Q:   How does this work?
A:  I take action photos of swimmers by reservation only. Only those that are signed up will be photographed.  You can pick as many events as you like to be photographed (or sign up for all races for a flat fee - new business model). I recommend at least two because while I rarely miss races, due to photographing multiple swimmers per heat I may not be able to get the best coverage of a race (like two swimmers in a 50 fly one in lane 1 and the other in lane 10).  Swimmers that are signed up first will get preference when my coverage is limited.If I get poor coverage from a race, I will look for another comparable race for your swimmer. If no such option exists, I will refund the reservation fee for that race. I will let you know via text message after the session.

Q:  I don't see any products for sale when trying to make a reservation or when browsing my gallery.
A:  Click on the picture in the gallery and the available products will appear.  I require every customer to be logged in to make purchases.  It's important I have an email and phone number for everybody who has made a reservation and the only way to do that is to force you to make an account.  I don't save any credit card info in your account.  I also don't require any billing or shipping addresses because I only sell digital products.  I don't collect tax either because reservation fees are digital files are not taxable in the state of Florida.

Q:  I can't see my favorites and my password that you emailed me doesn't work.
A:  When you make an account on my website you use your email address and you pick your own password.  You use those to login to view your shopping cart, order history, and any favorited images.  When you go to my website make sure you login with YOUR password that you created.  I can't see those passwords, but I can send a password reset email for you.

Q:  I favorited some images and I logged back in and I'm looking at my favorites, but I don't see any products for sale.  How do I buy stuff?
A:  If you logged into the site with your email address and password, then "logged in" to a gallery with your phone number and swimmer name and added favorites from that gallery, you will need to go back to the gallery upon logging back in to view products for sale.  If you log back in to the site and go straight to your favorites you'll see your favorited images, but no products for sale.  The products that are for sale are tied to price lists and each gallery has a price list attached to it.  In other words, to see the products sold you must log in to the gallery with your phone number and swimmer name again.  That's where you go to add products to your cart.  Once you have a product in your cart you can fill that product in with photos you've already favorited.  You don't have to use the favorites feature to buy photos, but sometimes it makes things easier.

Q:  What's the gallery password?
A:  After you login to the website with your email and password, you can then put in the password (formerly called passCODES, but I guess they changed the wording on my website as of March 2024) to view your swimmer's photos.  That password is your phone number and your swimmer's first name.  The phone number will be the one you signed up with (you can view it in your account info) and your swimmer's first name is the one you typed on the form (again, should be viewable in your order history).  Phone numbers are just the digits, so 5557779999 and for names all special characters have been changed to their English equivalent so  ë, è, é, and ê would all become e.  If your swimmer has a two part first name (like Mary Beth) her password would be 5557779999Mary_Beth.  Case does not matter in passwords.  I can email you your gallery password if you can't get it.  There may be some rare instances where I do have your swimmer's photos but I edited incorrectly and assigned somebody else's password to those photos.  I would need to correct that on my end and re-upload those photos to get it working.  If a random swimmer is appearing in your gallery it's a password issue that I need to fix on my end.  Email me about it Sam@swimmeetphotos.com.

Q:  Does any of the reservation money go towards purchases?
A:  YES for the flat-fee reservation.  No if I'm taking reservations on a per-event basis.  I'm testing a new business model.

Q:  How many pictures of my swimmer will you take?
A:  It varies greatly depending on the events they swim, how old / fast they are, and if they do photogenic things or not (a kid who is very animated behind the blocks and always talks to their coach after each race will have more photos than a kid who shows up to the blocks right before the race and then goes straight back to his or her spot right after the race).  A general guideline is roughly 30 delivered photos per minute of time spent in the water.  That number trails off for the 500 free and up because you don't need 1000 of the same freestyle photo in your gallery.  Usually any gallery I make for a swimmer that is swimming 3-5 events will have between 100 (if they're mostly a freestyle swimmer) up to 250 (if they swim all the strokes and IM / distance events) photos.

