Race photographs too expensive?

Just completed a race and an alert to say race photo's were ready.

Four average quality images, they want £29.99 to allow me to download them.

After my first HM I bought the images but have simply not bothered since. I think these race photographers / companies are shooting themselves in the foot with these prices. More expensive for the photographs than the race entry.

Each image will often be the same one for several runners.

Anyone think they are offering fair value?

Comments

  • Some businesses offer really good deals. For instance, I ran the Wales Marathon and paid 20 pounds for 19 high quality photos. This would also have included photos from the bike and swim had I entered. The company was small, and took a bit of time tagging the photos, but what they produced was excellent



    Now the larger better known outfits ones are a different story. 15 to 20 quid for one image of me with spit, sweat, and a gurning face is too steep and I won't pay that
  • No one forces you to buy them, and if the company didn't make money they would change the pricing policy

  • That's all well and good, Dave. But the prohibitive cost will deprive many people of those keepsake photogrpahs. If more small firms were given the opportunity (as in Also-ran's example) the prices would be more favourable. Instead what seems to be happening is marathon-photos seem to be gaining a monoply this cannot, ultimately be good for the consumer.

    My last race had just over 1,000 runners so wasn't a massive scale event and could have been covered by a small firm or two.

     

  • Get a supporter to go along and take a photo of you if you really want a keepsake.

    That way you get a photo for cheap, and a cheer on your way too!

  • JakeUK - tend to agree, but there are ways of getting them for free. Try a screen dump, and edit the image. Should I be posting this, I wonder?

  • I suppose they work out a price strategy based on the number they will sell to cover the cost of a couple of days work for the photographer and make a bit of a profit. Perhaps Marathon-photos are able to offer the race directors something that smaller firms can't, e.g. guarantee that at least x% of runners will have a photo taken or faster turn around times?

    I don't usually buy race photos, but find it quite useful to flick through to take a look at my form - especially comparing the photos taken at the beginning of a race with those taken at the end and seeing how badly it deteriorates as I get tired!

  • Dan - I am on the mailing list for one of the race photography companies (not sure how I ended up on it unless they got my details from my entry to an event they cover). Recently the photographer/MD did a mail shot that was basically a huge rant about people "stealing" race photos without paying for them, and saying that he could tell who right-clicked & downloaded photos from his page and knows the name of the runner because who would bother "stealing" race photos belonging to someone else. THEN he threatened to start naming and shaming by replacing images of those runners with something like a poster saying their photos had been removed because they stole images.

    It just made me think "well that's a lesson in how NOT to communicate with your customer base!" - I wouldn't buy anything from him on principle, now that their idea of increasing sales is to accuse their customers and potential customers of being thieves!

  • Take a screen shot, rather than right click

  • Interesting point about "stealing" race photographs. On the other hand, if someone posts on a website an image of me, I'd feel quite happy in taking a copy of that image. It is of me, after all.

     

  • some race T&C's state you agree to give up the right of your image for the race, to stop this arguement.  It wont be frequent runners who buy the photos it will be the first timers to mark the achievement.

    we are lucky where i race as race-photos give the photos away free

  • Fair comment, DR. I'd be quite happy to pay, eg, a quid or so extra on the race fee in exchange for free downloads of photos. If it's a big field it could poss be less than that. I don't know whether that would work economically, but it seems a good idea to me at least.

  • Muttley wrote (see)

    Interesting point about "stealing" race photographs. On the other hand, if someone posts on a website an image of me, I'd feel quite happy in taking a copy of that image. It is of me, after all.

     

    The images they put on the websites tend to be low-res and have a watermark on them, so probably not worth having anyway, but I agree in principle! 

    I don't ever buy pictures, even if they were cheap I probably wouldn't bother - they don't tend to be flattering!

  • I'd guess that most people fall into two categories:

    1. couldn't care less, wouldn't pay anything for a photo

    2. really want a photo, prepared to pay quite a lot

    So if you charged say £5 for photos you'd only sell a few more and you'd make a lot less money.

    The parkrun I do usually has a photographer, so I've got plenty of free photos of me running. 

  • Muttley wrote (see)

    Fair comment, DR. I'd be quite happy to pay, eg, a quid or so extra on the race fee in exchange for free downloads of photos. If it's a big field it could poss be less than that. I don't know whether that would work economically, but it seems a good idea to me at least.

    Like this idea.

  • I've bought race photos twice, each time when the entire pack came to ~ £20. Some races seem to charge that for one image, then £40/£50 quid for all of them. 

    So I seem to fall in the gap in the middle of Tom's classifications.

  • I fall in the gap too. However, as you run more and more events, I imagine the interest in the photos diminishes. As Tom says, you get some excellent photo at severl park runs. I you don't get you cheesy grin right one week, you can perfect it the next weekend.
  • I'm in the always look hideous so would never buy camp. I wouldn't mind paying an extra pound or so on race entry though so I could download a good belly wobbling shot to put on the fridge to keep me away from the cheese and cider.

  • JakeUK wrote (see)
    Muttley wrote (see)
    Fair comment, DR. I'd be quite happy to pay, eg, a quid or so extra on the race fee in exchange for free downloads of photos. If it's a big field it could poss be less than that. I don't know whether that would work economically, but it seems a good idea to me at least.

    Like this idea.

    Hate this idea. I want race entries to be as cheap as possible.

  • Years ago they used to send you the race photographs and if you liked them you sent the money or sent them back. Or not in my case.



    Never bought a race photo in my life.
  • Yes, and the law was that you were perfectly entitled to keep them as they were an "unsolicited gift" unless you had signed something to the contrary in your race entry.

    Most companies worked on this basis, and just said, "If you keep them without paying we won't send you any more if you do a race we cover again".

  • I don't see the problem here. You don't want to buy their photos? Just don't buy them. Get a friend to snap you in the park in your kit instead.

     

  • For a newbie, doing a big event, it's probably worth buying the pics and savouring the experience.

    For regular racers, the fees would soon add up.

    Therefore, a bit of copying/page dumping never hurt anyone. I've never seen it in any small print that they "own" my image, so as it's me, I'll have it!

  • To be able to get good photographs consistently, it needs good kit. A typical sports lens would cost in the region of £3000 - £8000, camera another grand. I could understanbd someone being pee'd off if they were unable to recoup their investment in that lot.

    That being said, posting full resolution, non-watermarked images is just asking for trouble.

    I think the outfits doing the big marathons are certainly charging a heavy premium because of the number of 'tourist' runners who want a high quality momento of the occasion. Us regular runners just get caught in the same trawler net. Smaller racers will often have keen amateurs who will take and sell pics for free or very low cost. I'd buy a pic from them.

    Having been injured recently, I've specifically gone to a couple of races to take photographs and have posted them all for free afterwards. Here's some examples if you like to see a few happy runners.

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