Photography Rates • Writers MUST start taking more photos because that’s where the real dollars are. • Photos make websites more interesting. leading to more hits and longer visits than text-only sites. This can lead to more revenue.
Shooting Raw Or Jpeg Mode • When you shoot in Jpeg mode you throw out most of the information the sensor captures and you allow the camera to make its assessment of what your final image should look like. • You can make adjustments to Jpegs at home but you don’t have the flexibility that having ALL the information captured gives you. • By shooting in Raw mode you keep ALL the data the sensor captures. Thus giving you much greater flexibility to make changes to the images at home. • If you shoot exclusively for the web then Jpegs are fine.
Adobe RGB Color Space • Most publications prepare images for printing in Adobe RGB (1998) color space. So it’s best to shoot in this color space if your camera allows it. • If not you can shoot in sRGB and convert to Adobe RGB at home. • If you shoot exclusively for the web then sRGB is okay.
Getting Off Program Mode • Why let your camera decide what your final image looks like? When you shoot in program mode you are effectively letting your camera take control over your final image, by allowing it to select the shutter speed, aperture and ISO “IT” wants instead of what “YOU” want. • The biggest improvement you can make to your photography is taking back control of your creativity. Get off program mode.
Best Time To Shoot • The most flattering light occurs between 1/2 hour before sunrise and 10AM, and between 4PM and 1/2 hour after sunset. • Of course this is prime eating and sleeping time for most writers so they usually miss the good light. • If you shoot during these times you will produce much better images. • What to do between? Shoot indoor subjects like museum exhibits, food, etc., and/or do story research/interviews, edit images, grab a nap, etc.
Okay So You Slept In • If you can’t shoot during the prime times then you can fudge your shots a bit to get a better result. If you are shooting in Jpeg mode then try shooting on the cloud WB setting (yes even if there are no clouds). It will add a bit more warmth to your pics. • In Raw you can adjust everything on the computer at home so no need to worry.
What Images To Shoot • Shoot what magazines want. • Generic destination photography works best as stock. But the general destination story is dead. So don’t waste your time shooting generic stock. • Today, editors want unique stories or “Nuggets” about a destination. Since most stock is generic, writers must have images to illustrate these nuggets or risk having their stories rejected because the editor/art director feels it would be too difficult to find images. • Shoot with specific stories in mind. Shoot the details.
Shoot Images With Specific Magazines In Mind • Every magazine has its preference for imagery. Some publications use lots of people shots while others use few. Some like detail shots and others want sweeping landscapes. • Study the magazines you write for or want to write for. Note the kind of images they use. Then before going on a trip think of a couple story ideas that fit a few of your outlets and make a shot list around those story ideas and the types of images the magazines use. • Magazines are also using more detail shots now.
Shooting Images With Plenty Of Space For Text • Most covers, full-page and double-page spreads need lots of space for text. • By shooting images with space for text you increase your chances of making higher dollar sales. • And shoot the same scene in both vertical or horizontal.
Shoot Verticals • Most publications have a vertical rectangular format. • About 70% of all images selected for inside use are vertical images. • Almost all covers are vertical images. • However, 70 % of the images writers shoot are horizontal. • Don’t miss out on the big $$$…shoot more verticals.
Stack Your Story With Images • Art directors take a story and search for images that relate to things mentioned in the story. • So before you start writing, edit your images. See which ones are really great and make sure you include their subject matter in your story outline. In other words, try to pad your story so it’s a no-brainer for the art director to select those great images. • Submit images in the order they appear in your story.
Shoot The Story Lead • Most stories have either a full-page or double-page lead image. If you want to make more $$ make sure you shoot a ton of photos to illustrate the lead of your story. • If you have an especially great image that you didn’t shoot for the lead, try to work it into the lead with a couple of sentences or mention it in the story title or sub-head.
Fill Flash • Sometimes it is necessary to add a bit of flash to brighten parts of your subject in bright sunlight or shade. This is especially relevant when you shoot people wearing hats. Fill flash also allows you to balance the light on a subject in the shade with the light in the background. • Also great for putting catch light in your subjects eyes.