About Me

My photo
Monroe, Ohio, United States
Began my photography career as most people do...the highschool yearbook. Upon graduation I attended the US Naval Photography School in Pensacola Fla. After getting a qualification in basic photography and then later attending their Portrait School,was assigned to a military operation. Experiences included USO photography for Bob Hope, Brooke Shields, Kathy Lee Crosby and Wayne Newton.Have also had the opportunity for travel assignments to places such as Beruit, Israel, Africa, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Spain and England. Upon exiting the Navy in 1984,opened up a Tanning Salon and Health Club in Oxford,Ohio and began photographing weddings, all as a vehicle to fund my way through college. I enjoy travel, sports photography, special event and Cincinnati Reds photography. I am frequently contracted as a sports photographer by parents, sports teams, and organizations,throughout the Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio areas, to provide the highest quality sports photography, both on an individual and team basis.

November 14, 2009

In Youth Sports Photography, It’s Pros Vs. Parents

In Youth Sports Photography, It’s Pros Vs. Parents

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

November 12, 2009

Game Faces

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

November 9, 2009

Thrill of Victory & Agony of Defeat

I was getting ready to cover the South Western Buckeye League Pee Wee Super Bowl that matched the 4th Grade Monroe Hornets against the Clinton Massie Patriots.

I was observing the final minutes of a game that featured the Carlisle Indians against the Brookville Blue Devils. The game had belonged to Brookville up until the last few minutes when Carlisle came roaring back with a couple of quick scores in the final minutes.

I ran to the end zone and hoped for a miracle of a shot. Sort of a photographers "Hail Mary".

Needless to say, a picture being worth 1000 words, I got one. Not the greatest quality shot and one that a point and shoot could have probably taken, but for story telling qualities, a winner none the less.

Too often when debating the value of a professional sports photographer versus "Mom or Guy with Camera", I am constantly talking about angles and anticipation of game flow. There were 3 photographers or camera operators covering this game, and while I'm sure they got some terrific captures, they were ALL horribly out of position on the most important play of the season and possibly this young athletes life.

When you want the moments that matter the most, to be captured for a lifetime of memories, don't take a chance. I would have covered a game like this for $200. I would have given a CD of edited and cropped pictures that could have been given to each parent. More importantly, this kid and coach would have this picture framed and matted on the wall for Christmas.

Which obviously if I can track down the contact info for the Carlisle, Ohio Indians Pee Wee Football Program, I can still make that happen.

But why leave it to chance? Hey, if it we're all the same, the Cincinnati Reds and the NFL would hand out cameras to fans that wanted to be on the sidelines before games and just collect the equipment at the end.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

November 5, 2009

Blurb Makes Photography Books For Anyone

Blurb Makes Photography Books For Anyone

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

November 3, 2009

Interview with Vincent Rush of Cincinnati Sports Photography

Interview with Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio
Owner of Cincinnati Sports Photography www.CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com
Former USO and Military Photographer
Age 46, Married since 1989 to Amy and parent of 2 children, Zachary and Brianna

Q: How did you first get into photography?
A: I was hooked on it once I got my first little plastic camera. I think I was in 5th or 6th grade and it was a Christmas present. I loved taking pictures and getting them back to see what they looked like. After that it was the Preble Shawnee High School yearbook in 1978. My love languages are primarily gifts and words of affirmation. So as a nerdy geek in school, I was able to give the gift of putting your picture in the year book and get the words of affirmation and gratitude for doing it. For me, it was about acceptance. I also had a mentor from Camden by the name of Archie Armstrong who taught me how to use my first 35 mm SLR which was a Pentax.

Q: How did you make your choice to become a military photographer?
A: I originally wanted to be an Air Force Photographer, but I still remember it clear as day, when I called the Dayton, Ohio recruiting office, the guy that answered the phone said that the Air Force didn’t have photographers. So then I called the Navy and that was the beginning.

Q: What was the most interesting thing you’ve ever photographed?
A: Without a doubt, flying in a back seat hop in an F-14 over the Indian Ocean shooting squadron pictures, back when a photographer could still go up. Nothing like getting launched off an aircraft carrier and then landing back on one as it rolls in the sea. I also have to consider the photographing of the destroyed embassy in Beirut Lebanon as the rescue and recovery process was taking place an experience that stays with you the rest of your life.

Q: You we’re a USO photographer for Bob Hope in the early 80’s, is there anyway to describe that experience?
A: “Thanks for the memories”?
Bob Hope was one of the most genuine people on the face of the earth. I was actually on a tour with Bob, Brooke Shields, Kathy Lee Crosby, Ann Jillian, Vic Damon and George Kirby. Bob’s official photographer got sick in Med and as I was wrapping up the Beirut assignment, the chance came to do the Bob Hope USO tour. I also did a stint with Wayne Newton after that tour. Memories that I will never forget.

Q: You left photography for almost 20 years after the Navy. What prompted that decision?
A: I moved back to Camden, Ohio, opened up a health club and tanning salon in Oxford Ohio as a means of putting myself through college, started dating my future wife and shooting weddings on the weekend. I also went to the Dayton Daily News and tried to get a job as a contract photographer. They turned me down because I didn’t have a degree from “The Ohio Institute of Photography”. What I did have at the time were a couple of published pictures in Time and Newsweek, real life experience and a portfolio that most photographers dream of putting together. What I didn’t have was tenacity. I gave up too easily. I started shooting weddings on the week ends and unfortunately, I was practically giving them away. Eventually something had to give as far as my time went and I chose to sideline what wasn’t making me any money.

Q: What drew you back into it?
A: (Laughs) Amway!

Q: Amway?
A: Sort of. I had spent the past several years building a pretty successful Amway business and was speaking at a conference for a good friend and real life mentor of mine by the name of Larry Winters, who is a huge photography buff and a pretty good one at that. Larry had just bought 4 Nikon D200’s and when he found out that I didn’t have a digital camera, he gave me a Nikon D2x. That was the first time I had actually worked with a digital SLR camera. I didn’t even know what ISO or the term Noise meant.

So I brought it home, went and bought a lens or two and started shooting. One thing I discovered is that I still loved doing it and that I still had “the eye” for recognizing a great photograph. And I’ve been shooting for the past 4 years.

Q: What has been the biggest change other than the obvious technology of digital?
A: As a result of the technology, there are millions of GWC’s and MWC’s.

Q: GWC and MWC?
A: Guy With Camera or Mom With Camera. In other words, everyone is a photographer now or at least thinks they are. That is a result of the advances in camera technology now and of course Photoshop. They used to say that real photographers were made in the dark room. Now they’re made on the computer.

Q: You seem to specialize in sports photography? Is that by design or was it accidental?
A: Design. I’m a big believer in knowing your niche and living where you get paid. I truly believe that I am one of the best sports photographers in the country. And my equipment has less to do with it than my understanding of angles, anticipation and game flow. I also know the importance of tellin a story with a picture rather than just getting a shot of a kid with both feet off of the ground and his hair sticking straight up with no ball in the frame.

Q: You were interviewed by a publication called PDN, Photo District News, in an article titled “Pros vs. Parents” recently.
In that article you stated that your business is growing while others say just the opposite. What do you attribute that to?
A: That's a little misleading. I haven’t reached critical mass yet and my brand and reputation is still growing. Eventually it will slow down as I tap into the bulk of the area potential. Right now however, even a little growth is percentage wise, bigger than more well seasoned and well established photographers.

Q: Do you feel that you have a lot of competition?
A: Not at all. Like wise, I’m not really competition for other photographers. That’s just the way I look at it. Photography is an art and art is subjective. Everyone will have their favorites. In Monroe, Ohio where I live there are a couple of good guys, Bob Carroll and Bryan Garde, that started a little photography business called Blue River Images. They essentially try to do what I do, but there is a distinct difference in our styles and branding. There will always be people that like their pictures better than mine and vise versa. They actually approached me in February of 2009 and asked about the three of us forming a partnership. As I said, they are good guys but from a branding standpoint, it didn’t line up with my vision and what I wanted to accomplish.

