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Wide Angle Mind Your Own Business Triathlons - Anyone done them?

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Old Apr-07-2012, 10:55 AM
Duderino is offline Duderino OP
Triathlons - Anyone done them?
I have been booked to do several Triathlons this summer in Norway. As I haven't done this type of event before I am hoping some of you will be able to give me a heads-up on this. I have decided that on-site viewing/printing is essential and therefore we will have about 10 terminals set-up in a highly exposed area. We have full co-operation from event organisers and we can set-up in the best way possible. I have also requested a list of contact details of participants in order to email them a link to the on-line galleries as well.

For the products, I am offering magazine covers, bordered prints with race time, certificate finishers photo with name and time. I will also offer small prints, keyrings and magnets for the larger events with kids and families to open up more markets. Any suggestions on products or feedback on this would be appreciated.

The largest event has 1000 participants. It will be split up into a long race, short race and a kids race. How would you go about this operation? I am aiming at 10 or 12 Vstaions. How many Vstations would you use? Will there be a massive loss of business with only 12? How does the on-line support this? Can we rely on the on-line gallery for sales? What kind of packages would you offer?

For two of the smaller events, they are pro athletes who probably do several triathlons a year. Will they buy photos? They might even attend all of the events that I will cover. However, as to my knowledge, in Norway we do not have much event photography, certainly for the smaller events such as 200/300 people. This being the case, I am hoping the market is not all ready saturated. There certainly wont be any other company offering commercial photography at these events. What products are these pro athletes interested in? Should I be offering a package of digital files etc? Are athletes too tired to view pictures after the race? At some of the events, it is a possibility to set-up viewing/sales the day after in the race headquarters. Is this a better approach?

Sharing your experience with this kind of event would be greatly appreciated.
Old May-11-2012, 12:55 AM
Biffbradford is offline Biffbradford
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Month old thread, but I looked at your webpage and didn't see any images from this event yet, so maybe it's not too late to comment.

Here in the States, the big companies that shoot triathlons (and the big running races) have everything posted on-line. They don't bother with on-site viewing. The larger companies that work the big races will have one or two guys shooting the swim exit, one or two covering the cycling leg, and the same for the run - being sure to staff the finish with one or two photographers depending on how big the race is. The racers can come across the line in big bunches, so having one photog on each side of the road sure helps in capturing as many as possible.

Are you the solo photographer? Then I'd hang around the S/F area working the transition between each leg, then park at the finish until the bitter end.

Be sure to isolate the racers against a nice backdrop, or use a lens that gives good bokeh to really isolate them. The triathletes are really into their aerodynamics, so getting a nice side shot with them in their aero position is usually popular.

I find that the elite athletes tend to buy less in general, but if you do get a great photo of them, they WILL buy.

In my experience, if you can get shots that they haven't seen of themselves, then that will help sales. Everyone shoots with the 70-200mm f2.8, so try a different lens if you've got one. 300mm f2.8 has great bokeh and those photos sell well. My next lens is probably going to be a 135mm f2.0 to give better bokeh than the 2.8, plus giving an advantage in low light, all in hopes of increasing sales. Even just a 50mm f1.8 works well, if you can get in close enough. That's a tough lens to work, but will give great shots if can nail 'em.

Personally, I wouldn't go crazy with magazine covers and such. Simple solid action shots will sell fine.

Good luck!
Old May-11-2012, 10:30 PM
Glort is offline Glort
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There are always a lot of questions about how to do events people have coming up but much less info on how they went and what people learned or would do different.
Old May-15-2012, 09:27 AM
M38A1 is offline M38A1
Curious. Very curious.
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Being a triathlete myself, I can probably shed a bit of light on what the participants would be thinking.....

First off, as mentioned here in the US, there are several large commercial outfits and a variety of smaller localized shops which shoot these events. They typically bring in a slew of photographers, they shoot general shots, transitions, bike, run and finish line shots. (everyone pretty much looks the same in the water, thus not a lot of actual individual swimmer shots). Then, within a short period after the event (typically less than a week) the images are indexed and migrated to their site under that events name. Entrants who have provided an email address during the registration process are sent an email with their indexed images already attached for viewing/ordering. Behind the scenes there are folks who simply index images to the racers number, or for more technically advanced races, the electronic timing chip on the athletes ankle is indexed to the date/time stamp of the image for a given location as they cross the mat.