Q:  Will you photograph every swimmer on a relay?  I want to make a team gift for them.
A:  I only get action pictures of swimmers who have paid a reservation fee.  Other relay teammates will appear in cheering shots along side your swimmer, but they will not be the focus of the photos.  If you want action shots of every swimmer on a relay, every swimmer needs to be signed up.  Do note that relays are the worst races to get action shots because there are 4x as many swimmers per heat and I will still photograph multiple lanes on relays.  If you need action shots of all swimmers on a relay for a team gift I encourage you to get their parents to sign up their swimmer for individual events as well.

Q:  I want to sign my swimmer up but they're very shy.  Can you be discrete?
A:  Yes, I can avoid certain angles like getting near them behind the blocks before the race, and not shooting head-on for butterfly, breastroke, or as they come off the wall for backstroke.  I can't guarantee that they won't see me, but it will greatly reduce the chances.  I typically do not talk to the swimmers I'm photographing unless they're chatty.  I typically do not pose swimmers (hey stand with your coach and look here and smile), but I can if they seem like they're up for it or if you discuss a posed shot that you want WITH YOUR SWIMMER and then tell me.

Q:  How long does it take for you to post a meet and how will I know when the images are online?
A:  It's usually at least a full day of editing per day of meet.  So if it's a 3 day meet, it's a 3 day edit - but sometimes a few days longer.  I try to get the photos up as quickly as I possibly can.  You'll get an email when the photos are uploaded and I also update the text in the gallery when photos are uploaded.

Q:  There's another kid in my gallery.  What do?
A:  I made a mistake in editing and I'll fix it.  Just email me.  Sam@swimmeetphotos.com.  I edit as carefully as I can and my accuracy is probably around 99%.  Sometimes when you're looking at 55,000 photos your eyes start to gloss over and mistakes get made.  It takes 2 min not to make a mistake and 1 hour to fix it, so I try as hard as I can to get the edit right the first time but I'm not perfect.

Q:  What if you miss a race or I don't like the pictures?  Can I get a refund?
A:  If I miss a race and find out about it during the meet I will contact you and see if we can sign your swimmer up for another event (or more than one event if necessary).  If I miss a race at the meet and don't find out about it until after the meet (which is rare, but it does happen) I'm very sorry about that and I will of course issue a refund for the missed race, and hook you up with a free reservation or two at a future swim meet.  If you don't like the pictures or you feel that you didn't get your monies worth for an event you signed up for just send me an email and you'll get a refund no questions asked.  Sometimes events get really busy (like 3 swimmers signed up for the same heat of 50 free and they're on opposite sides of the pool).  I do my best to get coverage of everyone in an event, but sometimes it's just not possible.  If I get poor coverage of a swimmer in a race and I know about it I will look for other races for that swimmer to photograph automatically.  If I can't find one, I will contact you.

Q:  What do you sell?
A:  Right now I sell digital only.  Because I'm operating solo and plan to shoot a lot of meets it's important to reduce my downstream obligations.  That means once I've sold a file you can use it for whatever purpose you want (except commercial use but that's unlikely to ever happen anyway with age group / senior level photos).  You can buy single files in quantities of 1-25 that get cheaper per file or a gallery buy-all.  I sell retouching services for files that you have purchased.  Over time I plan to sell composite images (a file for a multi-image poster) and video products, but those are not ready yet.  Once you have the file you can take it anywhere (in person or online) and print as many copies as you wish and in any size.  If you ever get a warning from a website saying the file is not large enough ignore it.  If you've seen the 2.5x8 foot banner I have on display, that was printed from a crop of a 21 MP image and even up close it looks fine.

Q:  What's the deal with the sale after the meet?
A:  For every meet I pay a % back to the meet host for all sales from a ~2 week period after the meet is posted so it's important that customers get their orders in.  The sale helps encourage customers to do that.  I do not plan to run sales throughout the year.  The products will only ever be discounted for that ~2 week period after the meet is posted.  Also, when I upload a meet I upload the full-resolution files which are very large.  This allows for purchased files to be downloaded as a .zip instantly.  Once that sale is over I will go back and reupload the gallery with smaller resolution files to save on hosting fees.  They will still look the same online, but if you order files after the sale it will take a little longer to get the download .zip because I will need to reupload the high resolution images.

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