Q: Could you talk about the concept of “branding”
A: You could call it Image as well. I have a very distinct, story telling, photo journalistic style of sports photography. I also wanted to be known as Vincent Rush the Photographer in Monroe, Ohio, rather than Cincinnati Sports Photography, posting pictures on the Monroe community web site. I am also very selective about what pictures I release for viewing and what I delete. Most photographers have no idea what they are trying to accomplish.

Q: You said that most photographers don’t know what they are trying to accomplish. Could you elaborate?
A: Sure. There are THOUSANDS of aspiring "SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHERS" on the web, all using hosted sites like Flickr, Smug Mug or Photo Bucket. They have no plan. They simply go out and shoot 600 pictures, delete the out of focus ones and digitally vomit 400 images on their hosted web site. Among those are mostly pictures that make no sense and tell no game or event story, or they are mixed with a few dozen pictures that make the visiting team look better. What they un wittingly do is water down their own web sites.

Q: What do you mean by watering down their web sites?
A: In effect they “spam” their own site. There are pictures where the kids are turned away from the camera, missing tackles or in soccer pictures, jumping at an awkward angle with no ball in the frame. They just load hundreds of random images on the site with no though of what the landing page looks like or what order they are in. There is a 3 click rule of web sites. People need to find what they are looking for in 3 clicks or less or they leave. I can look at analytics of my web site and see the average length of time on my site, and the fewer pictures I have of an event the longer the average visit to that event gallery is, because I only put sports photographs on the site that lock down the viewer’s attention.

Q; Is that good for the business?
A: It’s REAL good for MY business. I don’t want those people to change ANYTHING!

Q: You stated in the article that you have effectively used social media to increase exposure. What do you mean by that?
A: Community websites of the teams I shoot, Facebook, Twitter, Google Relevance Weighting etc….I’ve read several books on it and although I’m no expert I know more that the guy who won’t study the subject. You’ve also got to be great with people and realize that the way you carry yourself is a personal brand as well. For every social media book I’ve read, I’ve read 10 people skill books.

Q: Does most of your business come from Monroe?
A: Not necessarily. I do a lot of private client shoots. Although I have gotten a lot of business from Monroe this fall. Just the month of October was close to $1000.00 ordered in sports photographs from my web site.

Q: What do you mean by “Private Client Shoots”?
A: A parent or a team contracts me to come focus on their kid or team for the entire sporting event. That can be shooting a Motor Cross race or a select team baseball game, MMA fights, Cheerleading squad, or any number of sporting events. That can be anywhere from a $200 to a $500 dollar day. It’s good money and it’s a lot of fun. You have to branch out and broaden your horizons. You can only shoot so much of the local team before you get into the laws of diminishing returns.

Q: How do the other Monroe photographers work compare to your work?
A: While I appreciate the question, I won’t go there out of respect for those people. I believe that I am trying to accomplish something totally different than they are. And I am succeeding at my personal game plan. Besides, as I said, they will always have their fans and I will have mine. It’s all a matter of personal preference in the client’s eyes, and they are the ones who truly matter, not what I think. I employ an attitude of “Observe that Masses and do the opposite

Q: What did you mean when you said that you employ an attitude of “Observe the masses and do the opposite”?
A: I work the angles and go for the shots that no one else does. I’ll be at a football game and I’ll look over and see photographers and GWC’s standing around talking shop. I'll take that opportunity to go shoot the band or the cheerleaders. One time I rounded up the cheerleaders and shot a few action shots and some portraits. That 30 minutes before game time resulted in more than $1000 in business.

Another time during home coming half time ceremonies, all the photographers, Life Touch, News Papers and GWC’s and MWC’s were bunched up in a herd shooting the same straight on flash mug shots at mid field. I grabbed a football with the Monroe Hornet logo on it and walked up to each couple, gave the player the rock to tuck under his arm and started shooting.

The next day when other sources posted their pictures, I put mine, cropped and edited of course on the same sites. I never insulted or made any negative comments about their work, I let my work speak for it’s self and THAT night put a lot in my pocket. But hey, there is more than enough to go around.

Q: What do you mean that there is enough to go around?
A: There will always be people that love your work and those who hate it. That’s reciprocal and applies to every photographer out there.

Q: In your opinion, what does an aspiring photographer have to do to make it today? Or should I say, what’s the difference between the guys that get called for work and the ones that don’t?
A: All things being equal, quality, style etc…it’s professionalism and personal branding and marketing. You have to think of yourself as a walking business card. If you look like some weird old freak, standing around with a camera, you’re not going to have as many people come up to you and ask for your card and contact info

Q: Are there any local photographers that you feel stretch you?
A: From a portrait stand point, Russ Miller out of West Chester. Russ is a world reknown photographer and has covered Ronald Regan. You really don't get in the door with him for less than $2500. And from a Sports Photographer stand point, Barb Trimble www.trimphoto.com Barb is one of the best sports photographers I have ever seen.

Q: Any famous photographers that you would consider role models?
A: The standard answer to that question is always Ansel Adams, Annie Lebowitz and Larry Winters www.lwdigital.com

Q: You mentioned on your Blog that you recently had a conversation with a Sports Illustrated Photographer out of Orlando. Tell me about that.
A: Nothing too extraordinary. He read an interview I did for Photo District News on Youth Sports Photography and wanted to ask some marketing questions. But since I had him on the phone, I asked him what I needed to improve upon and he said “contacts”. He told me that my work was every bit as good as any Sports Illustrated work, I just needed contacts to get those kinds of jobs. It was very flattering and humbling at the same time because I figure that they are the very best and at the top of the Sports Photography food chain.

Q: Where do you want to take your photography and what is your long term goal?
A: Simple! I want to continue to build my brand and reputation as a sports photographer to the point that I get asked or recruited to shoot the highest level of professional sports, such as the Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Bengals, NFL, Sports Illustrated, ESPN or one day to be on the side lines for the World Series or Super Bowl. I have several other business interests and it's still a hobby for me that sometimes I'm lucky enough to get paid for.

Q: How’s that going so far?
A: Once you quit dreaming, you’re done! So I’m still working on it.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

The Differences Between Professional and Amateur Photographers

The Differences Between Professional and Amateur Photographers

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

In Youth Sports Photography, It’s Pros Vs. Parents

In Youth Sports Photography, It’s Pros Vs. Parents

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

November 2, 2009

New York Yankees and A-Rod

I for one am glad to see the Yankees and A-Rod having the kind of post season they are. Why? Because I love winners and organizations that put winning ahead of budgets.

Granted the Yankees seem to have no budget, but I have always loved the way that the organization is run and the history and tradition behind the storied franchise.

I personally have no problem with what A-Rod is paid. I would take every dime of it if they were paying me. I'm just glad to see the greatest baseball player of our generation, about to add a World Series Ring to his trophy case. He has totally become the new modern day Mr. October / November. His average in the World Series has not been great, but he has showed up in the biggest of moments. A-Rod has been the entire post season MVP.

I'm a huge Derrick Jeter fan as well and I look forward to telling my grand kids about the Yankees of my era and what a great example Derrek Jeter was for the youth of the day.

I shot this sports photograph of Alex going deep against the Detroit Tigers on Labor Day 2008 in Detroit.

While the series is not over, the "Fat Lady" appears to be warming up her pipes to sing the final notes of the 2009 Major League Baseball season.
Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

October 29, 2009

A New Plan and Marketing Vision for Major League Baseball

I was watching the opening game of the 2009 World Series last night and watching the mist and the cold of the night at Yankee Stadium, while simultaneously the NBA opening night game was on another channel and some college football game on another.

I have always wondered why baseball has to extend into November to finish the season. I love baseball and at least this year there seems to be a marquee match up, but it's not always like that. Here is a plan that I've had in my own mind for fixing Major League Baseball, or should I say, enhancing MLB to cater to the fans and benefit the game it's self. Bud Selig, if you read my blog, feel free to call me and discuss. I have more ideas than just this, but lets start with re aligning the divisions and creating a Regional plan that works.