Sales are predicated on the ease of the athlete to find all their images in one central location and be able to select the images, sizes (or products in your case). If you have to go hunt in what's referred to the unindexed or "Lost and Found", you'll probably see considerably fewer sales from those galleries as a rule. To accomplish this, the numbering and indexing is critical. In simple terms, a swim cap marked front/rear, a helmet number (typically a sticker) for head-on shots, a bike number (typically a sticker) which can be seen from either right or left side firmly affixed to the frame and not obscured by a leg, and body marking (typically magic marker) with the athletes number on both the right and left side at the arm and quad. This gives your indexers the best opportunity to identify the athlete to index them so the images DON'T wind up in the Lost and Found section.

My gut response would be the target market of allowing viewing on-site would be for those first-time athletes as this is a totally new experience for them. I believe they would be most interested in seeing their images as soon as possible. Yet this approach then brings to focus the ability to accurately index those images rapidly so they could just plug in their bib number or name and have their selections available on the spot. A lot also depends on how they are feeling after the event.

The folks who have done multiple tri's probably wouldn't want or require the immediate need to view or order images. They've done this before, so it's just another event for them. Sure, it might be a longer distance, or a different location. Yet the 'wow' factor of seeing yourself probably just isn't there for the established racers who have one or two under their belt.

As I'm not a pro yet know several, the ability to see their images right after a race probably isn't high on their list either. The business of competing and winning is their sole focus. If they don't win - they don't pay rent, so in many respects, the ability to see a picture of them would be really low in their hierarchy and ordering probably even lower as it's an expense. If they are at the pro level, they've got plenty of images of them.

Regarding 'other products', here in the US there really isn't a big market I've seen for items other than individual racer shots, a few generic pre/post shots of the area and the Finishers Certificate. For the finishers certificate, you'll have to figure out a way to not only index the athletes images based on bib number in a quick fashion, but you'll also have to interface quickly with timing and scoring to get the times to print. I would surmise at minimum the Swim, Bike and Run time in addition to the total time would be necessary as well as adding in T1 and T2. Then if there are swim waves, you'll have to figure out the difference in start times between the groups. Having the Finish Line shot would be critical with the structure/clock finish time which again might not reflect the athletes actual time based on swim start times. The Finish Line would be where you would put your best photographers and have multiple photographers there with 100% rock solid skills and equipment as that is THE money shot. And you'd have to insure 100% coverage of shooting every person and indexing properly as they cross the finish line.

I hope I've not bored you with this, and I'm sure there are some other tri-geeks out in Dgrin land who could also provide input... If you have questions, let me know.

My digital footprint

Old May-15-2012, 01:08 PM
M38A1 is offline M38A1
Curious. Very curious.
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I've thought about the logistics a bit more and one hurdle I keep coming back to is getting the images indexed properly associated to a bib number in addition to how quickly that happens when you may have differing start waves, differing athletic abilities and differing finish times. AND you mention three different course lengths, thus differing finish times across the entire day. (That's assuming they are all done at the same time)

You'll have sprint distance athletes finishing quick quickly in relationship to the long-course entrants. And along with that, you'll probably have a higher percentage of first-timers in the shorter distances so the time to index and get the shots in a viewable environment can really be tight. And as mentioned above, the first-timers would probably be your highest percentage wanting to see themselves.

Some things I'd have to consider in addition to the above to make it easy on my shooting would include:
1. Does the race promoter provide adequate body marking resources, markers and manpower prior to the swim?
2. Does the race promoter provide high contrast vinyl stickers showing the bib number for placement on the helmet and bike? (Paper stickers just tick the athletes off as they leave a paper residue whereas vinyl ones come off cleanly)
3. Does the race promoter provide high contrast bib numbers and safety pins for the competitors to pin the number on their jersey? (most established triathletes use a racebelt that the bib number is affixed to and it rides in the back on the bike and in the front on the run as a requirement to participation)

Without these three items, the indexing portion of the equation would be quite difficult and remember, the goal is to have as few images shot placed in the Lost and Found section.

*Have you considered weather and how you would protect the Vstations?
*These competitors are also going to be sweaty and most probably dripping/slinging sweat or water, carrying dripping water bottles, dripping long hair, and have sticky fingers from eating afterwards, so are your keyboards protected?
*The prints you offer will be done on site, right? Tied in with the above, have you thought about the weather, sweat, water etc. and what happens if a single drop lands on the finished print? Will it fade/discolor the finished print? Will you provide clear vinyl bags to insert the prints after printing?
*How about power requirements for 12 computers and monitors?
*Backup server/software in case of primary failure?
*How will you load the images?
*Where will your indexing happen? Will you have your equipment/computers available for that function? Will you have your indexing staff present? Have you done any analysis on the number of images you expect to be shot for the event and the level of effort of indexing that many shots?
*Have you figured out how you'll handle payment? Merchant Processing (ie: Credit Card), Cash only, bill for prints? And the technical aspects of remote processing? People required?

