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MMA Photography UnderGround >> MMA Photography School


2/3/11 10:49 AM
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SnapLocally
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Member Since: 7/30/07
Posts: 848
 
I'm accepting new students:

www.MMAPhotographySchool.com












I also teach Boxing Photography:













www.BoxingPhotographySchool.com
2/5/11 3:02 AM
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Paul Benjamin
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Member Since: 7/14/03
Posts: 2944
1) Sit by the side of the ring...

2) Shoot...

3)?????

4) Profit...
2/6/11 2:57 PM
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CombatCaptured
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Member Since: 5/4/09
Posts: 209
 As long as you teach them all to CHARGE for their time/work, anyone who works for free is a douche!
(A few free shows to get experience is fine) but amateurs working for free are killing the industry AND putting out horrible shots to boot.

"Photographers" working for free for online MMA sites are the biggest cause of doucheness!
2/6/11 11:54 PM
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SnapLocally
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I agree 110%. I fucking hate it when  "photographers" cheapen the trade by "working" for free. I don't/won't teach those that do, though it doesn't make much of a difference anyhow; they've already learned how to get a free seat at the shows, which is all most of them wanted in the first place.

I shoot very few shows now because of just exactly this reason- several "photographers" have ruined my local market by giving away their free bullshit. 9 out of 10 promoters would rather have free average work than pay a dime for good work. The same goes for most fighters. That's their right I suppose, but then again you get what you pay for. 

2/10/11 1:13 PM
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GregHonda
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Member Since: 9/25/02
Posts: 2190
I'm interested to know how many takers you've gotten for your classes. It seems to me that the people that would be interested in this type of stuff would have little to no photography experience. I'm thinking the biggest obstacle would be equipment. If you have little to no experience in photography, chances are that you will no have the adequate equipment (mainly lenses) to shoot combat sports. As you well know, a kit lens with a 3.5-5.6 aperture just won't cut it. Maybe this is part of their education?
2/10/11 3:14 PM
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SnapLocally
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I'll tell you how it started:

About a year ago there was a two day span where I received 6 emails, all asking me various - and some rather elaborate- questions about shooting fights. Getting emails and pm's of this nature was nothing new, but I was getting burned out answering all these questions, and just decided that I didn't want to dedicate any more time offering advice and information; I have several times in the past without so much as a "thank you", so I decided I'd just not do it anymore. On the first of these six correspondences I politely explained that I've "closed the books" handing out free advice, in which I was met with profanity. In short order I knew I had something that people wanted, but I also needed to make it worth my time.

That same day I started "the school" I typed up some ideas of the areas I could assist in, a bit about my experience, and pointed potential students to the school site. It turns out that the $23 I invested in for two new websites was well worth it.

Anyhow, to answer your questions Greg, my students have a wide range of experience- one student wasn't a photographer at all, and spent about $2000 in equipment just for hobby sake. Some of my other students already had some equipment, but weren't very proficient photographers. And still others surprised me- they were very good photographers, already had experience shooting fights, but either wanted to take their work to "the next level" or wanted to learn more as to secure their spots in competitive markets. 

As far as it merely being an equipment proposition, yes, equipment is a major part of the equation, but on the other hand you don't look at an artist's painting and attribute their success to paint, brushes and canvas. Likewise, as you know, you can't just hand an amateur some professional equipment and expect professional results. If however you teach them what they need, work with their budget, give them practice drills on increasing their accuracy, and fill them in on all these other blanks that makes sense to them in a logical, comprehensive order you're going to have student fulfilling their potential, and a satisfied customer. 

Another thing I'd like to emphasize is that I'm not an equipment snob- I make a few reasonable recommendations on equipment when it's needed. If you're a Nikon shooter and have a D3, or you're a Canon shooter and have a 1DMk IV, great. But if you're an XTi shooter and only have a few hundred dollars at your disposal, that's fine too. I don't give anyone unrealistic expectations with limited equipment, but rather make suggestions that they could benefit from now, and in the future when they make upgrades.

BTW, these two shots were taken with a Canon XTi ($670) and a used Tamron 28-75 ($250):

 


I've upgraded my equipment since then, but only when I could justify and afford to do so.
2/10/11 11:53 PM
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GregHonda
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Member Since: 9/25/02
Posts: 2192
Thanks, you have some interesting points, I especially like the fact that you "manage expectations." Many people don't realize that in order to get a certain type of shot, it takes a certain type of lighting and you need the right equipment.
2/11/11 10:17 AM
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SnapLocally
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Absolutely. I wouldn't want to mislead anyone into thinking that just any camera will do- you've got to at the very least have a DSLR, and if one doesn't have an appropriate lens for keeping up with the action they've got to be able to make a purchase based on recommendation. This is particularly true when starting in smaller venues. It may not be apparent to the casual observer, but the following shot was about 10x harder to get than any of the above shots, even though it's the least visually appealing shot of the set :


3/14/11 3:16 PM
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Old Red Belt
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Edited: 03/14/11 3:17 PM
Member Since: 3/11/11
Posts: 11
I can relate as a pro writer and photographer never do anything for free
7/13/11 2:56 PM
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SnapLocally
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Bingo.

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