I will also state that I am fully aware that the rating for THIS post season have been very good. But lets not forget that there is the benefit of a marquee match up and any time the Yankees are in the post season there is going to be a huge ratings boost. I will guarantee that if the series was being played right now, between the Rockies and the Twins, you would have a hard time giving advertising away and there more empty seats than a Vanilla Ice reunion tour.

I know baseball went through re-alignment a few years ago, but that means it can be done again, for the better of the game, by being better for the fans.

I also know that this is not the first time the idea has been approached by columnists, bloggers and various sources. But while google searching the realignment arguments, I have yet to find a posting during the first three pages that either 1) Makes Sense or 2) Presents a valid reason behind their plan.

And while there are those who scream that my ideas mess with tradition, I state back that the definition of stupidity is to keep doing the same thing over and over, simply because you've always done it like that, even if it doesn't work.

Here's a thought; Lets not change anything and re-address the issue in ten years when there are less fans and less revenue and we start caring about the health and the future game and less about upsetting the ghosts of the past. There isn't really a corn field in Iowa where Shoeless Joe will walk out of the tall stalks to pass with you if you make him happy. It was a movie.

Baseball needs to make a radical shift in the way it does business and markets its self if it wants to continue to grow and develop a generation of fans from the ranks of the youth. Today's kids have more alternatives than ever baseball has more competition than ever before.

Look no matter how much the old "traditionalists" with hair growing from their ears want to believe that the spirits of Jolting Joe DiMaggio, Ty Cobb, The Babe and Ted Williams are going to re-appear and curse the game if Major League Baseball breaks from tradition, the fact is that interest in the game, fueled by a weakening economy and and alternatives to going to the park such as High Def TV and 300 cable channels with several games on per night.

The Vincent Rush / Cincinnati Sports Photography Plan for Fixing Major League Baseball

Lets create 3 Divisions of 10 teams each in a way that makes sense regionally;

Eastern Division:
Boston Redsox
NY Yankees
NY Mets
Toronto Blue Jays
Philadelphia Phillies
Baltimore Orioles
Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves
Tampa Bay Rays
Florida Marlins

Central Division:
Pittsburgh Pirates
Cleveland Indians
Cincinnati Reds
Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox
Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins
St. Louis Cardinals
Kansas City Royals

Western Division:
Seattle Mariners
San Francisco Giants
Oakland A's
LA Angles
LA Dodgers
SD Padres
Arizona D Backs
Colorado Rockies
Houston Astros
Texas Rangers

At the end of the season, top 8 teams in baseball advance to a seeded bracketed playoff system based on record. The winners of each division are in. If the winner of a division has the 9th best record, then a 1 game playoff or shall we say a "Play In" game would exist between number 8 and number 9, but only if that was the unlikely case.

First round best 3/5 next two rounds best of seven. This, although it does not guarantee, it does create a better probability of the two best teams meeting at the end.

Start the regular season on the 15th of April and end on the 15th of September.

Either reduce the regular season schedule by the 25 games lost or make up a portion of them in more double headers throughout the season as a way of enticing fans to come to the park knowing that they can get a full day of baseball for the money. Double headers were and are still great for families on a Saturday or Sunday. It does not matter if the players like them or not. The fans are the ones who buy the tickets.

Baseball will make it up on the increased revenue from concessions, better weather and the laws of supply and demand. If there is any doubt as to this theory, ask yourself how many teams sold out the season in the current schedule?

Regional divisions will help foster closer rivalries, and encourage more fans to attend more away games because of the closeness. There will be less time difference conflicts that lose TV viewers.

Baseball as a whole and teams in general will save money on travel throughout the course of the season and can promote it as a environmentally conscious step to help reduce carbon emissions through decreased fuel consumption. Do you realize for example that the Yankees made 10 road trips to Chicago or further. The average team made about 10 long distance road trips. What if all the coastal teams could eliminate the cross country treks?. If MLB wanted to maintain some form of inter league play, they could work coordinate cross country match ups. The savings on travel would be into the millions for baseball and the teams.

As a result of the new start and finish dates of the season, there will be less chance of snow games, rain outs, temperatures in the 30's and re-schedules. Baseball will also not be starting the World Series and competing with the beginning of the NBA season. The Series will end in October with only the NFL to compete with.

One conflict will be how to determine who plays in an All Star Game, or if it will be necessary to continue.

Or what if a team moves, folds or MLB wants to expand? What if Florida moves to Indianapolis? Then simply tweak the division by moving a team or two. The key is to be progressive and decisive and not wait 10 years to make up your mind.

Another obstacle, as I've said before, is the always strong opposition of so the called "Baseball Purists". What is purity in the game any more? If these "Pure-ists" were committed to their mantra, all players would be wearing baggy flannels and using the old mitts of yester-year, there would be no designated hitter and there would only be two teams that played it out at the end of the season. And lets do away with all domes and field turf, and the middle relief pitchers.

I think it would also, at this stage of the game become a big part of the Bud Selig legacy. The game is in better shape than when he found it, That doesn't mean that he can't set it up to be even better 20 years after he leaves.

Chances of this becoming anything more than a pipe dream????? About the same as my dream of seeing the All Star Home Run Hitting Contest done with Aluminum and Composite bats.

As an adult, I would actually sit through a HR contest if I thought there was a chance of seeing a 600 foot shot or a light busted out of the tower. As a kid, I would run out to Dicks and buy whatever bat A-Rod or Josh Hamilton just hit one out of Yankee Stadium with.

Think of the advertising dollars baseball would draw or endorsement money players would pull down from the likes of Easton, TPX, DeMarini, Rawlings or Miken! And don't cry about tradition again. Since when does a batter stand at the plate and hit off of a batting practice pitcher during a traditional game? The Home Run hitting contest should be the same type of freak show the NBA Slam Dunk contest is.

A 7-15 year kid knows nothing about tradition! Baseball has to quit marketing to the "wing tips" and start marketing to the flip fops, to continue to grow it's fan base.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

October 28, 2009

Sometimes, the Gold is on the Sidelines!

I was recently shooting sports photography and covering the sixth grade Monroe Wee Hornet Football team in Monroe which is close to Dayton Ohio.

Most aspiring sports photographers or GWC's,(Guy With Camera)only focus on the field. (Now I am not talking about Cheerleader Mom. She will obviously be shooting her girls on the side lines)

I like to think of myself as more of a well rounded photographer first and a sports photographer second. I can do very attractive family portraits, senior portraits and event photography throughout the Cincinnati and Dayton Ohio arena.

With that being said, you can only get so many captures of the running back or QB handing the ball off, before you run out of things to shoot. And if you're regularly shooting in one particular community, eventually Mom and Dad are going to have enough action shots of the family superstar to hold them till next year.

So I always look around for the collateral shot that when posted up on the community message board, highlights the fact that you probably are not a bad portrait photographer or could do a pretty nice family photo as well.

This little Monroe Hornet Cheerleader was on the sidelines with her big sis and was the cutest thing going on that afternoon. After all, what cheerleader squad doesn't have the cute little mascot that loves to dress up and be on the sidelines with the crew.

I took about 12 frames of this little kindergarten cheerleader and then took the time to do the color / B&W combo job on it to create a family keepsake, and then posted it on The Voice( http://www.mainstreetmonroe.com/Voice/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=16778 ) a local community message board that caters to Monroe, Ohio.

That particular photo generated more hits and publicity than some of my better sports pictures. I got a call from the Mother of this little girl that night wondering how she could get a copy.

In this particular case, I gave it to her in a digital file and let her know that she had an option to buy from my site if she wanted, but either way, she could have the file.

I also knew that this little girl was the hit of the day on the web site, and it would be more to my benefit to have Mom spreading some good publicity about Vincent Rush and Cincinnati Sports Photography.