So you'll really have to think through the logistics of this if you want to provide the capability to allow competitors to view their images at the event.

If this were an area of shooting I was trying to enter on my own from scratch, I'd probably try to steer away from immediate viewing and focus on getting lots of good shots, a rock solid indexing function, an email distribution that shows them the images indexed to their bib number and a visible link taking them to your ordering site. That way, you focus on shooting and quality delivery instead of getting wrapped up in what could sour a lot of people quickly with your intended service.

Finally, once you have all the images on-line, keep that gallery open for a period of say, six months, and periodically blast them all an email on discounts and such. Allow ordering for digital images as well as the prints and products. And send them an email when you are getting ready to close the album down indicating a clear date that will happen and maybe a "last chance" offer to purchase with discount. After that, toss up a banner on the event page and charge an extra $$ amount as an "archival retrieval" fee. ie: never give up on them until maybe eight months post event.

My digital footprint

Old May-16-2012, 11:48 PM
Duderino is offline Duderino OP
Some great ideas and thoughts here. I am now 1 month from this triathlon and have made some plans. We have full backing from the event organisers so we can manage this well. We will have a 60m2 tent with tables set up. Instead of viewing stations and indexing, I have decided to print every shot of the finish line. The photographers will be told to shoot one image per person in this area so not to have more than 1000 prints. We will have adequate tables to display and the tent is large enough to accommodate the table. The printer will be able to print quick enough. All these things have been calculated. As there is a short race and a long race, as well as a kids race, the tent will be divided into sections. We will place the prints out in order as they come in, thus indexing them by finish times. We can add table top signs with time intervals to help them find their time zone. They will pick up their print and bring it to the cashier area where our sales staff will take payment. We haven't confirmed if we will print orders on site or post. Post will be costly but much quicker in the selling area, and we can throw more people at taking orders than processing prints/products etc. 1000 in a just a few hours is rather a lot and this might be the best way to deal with the numbers.

The action shots will be on-line only. These will be indexed with race numbers if visible and will be also categorised into short race - swim for example. I am prioritising the on-site selling for many reasons, not least due to feedback on this forum. Many people have struggled with on-line sales and as I do on-site printing everyday, where we print every shot and put it in their hands, we know it sells well. But of course, we can only print 1 shot per participant and this will be the finish line.

At the finish area, they will immediately collect a finisher's t-shirt, then there will be a sponsor's wall set-up where we will make portraits. Has anyone seen this before or have any thoughts on this? Having this will allow us to get at least one shot of everyone, as we can organise the people at this point. They can wear their t-shirt or not, and this will give us the option of printing this shot instead of the finish line if we are missing people there or photographers are shooting more than one image of each.
Old May-16-2012, 11:51 PM
Duderino is offline Duderino OP
One thing I didn't mention, when they bring their print to the cashier, there will be a selection of products available and they will fill out their order forms at this point. Along the tables, there will be samples and prices for them to all ready decide what they want. If they want to purchase their print from the table they can. This is a 6x4 standard print. Our other products will be 12x8 certificates etc.
Old May-17-2012, 04:45 AM
Glort is offline Glort
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I Think you have adopted a very good approach to this event. You are setting yourself up for 2 bites of the cherry with the down and dirty quik and easy pre printed shots and coming back for the second bite with the on-lines. All bases covered.
Doing the finish line shots and printing them off i think will make it a winner for you right there.

One idea I'd suggest is with displaying the pics. I was at a theme park where they had roving shooters and they displayed the prints on verticle boards. They had a plastic strip screwed on that was just deep enough to hold the prints and spaced accordingly in lines. Having displayed prints on tables many times myself, I took note of this as I thought it was a much better way of doing things and provided much more display space within a given area. It also seemed a lot easier to view the pics than having to look over a table and kept them a lot neater and easier to re arrange and add later pics.
Might be to late for you now but just a thought.

I noticed you said "Printer" . Is there only going to be one or will you have a couple or spares?
How much are you going to be selling your 6x4's for and had you thought about doing 5x7's?
I have to say I really HATE 6x4's. To me there is no better way to make a pro pic Look like an amateur snap shot than print it exactly the same size as wart-mart do. But that's just my personal hangup.

