Buying Photos from Organized Runs

So I just got another email from, one of these companies that comes to sporting events, takes pictures of you, and then charges and arm and a leg for a small printed version of it. They’re trying to sell me This upsets me, because I don’t even want it printed… I’d be perfectly happy if they let me download a JPEG for like $10 or less. However, they don’t, so it inspired me to write down an idea…

Okay first, this is, who took photos at this year’s Bay to Breakers in San Francisco, which I ran together with @ryderramona. And it turns out they do allow you to purchase the files… they _even_ have the option to purchase all the photos they detected of me for $60. Honestly, this isn’t nearly as ridiculous as I thought, still hear me out:

So there are alll these spectators that line the course, many of whom are taking photos of the runners passing by. Multiple people took photos of me, but I’ll probably never see those, although they’re probably just as good and more interesting than the “official” Sport-Photo ones. The solution? A web application of course…

Let’s call it “OpenSportPhoto” 😉 …
This site will allow anyone to upload photos from an event. The site will use some pattern recognition software to detect the numbers (bibs) people are wearing, and index them. Participants can later look up their photos by their bib number, or even subscribe beforehand. The site can be promoted by runners during the event, handing out a little flyer or info card to bystanders taking photos, asking them to upload.

The business model is quite simple.. Allow photographers to set a price for their photos, or give them for free and take donations. The site takes a small cut (like 10%). Hey look, we just open sourced a business! (All I ask is that you let me know if you build this!)

Update: So I bought a CD + instant downloads for $55. I was going to post the photos here, but the site says I can’t do that without explicit permission. LAME

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