How to get photos published
The ambition for many photographers is to get published in a magazine, newspaper or online. By following our step by step guide you will find your work gracing the pages of your favourite publications.
The job of a live music photographer is to capture the atmosphere of a gig. You want the reader to think “I wish I’d got tickets to that gig”
How to get started?
- Do your research – Make a list of all the music magazines, newspapers, websites and blogs.
- Build up personal relationships. When you send an email make sure you address it personally to the picture editor or commissioning editor.
- Tailor your portfolio to each publication. The Kerrang picture desk doesn’t want to see images of a folk festival!
Advice for sending Live concert images to the picture desk.
- Make their life as easy as possible. You want them to always open your emails because they know you will be sending them quality content.
- TAG each image. (BAND_VENUE_DATE_Youremailaddress) This prevents your images from being lost or given the wrong photographer’s credit.
- Send a small selection of your images as thumbnails and add ‘Thumbnail’. (BAND_VENUE_DATE_Youremailaddress_thumbnail)
- Enclose a link via (www.wetransfer.com) to the zip file of all the images as full size jpegs and label the zip file (BAND_VENUE_DATE_Youremailaddress)
- If a picture editor wants to use one of your live concert images they can easily open that file and reference the image if it’s tagged properly.
- ALWAYS shoot RAW as this is your digital negative and proof that you took the image.
- Find out what magazines pay for images. Ask them for their rate card.
What picture editors are looking for?
- Do your homework. Look at the type of images that get used by the publication.
- Noisy images shot at high ISO can work in newspapers but look awful in magazines, websites and blogs.
- Shoot both landscape and portrait and don’t crop too tightly as it gives the picture desk the chance to fit the image into their design layout.
- Try and capture the atmosphere of the gig for a reader of the magazine with an image that compliments the review-journalist’s words.
- Provide variation – Crowd shots / Full Stage shots / Individual shots of each band member/Stage dives.
- Don’t be afraid of picture editors. They are happy to look at great images if they’re tagged, current and relative to the editorial as it provides content for their publication.
- Your editorial portfolio should be full of creative ideas.
- Don’t underestimate the presence of a printed portfolio. It helps a picture editor imagine your work on the printed page.
What picture editors are not looking for
- Fifty ‘High Res’ images clogging up their in-box.
- Images with COPYRIGHT PROTECTED over the image as they can’t print them.
- Microphone stands covering the face. A basic mistake seen time and time again.
- High ISO noisy images in black and white. Research the types of images the magazine publishes.
- Don’t send in twenty images of the drummer. Save those images for the band and tour photographs but believe me, the Picture editor wants to see the lead singer.
- Less is more. One great image that captures the atmosphere of the concert is better than sending thirty average shots from a gig.
- Bands photographed against brick walls, railway tracks, up trees.
- Heavy handed use of Photoshop filters and badly done HDR. Picture editors have seen it all before and they’re not impressed by it.
I’ve been published!……..Now what?
- Having one of your photographs published can give your work a stamp of approval, but it will also bring out the harsh self criticism for your own work that every photographer experiences so don’t be surprised if you squirm when you see your first published image rather than celebrate.
- Your images will be cropped and printed on different types of paper stock. This is normal and you learn to tailor the color and contrast of your images for certain publications.
- The most important thing to do is keep up the momentum. Blog about it, twitter about it for the one day, week or month it’s on the newsstand.
- Often the first time you’re published is by chance and can come out of the blue so it’s important that you understand the route your picture took to get published so you can replicate your success again and again.
- Magazines have editorial decisions to make so don’t be disappointed if your greatest shot doesn’t get printed.
- Your skin will grow thicker and the more you shoot the more relationships you build up with magazines, bands and management.
Remember…….you’re only as good as your last shoot!