I think you are very wise not to bother printing the extra orders on site. The postage cost won't be as high as the sales you'll miss having people working on the delivery after you have their orders rather than concentrating on getting the orders in the first place. If you had the means at all, I would be trying to also print the sponsors wall pics. This would allow you to do a deal on buying 2 pics and increase your average sale. Even if you did the 2nd print for 50% of the cost of the first one, It will make a big difference to the bottom line.

Anyway, sounds like you have come up with a very good and impressive solution to this event and laid a great ground work for success with it.
Old May-17-2012, 12:29 PM
Duderino is offline Duderino OP
Thanks for your thoughts Glort. From you, that is a confidence boost. I have thought about all the details and of course given 1000 people and the fact that we have not done this event before, I am going to just run with it a bit. Of course it will turn out that I could do things better, or I have overdone some things, but I think we are well prepared. About printing the sponsors wall portraits, I would love to do this, but at the moment, there simply is not room for them all. The standing board/wall is a good idea which I thought about, but it just seems impracticable to implement given materials etc. It is perhaps simpler to hire in tables delivered to the tent. Also, due to the numbers, it will all ready take them a while to find their images. Having to find two images would be more time consuming. Of course we could match them up and put them out together but this is more stress on the printing/laying out process. Given the fact that we will constantly get hammered for 5 hours, I think I need to decide on either finish line or sponsor wall. Sponsor wall is good because we can get individual shots and make sure we shoot everyone. However, the finish line is more memorable and important and will sell better I guess. I am really pushing the race time photos and certificates as a way to make the image special. A complete souvenir of the event rather than a snapshot.

About the printer, I use a Fujifilm ASk1500 Dyd Sublination Thermal printer. This is in one size only - 6x4. We will use this for the mass printing/display. We do not intend selling those images, rather, they will function as VStations. The products we will offer will be 12x8 prints. Of course, I am a money man, and therefore I will also offer the 6x4 if they want it. I am looking at the following prices (this is in Norwegian Krone about 7.5 NOK to 1 Euro):
6x4 Print 100nok
6x4 Print in a strut mount 140nok
12x8 Print 150nok
12x8 Race Time and Event Logo Print 180nok
12x8 Finishers Photo Certificate Print 180nok
12x8 Magazine Cover Print 180nok
Package Deal of Race Time, Certificate, Magazine and 6x4 Print 500nok

Online same thing, plus the emailed images will be 180nok the same as the prints as this incurs no cost and therefore we will prefer to email.

I have only one printer and yes it is a risk not having a back up. If all things goes tits up, we will nail the online instead. However, I run this printer everyday and I know it well. I will be the person printing and concentrate only on this until all prints are out. It pops them out in 8 seconds so I figure it will take just over 2 hours to print. From first to last finisher it will be 3.5 hours so I think we can keep up with them. I will write the file name on the back of the print so I can find the image quickly when doing the orders (if I have time). I will staple the print to the order form and pop it in a box for our order processing.

I am glad you support the post later model for this, as I know you hate having homework. I am not bothered about having work to do when I get home, but I am concerned about costs. But I know we can serve more people and quicker without fiddling about with PS typing in racetimes etc.

I am hoping to get my card payment terminal before the event. If this fails, I will let them pay by invoice and send the prints on receipt of payment. This model works well here in Norway but I do expect to drop a few sales given the after thought. But, I should have my payment terminal in place. The next problem is only having one machine for so many people. I am thinking to have the guy with this at the end of the sales desk, and the other cashiers can do everything in taking the order, but send them to the end to pay, where they can queue with their order forms.

Any thoughts from anyone is greatly appreciated.
Old May-17-2012, 12:30 PM
jbakerphoto is offline jbakerphoto
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I am likeing your approach as well. I am just wondering what your workflow is going to be to get the pictures to the printer. it really sounds like you need to be tethered. if you wait too long to go download them(even every 15 minutes), I would think they would be gone by the time you print.

