I have a lot of sympathy for the photographers and videographers that try to make a living shooting horse shows. I know there’s a lot of overhead, the equipment costs are astronomical, and it seems like everyone and their brother owns a decent DSLR these days. I try to support our local photographers and videographers as much as possible. Even if there isn’t media that I head- over-heels love, I’ll try to at least buy something.
The photographer and videographer for the event this coming weekend both offer pre-order packages, which I was pretty excited about, thinking I could save some money that way. Then I opened the emails and did some math, and to pre-order photos and video would cost $250. That’s more than my entry fee was.
I’d love to support them, I really would, but at that point I’m priced out of the market. Now I just have to hope that they actually manage to get some media of me, that it’s decent, and then see if I can pony up the money after the fact for whatever sliver of it I can afford. Usually one digital image costs me $50 which means that I really can only justify buying one, maybe two if I’m feeling particularly rich that day and if they happened to get some pictures of me (since I’m not a pre-order I’m not priority, so sometimes there’s nothing). But like I said, I understand their struggle, so I generally just grumble a little then buy something anyway if it’s halfway decent. That bums me out not only because I’m possibly missing out on pictures and video, which I love, but it also means that I may or may not actually end up giving them any money at all. Then we both lose.
I kinda miss the one photographer from the local h/j shows that charged a low fee of $15 per digital file for a small facebook quality photo. It certainly wasn’t suitable for anything else, but that’s all I need them for so I’m happy. I could buy several of those, and always did. Sadly, I’ve never seen anyone else offer an option like that.
Despite all this, I don’t really know what the answer is. Their struggles are real and I understand that, but so are mine. In a sport that is already so expensive, it’s just not feasible for me, and probably for most people, to spend more on media than they do on entry fees. I’m convinced there’s got to be a middle ground. I want to help them out and feed their business but at these prices it sadly becomes impossible.