How to sell photos to magazines

Written by robin noelle
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Photography is a challenging field filled with many contenders trying to get placement for prime magazine spots. However, with talent, perseverance and luck, you could be one of the lucky few to see your photos in print and get paid for it.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Camera
  • Computer
  • Photo editing software
  • Internet access

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    Selling Your Photos to Magazines

  1. 1

    Read your target publications. It's important to read the publications you want to get published in to see what types of photos they use and what kind of articles they print. If you don't have your heart set on a particular magazine or newspaper, head to the library and search for magazines that cover the types of topics you like to take photos of.

  2. 2

    Visit the website. Once you've identified the magazines or publications you are interested in approaching, visit their websites and try to find their photo submission guidelines. Many magazines will post links to this information in sections like the About Us, Contact Us, Media Kit or Write for Us sections of the website. If you can't find it, check the site map. If you still can't find the information you are looking for, e-mail someone at the publication from the Contact Us page and request a copy of the guidelines be mailed or e-mailed to you.

  3. 3

    Read the guidelines carefully. There's no point in sending in photos that will be rejected just because you didn't format them properly. Most publications will have requirements for the size and image resolution, so make sure that your photos qualify. The submission guidelines should also tell you how to submit them, whether by mail or e-mail, in print or on disk.

  4. 4

    Consider writing an accompanying article. If you have a modicum of writing talent, you will have an easier time selling a photo if you have an article to go with it. Again, you must read the publication to know what types of articles they will print, and then find the writer's guidelines and submit your article and photo in the way they request it.

  5. 5

    Join a micro-stock photography website. Many books, advertisers and magazines pull images from stock photography websites. By joining a website, you will have more opportunities to sell more photos to a wider variety of publications and outlets.

Tips and warnings

  • Know when a photo will require a model release and make sure you have one if you intend to sell the image.
  • Become proficient in photo editing software. Take a few classes to get the basics down.
  • Photo editors receive many submissions. It could be several months before you hear back from a magazine that you've submitted to.

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