I have shot some larger events (1/2 marathon and mud run) for one of the big companies and you will get a lot of group shots for the award/tshirt shot...Try to be setup for the tshirt shot before they are are ready to exit/are able to find there family. (funnel them through) Also you might want to get candid group shots before the start as well and maybe have those ready at the finish as well.
40D,Rebel XT,Tamron 17-50 2.8,Tamron 28-80 3.5-5.6, Canon 50 1.8, Sigma 70-200 2.8, Canon 580EX , Sunpack 383 w/ optical slave

Old May-17-2012, 07:19 PM
Glort is offline Glort
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Originally Posted by Duderino View Post

Also, due to the numbers, it will all ready take them a while to find their images. Having to find two images would be more time consuming.
I understand it's not practical for you to do it but I did have in mind they would take the time to look for the 2nd Pic. What I saw at the theme park ( some people had half a dozen taken) and in my own experience is that people will stop and look for all the pics they have had done. Having a bit of a crowd is also a good thing as it brings in more people to look. The upshot to me with looking for other prints has been buying pics for friends. We get a lot of that and it's funny when the people have looked at their own pic and don't buy it then a friend sees it and buys it for them thinking they haven't seen it yet. Gotta love that!

Perhaps on your time frame you need to get the people through as well. That would be a consideration.

I am really pushing the race time photos and certificates as a way to make the image special. A complete souvenir of the event rather than a snapshot.

We do not intend selling those images, rather, they will function as VStations.
I think the time pics and the certificates are a bloody brilliant way to go. I have found with my own event stuff that commemorative prints are well taken up. Between our different offerings, they account for at least 50% of our print sales.

I KNOW however that a lot, probably the majority of people are going to assume the 6x4 is THE product. You can have signs everywhere but I reckon you'll still have at least half unawares that there is more on offer by the time they get to the counter, 6x4 in hand, ready to pay and go. As such, I'd suggest to make sure you have plenty of staff ready to help with the up selling. The more you get on the day the better and the less you'll loose to good online intentions that don't come through.

I also think you'll do well just from the sales of the 6x4's and will be a great marketing tool as a reminder of the other things your offering and as a great take home on the day to show friends the next day at work etc.

I think your price point for the 6x4 and your other products is very good. First thoughts were a little cheap but second thoughts in relation to the sport and demographic is your probably spot on. This will be a numbers game like most events so better to go for volume than outright value of the sales.

I am glad you support the post later model for this, as I know you hate having homework. I am not bothered about having work to do when I get home, but I am concerned about costs. But I know we can serve more people and quicker without fiddling about with PS typing in racetimes etc.
Yeah, I don't like homework but I do love money and I'm happy to do the homework if it means more money.
Although I think you have come up with a better and more impressive approach to this than I would have, I think you are absoloutley doing the right thing mailing the orders out and I would have done that the same with that part for sure.

Homework is a hangup but I know for a fact that on the couple of occasions when we haven't printed onsite, it makes no difference.... even when my clients were used to getting their prints on the day. I have also asked clients that have given us big orders if we could mail them out because it took heaps of pressure off. It freed us up to do other orders both taking and printing and also gave us more time to get the big order spot on quality wise.

Onsite printing is just the delivery of the product after you have their money. Getting their money in the first place is the main Priority. Money is better spent on the salespeople than the delivery people.

I am hoping to get my card payment terminal before the event.
I'd be pushing for that now with whoever is providing it.
I got a terminal recently rather than the paper slips we had been using and the bank made a point of letting me know if we did a big event, we could get extra terminals on a short term loan.
It may be worth asking your provider if they have loan or replacement units you could brrow for the weekend.

Where I am we have come home from successful events and barely have enough cash for a feed for the family in a half decent restaurant! One day with the swim school I had great sales and only one was cash. People are lost without their plastic here. Me being at odds with everything of course barely ever use it and then only when I have enough cash in my pocket to cover what I'm buying if it don't work. Been embarrassed with stuff ups with plastic before.

I wouldn't worry about the time factor too much. They will come in progressively and your hourly customer rate won't be too bad. People here at least are generally pretty patient with these type things and will see your flat out and won't worry too much especially with the product you are offering.
Old May-18-2012, 09:46 AM
Duderino is offline Duderino OP
jbaker, the group shots pre race are a great idea. I will implement that for sure. About being tethered, does this mean wireless transmission? I have thought about it, have no experience in it, do not know what kind of signal we will get, and simply can not rely on a new set up for a gig of this importance. However, I am open to ideas and new set ups will no doubtedly improve our operation in the long term. However, I have planned to have a 'runner'. We will be a couple hundred metres away from the the finish I heard. Although this sounds too far, we have been assured we are by the exit, beside the cafe, so all people will past by us. That said, the runner's job is to deliver the memory card, pick up a new one, then get back to the photographer and repeat. They will do this all day long. Might get them a bicycle. I had though they could also lay out the prints on the tables, as to use them a bit more, but now that you say I will miss people who leave too quick, I will rethink this part. My one concern is that the photographer will not be able to swap memory cards due to workload with shooting every second. If they put the camera down to swap, they will miss people. Perhaps I can use a backup camera, and simply swap out the cameras. This might be the solution, as long as we have a speedlite flash on both, if it is the portrait shots. We will think about it. I guess this is one of the things that we will have to wing-it on the day. But thanks for the pre thought. I also intend to have an 'Usher' who will make the people collect their t-shirt, then get their picture taken. This will allow 100% accuracy rate in getting them shot. Also covers your concern of letting them escape to meet their family. This will be a tight and strict process

