A little more than a decade ago the Sports Photography Market had a very different face! The workflow radically changed by the emergence of digital technology.
The technology may have changed but the objectives are still the same. Team and Individual photos and game action images were then and still are today, provided by, for the most part, professional photographers. These pro shooters continue to be a source of images for “the photo-media”, yearbooks, booster clubs, team sponsors, and certainly the families of the participating athletes.
Quite simply, to be a professional photographer had required schooling, and years of hands-on experience to become a master. Now anyone can buy an affordable pro camera, digital printers, photo image management software and a host of products never seen before. You no doubt have heard the expression, “Soccer Mom”. Now you’ll hear, “Soccer Mom with a camera”.
The Purpose of this letter is not to provide a historical perspective. Nor is it to favor one group or another within this fast changing market. It is instead to identify the impact this monumentally innovative new technology could have to the athlete’s safety. The fact that parents don’t have any control over who is marketing their kids’ pictures through what, on the web, or who has access to our kids’ images and why, has to be addressed immediately. Kids must be protected absolutely!
As the Executive Director of Photo Marketing Association, International (PMAI) and the Sports Photographers Association of America, (SPAA), a chapter of PMAI, I recognize these concerns and pledge our Association’s full support and promise we will do all we can to help assure a safe environment.
We welcome the opportunity to work with the Photographers for Kid Safety initiative and The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS). NCYS’s interface delivers both the litmus test and the necessary documentation they insist is necessary to “assure a kid safe environment in which children can be fostered in good sportsmanship and learn the tremendous upsides from team fellowship and athletics”. This is the issue we all must embrace. This is what we need to get done in order to truly make our youthful subjects, “Kid Safe”.
Executive Director PMAI