How to Sell Celebrity Photos to a Magazine

Written by keith ruckus
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How to Sell Celebrity Photos to a Magazine
Selling photographs of celebrities is an entire industry. (photographes image by Nathalie P from

Candid celebrity photographs are common on supermarket tabloids and the Internet. These pictures are sold to tabloids by both paparazzi and by individual contributors. Contributors can be anyone with pictures of celebrities that the publishers wants. The pay for the pictures can vary depending on what type of photo was taken (resolution, quality, etc.) and what the celebrity was doing at the time. A photo of a celebrity at a red carpet event for instance is not worth much because there will be many pictures already.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Scan or upload the picture onto a computer. Make sure the image is in a universal image format that editors will accept such as jpeg, img, or gif. Open the image in an editing program to ensure the resolution is at least 300 by 300 pixels.

  2. 2

    Decide the magazine or publisher to which to submit the photograph. For relevant "A list" actors, go for an upscale magazine such as People. If the photos are of a lesser celebrity, try a more universal magazine like the Star. (See Resources)

  3. 3

    Go to the magazine's contact page on its website, as most submissions are now accepted through e-mail. Send a query letter to the editor through the contact form or e-mail address.

  4. 4

    Explain in the form or e-mail what celebrity is in the photo, what she is doing, where the photo was taken and at what day and time. Do not send the photo in the query e-mail. Wait for the response from the editor. If the editor is interested, the editor will make a monetary offer for rights to the photo.

  5. 5

    Decide if the monetary value assigned by the editor is fair. Ask for more money if you think the photo is worth more. Submit to multiple publishers at one time to get the best price per photograph.

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