Sending digital photos with your copy to magazines

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(Since I’m updating some copy for my “Writing Travel Articles That Sell” workbook, you might be interested… )

… Almost all of you will be sending photos taken with a digital camera, color shots sent as .jpgs, gifs, or .raw, presumably accompanied by captions (short explanations of each photo, usually a line, two, or maybe three). You may have prints made of these (unlikely) or you may wish to (1) post them on your own web page or a photo page, with captions, where the editor can see and download what’s wanted, or (2) you may post them on a CD and mail them to the editor, again with captions.

Usually, however, you will send the photos as e-mail attachments. The body of the e-mail will be the captions and whatever else is needed, like your identification info and a reference to the go-ahead from the editor. That is, you normally send a query letter, get a go-ahead, do the research, write and submit the copy, and send the photos then or after the editor has asked to see them.

Submission protocols are anything but uniform. You usually query, and if the editor is interested she gives you her e-mail address for copy submission, the photo instructions, the photo submission address, and the photo size and specs, all in response to your query.

A few things seem to be emerging as reliable guidelines: (1) the images should be 300 dpi or larger, (2) the editor is the best guide about photo submission for her pages; she will probably send you the publication’s photo guidelines or link you to the photo editor, (3) read and follow those guidelines, which may also be on the Web at that publication’s address [check Google], (4) take the photos using a high resolution setting [superfine or image size 1280 x 960], (5) do not alter or manipulate digital files for color, size, sharpness, cropping, or color mode, and (6) turn off the camera’s date stamp feature.

Hope that helps. Of course, I explain the whole process in my book Travel Writer’s Guide. And I talk a lot about writing at my free newsletter.

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

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