FAQ's - PhotoExperts.net

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What schools and what sports do you cover?

We cover Lakeview High Schools in Columbus, Nebraska and do mainly varsity and junior varsity games and occasional freshman events.
Why don’t you cover Columbus High School sports?
We've always had great support from Lakeview High School and we have a great fan base there which makes it a very enjoyable environment to work in. The demand for our coverage at Lakeview has increased to the point where we decided to focus most of our efforts in taking care of their needs. 
My athlete goes to Columbus High School and I just love your sports collages. Is there any way I can get one of those from you?
Even though we don’t routinely cover Columbus or Scotus High School sports, we usually end up doing a few collages for certain athletes upon specific requests from parents. If you’re interested in this, email us at photos@photoexperts.net and we’ll see if we can accommodate you.

I've ordered from on-line companies before. Is ordering from your website similar?
Yes it is. If you've ordered from places like Amazon.com before, you'll have no problem. You simply click on any photo image you want to purchase and then click the "Buy" button located on the top, right-hand side of the page. A list appears of available print sizes in either a glossy finish or a metallic one (a great finish that makes the colors really pop and well worth the extra cost). You fill in the number of copies of that print you wish to purchase. You can also click on the "Merchandise" and "Downloads" categories at the top of the page for other photo related product choices as well. When you are finished ordering, click on the "Checkout" button and then just follow the instructions to enter your shipping address and credit card information.

I'm not comfortable ordering and paying over the internet.  Can I place the order with you directly?
Sure, just Contact Us by Email and tell us which photo numbers, in which galleries you'd like to order and in what size and paper finish, and what your mailing address is and we will place the order for you and bill you later. The disadvantage with this method is we will have to charge you 7% sales tax because now the sale is coming directly from us, instead of our on-line service provider partner.

Do you do your own printing?
We have partnered with one of the leading photo labs in the US. Our relationship with a professional lab gives us complete control over quality and turnaround time. Our photographs are chemically processed to ensure the highest quality and archival life. You need to be very careful of photographers offering their own printing, as many of these are done on inkjet printers using poor quality paper. In these cases, your precious photos will start fading the day you get them.

What does it mean to crop a photo and do I need to worry about this?
I size all my normal game photos at 4 inches tall x 6 inches wide (known as landscape, or horizontal mode). This is the most common size that parents like because they readily fit into photo albums and frames. If you order a different size, the image area may not completely fit correctly on the printed area. If so, you have an option to "crop", or cut some of the non-essential part of the image out of the photo to make it fit. This is done by adjusting a rectangle that shows up on the image when you purchase it and checkout. Don't worry, we personally review each print order before it is released to our lab partner and we will adjust any cropping you do, it if it isn't done correctly.

What happens if I'm not satisfied?
If you aren't happy with the coloring, quality, cropping, or anything else related to your prints, we will replace them free of charge, including paying for the shipping. Also, if you are Champions Club member and are unsatisfied for any reason, we will give you a complete 100% refund of your membership fee - no hassles - no fuss!

I see Digital Downloads in the list of products when I order prints. What is this?
Some customers would like to purchase the computerized digital versions of the photos they want, along with the prints, or they just want the digital version alone so we've made this option available. You can purchase a copyright free digital version of any image, excluding Sports Collages or Specialty Prints, by checking that option in the list of products. After you complete the check-out process you will be Emailed a link where you can download the digital images you've purchased and save them on your own computer. This link will be available for 30 days after your purchase.

Why is the digital version more expensive than a normal 4 x 6 inch print?
The advantage with the copyright free digital version is you can make multiple copies of the image in whatever size you want. For example you can print multiple copies of your favorite photo on your own computer and send it to relatives and friends, use it in a Christmas card, use it for graduation slideshows, as a Facebook profile image (the kids love this!), as a computer desktop background, etc. Also, the digitized version is permanent and will last forever (assuming you have it backed up in a computer hard drive). There are unlimited personal uses for your digitized images, whereas a printed image is a single use item.

What size Sports Collages do you offer and what do they look like?
Collage sizes include 11 x 14 (limit of 3 images), 16 x 20 inch, 16 x 24 inch or 20 x 24 inch. Sizes larger than 11 x 14 inch have 6 or more images. Visit our Sports Collages page to see the various options and prices.

Your Sports Collages are fantastic. How do you do those?
By the time the season is over we have a database containing over 200,000 thousand images. When someone orders a Sports Collage we select the best ones for that purpose. We use Photoshop and a number of digital software programs to create the great special effects in our collages. Tim spends several hours on each collage and the result is a stunning, one-of-a-kind keepsake you and your family will treasure for a long, long time.

Do you do multiple year Sports Collages?
No,the Sports Collages include only sports within the same school season year.

I've seen other sports collages on other websites and they all look the same - why do yours look so different?
What you've seen on other websites are "templates", where the photos are the posed type of shots, i.e., the athletes are all facing the camera with a bat or football in their hand, etc. These photos are then inserted into pre-determined circles or squares in a pre-arranged template and they all look pretty much the same. Every collage we do is unique for two reasons - 1) We use real action shots of each athlete that we have personally photographed during the season and 2) We personally start with an empty digital canvas and create each collage and size and position the different images so the outcome is a stunning collection of great images and memories of the season. The only thing that might be similar in our collages is the layout of the school name.