And as a result, less than 3 days later, I've received 4 questions about Senior Portraits and Family Pictures.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

October 27, 2009

Do Your Pictures Tell A Story

I recently had a great conversation with a Sports Illustrated photographer out of Orlando, Florida about sports photography.

I asked him his opinion on my work and any area that I needed to improve upon. He paid me a very high compliment when he simply said "connections". He went on to clarify that he felt that my particular style was every bit as good as the Sports Illustrated work of today. All I needed was the connections to get in the door.

That was fine and very flattering but I really wanted to know why he felt that my work was that good because obviously that's either very flattering or he just wanted to be nice.

"Your good at telling a story with your pictures. I look at a Vincent Rush or a Cincinnati Sports Photography shot and I don't have to wonder about what was going on. There is always a focus on the action and the subject in the middle of it. All good sports photographs tell a story."

I thought about that over the weekend and then took those comments and looked at some other Dayton, Cincinnati and Monroe, Ohio sports photography websites and saw a whole new perspective on what other "Sports Photographers" are shooting.

I think that there are those that think that simply a good stop action shot is enough. However if there is no central point of focus or you look at the picture and your first instinct is...awkward, because the player is suspended in the air, head in one direction feet in opposite and no ball in the frame, you're like..."What the ????" or the players are suspended in mid air. Is this a Chris Angel act or what is actually going on?

If I'm a Dad or Mom that is going to shell out good money for an 8 x 10 of my son or daughter in football, baseball or soccer, I want a shot that makes my kid look like Carson Palmer, Jay Bruce or Beckham, not Forrest Gump.

Now granted, my little personal athlete, more often than not, looks like Gump in the shots I take, but I only post and brand myself with the sports photographs that make him look like a straight up "baller".

I don't want a shot of my kid looking like a confused scarecrow on the field. If I have a daughter playing Volley Ball, I don't want to buy and especially see shots of her butt cheeks as she is jumping off balance to block a spike, posted on the Internet.

I recently saw a series of soccer pictures that were the oddest looking collection of images that I've seen a sports photographer post. It looked more like an interpretive dance class than an actual soccer game. There was one shot of a long haired kid that as a result of jumping in the air, looked more like a kid in a fright wig than a kid who just hit a "header", which is what he did, but the ball was no where in the frame, just a weird looking picture of a of a kid levitating with a bad case of static electricity or "balloon hair".

The picture I posted today was shot during a 2007 match up with Anderson High school vs. Turpin. My subject, a private client was the kid in the air in this shot that headed the ball into the net. Now this wasn't even the best shot, but I couldn't find it for this post. But even this picture tells a clear story and the series is currently framed on the family wall. The coolest thing about this picture, is that his Mom shed a few tears when she saw it.

Every picture needs to tell a story. That, according to my friend from Sports Illustrated, is a key to being an effective sports photographer.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

October 14, 2009

Making the Player Look Good

One of the most important factors in selling sports photography, is to always make sure that the pictures you're posting to your websites are flattering to the athlete.
In Cincinnati or Dayton Ohio, where I live and operate, I browse a lot of sports photographers websites and there seems to be a thought process that says, If it's stop action, it has to go in my gallery.
Many of the sports photographs that sell from my site are ones such as this. In fact this picture is the latest one bought on my site, just today.
I shot this sports photograph back in late July. I was photographing a men's softball tournament in Cincinnati at Rumpke Park.
I snapped about 10-12 shots in a series on this guys at bat and deleted all but two.
I think this player hit a routine fly ball in the shot, but the picture is presented in a way that makes him look like Superman. A welcomed addition to his wall or social networking site.
I chose to post this picture on my web site at http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com because it was very flattering to the player himself.
I see a lot of sports photographers that feel that they have to post every single frame that they shoot, cropped and un-cropped onto their sites. Many of those pictures have the athlete in an awkward pose, faces turned away from the camera or being used by the opposing team.
Not every shot will sell, but those that sell well, tend to show the player at his best.
Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

October 9, 2009

Selective Coloring

I don't like to use it very often, but on occasion it makes sense and creates a nice photograph.
On this occasion I was asked by a private client to shoot a couple of creative pictures of her daughters after Lifetouch Studios had did their usual mass production snap shot session at Monroe High School.
I had just a few minutes to grab a couple of shots of her daughters who happen to be cheerleaders for the Hornets.
I was faced with a very harsh cross light from the October sun and a bunch of clutter in the background that I didn't want to spend 12 hours trying to clean up.
So in this picture I used selective color to draw all attention to the girls and the big blue M that dots the Monroe football field 50 yard line.
After looking at it a few times, I realized that I messed up the girl on the rights hair, but the over all effect was just what the Mom was looking for.
In my sports photography, I will often consider the selective color option in just such conditions.
Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

October 7, 2009

Mens Softball = Big Profits!

As my name and reputation as a Sports Photographer in Cincinnati grows and I am faced with choices on where to spend my time, I always ask myself, what am I trying to accomplish?
On some days, I just want to go grab some good portfolio pictures and put more meat in my portfolio.
Some days I am looking to shoot a new sport for the experience of doing it.
But on other days, I am simply looking to make some profit.
One of my favorite places to go fishing is men's softball. Softball players love to compete and love to see themselves captured in Sports Illustrated style action shots.
Softball players also love to purchase glossy 8 x 10's of those moments in time.
Over the past couple of years, a single 4-5 hour period at a big softball tournament will net somewhere in the neighborhood of $400-500, once I have edited and posted up the pictures on my website.
I shot softball 2 days this year and sold more than 50 8x10's from my site over the next few weeks. And then there were also other sizes and digital files that were purchased.
I would always post on http://cincysoftball.com/ once I had the pictures up and posted and then I could literally watch Google Analytics rack up the page views by the hundreds.
I would say that http://www.cincysoftball.com/ run by Andy Larkins of http://www.profitability.net/ has been my best single source of traffic of the past couple of years.
I also got a big boost as a sports photographer from http://www.fatguysports.com/
Softball is one of those events that always has proved to be a money maker when you want to go out and earn some cash, however, knowing how to let the people know the pictures are available is a big part of making that a successful day.
You can shoot the best sports photographs in the world, but if no one even knows your pictures are available, you won't make a dime.
As a Dayton Photographer, Monroe Photographer, Cincinnati Photographer, Portraits, Family, Senior Portraits, or even a Cincinnati Reds Photographer the question of what you are out to accomplish must always first be answered before you can clearly define your goals.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

October 5, 2009

Article from Baseball Prospectus on Cincinnati Reds

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

Faces in the Crowd

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

October 2, 2009

The Silent Power of Micro Sites


In the final months of his father’s life, photographer Phillip Toledano began taking pictures that culminated in a project called “Days With My Father.” It is a bittersweet reflection, told in portraits, still-life images, and short narrative text. “I didn’t think anyone would have interest. It felt like such an incredibly personal thing. It was this thing within me that I had to get out,” Toledano says.

He created a Web site for the project, www.dayswithmyfather.com, and mentioned it to a couple of friends. Before he knew it the site was getting 15,000 hits per day, and people from all over the world were e-mailing him with stories about their own fathers and grandfathers. To date, the site has attracted more than a million visitors. Toledano is now turning the project into a book, and his publisher has asked him to start work on another book about becoming a father (his first child, a daughter, was born in July).

“Days With My Father” is just one of several projects sites Toledano has created. It’s also one of many Web sites photographers in general have created to showcase a specific project, apart from their commercial portfolio sites. The projects often reflect creative ambitions, and the sites emphasize the work while barely mentioning the photographer. Self-promotion, in other words, is not the primary intent but executed well, project sites can lead photographers to new assignment opportunities, print sales, and offers for exhibitions and book projects.

All of Toledano’s projects, he explains, get a dedicated site because they are “radically different,” and he wants each one to have a site with a design that reflects the idea of the project. (They include projects about video gamers, phone sex workers and other subjects, and can all be accessed from www.mrtoledano.com).

