Jack Schatzberg...photographs and talks about horses

Questions and Answers


I have been photographing Academy and B horse shows (saddlebreds) for 4 years now, and still have the same problem...my indoor photos are very dark, or if they're bright enough then there is motion blur

I am using a Canon Elan II with the 28-80 lens (I have the 75-300 also) and the 380EX flash, which I've been told should be bright enough. I usually use Kodak Gold 400 film, but I've tried the new Fuji 800 to no avail.

How do I get the pictures brighter and still stop the motion sufficiently? If I expose the film longer then the picture is blurred. Frustruating.

And one more question...I have found that my prices are good enough for me to barely break even, but I'm not making any money. I don't want to price myself out of the market. I know what photographers charge for prints, but not what they charge the shows for their services. Can you give me a ballpark figure that I can use that would be average for an experienced amateur photographer?

Thank you very much,

Tiffani Banaszak


Dear Tiffany,

You seem to have several problems, we can approach them individually.

First, the flash synchronization speed on your camera is too short to work with indoors. You need a camera with a sync speed to be at LEAST 1/250th of a second. I have just discussed this specific problem in the "September Questions" on my web site...Please check it out.

I don't believe that the flash that you have has enough power to do the job that is necessary for good coverage. The Norman 200C is the flash that I and several other photographers use, however the Lumadyne flash is also used extensively.

I and other professional horse photographers do NOT charge a fee for doing their show. As a rule I ask to be housed and supplied with a space for exhibiting my proofs and a space for my darkroom. Of course I need water, electricity and a place to throw off clean wash water.

As to the pricing situation, once you attempt to sell a photo you have become a professional. The cost of a photo to a consumer has no relationship to the cost of materials that are involved in its production. That may sound strange, but for example, when I arrive at some of the shows, my expenses will be as high as $7,000.00. Therefor, after I have sold my first photo, my loss at that time is $6,965.00. Hopefully, I will sell more photos and eventually make a profit.

The only answer to your pricing situation is a simple one........... Your photos must be of a good quality so that enough people will buy them so that you can make a profit and stay in business.

Subject heading: A few questions…
Posted: Oct 1999
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