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Provide Pics With Your Writing And Earn More Money

August 4th, 2016

the-photographer-1438702-blogWe’ve all heard the saying …a good picture is worth a thousand words.  It may be a cliché but it’s certainly true! So this week I thought I’d have a quick look at the options available to ensure that when you submit work to editors you really do increase your chances of success.

1.  You don’t have to be a photographic genius.  With today’s digital cameras and a little knowledge of image manipulation (which you can easily learn) you can take photos good enough to illustrate your articles – and they’ll be unique.

2.  If you really can’t take the pictures yourself, try to come to a fair agreement with a good amateur photographer or a friend who is confident with a camera.  Do a project together and then split the proceeds – a win-win agreement for both of you!

3.  Many places of interest – museums, stately homes, theme parks etc. – will give you permission to use the PR photos that they have in their brochures or on their website for free. They usually expect you to credit the pics to them (as a form of publicity) but this shouldn’t create a problem.  But you must gain permission as the copyright will be theirs or belong to the photographer who took the shot.

4.  Remember that if you are writing a biography or a feature and the subject provides you with a photo that was taken in a studio, then the copyright still belongs to that studio or the professional photographer working for them. Copyright lasts for 70 years from the end of the year in which the photographer died; so if you have some old sepia photos they may be out of copyright now, but always check.

5.  Also, you can’t just reproduce images that appear on the Internet – you have to get permission to use them – and if you can’t get this from the site on which they appear then forget it!

6.  Many amateur photographers love taking ‘artistic’ shots of sunsets, clouds, landscapes etc.  These may be beautiful but what most editors are looking for are clear pictures that contain a person – especially if they are doing something visually interesting.  They want photos that are well-composed and actually get the reader involved with the subject on some level – whether it is a person or an inanimate object such as a building.

7.  Always supply pictures in the format that the editor specifies.  So do your research thoroughly.  Most now prefer digital images but make sure you know whether they want them on a disc or as attachments and what their preferred format is.

8.  However you send your photos, make sure that they are properly labelled with clear, descriptive captions.

9.  Whether you are selling a words and pictures package or just pictures, always make it clear that you are giving permission for single use only.  If an editor wants to use the picture more than once they should be prepared to pay you again.

10.  Learn your camera functions. You might get good, publishable photos working on ‘auto’ but just think how much better you could be when you know your camera, and its settings, like the back of your hand.

11.  Be patient. You may have to sit and wait to get that perfect shot. That’s what the professionals do! And make sure you take enough shots. It doesn’t cost anything with a digital camera and you can delete the ones you don’t use. But if you can offer an editor the same shot as portrait or landscape, and one fits his page layout better than the other, he’ll love you for it.

12.  Above all, be creative and don’t be afraid to experiment.  Have confidence in your own ideas – digital cameras have set amateurs free to produce pictures that rival those produced by the professionals.

Take on board these few easy tips and you’ll never have an excuse for complaining that you can’t send good quality pictures with every piece of work you submit.

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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