Glort, I still have not decided whether it will be finish line or tshirt shots that will print. But based on my calculated print times, I can not print both as we do not have time. I think it will simply add too much stress too given the numbers. Plus on the other side, it is another enticement to see the online shots where they will get all shots. Which one should I print???????

To cover the problem of people thinking the 6x4 is THE product, I intend to have an easel set up in the entrance to the tent with the product samples. I will also have samples littered on small table top easels through out the tables. I intend to have one or two staff on hand in the table sections to help and to explain the whole process. This is important to get them to collect their print and pass to the cashier. Maybe the staff will have order forms and instruct them. We will think more about this. Of course, when they get to the cashier we will nail the up sell anyway. Nothing like getting all the products for about 25% discount I do this in my day job here taking passenger photos. Keyring, magnet and strut mounted print in a bag, hanging on the wall when they return from the boat trip. 50% take the whole pack for 200nok instead of one piece for 80nok.

What are your thoughts about the magazine covers guys? I think I got that idea from Glort a few threads back. Just before the swim school pics I believe. So far there hasnt been too much excitement in the posts for that. What are your opinions?

Glort you mentioned the take home products are a marketing tool. I guess I have now decided all orders will receive the business card which directs them to the web images too. A good idea.

I got confirmed from Fujifilm today that they will not be renting me a printer for the 12x8's so that confirms that I will be going for the post later option. But again Glort, another good though is that we can then PS perfectly all the images and deliver outstanding results rather than rushing on the day. Wont increase sales, but it will be better customer service and this can help us win more events, perhaps.

I have just emailed the card reader provider to ask for more machines for the weekend. Lets see. Here in Norway about 90% of transactions are by card, even for ice cream. Good idea to get more, but as well I am sure once they have decided to purchase they will be willing to queue to pay by card. Another concern is how long it will take. My experience with mobile card terminals is that they tend to need to connect before processing. This can take a while. Just look at paying in restaurants at the table etc. It takes ages sometimes. Well, I will have the invoice option set up as a back up.
Old May-18-2012, 01:16 PM
M38A1 is offline M38A1
Curious. Very curious.
M38A1's Avatar
Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
What are your thoughts about the magazine covers guys? I think I got that idea from Glort a few threads back. Just before the swim school pics I believe. So far there hasnt been too much excitement in the posts for that. What are your opinions?
Again, my comment is tempered from what I'll call a seasoned athletes perspective, specifically in the US. I personally see no value as a customer wanting a magazine cover type shot. Having done tri's on and off for 25+ years I just haven't felt the need for that type of shot to be on my wall or in a scrapbook. And I really haven't seen much of that offering over here as well or people asking for it. I'm personally well over the 'wow' factor of the accomplishment and I think most seasoned triathletes would be in that same bucket.

For your situation, I would have to venture the 1st timers would be the highest percentage of possibly wanting something like this. And across those 1st timers, there's two groups to include 1) those that simply set the goal and accomplished it, scratch it off the list never to to again, and 2) those that are really hooked on the initial rush of the accomplishment and want to do another or longer distance. I believe that's where the potential magazine cover sales would come from.

Another factor which may play into my observations is these events (Tri's, cycling and running events) are just sooooo common here in the US and they are all shot allowing the participants to order prints. I can't say I've ordered anything from the last three or four events for the simple reason they are just like any other event - a picture of me on the bike, or on a run course. The only significance to me are the larger accomplishments like the full IRONMAN distance races. Heck, I didn't even order finish pics for the Half-IM last year.

I don't want to deter your potential sales, but I just don't see the magazine cover as being a big order item. But I do have a couple questions back at 'cha.....

1) How mainstream is Triathlon now in Norway? Are they popular, ie: what's the number of events within say, 200km of your location? What's the average participation in entries for the average event?

