Sell­ing im­ages FOR PRINT & On­line

With the right ap­proach you can get some cash, and ex­tra pub­lic­ity, by sell­ing your shots to mag­a­zines and web­sites


Get to grips with what pub­lish­ers are look­ing for in pho­tos

Get­ting pub­lished in mag­a­zines or on web­sites is a great way to make some cash, but they can also act as sup­ple­men­tary mar­ket­ing to your over­all pho­tog­ra­phy busi­ness. That’s not to say that you should give your pic­tures away for free, though.

You’ll need a port­fo­lio of strong im­ages that are rel­e­vant to the mag­a­zine or web­site that you are sub­mit­ting them to. So, take a good look at the im­ages that they al­ready use, and iden­tify any ar­eas where you think your im­ages will be bet­ter than the ex­ist­ing ones, or of­fer a sim­i­lar sub­ject shot in a dif­fer­ent, more in­ter­est­ing way.

It’s of­ten eas­i­est to look for mag­a­zines or web­sites that deal with sub­jects that you al­ready have an in­ter­est in, such as cars or moun­tain bikes, the great out­doors or crafts. Your ini­tial ap­proach to any mag­a­zine or web­site should be busi­ness-like, but keep it brief, as they won’t have the time to read your life story. An email is the best op­tion as a first point of con­tact, and it’s best to send it to an in­di­vid­ual such as the edi­tor or art edi­tor in the first in­stance, un­less they have a spe­cific sub­mis­sions op­tion on their web­site. Along with the email at­tach five to 10 low-res­o­lu­tion im­ages and a link to your web­site, or your page on a photo-shar­ing site, such as Flickr or 500px.

Don’t be sur­prised if you don’t hear back im­me­di­ately, as they will of­ten be busy or not in the of­fice, but if you haven’t heard any­thing af­ter a week or two, then send a quick fol­low-up email. But don’t in­un­date them with in­sis­tent en­quiries, as this is a sure-fire way to get your sub­mis­sion sent to the bin.

While ev­ery pub­li­ca­tion needs pic­tures, they will also need words, and if you can sup­ply both then you’ll ma­jorly in­crease the chances of get­ting pub­lished. In the first in­stance you should just give an out­line of your idea for the ar­ti­cle and a few ex­am­ple

im­ages, but you should also be pre­pared if they get back to you with a pos­i­tive re­sponse. You’ll need to be able to pro­vide well-writ­ten copy that can be pub­lished with min­i­mal in­ter­ven­tion from the in-house team of ed­i­tors.

Along with the tra­di­tional pub­lish­ing route, self-pub­lish­ing is also an op­tion. On­line book print­ing ser­vices such as Blurb ( or Bob Books

(www.bob­ al­low you to de­sign, pub­lish and pro­mote your work. They of­fer sim­ple-to-use tem­plates and tools to al­low you to lay out your book, and also an on­line book­shop to sell through. Blurb books can even be listed on Ama­zon and the Ap­ple ibook store, to max­i­mize your reach. The ad­van­tage of these ser­vices is that they are printed on de­mand, so you don’t have the huge up-front costs of nor­mal self-pub­lish­ing out­lets. These ser­vices come at a cost… you will only re­ceive a per­cent­age of the to­tal when you sell a book.

Don’t in­un­date them with in­sis­tent en­quiries, as this is a sure-fire way to get your sub­mis­sion sent to the bin

It’s best to stick to what you know when sub­mit­ting your pho­tog­ra­phy to pub­li­ca­tions

If you can pro­vide a story rel­e­vant to your pic­tures, your chances of be­ing pub­lished will in­crease

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