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Getting Published
by Theresa A. Husarik

So you want to make money doing something you love, but you don't know where to start? Well, here are some of the things that helped me get a foot in the door:

  1. Books and Magazines
    There are a variety of resources to help you get started with getting your pictures into books and magazines. The first thing you have to do is find the publishers who are publishing the types of pictures you enjoy taking, and find out how they want to see a submission.

    1. The library or local Bookstore
      1. Find the right publication
        Go to the magazine stand or your local library or book store and leaf through some of the magazines. Find those that print images on the theme of what you like to shoot.
      2. Get the contact information and send for submission guidelines.
        The contact information is usually just inside the front cover. Some will have a specific address for editorial submissions, or they might even list their submission guidelines right there. If the guidelines are not listed, write a letter, and enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope requesting the guidelines. Be sure to get the guidelines first, you don't want to waste the busy editor's time if it is a magazine that does not take cold submissions. And, once you do get the guidelines, follow them. Again, you'll be wasting their time if they want to see a certain format and you did not follow it.
      3. Try writing an article or suggesting an article idea to go along with your pictures.
        It is easier to "sell" a package than it is to sell a few unrelated pictures. Read several issues of the magazine you've chosen to get a feel for the type of articles they are running. Come up with an idea that has not been done before (or recently) and suggest it, or put a new slant on a classic theme. Back it up with great pictures.
    2. The Guilfoyle Report
      This is a daily or monthly publication that lists current needs from various publishers. The listings consist of anything from last minute needs to fill a space in an already decided on layout, to requests for entries for not-yet decided on projects. The needs can be very specific (such as a "We need picture of an eagle with a brown trout in its talons"), but if you happen to have it, you may get published! It is pretty pricey, though ($325 a year for the daily needs). More Info.
    3. Photographer's Market / Writer's Market
      This book, updated annually, lists publishers' contact information, the types of subject matter they publish (and sometimes an entry will have a wish list for the coming year), and most of the time the submissions guidelines. It is a wonderful resource.

    Armed with information from the above research tips, send a query letter to your selected publishers, along with a stock list and non-returnable samples, and get yourself on their mailing list for wants

  2. Contests
    Don't overlook contests as a step in the publisher's door. Enter the magazine's photo contest. When you win, you will have more clout for getting an article or photo published later.

  3. Local Groups Newsletters
    If you belong to a club that puts out a newsletter, submit pictures!!! You may or may not get paid, but you have a good chance of getting published.

  4. Local Newspapers
    If you have coverage, or have an idea of something newsworthy or of local interest, submit it.

  5. Other Local Opportunities
    Check with local organizations such as the travel council, or a wildlife protection organization like Audubon, to see what their policy is on using pictures. Let them know you have coverage of their topic and that you are interested in having them used in future publications.

  6. Volunteer!
    The local arts council needs a picture for a poster? Give them one. You'll have a publication credit under your belt, and another step toward name recognition which could lead to jobs down the road!

  7. The Web
    This is wonderful new area for photographers to be seen (and published).
    1. Get Your Own Website
      If you don't already have one, or don't know where to begin, check out Getting Started on the Web for tips on what to look for, what to include, etc. Also, remember that if you don't have time to do your own, let Wild Things create a site for you.
    2. Other Websites
      If you have pictures of, say, your local tourist attractions, call (or email) the travel council to see if they would be interested in using them on their website. Or if you like to do wildflowers, check out the web for sites that are devoted to flowers and query them. It is a good thing to request at the very least, a credit, and a link back to your home page. You may or may not be paid for having your pictures displayed on various web sites, but the exposure potential is outstanding.

  8. Stock Agency (traditional or online)
    These are much harder to get into than any of the other suggestions I've listed. The competition is fierce, so the standards are very high. And you have to be able to deliver. You need a significant inventory to begin with (a couple hundred top quality images), and you have to be able to continually add to this.
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