Toledano says he also tries to use a different designer for each one of the sites. “I want the Web designer to bring something to the party,” he says. Part of the appeal of “Days with My Father” was undoubtedly its elegant and quiet design, created by the Web design firm Fashion Buddah.

“It’s hard to design something that’s beautiful and invisible at the same time,” he observes. “I didn’t want something flashy for “Days with My Father.” [The design] felt really organic, which is what I wanted.” (Fashion Buddah ended up winning a variety of design awards for the site).

Toledano says he negotiated a deal for the design, and added that photographers shouldn’t underestimate their bargaining power. “If you’ve got really great work, a Web designer is going to want to do a site for you,” he says, at a reduced rate, on a trade, or even for no more than their own self-promotion.

Photographer Finn O’Hara traded prints for Web design services for his successful project site, “A Moment Before.” The project was inspired by his curiosity about the life-altering decisions that turned people into subjects of news stories. “I asked myself, ‘Why not try to recreate those decisions?’” he says. At the time, he’d been shooting a lot of editorial portrait work, and wanted to experiment with conceptual narrative. The result was a series of images unlike any of O’Hara’s other work. So rather than upload it to his commercial portfolio site, he created a separate site, and watched traffic spike after some influential bloggers took notice.

It took O’Hara in new creative directions, demonstrating production capabilities and ideas that his regular clients didn’t associate with his work. “It definitely opened the door for new jobs,” he says. He landed a commercial shoot for Nike on the basis of “A Moment Before,” and several new editorial clients inspired by the project have also hired him.

O’Hara is now working on another project site, inspired by the multimedia narratives he’s seen on FLYP magazine and some multimedia work he’s done with fellow Canadian (and Magnum photographer) Larry Towell.

The new project is a collection of images he’s shooting on Kodachrome, along with stories of the people who are donating old Kodachrome film stockpiled in their refrigerators. The donors stepped forward after seeing an article in the Toronto Globe and Mail about O’Hara and his father and their love of Kodachrome. O’Hara’s father is a former Kodak employee, and the paper ran the story after a reporter read a post on O’Hara’s blog about the demise of Kodachrome film.

“I don’t think just pasting photos up tells the entire story,” says O’Hara, explaining why he’s collecting stories from the Kodachrome donors. “There’s a way to round out the story with a good essay, maybe a few interviews, that doesn’t have to be massive project, but offers information about a process and really puts hooks into readers.”

Another photographer who recently launched a project site is Brooks Reynolds, who says he was inspired by Toledano’s “Days With My Father” project. Reynolds’s site is called “We are Sleeping Giants.” It began when he heard a song called “Night of the Creeps” while traveling with a musician friend, and imagined it as a soundtrack for a series of photographs that capture the mixed emotions—desire, isolation, anticipation, mystery—that 20-somethings might feel late on a warm summer night.

“It was something I connected with on a visceral level,” says Reynolds, who shot the images during the summer of 2008, when he was 22. Though he had been shooting personal work all along, “We Are Sleeping Giants” was his first big project with a cohesive theme. And it was something of a creative and technical stretch for him.

“I was experimenting [to] try something new,” he says. The images are more conceptual, with more elaborate production, than he’s used to shooting. He scouted locations, cast models (from Facebook photos), and set up lights, generators, fog machines, and other gear he needed to execute his vision. “It wasn’t Gregory Crewdson, but still…” Reynolds says, referring to Crewdson’s elaborately constructed suburban scenes.

Reynolds didn’t set out to use the project as a self-promotion, but now that he’s completed it, clients “can see what I do, and take ideas from it. It could be a style I apply [to assignments] in addition to what’s in my portfolio,” he says. “I thought of it almost like a viral portfolio. It was saying, ‘Hey, here’s a personal project I did.’ It’s without a doubt a portfolio, but it has a Trojan Horse way of getting to the audience.”

Other photographers have launched project sites with specific goals and audiences in mind. Jim Garner, a commercial and wedding photographer, recently created a site for a personal project about the storied past of his partner’s doting grandfather, who was a career criminal. Garner and his partner went through newspaper and justice system archives to dig up his story, photographing his files, his cell at Alcatraz, and scenes of his escapes from various prisons (he “escaped” Alcatraz by feigning psychosis).

Garner created a dedicated Web site to get feedback from friends and colleagues prior to turning the project into a self-published book. “The idea is to try something new and completely ‘out there’ and see what colleagues think about it,” Garner says. “That’s where new ideas come from. It’s all about personal growth, and ultimately that benefits our clients.” (He has since taken the site down.)

In July 2007, photographer Andy Freeberg set up a Web site for his project called Sentry, a series of images of art gallery desks in New York, andyfreebergphotoart.com. Freeberg’s intent was to establish himself as a fine art photographer, so he launched the site just before calling on galleries.

“I wanted to separate it from my commercial and editorial work,” he explains. “You don’t want to confuse them [gallerists]. It was a way to make clear that [the project] was something I was serious about” and not simply a temporary diversion from his commercial work.

The strategy paid off: several galleries expressed interest; someone mentioned it to Jorg Colberg, who posted a link on his influential art photography blog, Conscientious; and Gallery owner James Danziger, who saw the link on Conscientious, called Freeberg for prints the next day and mounted an exhibition of the Sentry project just two months after Freeberg put up his site.

Last year, just prior to entering Photolucida’s Critical Mass competition, Freeberg posted a new project to the Sentry site called Guardians. That project is a series of quirky portraits of guards in Russian art museums. Blogs including Boing Boing and Iheartphotography took note, posted links, and drove in the traffic. Freeberg was named one of the Critical Mass Top 50 photographers for 2008. It’s hard to prove that his Web site and the bloggers who noticed it were a deciding factor, but they certainly didn’t hurt.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

October 1, 2009

Going Verticle

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

September 29, 2009


There’s always enough to go around…for the good guys.

I was shooting sports photography one night in Cincinnati at local high school football game and I noticed that there were probably 7 other photographers hanging around the football field. Well, let me clarify, three of us were photographers and 4 were camera operators.

The question from one of the other photographers who I am on friendly terms with, commented, “Looks like we got some competition tonight!”

I looked him in the eye and replied, “Not really. Look who is out here. Now look at their gear.” I pointed out to him that only one other guy even had a mono pod. Three guys had kit lenses that had maximum apertures or 4.5 wide open and only one guy actually had a professional grade camera, a Nikon D2x.

Now at the risk of sounding arrogant, I kept my mouth shut about my next thoughts which were, I have no competition because I’m the best out here and at the end of the night, no one will get the shots that I do. More times than not, that is the case.

Keep in mind that I am not talking about going up against the same guys that shoot for the Cincinnati Reds or the NFL Photographers that cover teams like the Cincinnati Bengals. I’m talking about the guys like myself...that dream of doing that!

Which is basically true in most cases. Every now and then I am just not on top of my game. But if you’re going to succeed at what you do, you have to believe that you are the best and not feel threatened by every one that enters your playing field.

I’m a photographer first and a sports photographer second. I have the ability to see a picture where no one else sees it. I am also a networker and a marketer. I have learned through my years building and running a successful Amway business as a Founders Emerald, how to build relationships and relate to all types of personalities. Actually, everything I have learned about people skills, relationships, marketing and business philosophy has been as a result of my nearly 20 years in Amway, or should I say my mentors and reading 2-3 books a month for the past 18 years.

Learning to create you own opportunities is a secret to any successful endeavor in life. I see lots of people show up on the fields that I am shooting at, but I have yet to feel threatened by other photographers. I know there will always be people that love my work and people that don’t. You can’t win the world and the fact is that there is enough to go around but not if you wait for it to come to you. You have to go out and grab it.

Good Cincinnati sports photography has lead to good Cincinnati portrait photography and Cincinnati event photography which has lead to more contacts, more money, better equipment and on and on.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

September 28, 2009

Wide Open

Making Money Selling Stock Photography

By Bonnie Caton in Portland, Oregon

BONNIE: Thanks for joining us for an interview, Efrain. We're excited
you’ll be with us in Santa Fe next month, too. Can you tell us a
little bit about how you got into photography?