Do I need to tell you ahead of time that I want to order a collage? YES, YES AND YES! We concentrate first on getting photos of those athletes whose parents have ordered a collage. We naturally do take photos of other athletes during the season but it REALLY, REALLY helps if we know ahead of time who wants a Sports Collage. Every year we have disappointed parents and athletes who decide after the season is over they would like to order a collage and find out we don't have the photos to do one. 

Do I need to pick out the images for the Sports Collage?
No, we shoot many photos at the various sports events that never end up on our website. For example, we usually shoot around a 2,000 photos at a typical football game, but may only upload 200 to 300 or so on our website. Many of these "extras" we shoot with the idea of using them for our Sports Collages. They might not be suitable for a single photo, but they're just perfect for inclusion in a Sports Collage. If you do have one or two favorite photos though, let us know which ones they are and we’ll see if they work for the collage.

I see you have several Sports Collages that include photos of the parents. Why is that?
Tim loves to get shots of the parents at some of the games and include these in his Sports Collages. He knows how fun it will be 10 or 20 years from now when your athlete is showing the collage to his or her own children and pointing out how “young” Grandma and Grandpa looked back then :o)

Do you ever photograph non-Varsity events?
Sure, if parents have requested it and we can accommodate it in our schedule we'll try and shoot as many events as we can.  
Why don't the pictures I take at the games with my camera look like yours?
We have tens of thousands of dollars invested in the best camera and computer equipment there is for sports photography. This is the same equipment used by Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and other professional sports photographers who shoot sports at the College and Pro levels. Without getting into the technical side of it, our equipment allows us to shoot very fast, in very low light conditions. Our photos will be even better this season as Tim uses the newest Canon Sports Camera – the 1 DX (released in June, 2012) and the super telephoto 400mm lens to our equipment inventory. With this phenomenal equipment, we can shoot up to 14 photos per second and do so in very low light shooting conditions, plus we can get super clear images from over 70 yards away. This is why you’ll see us get those jaw dropping shots where you see the ball, blades of grass, players, etc., suspended in mid-air in the middle of a play.

My son caught a pass in the last football game but you didn't get a photo of him. Why not?
While we try to get good photos of everyone before the season is over, we can't physically capture every play. A newspaper like the Omaha World Herald will have several photographers at a typical college or pro level event. They each have a particular assignment at any given time, i.e., one does the quarterback, another the backs, another the receivers, another the defense, another the sideline reaction, etc. While your son was catching that pass our photographer was likely focused on another player. This is why getting feedback from you by Email is so critical to our doing our best for you. Please let us know if we’re not getting enough photos of your athlete and we’ll try to do better. Of course, if we take several photos of your athlete and you don't purchase any of them, we’ll soon concentrate on other athletes.

Why do you take so many photos of some players and not others?
The players who play the most and touch the ball the most naturally create more photo opportunities. Also, it's easier to get a sequence of shots of a running play than it is to get someone catching a pass. Finally, even though we try to get shots of players who don't get in the game very much, sometimes it just doesn't work out(see previous question and answer).

I notice your photos look a little different on my daughter's laptop computer than on mine. Why is that?
Most computer monitors are not color calibrated, so the colors on each one will look slightly different. We do all our digital image processing using dual monitors that are both professionally calibrated at least once per month. We also use color profiles that match the profiles used by our photo lab partner so we know the colors we see are going to be what is printed. As a final failsafe, we have the photo lab do a final color check and correct any images that need it.

Have you ever refused to take photos of any particular athlete?
Not yet, although we do reserve the right to decide not to photograph anyone we choose. This would only be in an extreme case where a parent just isn't satisfied no matter what we do, or if they have ordered from us before and then not paid for the photos or collage.

How long will you continue to do Sports Photography?
For as long as the parents appreciate it and it remains fun to do.

Why do you want my E-mail address?
The most effective means we have in communicating with our parents is through our Sports Group Email list. We use this to alert parents when game photos are on our website, what games we will cover, any special programs we might be offering, etc. We also use it to send out important or useful information about our photography and the games we cover. More importantly, you will be able to Email us back and let us know if we need to get more photos of your athlete. This really helps make sure we get enough quality images during the season and for use in our Sports Collages. Go to our Email Sign-Up Page and we'll get you on our list.

Do you do Senior pictures?
No, there are already people in this community who have spent a long time building a quality business and have a loyal following and we respect that. We also like the idea of providing something (professional action Sports Photography) that no one else is doing.

Do other communities have Sports Photographers doing what you're doing?
There are a number of Sports Photographers across the country who shoot local sports and make photos available for sale. From our experience with various photography forums ( we are a member of over a dozen of them) there is no one shooting at the High School level who has the combination of superior equipment and computer software expertise we have, particularly in a community the size of Columbus. In fact, we have frequent inquiries from other sports photographers wanting advice or help on doing Sports Collages like ours. Unfortunately for them, the learning curve to effectively use digital photo software like Photoshop is pretty steep.

I bet you're making a lot of money doing this so I'm thinking of starting my own Sports Photography business. What advice could you give me?
Don't give up your day job :o) Seriously, if you have some decent camera equipment and experience, and would like to shoot high school sports for us, email us a resume and we’ll consider putting you on as one of our photographers.

Still have a question?
Email us at photos@photoexperts.net and we'll get you an answer as quickly as we can.
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