The Impact of COVID-19 on UltiPhotos - A Message from the Founder

March 19, 2020  •  6 Comments

Lei Out 2019Lei Out 2019Huntington Beach, CA: Pool play from Lei Out on January 19, 2019. ©2019 Rodney Chen for UltiPhotos.com.

I hope that this finds you and your families healthy, safe, and doing what you can to help keep those around you healthy.

The stark reality of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it impacts every aspect of our community.  UltiPhotos is no exception.  Ultimate is still a relatively small market and photography is one of the smallest niches within the Ultimate economy.  The vast majority of our revenues are event-driven, whether it's getting hired to cover an event or photo sales after the event.  As such, it's a very seasonal business.  By the beginning of March, we are just climbing out of our cash trough from the lean winter months when few tournaments are held.  Spring college and high school seasons are when UltiPhotos earns much of the money necessary to operate year-round.  To have all events canceled or postponed at this time is crushing to our business and impacts our photographers’ income.  Although many of our photographers have other non-photography jobs, some are full time photographers seeing cancellations across all sports, as well as weddings and other events.

I want to thank everyone who has spoken up for photographers as an impacted group.  Our hearts are going out to the Ultimate community who are also impacted, including:

  • all of those who are battling coronavirus for themselves or a loved one

  • all the health care workers on the front lines in hospitals

  • all the players, coaches, and teams whose seasons are in limbo or suffered an abrupt end after training, practicing, and spending on gear, travel, and the like

  • all the event organizers who have invested time and money to put on the perfect tournament only to have to cancel and refund

  • all the vendors who are facing uncertain times as team and event sales evaporate while seasons are on hold

  • all the investors in the pro leagues who believe in the breakout potential of our sport only to have to put the realization of those dreams on hiatus

  • our fellow brethren in Ultimate media who have to make up content on the fly

  • and, of course, everyone else who derives enjoyment or employment thanks to this great sport

While times are tough and people are isolated and separated from playing the sport they love, UltiPhotos is going to make some lemonade out of this truckload of lemons.  We're diving into the archives to make new highlights collections and feature throwback galleries to distract and remind you of better Ultimate times -- Check out our social media to find these projects under the hashtag #TheUltimateDistraction.  We're also going to start working on an ambitious project to bring entire generations of historical photo galleries to our website.

As a business, UltiPhotos is committed to the long term and we will be there on the other side.  But it will be tough economically for our small business and the photographers we count on. In our 12-year history, we've never asked for donations, as we always seek to deliver a valuable service or product for your hard-earned money.  In this current environment, though, we need your help.

If you are interested and able to help at this time, whether you are a player, fan, organizer, or vendor, here are ten ways that can make a difference for UltiPhotos during this time without Ultimate.
 

  1. Browse our archives and order those favorite photos that you've never gotten around to purchasing.

  2. Upsize your digital downloads to high res or full size.  More pixels = higher quality and it is a wonderful way to "tip" the photographer.

  3. Hire UltiPhotos for a future event and prepay.  In the event of postponement or cancellation, your payment is good as a credit for your next UltiPhotos covered event or it will be refunded.

  4. Sponsor our #TheUltimateDistraction post of the day and help us cover our operating costs while bringing great content from the archives to the Ultimate community.

  5. Contribute to our soon to be announced Ultimate Photos Archive project with contacts, photos, or funding to bring the best Ultimate photography of the 2000s, '90s, and earlier to life in our archives.

  6. Buy a gift certificate for your favorite Ultimate athlete to enable them to get some great photo memories to help motivate them through this difficult time.

  7. Support and encourage Ultimate photographers who aren't able to practice their craft during this downtime, either privately or publicly on social media.

  8. Bring your photo merchandise idea to UltiPhotos and help us make a product out of it.  Calendars, posters, books, you name it.

  9. Bring your other sponsorship ideas to UltiPhotos.  Want to underwrite a special highlights collection of your favorite team or your favorite tournament?

  10. Share this message with others so they know how they can support UltiPhotos.

 
Thanks again for your support.
 
Kevin Leclaire
Founder, UltiPhotos

 


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UltiPhotos is made possible by the collaboration of dedicated photographers whose shared goal is to showcase the amazing action and wonderful moments experienced in the sport of Ultimate.  This blog shares their perspectives on the photos they take and provide updates on UltiPhotos plans and initiatives.

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