When you write a pitch for a magazine, do you think visually? Do you picture how the article will look in print? How will it be illustrated? Your editor does.
Sometimes getting a writing assignment from a smaller publication (and even some larger ones) hinges on the availability of images to illustrate your words. The trick is being able to provide quality photos to compliment your work. If you have a good digital camera, a little photo know-how can go a long way to adding extra assignments to your roster.
There are a few things you need to know before you start offering photos with your work. First and foremost, does the publication consider photos from their writers or do they prefer to work with established pros? Most of the time you can find out by reading their submission guidelines. If they accept photos, they often provide the details of how to submit them and what type of payment they offer right their along with the instructions for writing for them.
Once you’ve established the publication considers photos, you’ll want to examine the kind of images they use on a regular basis. Are they shots of people in action? Shots of the great outdoors? Candids? Before you take that first photograph, spend some time studying the images in the magazine.
Next, you’ll need to put your best shots forward. To do this, consider brushing up your photography skills before you take that first picture.
Kodak offers an illustrative slide show of their Top 10 Tips for Great Pictures that will give you some basic pointers. These are simple tips that anyone can follow to get better results.
The folks at Image Master Photo Restoration have put together a complete handbook of Photo Taking Tips, covering everything from composition to experimentation.
Note: Keep in mind, some photographs require a model release. Brenda Tharp has written on the topic at http://www.betterphoto.com. Photographic Model Release Forms: When You Need Them, When You Don’t
After you take your shots, you’ll need to make sure you submit them according to the publication’s specifications outlined in their guidelines. Melissa Barton at freelance. Writer2Writer.com has a great post about Resolution, Image Size and Format to help insure your photos are suitable for print.
Next time you pitch an idea, consider offering images as well. You may boost your sales and add a little extra cash to your pocket in the process.