The world of freelance photography is tough and if you want to increase your chances quite significantly of getting your photographs into publications, then write. Writing an article to go with your photographs cuts an editor’s time dramatically. If it’s well written and your photos are top notch, then there is money to be made.
If you have the ability to write good quality articles, you will double your chances of getting images accepted by magazines and other publications. A well written article together with a series of great images illustrating the content will always attract the attention of an editor. Because editors are under pressure with deadlines they are inclined to accept articles with images over articles without images or images without and articles. This cuts down there workload and if you can make an editor happy then half the battle is won.
1. Quality is king
If your writing is not up to scratch then the first impression you are trying to make may not succeed. So make sure it has been proofread by someone else. Although some editors prefer to rewrite articles and are only looking for the content and images. When it comes to your photos there are no second chances. They must stand out head and shoulders above the rest otherwise you aren’t helping the editor. You only get one chance to make a good first impression.
2. Good research is key
Research your subjects well. Know them in detail and write like you know what you are talking about. Choose topics that you are competent with although you may need to do some additional research. Coupled with this is researching the magazines you want to submit to. Get to know the type of article they accept and the writing style of the contributors. Find out what they accept by visiting the websites and if necessary request their guidelines and then stick to them point by point.
3. Shoot your best
Once you know what subject you are going to write about, shoot images specific to that topic, the more specific the better. Focus on clear detailed images that will reflect the key aspects of what you are writing about. Only submit your best images. Rather submit one less image than include a photo not up to scratch. The editor will always request more if the need arises.
4. Knock on the right doors
Make sure that you know which publications accept which type of articles. If it’s a specialist gardening magazine then only articles and photos related to their speciality can be submitted. They will get rejected if they aren’t applicable. You will waste your time and the editor’s by submitting images that aren’t relevant.
5. Submit to only one magazine at a time
If you want to destroy your chances of working in the industry, then have the same article accepted by two magazines. They will never use your work again. Rather follow up on the submission and if it isn’t going to be used then submit to another publication. Ask the editor why it wasn’t accepted then polish it before submitting to another magazine.
Writing and photography combined can be a really lucrative source of income and you will earn you more than just submitting images. Once you establish yourself and create a portfolio/CV you will find that it becomes easier. Still, the bottom line is to never compromise on quality. If you aren’t up to scratch then take time to learn digital photography and its finer points. Happy shooting and writing!