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Thread: where do all those photos go?

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    where do all those photos go?

    The last few days I have been at the Australian open. Watching matches on Margaret Court Arena (3rd largest stadium at Melbourne Park around 6000 seats) I saw at time up to 25 if not more photographers. These were 1st or 2nd round matches between players ranked 20-100+ in the world. on the 2 major stadiums there is even more photographers with much more well known players competing. With tens of maybe even hundreds of thousands of photos being taken per match where do they all go?

    Sure one or two will go to each large news paper, one to the Australian open website, one to the ATP/WTA websites and the others? That being said I'd imagine newspapers, Australian open and possibly ATP/WTA would have their own photographers working exclusively for them. So who are all the others?
    Reading through this forum I've come to understand how hard and competitive of a profession professional photography is but until now I didn't really see it for my own eyes.

    some insight would be much appreciated
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    The Commander mikew09's Avatar
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    Actually, I wondered the same thing just the other weekend. We were caught up in the Lockyer Valley floods, bad times and the other weekend attended the memorial service one yr on at Gatton. PM, Anna and all were there and about 30 photographers going crazy.
    Over the following week I trawl the newspapers and google the event and only come up with about 10 different photos of the whole day. If these guys are trying to make a buck out of this it must be pretty dammed competitive because I have seen enough photos of the day to pay for a photographers lunch. WHERE DO ALL THE PHOTOS GO?
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    Those photographers might be sitting there snapping for hours on end, but I suspect only a handful of shots ever get seen by the public.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Stock photo sites and the 'recycle bin' !
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    The Commander mikew09's Avatar
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    Wow, must be a tuff life trying to earn a living selling photos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikew09 View Post
    Wow, must be a tuff life trying to earn a living selling photos.
    It's not something I'd want to do!

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    Any particular newspaper only needs 2 or 3 images of the main story, one of the mens winner, one of the womens winner, and one of the guy smashing a racquet. The other handful of dramatic ones will go to a stock library and the rest discarded. Its digital- thats what you do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by johndom View Post
    one of the guy smashing a racquet.
    No shortage of photo opportunities there when the lens is pointed at one Marcos Baghdatis.

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    Those shots definitely go in the library for later use.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Stock photo sites and the 'recycle bin' !
    Beat me to it.
    Who knows what gets published in Europe or U.S.A. or anywhere else in the world.
    Maybe some aren't taking any photos, they're just pretending for a front row seat.
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    Had the same thought as well down at the tennis... every time someone from our local area does anything even remotely newsworthy they end up in the Manly Daily... so perhaps it's the Upper Zambezi Herald of the Clapham Weekly or whatever that will snaffle a shot or two as well.

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    Of course, everything changed dynamically with digital photography, even for the professionals. As a photojournalist, shooting with film in the 80's & 90's you would run off 200/250 frames on most expeditions and processing these was costly. I did a pre-shoot in South America in November/December and ran close on 2000 shots. In Peru I ran into seven other photojournalists. In earlier days I'd be lucky to see anyone.
    I guess what I'm saying is what everyone already knows, cameras are relatively cheap and there is no film cost so anyone can have a go with little investment. It's not hard to get accredited for events, just a licence fee which can be paid by your employer or yourself (self-employed). If you get a return, well and good. If not at least you'll get a decent view.
    Having said that, specing at professional sports is almost worthless with staffers or contractors set up by major outlets with specialised feeds back to newsrooms. The chance of getting a one off scoop is almost zilch (too many professional shooters and too many frames). No use going to the newsroom next morning, it's all over by then.
    In the professional world most photos are by contract (pre-arranged coverage) so you might pick up a fixed fee for the gig and negotiate specials. More often than not a gig will be given to a photojournalist who can write the story at the same time. The luxury of having a photographer and a journalist working together is pretty remote these days although some locals still work this way.
    What happens to all those spare frames? I reckon about 90% get dumped and the remainder archived.
    PS: I co-publish a national magazine and we only keep published photos, the rest are returned or destroyed.
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    I'm thinking of something I heard when I first looked into photography..." take 200 photos, print/show one"

    Every moment captured is the best moment until something else happens...maybe they just keep snapping to get more to choose from when they present "the one"

    I could imagine it would be a tough gig for a living



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    And don't forget that an editor or publisher will frequently make a special request. For instance "get a shot over Hewitt's shoulder of Federer with the sponsors signage behind him". The editor may very well want to use your shot to promote an advertiser. Could take 50 or 60 frames just to get this shot. Frequently in the old days (film) this would be staged but who can afford to stop a grand slam for a photo opp?

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