EFRAIN: My father was a school portrait photographer, so I was around
cameras from an early age. It was not until the mid-90’s, however,
that I got into photography in earnest. I immediately gravitated
towards travel photography. At the time I lived in Denver, Colorado,
an area that provided world-class landscapes and popular travel

In 1999, I began marketing my images and articles on a part-time
basis, and I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to make some
money licensing my work.

BONNIE: On your website (Padroimages.com) you mention that you were a
lawyer before switching to stock photography full-time. What made you
decide to switch to selling your photos?

EFRAIN: In 2003 my wife got a job offer at the Los Alamos National
Laboratory near Santa Fe, New Mexico. By then, I’d been a part-time
photographer for five years, and I was not planning on going full time
until retirement. As luck would have it, New Mexico doesn’t offer
lawyers “reciprocity,” meaning that lawyers wishing to practice law in
New Mexico have to take and pass the state’s bar exam, regardless of
experience. Instead of taking another bar exam, I decided to take the
plunge and become a full-time photographer once we moved to New
Mexico. I was 45 at the time.

BONNIE: Now you sell stock photos through your website, correct? How
much do you generally make per image (if you don't mind my asking)?

EFRAIN: I use my web site to sell stock, although my web site is not
set up so that photo buyers can download my work. The web site is more
of a marketing tool, an electronic portfolio. Typically, an editor
will look at my web site (or receive one of my promo cards, for
example), and contact me with a request for a particular image. I then
forward that image via an FTP site. I send selected images in high
resolution via a disc. I also sell my photos through two stock
agencies: Color-Pic and New Mexico Stock.

On average, I make about $100 to $150 per image.

BONNIE: You have a wide variety of stock travel photos listed for sale
on your site. Where do most of them sell, and which photo subjects do
you find sell best?

EFRAIN: Most of the photographs I license are to local or regional
clients such as New Mexico Journey, Santa Fean Magazine, New Mexico
Magazine, the New Mexico Film Guide, and the New Mexico Vacation
Guide. The articles I write, on the other hand, are most commonly
published in national or international publications (Photo Life
(Canada), Outdoor Photographer, Lighthouse Digest, and Shutterbug
Magazine, for example).

Photo subjects that sell best are often iconic images of a particular
location. For example, in New Mexico, that would include adobe
structures, chili ristras (strings of chilis), historic churches and
missions, and landscapes (Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, Chaco
Canyon). In Puerto Rico (where I was born and raised), best selling
subjects include Spanish Colonial architecture (as in Old San Juan),
Spanish forts, folkloric dancers, salsa musicians, and typical food.

BONNIE: What would you say is your top piece of advice for a hobbyist
photographer who's looking to sell his/her photos online? (Or, what do
you wish you knew when you were just starting out?)

EFRAIN: It’s important to be aware of two things before trying to sell
your stock photos online: First, selling stock images is a numbers
game (more pictures = more money), and capturing, editing, optimizing,
captioning, and downloading images can be time consuming. Knowing this
ahead of time is important to avoid disappointment if results don’t
come immediately. Patience and persistence will pay off, however.

Second, producing images can be expensive if you’re not careful. When
traveling to photograph for stock, have a budget and make sure you
have a shooting list to help focus your image-gathering efforts. At
the same time, be flexible enough to make sure you capture unexpected
images while on a trip. When I travel I also have a handful of ideas
for articles that I can work on during the trip that I can pitch to
magazines on my return.

The idea is to travel with a plan and budget, and with specific ideas
of how you will market your work after the trip.

BONNIE: Thanks, Efrain!

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

September 27, 2009

Shooting Star Photography Blog Post

Shooting Star's client streak to end after 10-plus years

A special streak will sadly come to a close for Shooting Star Sports Photography on Friday night. For the first time since the launch of our one-of-a-kind, groundbreaking service more than 10 years ago, we will not have a high school football client to photograph. The streak, which began with us photographing Gary Friedman of the Garces High Rams in September 1999, ends after more than 100 consecutive weeks.

Garces High's Gary Freidman was our first high school football
client in 1999, and launched a streak of more than 100
consecutive Friday nights with at least one client. We were
shooting film back then.

Utilizing nearly 60 combined years of daily photojournalism experience, unparalleled ability to make photographs in the most difficult lighting conditions and customer service resulting in a nearly 100 percent repeat customer rate, Shooting Star photographers have produced more than 1,000 custom portfolios for more than 400 clients during the past decade. Our portfolios are deeply personal stories documenting a special time in an athlete's life, far more evolved than just a collection of routine action photographs. Until this season, we've averaged 15 to 20 football clients, and had to turn away at least that many more because we could not keep up with the demand. This season we are photographing just five football players and do not anticipate adding any others.

While it would be easy to point a finger at the economy as the reason for the dramatic decline, we don't think that is the case. We are losing customers to amateur photographers. Virtually every local high school field is now saturated with amateur photographers each Friday night. These folks, often with cameras not equipped to handle the difficult shooting conditions presented by the poorly-lit fields the games are played on, are giving away pictures for free because they think it's cool. The pictures are awful, but "free" is a powerful phenomenon for even savvy and discerning parents to overcome. Others are purchasing pro-level equipment and with no experience are setting up photo businesses. They look the part, they have the gear, they have the vests (amateur photographers just love the photo vest!) but they can't shoot. One such photographer is offering his services at a "too-good-to-be-true" rate, and has lured several dozen clients to his service. The packages he is offering would be impossible for us to produce even with our years of experience; he has no experience and there are going to be some very disappointed parents pretty soon.

So it looks like our decade of word of mouth business, with little need to advertise or market, will have to make some adjustments. We'll be out there agressively marketing, and will soon regain our position as not a choice for sports photography in Bakersfield, but as the "only choice" for quality sports photography in Bakersfield. And despite the loss of football clients, we are still very close to our fall season projections; we have just moved on to other areas, including auto racing, tennis and water polo, where we have new clients making up for the lost football clients.

Our streak ended on one of the the fields that powered us the past 10 years, at Centennial High, where our clients were Garrett Hayslett (our third portfolio on Garrett and fourth overall for the Haysletts) and Cole Hallum (our second portfolio for Cole and fourth overall for the Hallum family.) We'll be back at Centennial on October 2 for the Hawks vs. Stockdale and hopefully the start of another 10-year streak.

Garrett Hayslett (above) and Cole Hallum were our athletes
last week. The lure of free or extremely low-cost photographs,
despite their poor quality, has affected us after 10 consecutive
sold out football seasons.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

September 23, 2009

You Can Bet Your Glass!

Ever wonder how it seems that the guys with the big cameras and huge lenses get the outstanding shots time after time? Must be the camera…right? I mean, you were in almost the same position, taking the same shot with your point and shoot or your Nikon D90 with the provided kit lens.

In my opinion, all things being equal, such as position and angle, it is more often than not, the lens. You don't need a Cincinnati Reds Press Pass to get outstanding baseball shots, if you have great seats and an even better lens.

I get people ask me all the time about upgrading their cameras for several hundred dollars to get 1 or 2 more mega pixels.

Many times, weather you’re shooting portrait photography of sports photography; you may already have a camera suitable for capturing the same quality of sports photography that I will typically display. What you don’t have, is a quality piece of glass, or lens on your camera.

I shoot the same quality sports action pictures with my $1700 Nikon D200 as I could with a $5000 Nikon D3.

The glass, along with a choice selection depth of field, say 5.6 or higher, will go a long way to capturing that sharp depth of field in your sports photographs.

The length of the lens, will give your pictures that compression factor that is a trade mark in professional sports photography.

In other words, a 50 millimeter lens will give a more accurate relationship between your subject and the background. A 200 millimeter lens will draw that background in close to your subject matter giving it the “Pro” look and feel.

