One of the rewards of making good nature photographs is the possibility of getting your work published. The magazine market still has plenty of room for photographers who can create images that stand out from the crowd, or work well with a particular article or story. Here are four basic tips that can help you get noticed by an editor, art director or publisher and might put a few dollars in your pocket.
Do your research
Spend some time online or at the newsstand and review the outdoor, nature and photography publications. Purchase one that you think may find some interest in your work, and get your hands on some back issues to get acquainted with their style. Pay attention to the kinds of images they’re using and take note of those subjects that appear to be used over and over again. For example, some editors know that wildlife subjects such as bears, wolves and owls sell magazines, so they frequently use those subjects on the cover.
Study their submission guidelines
Every publisher has submission guidelines that they like photographers to take note of. Guidelines will basically tell you how to submit your work for review and will most likely include proper identification of your subject, location, the kind of camera you used to make the image, and much more. Editors can be very strict with their guidelines and you should follow them precisely to avoid not having your work looked at.
Edit your work
Publishers don’t want to see 20 images of the same animal. Edit down your submission to only the very best of those 20 shots. If you think you have something of use, present only one horizontal and one vertical. You never know how an art director will want to use the photo in their publication so having two formats might make a sale.
You might be very far from being a professional photographer, but you still need to act the part if you intend to do business. Treat editors with respect and find a place online where you can display your work, like your own website or an online photography forum. Perhaps you can supply the editor a password protected link to your work.
It’s a very challenging and saturated market but if you work hard and the timing is right, your images can be published in the nature photography arena. So get busy and get published!