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03-06-2010, 05:41 PM   #1
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Novocain's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Pittsburgh PA
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Posts: 21
Some Advice From a Pro

I traded a few emails from the photo editor from the local newspaper (Pittsburgh Post Gazette) about a possible freelance photographer position. He asked to see some work samples and offered the following suggestions:

Just an FYI, when I am looking at portfolios of photographers work, I tend to be impressed by photos that I
a) haven't seen before, that are unique
b) photos that I say to myself, I wish I shot that
c) a photographer who has a distinct style of his own
d) images that are technically competent, showing an understanding of lighting, both available and artificial and composition...
e) photos with concise and accurate captions (esp. names and places spelled correctly)
And last but not least, I should mention that we are heading into the multi-media age so we are also shooting videos and slide shows for our web products.

I thought they were all good advice and will prove to be useful in my future work.

03-06-2010, 08:47 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
I suppose it wouldn't hurt to have an 'in' with a local superhero, like Peter Parker always got the best photos of Spider-Man. Then there's this, from -Submit Arizona Desert Photography, Arizona Landscape Photos | Arizona Highways Photography Submissions-
"In order to achieve the high-quality reproductions in our publications, we prefer large format (4x5) transparencies, especially for the large scenic landscapes for Arizona Highways is famous. We will use medium format and 35mm transparencies that display exceptional quality and content... Some subjects such as wildlife and people are best suited to smaller formats and digital SLRs, but in order to achieve high-quality reproductions they must be shot on fine-grained color slide film (100 ISO or slower) or digitally captured at low ISOs in RAW... Submit only the images that are as good or better than those you see in our magazine, books, and calendars."
(emphasis added)

In other words, if you can't meet or beat their best, don't submit it. But that's ARIZONA HIGHWAYS. Picky bastards. Only the finest postcard / pictorial photography, please. No action shots of La Migra chasing mojados, or javelinas being harpooned in midair, or ET's mutilating cattle. Arizona has a reputation, after all. But that's probably a good rule of thumb for anyplace you're trying to sell pictures: If your stuff isn't better than what they already publish, they probably won't buy anything from you. Now, define 'better'...

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