In this picture of Go-Kart racers, I was at G&J Kartway in Camden, Ohio, a nationally recognized professional go-kart track where the likes of NASCAR driver Tony Stewart have gotten their starts.

I used a Nikkor 80-200 millimeter lens and a mono pod and set this shot up where I knew there would be close competition in an S curve.

It took me about 6 attempts to get these guys in just the right position as they were racing.

The 200 millimeter lens gives the illusion that the back two racers are literally hooked up bumper to bumper and makes for an intense action shot.

Any other camera or lens would have shown you that there was ample separation between the three of them.

I you aspire to be a quality sports photographer, the one investment you’ll never go wrong on would be your lenses. You can “bet your glass” that the photographer with the better lenses will always capture the best sports photographs of your event.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

Capture Cincinnati 2009

Well Capture Cincinnati 2009 has almost officially wrapped up for this year and to be hones with you, I’m kind of glad. It routinely takes up too much of my already limited attention span as it is.

I first jumped on board with the program last year after seeing an article in Cin Weekly while at my local Fitworks Health Club

I thought it would be a good way to see how I could stack up against the masses of photographers from the area and assumed it was a legitimate well respected publication.

I’m not saying that any of those things aren’t true, but what it really is amounts to a very clever marketing idea that steals a page from the old high school “Who’s Who, Among American high school Students” books.

I was a marginal C & D student in high school at prestigious Preble Shawnee in Camden, Ohio in the late 70’ and early 1980’s when I received a notice in the mail that I, Vincent Rush, had been selected as a member…and for only $35 dollars my picture and a copy of the book would be delivered to my home.

Well, what parent could resist forking over the $35 dollars for the bragging rights of her specially selected son as one of the top high school students in America?

So along comes Capture Cincinnati and without pontificating through several long arduous paragraphs, what aspiring photographer could refuse to fork over $29 to see his or her picture published in a hard bound coffee table book? Possibly even buy a few for friends and family!!!!

Enough photographers get one picture in the book and the publishers are already profitable. All the extra books are “gravy”. It’s a can’t miss scenario. I work in commercial print and I can tell you that each book costs very little to produce. WISH I HAD THOUGHT OF IT!!!!!

Now there is a voting system in place where supposedly your work will be published based on it’s acceptance by the photography community who approves your shots or rejected as a result of the masses of negative votes, cast by all those who either genuinely do not like your pictures or try to “vote you out of their way”.

I believe there is some validity to the seemingly sophisticated algorithms they use, but I have to be honest with you, I think the editors then actually choose among the best and put a book together that is attractive.

Now I’ll admit that it was pretty cool to get 5 of my pictures published last year and win a 3rd place award, but one of my pictures that they used was not that good and did not garner a lot of votes, rather it “just fit” the theme.

And there were also some pictures I remember that literally kicked butt in popularity, were far better than mine and never even got into the book.

So this year I shifted my focus of what I was out to accomplish. I used the contest to showcase my sports photography.

Not to the large percent of photographers in the book, because why would any of them ever call you to come shoot pictures? But rather the small handful of professional sports photographers that enter their own and people from marketing firms and local media that actually see the work.

Last year after the contest was over and I got my $25 gift card to Dillard’s for a 3rd place prize, I started getting a few calls from people such as “The Cincinnati Business Courier”, WLWT, Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau, Cincinnati Reds, etc.

I then realized that Capture Cincinnati was not so much a legitimate photography contest, but another marketing tool for me to establish my brand.

So in 2009 my focus was totally removed from getting pictures “published” (although I will be flattered) but rather “displaying” an assortment of stunning action and sports photography, Cincinnati or not, for the eyeballs that really matter when it comes to achieving my own long term goals of shooting professional sports…professionally.

Because as I said before, what photographer in the book is going to call me up and ask if I will come shoot their family portraits or senior pictures?

Because of my posts this year alone I have gotten calls to shoot NCAA Football, Division 1 High School football and a few newspaper assignments. I have even had further talks with the Cincinnati Reds.

As I’ve said before, “if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. The difference between good photographers that make money and good photographers that would like to make money is marketing and knowing what you’re trying to accomplish.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

September 21, 2009

Observe the Masses

I was recently shooting Sports Photography at Monroe High School one Friday night and judging by the number of photographers there, you would have thought it was the Super Bowl.

One thing I pride myself on is getting the pictures and photos that no one else gets. It builds my photographer self esteem anytime I see a sports photographer hanging around and picking the low hanging fruit.

On this particular Friday night I saw the “picture takers” standing in there usual spot, talking “shop” and I began to look to separate myself from the masses so to speak and look for the pictures that none of them would ever think of.

I noticed first that the cheerleaders had a bunch of new flags that spelled MONROE. I went up to the Cheerleading coach and got the girls to stage a run toward the camera that made for an eye catching photograph.

I then offered to shoot each of the cheerleader’s portraits with a helmet that I had secured from an injured player and a football and pom poms.

Using a Nikon SB 800 speed light and a Gary Fong Light sphere, I quickly snapped a series of cute portraits that did two things….

1) Made for some really nice Cheerleading photos that Lifetouch Studios never thinks of, because they don’t actually have photographers that work for them. They have camera operators!
2) More importantly, after editing and posting the pictures on Monroe’s community website, I probably just picked up quite a few senior portrait jobs and further established my brand in my own town of Monroe.

I then took the helmet and went and staged some cool field shots with the band that once again, in my own mind, if no where else (and that’s what really matters anyway) got the shots that no one else ever thinks of.

If you’re going to be a sports photographer and a profitable one, you have to cover not just the game, but the kids the other guys are either too lazy or not creative enough to shoot.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

Establishing Your Brand and Name

I was recently asked by another young sports photographer if I thought that he should ever give anything away for free.

“Why do you ask?” I replied.

“Another photographer told me that I should never, ever give any of my work away.”

“Are you a threat to that photographer or is your stuff that good?” I asked.

When I started shooting sports photography a couple of years ago, I had a Nikon D2x that a good friend of mine by the name of Larry Winters had just given me. Larry is one of the most successful people in the Amway business and one of the biggest givers that I have ever known. Knowing that I love photography, this was a token of appreciation for some work that I had done for him.

I started shooting in Eaton, Ohio where my son played baseball at the time. I would also shoot other kids during the games and hand out pictures the following week at the park.

At the time, I was considering establishing myself in the Eaton market. There is a photographer there by the name of Pat Taylor www.pattaylorphoto.com who has been in business since 1971.

In the opinion of many, partially due to envy and partially do to a perceived lack of people skills and arrogance, many people have been begging for someone to come in and give a much better option to the community.

Now, Eaton which I believe has about 35,000 people also has about a half dozen photographers.

Most of them fail in a relatively short time, not because of talent or creativity, but a poor business plan.

See Pat has a monopoly on the “Cash Cow” of photography. Senior Portraits, School Pictures and Team Photography. That alone keeps him profitable and in business.

Most photographers, who in my opinion are light years ahead of Taylor in their abilities, try to open up shop and establish their brand a reputation while funding a business. That in itself is a recipe for disaster.

My plan was to spend a few years establishing my brand and name, first by giving away and then by gradually charging through my website ( http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com ) until people started coming to me and asking me if I would be interested in bidding on team and school portrait photography. (Which has already started to happen)

Pat would eventually retire, sell the business or health challenges would get the best of him, and at that point, I would open up shop, having already built a solid reputation and a well established brand.

Meanwhile, a dozen or more photographers will have come and gone in that time frame.

So the answer to the question for this young photographer really came down to what was he trying to accomplish and what were his goals. If his goal was to make a couple of dollars, with no real perceived value to his work, then by all means, squeeze every penny you can. On the other hand, if the goal is to build your reputation until people offer to pay you for your work, then sew some seed in the form of free 4 x 6 or digital images.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

September 20, 2009

In Your Face!

