This post is sponsored by Outright — Your Livelihood, Right Now. Getting your taxes right with free bookkeeping.
by Catherine L. Tully
If you are looking for ways to up your income as a writer you may want to think about adding photography to your skill set. These days digital pics are the popular choice and if you are somewhat “tech-savvy”, you can make some extra dough.
I’m not saying this is a totally simple thing to do, but if you already own a decent digital camera or have interest in learning, it’s well worth it. I have made good money sending in pictures with an article. What a magazine will pay for it varies, and that is where this handy book comes in–Photographer’s Market.
Photographer’s Market is full of listings where you can sell your pictures, and th 2010 version has all the latest and greatest markets. It is set up similar to Writer’s Market, so for most writers it will feel familiar.
If you don’t want to get into doing the photography yourself, perhaps you may want to team up with someone who does. Check into a local photography club to see if there is anyone who may be interested. While this will mean they will make the extra money, it will also help endear you to editors. Most of them love it if you can provide pictures to go with a piece you have written.
This post was sponsored by Outright — Your Livelihood, Right Now. Getting your taxes right with free bookkeeping.
If you are interested in taking your own photos to accompany the articles that you write, one of the best things you can do is invest in a magazine subscription. You can read up on techniques and gear as well as get terrific tips that will help you take better pictures.
There are many photography mags out there, so deciding which one to choose can be a little difficult. You can always go to the bookstore and browse, but you can also take a look at this list for an idea of what the various publications cover. I get several, including Outdoor Photographer, American Photo and Popular Photography. Each has its own niche, and I learn a good deal of information from them. The more you can learn, the better your chances are of getting quality photos to go with your articles.
So you’ve gotten an assignment and want to try your hand at taking a picture of a particular person for the article. If you aren’t really a photographer yet, how do you go about gettting a good shot? Here are a few tips that are based on my own experience:
- Natural light is generally the most flattering, so take a picture outside if you can. Just make sure that the sun isn’t casting weird shadows on the person’s face.
- Get the person to relax a bit before taking the photo. Talk to them about hobbies, kids, etc. If they are tense, it will show in the picture.
- Take tons of different shots. You never know which one you’ll wind up using.
- Try different angles. Do full length shots and closeups. Variety is important.
- Count down so that they know when you’ll be snapping the picture.
- Look at the review screen to see if the person’s eyes are open. (This is assuming you have a digital camera.)
- Don’t get too close or the camera will not focus.
- Watch your background. Try to avoid things such as trees growing out of the person’s head or a lot of distracting clutter.
There is no reason you shouldn’ t be able to take a photo like this, so give it a go! Here are some more tips for shooting portraits to help round things out. Remember, confidence is key, so don’t let on that you’re a novice!
Writers….if you are interested in learning more about photography, check out Apogee Photo. This online photo mag has a host of helpful articles and information for all levels–whether you are a beginner or have been at it for a while. Learn more about travel photography, or get some pointers for starting out. The best part is, you can do this right from your computer. Take a break from writing and invest a little time in photography–it’s a great skill to pick up for the New Year!
This is a “quickie”….
If you take photos for your articles — or if you want to start doing so, you might get hassled when taking them in a public place. Do you know what your rights are? You’d better! Look here for the skinny in the US, and here for info on rights in the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Now, armed with that information, go forth and conquer!
OK. So you have gotten the assignment and you are going to try your hand at taking photos yourself–but you have a major issue–how do you send in the files? If you are new to this type of thing, here’s a little help:
- First and foremost, ask the editor to send you photo specs and how they want the files sent. Here you may hear terms such as dpi (dots per inch) and photo dimensions.
- Some editors like to get a CD or DVD of the photos. It is worth your time to learn how to do this, and it isn’t too difficult to learn if you have a burner in your computer. Investigate what your capabilites are so that you know what you can deliver.
- Some editors will ask you to upload your photo files to an FTP server. For this you will generally need a web address, user name and password. Getting the files on the server is very simple and usually a matter of just opening them and uploading. FTPs are all just a bit different but I’ve never had one that was too complex.
- Some editors will ask you to e-mail the photos. If this is the case, don’t shrink the files down too much. Refer to the photo specifications before sending. This can get complicated if you aren’t photo savvy, so it may be easier to send a CD or DVD if you don’t have a photo editing program or decent digital camera.
- Large files can be zipped and sent via e-mail as well. I’ve never done this, but basically it means that the files will go through e-mail because they are temporarily compressed. WinZip and YouSendIt are sites that offer this type of thing.
Now. You absolutely need to know a bit about your camera. Make sure you are taking photos on the higest quality setting. You should be able to find out how to do this by reading your manual. (We will have more info about what kinds of cameras work well for beginning writers later on, so keep your eyes peeled…)
There is more to this in terms of learning how to tell what dpi your photos are and re-sizing photos, but this should at least give you an idea of how files can be sent. We’ll have more coming on this subject as we go along…but this should help prepare you for your first conversation!
Photo above: Copyright 2008, Catherine L. Tully