose. The races scheduled to be archived are listed and linked below. Ready, set, GO!
If you’re local and want to save on shipping, feel free to just email me letting me know what you want (race, filename, print or digital, size, quantity). We can then meet at an upcoming race or at the Playmakers store for a handoff. Or, in the case of digital photos, I’ll just email them to you.
Thanks and enjoy!
Ok, not quite to the moon, but the 16 races listed below will be moved to the archives Friday night — 6/28/13 — at midnight. That means a $5 increase per photo, so this is your chance to beat the increase!
If you’re local and want to save on shipping, feel free to just email me letting me know what you want (race, filename, print or digital, size, quantity). We can then meet at an upcoming race or at the Playmakers store for a handoff.
Thanks and enjoy!
I love photographing track & field. But here’s the thing: there’s too much happening all at once for me to shoot everyone. This is always a struggle, and I need a way to focus on athletes whose parents want photos. What I’ve come up with is a pre-sales voucher. For $20, I’ll deliver a voucher good for a $25 credit on my website. Simply order your voucher(s) with a credit card using the PayPal button below. Include relevant information about your athlete (meet, event, school & name at a minimum), then relax and enjoy the meet! I’ll email you with a voucher code when the photos are ready and you can place your order.
My standard prices are listed below as an aid in determining how many vouchers to purchase; each one will cost $20 and give you a $25 credit…
- 4×6 $6.99
- 5×7 $9.99
- 8×10 $14.99
- 11×14 $19.99
- 16×20 $34.99
- 20×30 $49.99
Just a couple of quick tips. After clicking the button, you need to set the quantity of vouchers to be purchased before entering your billing information. Then, once you’ve entered your info (or logged in to PayPal), look for the “Special Instructions” section, where you’ll be able to add descriptive information about your athlete. Thanks!
For those of you unfamiliar with the quality of my work, I’ve included a few samples from last year’s Spartan Classic meet below. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
The seven races I covered this past weekend caught me off guard and I’m out of space on my hard drive! The races listed below will be moved to archival storage Friday night — 4/12/13 — at midnight. That means a $5 increase per photo, so this is your chance to beat the increase!
If you’re local and want to save on shipping, you can always just email me letting me know what you want (race, filename, print or digital, size, quantity). We can then meet at an upcoming race or at the Playmakers store for a handoff.
Thanks and enjoy!
It’s beginning to seem like all I use this blog for is archive notifications. I’ll try to remedy that in 2013! Meanwhile, races from September through November 2012 will be moved at midnight this Sunday, January 27. That means a $5 increase per photo, so this is your heads-up to beat the increase! 24 races will be archived, including:
If you’re local and want to save on shipping, you can always just email me letting me know what you want (race, filename, print or digital, size, quantity). I’ll then schedule a place and time to meet, such as an upcoming race.
Thanks and enjoy!