2012 by the Numbers: The Pace Isn't Slowing at Focal Flame Photography


We have learned first hand how important numbers are to athletes. Common phrases include, “Is my time better than the last race?”, "What was my average pace this season?", and “How many miles did I log this year compared to last?” When it comes to keeping track of metrics, we wholeheartedly share this interest. Here at Focal Flame Photography, we've been doing a little end-of-the-year reflecting ourselves and thought we would let you know some of our stats.

In the area of event photography, Focal Flame Photography cranked it up from serving 8 events in 2011 to 22 events in 2012, a 275% increase!  Our photographers took 43,665 photos at those events in total and 85% - or 37,907 photographs - met our standards for lighting, focus, and composition.

Translation: Racers had better photos.

Reducing the time it took to get photos into race participants’ hands was a priority for 2012 and our pace quickened dramatically. This year, we processed photographs for events with up to 4000 racers in 24 hours. Photos for events with less than 1,000 racers were often ready for purchase the same day.

Translation: Racers had faster and improved access to their photos.

With the improved speed at processing photographs, Focal Flame Photography was able to offer two brand new event services in 2012: Same Day Sales and complimentary photos. Our Same Day Sales tent, offered at six events, provided racers the opportunity to view, select and purchase a print of photos of the race they had just finished. Race participants left each event with a photo in hand of their accomplishment.  We like to envision those prints in homes and offices across the Midwest.

Additionally, we were able to work with some race sponsors and directors to offer complimentary digital photos for select races. These digital images were not "free," but rather sponsored by event directors and/or sponsors who wanted to provide race swag that is completely personalized, environmentally friendly, and way-cooler-than-a-plastic-water-bottle. The response for the complimentary photos was enthusiastic. One race director received over 60 emails after one event alone.  A customer shared, “Getting free photos from a race is unheard of. I have been awarded free race entries, but never a complimentary image, much less all of them. Thank you very much, this is greatly appreciated!” We look forward to extending these services to events Focal Flame Photography covers in the future.

Translation: Race directors now have choices.

Focal Flame entered 2012 known to specialize in sports photography, but we also focused on increasing our offerings in other areas. In 2012, we offered career headshots (professional portraits) to both individuals and staff photographs for entire businesses. Given today's competitive job market, career portraits are an investment in your own future, and we loved hearing not only how much our clients appreciated being able to show their professional selves to the world on LinkedIn and their business web sites, but also how much they genuinely enjoyed the photo shoots. 

We even expanded into other areas, such as pet photography! Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post about a VERY fit athlete who just happened to have four legs (er, paws). 

Though December through February are typically off-season months for sports event photographers, the pace at Focal Flame Photography has not slowed. We’ve been busy planning for a fantastic 2013 season. We’re getting calls and emails daily from race directors making plans for 2013.  (Thanks everyone! And if you haven't contacted us yet, please do so quickly so we can reserve space on our calendar.)  In the process, we are finding our 2013 schedule is filling very quickly.

Finally, we have to give a shout-out to the outstanding staff here at Focal Flame Photography. As a small, growing business, we believe in creating local jobs and rely on the skills and professionalism of our employees to deliver outstanding service to our clients. Our professional editor, photography assistant, and sales staff are top-notch and work very hard to help make sure your experiences are enjoyable from start to finish. 

Thanks for being part of the journey in 2012, and we look forward to a fantastic 2013 with you!