My Last Racquetball Photo Shoot
When I began photographing racquetball 5 years ago, my goal was to help promote this game I have played for most of my life and to improve the quality of racquetball’s image in commercial marketing and in social media and websites. I never had any real expectations of actually making money from photographing racquetball; in fact, just the opposite is the reality when you consider the thousands of dollars in equipment I have purchased in order to produce the best quality racquetball images available. Except for the occasional hotel reimbursement, I have not profited a single dime from photographing racquetball. 100% of all net proceeds received have been donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. (“Racquetball” seems to have a sense of entitlement where the expectation of getting free stuff is the norm.) In other words, I did it for “the good of the game…”.
As some of you know I have had some unfortunate battles with a few racquetball organizations and other people who decided to blatantly ignore the rules of US Federal Copyright Law by flagrantly using my images for their commercial gain at my expense. The unauthorized use of my images is still prevalent throughout the web and in commercial marketing and it is a battle I will continue to fight.
I will admit that these Copyright infringement battles did have a small impact on my decision to walk away from photographing racquetball.
The good news is that I am making this decision based upon positive factors!
I believe I have surpassed my stated goal to improve the quality of racquetball’s professional image and I also believe I have reinforced the standard for professional racquetball photography which all began with professional photographer Mike Boatman. (It’s interesting that Mike Boatman walked away from racquetball over blatant Copyright infringements).
Unfortunately, there are still a lot of poor quality or free “pics” being used frequently for marketing and promoting racquetball’s image by organizations, manufacturers and the racquetball industry. They are not always the professional-grade quality that I would classify as “images”. I oftentimes shake my head in amazement wondering why a manufacturer, corporation or organization would want to have their product or image represented by these poor quality “pics”. I can only set the bar…I can’t force anyone to respect it.
This past week I attended the 3 WallBall World Outdoor Championships from Las Vegas and it was my last uncompensated racquetball photo shoot. As always with Outdoor Racquetball, I had a blast and the best part of shooting Outdoor Racquetball is the camaraderie, seeing old friends and making new ones. This is what I will miss most. (I guess I could always try and play racquetball again…)
I want to thank a few good folks who have always supported me in my goal to improve the professional image of racquetball through photography. I will genuinely miss working with them.
As always, you can view for free all of the hundreds of images on my photo site: mikeaugustin.com
Game Changer Photography, LLC
Sports & Action Professional Photography