A few questions from a cheer photographer...would like your input!

Discussion in 'Discussing the Cheerleading Industry' started by Cheerphotog, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. Cheerphotog

    Cheerphotog I'm new. Don't Hurt Me

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    My photography studio specializes in cheer and dance photography. Not action photography...but posed portraits, where we go to the gym and photograph individuals and teams over one to several days.

    I'd love to get some input from as many parents and athletes as possible! Thank you!!

    1. What are your favorite photo gift items...besides photo buttons? (examples - wall clings, cut out statues, bag tags, playing cards, ornaments, etc)

    2. Does your gym do:
    pre-paid packages (one pose, where the photographer picks the best one)
    OR
    on-site sales (a few poses are taken and the athlete and parents pick and choose what they want from each pose?

    AND....which is your preference...pre-paid packages or on-site sales? (or a different process if you use one)


    3. What's more important...
    Lower cost and lower quality portraits (like under $20-$40 packages) OR
    Higher cost and higher quality portraits (like $40-$80+ packages)?

    4. What is your biggest compliment OR complaint (if any) about cheer pics you've had done in the past?
     
  2. Aw.Work.

    Aw.Work. I make my own voiceovers

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    1. What are your favorite photo gift items...besides photo buttons? (examples - wall clings, cut out statues, bag tags, playing cards, ornaments, etc)
    my best friend got me these photo cube things for xmas one year, they have pictures of us on every side of them. love them!

    2. Does your gym do:
    we did pre paid

    i think pre paid works fine

    3. What's more important...
    Lower cost and lower quality portraits (like under $20-$40 packages) OR
    Higher cost and higher quality portraits (like $40-$80+ packages)?

    high quality, why pay for a bad picture?

    4. What is your biggest compliment OR complaint (if any) about cheer pics you've had done in the past?
    cant think of any
     
  3. ufomom

    ufomom I have my own cheer message board

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    I would consider a cut out. I have been buying cheer pics and school pics and volleyball and soccer and so on, that all I really want is the button to wear to comp and 1 5 x 7 or possibly a 4 x 6. I stick with the less expensive options because I have so many of the aforementioned pics stuck in drawers.
     
  4. Cheerphotog

    Cheerphotog I'm new. Don't Hurt Me

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    Thank you ladies...that's exactly the information I'm looking for!

    Anyone else??
     
  5. two2cheer4

    two2cheer4 I shimmy daily

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    While I have seen some fantastic cheer pictures, at least the way our gym does it, the picture taking process is very hectic in the gym. As a result, I don't feel that we ever get really good cheer pictures. (Either you have to rush from school to get in line, so you don't have time to really do hair; or you take the time to do the hair, but now you have to wait at the gym for 2 hours to get the picture taken, during which the hair gets messed up. Sometimes girls practice until the photographer is ready for them...) As a result, I tend to prefer to buy a simple package to get 1 picture of my child, a button, and a team picture. Honestly, if I wanted the really beautiful cheer picture, I would be more likely to schedule an appointment at the studio so as not to feel rushed. (Then again, I only buy the class picture from school for the same reasons. Maybe I am too much of a control freak?)
     
  6. ufomom

    ufomom I have my own cheer message board

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    Lol. No, you are not. I would have written up almost the same opinion word for word. If I am going to pay more money, I want the controlled situation.
     
  7. notimeforthat

    notimeforthat Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    i personally will pay more for a better pic.... I also like the option that I have seen at some comps when they use the green screen and can do the magazine covers and other special effects.
    I really don't care for the packages.... i don't need a million sizes of the same image. I purchased an 18x20 collage of my daughter with various action shots and one posed as the focal point from one of the leading comp photo companies and I love it! i try to get one every year as a remeborance of the season but it was pretty pricey.
    I arranged for a photographer to come to my old gym last year and it was done as a gym fundraiser to help off set some party exspenses. I had it at the pre season kick off so It was only one trip for the photographer and it wasn't an extra nite of driving to the gym for the parents. The kids were already in full unis and make up. Sibling were then photographed together and all this was going on while the teams were warming up. I think it worked very well and if you get parents to buy pics before the season even starts it will possibly save them from spending it on pics at a comp with another company. How many pictures does a "normal" family buy a year of their cheerleader??
    good luck!! Having really good samples are always a plus!!!
     
