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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Cage Fight Photographer Offer
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06/17/2009 03:14:30 PM · #1
Hi all. I met someone a few months back that promotes cage fight matches in my area. Well, I recieved an e-mail today asking me if I would like to be the photographer on the next event they are putting on here. HERE is the link to their site and the fight card. Below I will cut and paste their e-mail to me and my reply....

Hello david.
I met u in the fall in Gundi's sewing shop we were talking about your photography and my and my husbands sports business 'Gods of War' MMA fights...so we're having our next show on july 11th in downtown Baumholder in the tennis halle. We're looking for a photographer and I thought of you...so I am truely curious to hear what you can offer and your price if ofcourse you are interested.
Thank you kindly, Lindsay J
WWW.GODSOFWARFFC.COM

Hi Lindsay,

I'm glad you thought of me. I would definately be interested in shooting your event. I will need a bit of information before I would give you a price though. First off I need to know your expectations. Are you just looking for action shots or do you need more, such as promo shots, ect. Will I be able to use flash? How long will I be there? Will you be wanting all photos on disc and in what format (jpg, tiff, gif)? Prints? What type of turn-around time are you expecting on the photos? Will I maintain copyrights to photos with GOW having unlimited usage rights?

Please send me more info on what you expect. Then we can negotiate a fair price for both of us.

Looking forward to your reply,

David

I know these guys don't make much of a profit off these events so I know I can't ask for too much. But I don't want to look like a newbe by asking too little. The minimum I would do the job for would be $150.00 to cover the cost of a 50mm 1.8 which I will need to cover this event. (prior advice from a cage fight photographer as his lens of choice because it fits through the cage and is fast)

Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks,

David

06/17/2009 04:22:29 PM · #2
David,
No advice (sorry), but I hope you take the job -- I can't wait to see the photos. :-)

06/17/2009 04:38:03 PM · #3
If the Nikon version is anything like the Canon, be aware that those 1.8s focus sloooowwwwllllyyyy. It may still be ok though as long as you do a lot of refocusing as the action progresses.
06/17/2009 04:50:32 PM · #4
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

If the Nikon version is anything like the Canon, be aware that those 1.8s focus sloooowwwwllllyyyy. It may still be ok though as long as you do a lot of refocusing as the action progresses.

I have the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 and the focussing is pretty slow because it uses the old screw driven AF. The new 50mm f/1.4 is AF-S which should focus much faster.
06/19/2009 09:41:31 AM · #5
Well, I just got an e-mail from the promoter and it looks like I have the job!! I'll be doing it for 200 euro (about $275.00) which I am more than happy with. I need to do promo shots of the fighters before the fight. I'm thinking black backround and kind of high key lighting. Action shots of course and then some after party shots. They want some shots within the first couple days to post on their site then I have 2 weeks to process the rest and get them to them on disc. I maintain copyright and they get full usage of the shots.

I'm totally stoked as this is my first real paying event. So wish me luck. And if anyone has any advice, it's always welcome.
06/19/2009 09:53:11 AM · #6
first: congrats!

i got to shoot an ultimate fighting match when i was doing some work for a local paper. i'm not a boxing or wrestling fan, but i ended up getting REALLY into it. i had a blast.

it's going to be tough for you to do this all on your own, though, if you're going to be taking action shots as well as "portraits." when i was on assignment, i was only doing action work. however "backstage" they had a guy set up to do stills of the fighters (or whatever they're called).

i don't know what your setup will be, but mine was a series of bouts so there were different people coming in at different times -- like, a constant stream of new fighters coming throughout the evening as their times were scheduled. it's going to be tricky to bounce back and forth between the stills and the action.

if possible, set up the still shots in an area in the background and set the lighting (they guy they used had a solid backdrop, a single light 45 degrees from camera, and a reflector on the opposite side). if you have two cams, set one up there and leave it so that you can just go bang a couple of shots when you need to. otherwise, make sure you note your settings so you're not doofing with it every time you go back and your stills are consistent.

for action shots, i used a fisheye lens to get a lot of broad angles (again, newspaper story). a 50mm would be good for tighter work, but keep in mind that if you want any wide shots you're going to have to prolly stick your lens into the netting of the cage (to avoid the cage in all of your shots). so a wide angle is going to be necessary at least for a few.

i wonder if some of my shots are still on the drive i have here. lemme go look.

anyway, congrats!
06/19/2009 10:01:30 AM · #7
Ive done some shots of an MMA fighter before, not the live stuff, but the portraits...

//www.ajsullivanphotography.com (there is one on there)
//www.flickr.com/photos/ajsullivan (there is more from the set on there - potentially under the set "WREN")

I played with a few different styles...my favorites are the heavily shadowed images.
06/19/2009 10:09:12 AM · #8
found some!

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06/19/2009 10:18:16 AM · #9
Congrats on your first job!
Check this great idea about shooting fighters!
06/19/2009 10:45:04 AM · #10
Originally posted by muckpond:

found some!