2) What are the distances of the events? You've mentioned short and long course with a kids course. Here in the US there are five basic distances to include:

Swim of about 750 meters
Bike of about 20-30 km
Run of about 5k

Swim fixed at 1500m
Bike fixed at 40 km
Run fixed at 10k

Swim fixed at 1.2 miles
Bike fixed at 56 miles
Run fixed at 13.1

Swim fixed at 2.4 miles
Bike fixed at 112 miles
Run fixed at 26.2 miles

Swim is about 50m
Bike is about 3km
Run is about 1k

Again, I'd probably put the kids and sprint type distances as the highest percentage of potential magazine cover type sales and reduce that as the distances grow based on the fact that the longer distances are more seasoned athletes in general.

My digital footprint

Old May-18-2012, 06:42 PM
Glort is offline Glort
Major grins
I take it you do have a relief photographer for when the other guy wants a drink/ sitdown/ toilet break?

With changing the cards, I don't think that will be as difficult as you imagine. I doubt they are going to be firing over the line every second, my perception is they will come through in a group then a gap then a single or a few then a gap and a group and.... I think it will be OK, just might have to wait a few moments for the gap.

The runner is definitely the way to go. If it were me I'd be doing wireless because I have done it before but I also worked up to it intesting and learning and without that you'd be mad to try it on an event like this as you say. Given the distance, I might also be looking at putting a repeater in somewhere half way along to keep the signal at it's best. A repeater up a tree attached to a big battery would be the way to go. :0)
I have done wired at about 100M but in this instance I imagine running the cable would pose all sorts of problems in itself. The runner will be the most reliable by far.

Have you also thought about some walkie talkies so the shooter or anyone else not close to HQ can communicate? I bought some when I started the horse work and wouldn't be without them. They make things sooo much easier in a load of different ways.

I would print the finish line shots myself. That's a money shot more over than the t shirt one. The tshirt shot could be ok in holding back the money shot for the other products but I think in this case you would be better to create the most excitement possible by showing the best one.

As for the mag covers, I pretty much agree with M38A1. They are going to be popular with the kids. The adults, not so much I think.

I agree with waiting to pay but the better you can look after the people and more efficient you appear the better.
The terminal I got is a mobile one that uses the mobile network. So far we have had no problems with connection speed. The one I have will store 100 transactions if if can't connect then process them when it can.
Old May-19-2012, 09:21 AM
Duderino is offline Duderino OP
Here the pro tri's are about 200-300 people. This one is an Olympic long race and short 500m, 20k and 5k short. Dont have details about the kids. The number of events seem to be perhaps 12 tri's throughout Norway for the year more or less. Or at least the ones I have found. The distance is 400km2 perhaps.

I will not use wireless for this event. I have been told the distance between the tent and finish is 500m and crouded, so this throws up all sorts of issues. Perhaps 2 runners in replay or meet half way. They will be tired though. But if it is crowded, perhaps we have a bit more time before they get away in the car.

About breaks for the photographers, there will be gaps between action for that. Well on paper at least. Will just have to wing it a bit a make sure they take them when they can. We will use walkie talkies that I will borrow. Of course the runners could relay messages too.

Perhaps I will ditch the mag covers. The biggest requirement for having a few products is that I like offering a package as an up-sell. A race time and logo, certificate, normal print all in 12x8 size, and the 6x4 freebie on the day, should manage the package at 500nok (600nok total value). Any thoughts on this? Any other packages to offer? There is the possibility like Glort's swim school packs of one print in several sizes but I dont imagine this is the right way to go for this.

So you think I should print the finish line? The disadvantage is we can miss people, could have several people in the shot not just one isolated etc. The tshirt shot can be everyone, idividually, controlled. Perfect for printing without dropping people. Of course, officially, the finish line is an action shot, and after all action shots will be online. Might be better to print the portraits and leave the swim, bike and finish to online. More insentive to look with several to look at as well. Any thoughs????
Old May-19-2012, 01:31 PM
M38A1 is offline M38A1
Curious. Very curious.
M38A1's Avatar
Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
Here the pro tri's are about 200-300 people. This one is an Olympic long race and short 500m, 20k and 5k short. Dont have details about the kids. The number of events seem to be perhaps 12 tri's throughout Norway for the year more or less. Or at least the ones I have found. The distance is 400km2 perhaps.

Perhaps I will ditch the mag covers. The biggest requirement for having a few products is that I like offering a package as an up-sell. A race time and logo, certificate, normal print all in 12x8 size, and the 6x4 freebie on the day, should manage the package at 500nok (600nok total value). Any thoughts on this? Any other packages to offer?