  8. Cheerphotog

    Cheerphotog I'm new. Don't Hurt Me

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    so...nice photos...a la carte as an option over packages. Great info!!

    We do have great samples! I agree, that's a MUST.

    Keep it coming!! Thanks!!
     
  9. cheerkidzmom

    cheerkidzmom They call me Susie

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    I like when there are a couple of poses and you can choose to have the pictures printed with a variety. Not all with one pose.

    I like the props, like a big star, or a 2010 - but I do like it without also.

    I love when they photograph the team several ways. Smiling, serious and funny faces.

    Hate the hard upsell, for retouching, laminating, blurred edges, embossed names. Please just have a sign or a list with all the extras, some examples and let us choose. Not all parents can afford it all.

    An inexpensive team photo, girls picture and button package for our struggling parents, kids on scholarship and struggling families.

    our photographer donates one package to a needy family per team. The coaches let them know ahead of time who would need this. It is wonderful to see a mom who really couldn't afford it have one of the special items (like a button or a photo t-shirt)

    love the team photo pillowcases
     
  10. Evergreen

    Evergreen Guest

    When I coached gymnastics we had a professional photographer (not a sports photographer, someone who traditionally does weddings) come in to do our team and individual photos. That night we just didn't practice, the girls could stretch while waiting and we did conditioning when the photos were all done. No one had messed up hair, and we ended up with gorgeous team photos.

    I definitely agree with the a la carte options, I don't need 10 5x7s of my kid and 23 2x2 minis.
     
  11. Ladyw

    Ladyw Cheer Stalker

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    I would like to see more options to receive the pictures as a digital copy. Not so much so that I can reproduce the images cheaper, but because I do digital scrapbooking now, so having to scan the photos can be a pain.
     
  12. marissa.d

    marissa.d I think I can mix Cheer Music

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    the team picture pillow cases, sounds so fun! i want some
     
  13. Cheerphotog

    Cheerphotog I'm new. Don't Hurt Me

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    Awesome...thank you very much for your input!

    Acx.cheer... the pillowcases ARE fun...we JUST started offering them this year and they've been a hit.

    ladyw - I agree...a digital option needs to be an option. And just as a friendly FYI...scanning images (even if you've bought them) is actually a copyright violation. You may want to call your gym's photographer and ask them for a "scrapbooking" package where everything IS digital so you have permission to print them.

    evergreen... That's basically what we do... our background IS high end portraiture... and in the last few years we've stepped very cautiously into volume photography. We specifically chose cheer and dance...first of all, because it's mostly girls. And, we try to fill that "niche" between "high end expensive portraits" and super low quality "sports photos" if you know what I mean.

    This feedback is EXACTLY what I'm looking for. Trying to offer reasonable prices, but still offer great quality pictures that don't get stuck in a folder with school pictures, soccer,baseball, etc...
     
  14. 5-6-7-8

    5-6-7-8 I have my own cheer message board

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    1. Photo items - I love collages / storyboards. I like having several pictures (team, individual, etc.) in one print. Ideally, I would also love to be able to add an action shot to a collage. As of now, I use the custom mats sold at the cheer competitions to include a bunch of photos.

    2. Our gym does a basic package that everyone is required to buy (I think it was around $20) and you get a few photos. Beyond that, the photographer offers gifts, storyboards, etc.

    3. High quality!!

    4. My 2 biggest complaints would be 1) the turnaround time / customer service from our photographer (it is almost like she doesn't want the work of the additional products after the initial package) and 2) the excessive (IMO) retouching she does. It is almost a pagent retouch. Maybe that is the reason for complaint #1. I actually had to ask her to redo a print as it was quite ridiculous.

    I would love digital files as well (not for making many copies, but for creating my own collages, etc.)
     
  15. Cheerphotog

    Cheerphotog I'm new. Don't Hurt Me

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    Thank you everyone!! Great stuff! I'll put this in our arsenal of info as our photo sessions get going!!!!