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22 February 2012

Race Photos (TILTH)

It’s been a while since one of my “Things I Love To Hate” rants (I don’t think I’ve actually ever posted one… but there are several in the queue), but having just finished my first race of the season, I received an email that immediately made my blood boil. I appreciate the fact that people […]

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It’s been a while since one of my “Things I Love To Hate” rants (I don’t think I’ve actually ever posted one… but there are several in the queue), but having just finished my first race of the season, I received an email that immediately made my blood boil.

I appreciate the fact that people need to make money, I really do. After all, I’m an entrepreneur as well, but way too many take advantage of situations and gouge potential clients.

My email was from a sports photography company that I won’t name, but they’re all pretty similar. You see the guys out on the course shooting pics, and if you’re lucky you get some pretty good ones taken (particularly if you notice where they are so you can make sure you don’t look like you’re dying in your pic). That’s all well and good – after all, not many people can have a personal photographer on the course with them, or get to a finish line vantage point that gives a great shot, so the professional services are appreciated.

I even understand the costs associated with printing and sending an image – of course larger images will cost more money because they require more resources.

What I get so ticked off about, however, is the cost of the digital downloads. I work with technology every day – specifically in imaging, design, and video, and it makes no sense to me to charge $10 for a “Mid-Res Digital” download and $20 for a “High-Res Digital” download – especially when I can get a print for $6. Sending either file is going to cost the same amount (for all intents and purposes – sure one is bigger, but the cost difference of sending an image with one resolution as opposed to the other is negligible). Just give the large file. No-one needs the lower resolution. And give it for $5 – it’s a digital download! Supply and demand, people. Lower the cost and you’ll increase the amount of sales, and the amount of people happy and grateful for the service. Same amount of income, a slight uptick in the amount of work, but way more satisfied customers that will spread positive word-of-mouth publicity.

I rarely buy photos now, partially because I think it’s highway robbery, partially because I do so many races that most of the time I don’t feel it necessary to have yet another picture of myself trudging along. But when I do buy a pic, I now purchase the cheapest print I can, then scan it at the highest resolution possible to get my own high-res image for the computer. Then I can resize and crop it any way that I want – or add text, logos or whatever.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy the pictures, or that they’re not good souvenirs, just that I hate the tiered pricing for digital files. It makes no sense. And they’re way too expensive. ‘Nuff said.

One thought on “Race Photos (TILTH)

  1. Wow, randomly found your blog online, and I can’t agree more, these photo guys are ripping people off. After running a ton of local races, I found that if you are close you should check out the waterloo running series, they release photos in albums online for FREE for all to download. Great idea I think, especially now that races cost 35-50$ just to get to the start line.

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