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Hey whats with actually posting and sharing photos on this site. Don't you know you will ruin the SC reputation? Pssht rookies.

Matt
06/19/2009 10:49:23 AM · #11
Oh one other thing...before the fighters come over for thier stills, have a resistance band or something there, or ask them to do a few pushups, just to get thier muscles defined even more.

Bring a water bottle to spritz them with as well, if you want that kind of look. Usually you put some sort of oil in with the water to get that dewey look, but you gotta be careful with that with the fighters, as it might violate the rules.
06/19/2009 03:14:41 PM · #12
Thanks for the tips and example shots. I shouldn't be too rushed. I will be there for weigh-ins and then take promo shots before the public gets there.
06/19/2009 08:47:36 PM · #13
How about using the set up in the video at the top of this page.
06/21/2009 04:12:55 AM · #14
umm....i'd say the 50 1.8 is a terrible lens to use for this. My opinion. I'd much rather use the 24-70.
06/21/2009 04:23:22 AM · #15
Granted I've never done anything like this, but I'd also say that I don't think the 50 is the best choice.. I'd go with a zoom as well, because you're going to want versatility for when they're either on the other side of the ring or right in front of you. I don't know the Nikon ranges, but I'd lean more towards a 17-85 or something like that which offers some wider angle option for shots where they're super close.. and some short telephoto for the other side of the ring.
06/21/2009 01:38:46 PM · #16
This was the lens that was recommended to me by a cage fight photographer. One of the biggest reasons is it is awesome in low light and fits through the chainlink. I am able to move where I want during the fight. Yes, I would love to have a wide angle 2.8 to play with. But no way I can afford one before the fight. Gotta work with what I have. Thanks again for all the advice.
06/21/2009 02:00:45 PM · #17
Originally posted by david1707:

This was the lens that was recommended to me by a cage fight photographer. One of the biggest reasons is it is awesome in low light and fits through the chainlink. I am able to move where I want during the fight. Yes, I would love to have a wide angle 2.8 to play with. But no way I can afford one before the fight. Gotta work with what I have. Thanks again for all the advice.


I think the reason its not a suggested lens is its focus speed is the equal to a snail after having smoked pot.

Matt
06/21/2009 02:15:54 PM · #18
Originally posted by david1707:

This was the lens that was recommended to me by a cage fight photographer. One of the biggest reasons is it is awesome in low light and fits through the chainlink. I am able to move where I want during the fight. Yes, I would love to have a wide angle 2.8 to play with. But no way I can afford one before the fight. Gotta work with what I have. Thanks again for all the advice.


Remember, renting the lens is always an option.

eta: I can't spell

Message edited by author 2009-06-21 14:16:18.
06/21/2009 02:19:36 PM · #19
Originally posted by pineapple:

How about using the set up in the video at the top of this page.

Nahh...I would say he wants to use the really good stuff, not crap like that.

Message edited by author 2009-06-21 14:20:14.
06/22/2009 12:41:53 AM · #20
Renting is NOT an option where I live in Germany. I may be able to afford the Sigma 18-50mm 2.8 or the Tamron 17-50 though. Any thoughts on those lens? They both seemed to get good reviews. Anyone know if they extend as you zoom them?

Message edited by author 2009-06-22 06:34:42.
06/24/2009 01:48:37 AM · #21
Picked up the Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 yesterday. Tried it out in the store first. Looked tack sharp at 2.8. It's the one with the internal motor so the focus time isn't too bad. Stutters a bit to get focus lock at real low light. But should be fine for the fight.
07/12/2009 04:16:05 AM · #22
Just thought I'd post a couple of the promo shots I did. Not much work done on the photos yet as the fight was last night and I have to work at my "real" job today. So far the promoters are very happy. Wish I could say the same for my wife after I took shots of the ring girls. I need to go back and brighten a couple of them up a little. And now to go through the other 1200+ shots. Oh, and the lighting was terrible for the fights. I had to shoot mostly at 3200 iso. Thank got the D90 is awesome in low light and Noiseware professional works great. I'll post a few fight shots once I process some.

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Message edited by author 2009-07-12 04:28:37.
07/12/2009 07:47:53 AM · #23
great pictures david! I love the lighting & the drama it creates
07/13/2009 08:52:10 AM · #24
Nice. Thats how I would have (and have) done those. The 3rd one in the 2nd row, guy with the red and white shorts, damn near perfect. I would have tried not to have the highlights as blown out (in fact I would have probably eliminated that light all together, and maybe just used a reflector down low, and behind, to provide just a slight rim to the shadowy side) but other than that, good show.
07/13/2009 09:16:52 AM · #25
wow they look good... why do all the wife get jelous over other women. I shoot male models almost naked and my husband doesnt give a shit.. Maybe he think those guys wouldnt like girls like me.. hmm who knows.
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