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Correctly submitting your photos to newspapers

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Here are a few tips for submitting your photos to newspapers. It is not an exhaustive HOW TO but gives a few pointers.


Editors receive many photos every day and very few ever get published. You can save them and yourself some time by following these simple tips. If you have taken photographs that you think may be of interest to a newspaper or similar publication.

First of all you need to assess if the picture is of national or local importance. An armed robbery with bodies lying all over the place and crashed police cars etc. would be of national importance but a photograph of a bus having smashed through somebody's garden wall will probably only be of interest to your local paper. If in any doubt phone the picture desk and ask if they would be interested in the image.

Pictures of celebrities, depending on what they are doing are probably best sent to somewhere like Splashnews (http://www.splashnews.com) or again depending on what they are up to call the picture desk and ask.

As for what to do to an image, I have already written another article about Correctly embeding file Information in to photos - For publications, the importance of which cannot be underestimated. Without it the publication will not know who sent it, who to credit and more importantly who to pay.

Send high quality .jpgs of around 2mb at 300dpi. Don't send more than 2-3 images in 1 e-mail attachment. And remember to include keywords etc in the file info. In the body of the e-mail put a very brief description of what the photos are of. Be very judgmental of your own work and only send the best images with different views. i.e. scene setting shot, close up, human interaction.

The speed of turnaround here is paramount. Newspapers go to print at a certain time and it doesn't matter how good your photos are, if they are too late they will not get used.

Do not just limit yourself to newspapers either, photos of a very expensive crashed car may be of interest to motoring magazines and photos of tractors ploughing fields may be of interest to some agriculture and farming magazines.

One last thing if you do get photos published do not expect a chq the following day. It can take from 14 days to 90 days to get paid. If you think that you have an exclusive then call a picture desk straight away, they may offer you a large sum for exclusive rights but do not take the 1st offer, call another desk and see what they are willing to offer you.

For newspaper, other magazines and publisher's telephone numbers and contact details buy a copy of the freelance photographer's market handbook, a manual that is worth its weight in gold.


Article written by Gary Bagshawe

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