So you think I should print the finish line? The disadvantage is we can miss people, could have several people in the shot not just one isolated etc.
That's quite a bit smaller market than the local tri-scene here. Professionally run tri's here locally will run about 2000 entrants or more. Heck, just today I participated in the Real Ale Ride (beer manufacturer) in a little town about 50 miles away and there were 1500 people riding bicycles. But it's always fun to learn how these are done in other parts of the world, so thanks!

Please, don't let me be the sole contributor on whether or not you ditch the magazine cover concept. I've just provided my personal experience, but if there's any doubt, then try it for a single race and see the results for evaluation at the next event.

Finish line shot? ABSOLUTELY! That's the one that will show the actual accomplishment, ie: crossing under the Finish structure, tape or however they have it setup. They typically will have the event name and the clock time. It's always a sigh of relief crossing that line as you KNOW it's over at that point and the entrants will typically be smiling regardless of their mental or physical condition. We always joke approaching the finish line ".... sunglasses off, hands in the air and SMILE as you cross". Having multiple entrants will happen, it's just the nature of the sport. Personally, I've always tried to time my finish to be solo strictly for the finish line image, but there's been a few races where others came from waaaaayyyyyyy back at a dead run and sort of spoiled that. So just accept it will happen.

I really can't wait to see some of the end products!

My digital footprint

Old Jun-13-2012, 06:28 PM
M38A1 is offline M38A1
Curious. Very curious.
M38A1's Avatar
Any news on how this is progressing for you?

Is the tri-shoot this coming weekend?

My digital footprint

Old Jun-27-2012, 07:36 PM
M38A1 is offline M38A1
Curious. Very curious.
M38A1's Avatar
Any updates? Based on your earlier post, this should have happened the 16th, right?

How did it go?

My digital footprint

Old Jul-08-2012, 07:50 PM
M38A1 is offline M38A1
Curious. Very curious.
M38A1's Avatar
The OP seems to have left the building..... I would have liked to hear an update on what worked well and what needs improvement.

But I did find the gallery of shots posted here:

My digital footprint

Old Jul-23-2012, 11:25 AM
Duderino is offline Duderino OP
Hi guys. Thanks for following the thread and sorry for the delay in updating. Generally sales were a lot less than anticipated. On-site was messy and on-line was successful but slow.

We invested a lot of personnel and costs in doing the on-site set-up, and were guaranteed from the organisers that there would be only one exit point which we would be besides. However it tuned out just in front of us was two other roads to slip through, so in face there were three exit points. Our position was beside the card park so of course everybody had bicycles with them which they were reluctant to lean on a post holding up our tent. We printed out all the finish line shots, one each and placed them on a table. It turned out from what people were saying that they wanted to see the sponsor's wall portraits instead. We only had capability to print one pictures per participant, so after a lot of thought, decided the finish line was the emotional highlight. Oops. They were tired too and couldn't really be bothered to look for their prints, and after we told them they were on-line as well and they had action shots there as well, most people wanted to go home and look. The amateur race was more successful, as expected. We managed to get enough sales to pay the staff, but the rush we were expecting never came.

So over to on-line it was. First problem, we were 7 hours from home, without wifi, so uploading had to wait until late the next day. First batch of emotional purchases lost! Well I spent 24 hours painfully uploading all the shots on my not to good home wifi. the race having finished 5pm Saturday, we finally managed to send out the mass email to all participants with the link to the gallery at 5pm on Monday. Feedback to all you photographers - you should be aiming for 12 hours max! On my next triathlon in a couple of weeks time, I will be uploading same day (if I can get wifi). I hope to have the images on-line, even before they have finished the race. It is a 10 hour race.

Well, sales. We are still getting orders in, which is the blessing of selling on-line. I have sent out 2 or 3 reminder emails since the initial one. After a couple of weeks, I also added some pre-race photos to the gallery so that I could email everybody again notifying them of this. This was successful, because even though those pictures didn't sell, it did generate a few more orders. My next plan is to offer a 50% discount on digital images. I think this will come just before I do my next triathlon on 3rd August. Of course digital images cost nothing so to generate some 50% income at this stage will be an added bonus.

All in all, we made a little bit on this gig, but definitely not what was expected. I offered a Race Time Photo with event logo, an official certificate photo with event logos, split times, finish time and name, and an original photo. On-site, the prints we had on the tables were sold in a strut mount.

For the next gig, I will be offering a panoramic print which has three images in, event logo, split time and finish time. It will be offered print only and framed.
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