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

September 18, 2009

Out of Reach

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

September 17, 2009

Climb the Ladder

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

September 15, 2009

War Paint

One of the differences between a professional sports photographer and a sports picture taker is a creativity.

When I am shooting sports photography in the Dayton, Ohio or Cincinnati, Ohio regions, I not only will shoot the stop action pictures, but I also never quit looking for the art of the sport of in some cases, the strange and unique.

I was covering an NCAA Division 3 College Football game on a recent Saturday at the college of Mount St. Joseph. I was watching players warming up at pre-game and caught a glimpse of "The Beast".

This dude was a beast on the field as well! For a Division 3 football team like the Mount. St Joseph Lions, this guy was a Lawrence Taylor on the field. A strong side defensive end that was more than a handful for the visiting Wisconsin team.

Back to topic...

The "war paint", which is becoming very common these days, and the menacing look when I yelled, "Hey 99!", and for a great "Faces of the Game" picture. I already had my Nikon D200 and Nikkor 200 millimeter lens focused on him. After I got my shot, I gave him the thumbs up and he smiled and acknowledged.

As a photographer, I am generally very aggressive when I'm going after my shots. A lot of camera carrying picture takers will stand in one space and hope the picture comes to them. I'm a big believer that you have to go after your shots and you have to have the creativity to know what makes for good pictures and what doesn't.

Standing out and being unique takes work and effort, but it pays huge dividends when people begin to separate your art from the masses.

Lesson is, always have a game face on.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

September 14, 2009

Colerain Cardinal Football

For more Colerain Cardinal Football Sports Photography, visit Http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

September 11, 2009

Lest We Never Forget September 11, 2001

In looking through my files, the was the only image that I could find that was appropriate for the day.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

September 10, 2009

It's All Subjective

It's all a matter of personal taste and the client is the only taste that matters when you're marketing and selling your services.

I'll share a simple story to make my point.

I have a niche for SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY. It's my comfort zone. I, like any other self respecting professional SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHER, feel I'm one of the best at it. Not because my camera is better, or because I have a special set of skills other photographers don't, but rather because I work a sidelines as good as anyone and go places other photographers won't to get the unique angle or perspective on a shot.

But because of my SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY and my own unique blend of marketing, I have started to have the opportunity to branch out and begin doing some other style jobs.

One such experience was when I received a call from a Monroe, Ohio resident by the name of Kristina Centers. She has seen nothing but sports Photographs from me on http://mainstreetmonroe.com.

Kristina is developing a line of clothing called "FIGHT HER", http://fighther.com , kind of a "WARRIOR CHICK" style t-shirt line.

She wanted to know if I could shoot some pictures of her models as a CINCINNATI PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER for the website. I said sure. To tell you the truth, I was way out of my comfort zone on this one.

So I head out with my NIKON D200, NIKON SB 800 SPEED LIGHT and my GARY FONG LIGHTSPHERE and the bottom line is, the shoot was 4+ hours and at the end of the day, it was a success.

After editing pictures and delivering them to her, and her models...everyone was thrilled and most importantly, the style, look and feel of the pictures fit with the theme and style of her clothing line.

At the end of the day...Client happy...mission accomplished. And as a result, I had some outstanding portrait photography for possibly picking up SENIOR PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY in MONROE, CINCINNATI or DAYTON, OHIO.

Now to the point I was trying to make.

I have a friend who has worked hard to carve out a niche for themselves as a small time wedding and portrait photographer. And to be honest with you, I really admire that persons tenacity and how far they've come in just a couple of short years. I'm a big fan. However, I rarely see anything my friend shoots that I would allow on my web page or show as portfolio pictures. I really do not like their style.

With that being said, I never offer advice because, "unasked for advice is criticism", but I personally don't think they are very good.

But that's ok, because I am not one of their clients and the clients that they shoot for, think they are outstanding. An at the end of the day, that's all that really counts.

So just for grins, I asked photographer friend to look at my portraits and critique my work. I received comments such as, your lighting is all wrong, white balance is off, top of camera flash did not help, etc.

I was mad for about 5 minutes and then I realized that their opinion really wasn't what mattered, it was the client.

Photographers in general can be very critical of other photographers work. When I was in the Navy and going through photography school, I used to hate hanging out with other photograpraphers, because they were all Ansel Adams in their own minds, and a simple trip to the movies, would turn into a cinematography critique session.

As a PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER, EVENT PHOTOGRAPHER or SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHER, at the end of the day, the only opinions that matter, are number 1, your client, number 2 you and then everyone else, to the back of the line.
Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

September 9, 2009

Right Place at the Right Time

I usually get the common question asked of me, regarding my Cincinnati sports photographs, "How do you always seem to be in exactly the right place at the right time?"

In SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY, sometimes it's luck and sometimes is manufactured.

When I am acting as a SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHER in DAYTON or CINCINNATI OHIO, I always try to get to the game early enough to grab pictures of the warm up sessions. More times that not, I just don't get anything that's really useable, as far as the brand I want my photography to represent.

Other times I'll get a sports photograph like this one of a Monroe Hornet reciever running a post pattern.

The lighting is good and there are no other players wandering around in the background. What you end up with is a sports photograph that looks like a wide reciever headed for glory.

Combined with all my other game shots, this picture give the view the illusion that VINCENT RUSH is a great SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHER.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

September 8, 2009

The Reason I Never asked for a 24 Million Dollar Loan

Annie Leibovitz risks losing copyright to images

Sept. 8, 2009, 9:21 AM EST
NEW YORK (AP) -- Celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz risks losing the copyright to her images — and her entire life's work — if she doesn't pay back a $24 million loan that is due Tuesday.

The lender, Art Capital Group, sued Leibovitz in July claiming she breached an agreement that authorized it to act as the agent in the sale of her photography and real estate.

Leibovitz spokesman Matthew Hiltzik said last week that the photographer was working to resolve the situation.

Art Capital spokesman Montieth Illingworth said on Friday that the company has "clear contractual rights and will protect them in any scenario."

"Our preference is for this to be resolved," he added.

Neither side on Tuesday would say if they were meeting or if an agreement was possible.

ACG is a Manhattan-based company that issues short-term loans against fine and decorative arts and real estate.

Search: Annie Leibovitz
View results for: Annie Leibovitz sued Annie Leibovitz newsAnnie Leibovitz projects Last year, the 59-year-old photographer put up as collateral her three historic Greenwich Village townhouses, a sprawling upstate New York property and the copyright to every picture she has ever taken — or will take — to secure the loan with ACG.

The company said she needed the money to deal with a "dire financial condition arising from her mortgage obligations, tax liens and unpaid bills to service providers and other creditors."

ACG consolidated all her loans in September 2008. In its lawsuit, it charged that Leibovitz breached a December 2008 sales agreement with the company granting ACG the right to sell the collateral before the loan came due. The lawsuit claimed she refused to allow real estate experts into her homes to appraise their value and blocked the company from selling her photographs.

ACG has estimated the value of the Leibovitz portfolio at $40 million; real estate brokers say her New York properties are worth about $40 million.

Under the sales agreement with Leibovitz, Illingworth said, the company would get 10 percent commission on the sale of Leibovitz' real estate and 15 percent on the sale of her portfolio. Leibovitz would get the remainder after paying off the $24 million loan, interest and other fees, he said. If she defaults, the company would get a net 12 percent commission, after paying approximately 13 percent for costs and fees.

More legal problems for the photographer emerged last week when an Italian photographer accused Leibovitz in a Manhattan federal lawsuit of using his images in a calendar without his permission. The suit seeks unspecified damages. Hiltzik declined comment.

Leibovitz's artsy, provocative portraits of celebrities regularly grace the covers of Vanity Fair and Vogue.

Over the years, her lens has captured such famous faces as Barack Obama, Queen Elizabeth II and Bruce Springsteen. She gave the world its first glimpse of baby Suri, newborn daughter of Hollywood's superstar couple Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, on the cover of Vanity Fair, which she joined 1983.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295