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Thread: Publishing in photo magazines: Would you do it for fame?

  1. #1

    Publishing in photo magazines: Would you do it for fame?

    Are they any guidelines concerning publishing an article and pictures in photo magazines and the retribution one should expect from such an effort? A local photography magazine offers several thousands for a portfolio and I was just amazed at how cool the editor of an international magazine was when he offred me a link to my website for a seven pages article featured as the main article on the magazine front cover and including an interview and images. I would have expected a slightly more generous proposition. Am I mean? What are your experiences?

  2. #2

    Publishing in photo magazines: Would you do it for fame?

    This is par for the course Paul. The days when photographers got paid handsomely for their efforts in publishing are gone, specially for those niche and art photography magazines.

    It seems editors now feel the magazine is more important than the photographers, with a few exceptions of course. Lenswork pays $100 for article or portfolio, you can see that on their submission guidelines, B&W Photography (UK) pays upwards of 100 pounds, depending on the use in the magazine.

    Let me put it this way, at least you got a response. I contacted an Australian magazine (B&W Ethusiast) and they did not even had the courstesy of sending me a reply. Of course when I wrote to them asking about a subscription, I got an answer the same day.

    If you want to do it for fame contact the good magazines that at least give you a token return in appreciation. I like Lenswork and the UK B&W magazine. Other than that I think the effort is better spent trying to get your work shown in museums. That is IMO more important from the art point of view.

  3. #3
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Publishing in photo magazines: Would you do it for fame?

    A cover article in a significant publication is a way into galleries and possibly museums, and a sign of credibility to collectors. If it's a good publication, I'd say go ahead and do it, if the publication is good.

  4. #4
    tim atherton's Avatar
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    Publishing in photo magazines: Would you do it for fame?

    There is (or at least should be) a difference between articles about you and your work and articles which the magazine commissions from you/you write/illustrate for them. (though obviously you can also have an article you write which is basically autobiographical...).

    This is especially so with "art"/creative type magazines or industry magazines.

    So, say Photo District News or such wants to do an article about you, illustrated with your work. The feeling is that this is basically a form of free advertising/promotion for you and that you will be happy to supply the images/submit to an interview etc for free.

    But say they are doing an article on - Richard Avedon - and ask you to write and illustrate it - then they should be paying you for the text you write and the photographs you take of Avedon at work in his studio or whatever.

    If they don't do that, then they are just being cheap (which isn't that unusual...).

    So - are you offering them an article with text and photographs about yourself - basically a portfolio piece? Chances are they won't expect to pay - especially if they are an "art" type publication.

    By contrast if you are offering them say a photo essay on the Amish or something - if it's and actual "editorial" type piece as it where, rather than a "self-promotional" portfolio piece they should really be paying (but some won't).

    Or is this an article you have done about another artists/photographer? If so, again - they are being cheap (and there are a number of the big more "creative" type mags that expect their contributors to work for free and just accept the kudos as payment).

    So - if you are looking to promote your own work, don't expect much payment. If you are hawking a piece on a third party topic as it where - acid rain, child labour, Hollywood celebs, Richard Avedon etc - then shop around for someone who pay....
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

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  5. #5

    Publishing in photo magazines: Would you do it for fame?

    I was not seeking to be published and never did, but was contacted when the editor saw some of my work. Publishing a general subject such as a profile in a magazine could well lead to being considered as "already seen" by other magazines, wouldn't it? ...Although in this case it's more of a professional review that addresses digital photographers! (go figure...) and the article is more topic orientated. As you say, Jorge, it could be better then to give priority to a magazine where ones work really finds it's place especially when there is no reason to push things forwards. David you are right too and I wish I was proposed this a bit later when I would be ready to make the most of a push. Tim, this is an article they would make on autumn and winter photography. They would ask me how I do it, my approach, and publish my images. In which category would this fall? I just got more details and it would only be published in the UK edition, not even in the french one. In any case, I know now that I have to revise my expectations! Thanks!

  6. #6

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    Publishing in photo magazines: Would you do it for fame?

    In which category would this fall?

    It is a bit of a mix: a "how to" article that also promotes you as someone who knows what they are doing and can write intelligently about it. It is good for your bio and helps establish your credentials. You never know who will see the article and perhaps contact with you with an offer to buy an image or commision new work.

  7. #7

    Publishing in photo magazines: Would you do it for fame?

    i get the idea that most "specialised" (non-commercial) magazines are really a labour of love, there is very little money involved and the editors etc. really have to cajole and badjer work as best they can. i did a photo article for an important graphic design journal and the text was written by a top division curator, we got a few free magazines as "payment" but the reward was the fact that we were published by them. as a graphic designer i understand the problems in producing something really special that you believe in, even with an excelent idea it is very difficult if you don't have money. as a "consumer" or "collaborator" you have to decide if it will work for you or against you.

  8. #8

    Publishing in photo magazines: Would you do it for fame?

    you have to decide if it will work for you or against you.

    That's probably the word of wisdom Adrian! If a few free samples are going to be my only reward, I should first get a copy and see if the magazine is suitable to be handed to my parents, kids and friends. You never know what they mean by "aimed at professional photographers" these days...

  9. #9

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    Publishing in photo magazines: Would you do it for fame?

    Paul, your work is superior and you should be rewarded properly for it. Either get a viable reference for gallery sales or get paid a decent editorial rate for one time usage. Decent editorial rates are still low, but $400 a page is not at all unreasonable for a trade magazine. If it is a questionable magazine with mediocre reproduction, low circulation, and poor editorial content and design, then you are only hurting yourself by being in it.

    I would go out of my way to "bother" with a magazine like Lenswork because I like the magazine personally, but I wouldn't expect a cent to come of it. My experience with most "professional" photo publications, like PDN, is that you want to avoid being in them - all you get is sales calls and inquiries from other photographers - not clients. Plus, like a lot of the news media these days - they often get the story wrong and end up embarassing you, not helping you.

  10. #10

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    Publishing in photo magazines: Would you do it for fame?

    Hi Paul

    If its no a bad mag then I would do it. You should of course put your e-mail adress and homepage adress in and thad all pictures are copyrighted by Paul Schilliger! It really can help for future sales and work! Good luck!

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