“I take great pictures, how can I get my photos published?”
I picked up my first professional camera – the Nikon D90 – in November of 2008. The same month I packed my bags and went to Jamaica on sabbatical.
My first “major” publication came 8 months later, in the UK Guardian. And I wasn’t even pitching hard or living and breathing publication yet before that.
Three and a half years, lots of self- teaching and practice, one class and several publications and paid assignments later – I’ve learned a ton about this profession. And I still continue to learn.
For starters, let’s be clear – vacation photos are not the same as publication-worthy travel photographs. (I know. I had to say it.)
Seriously, if I had a penny for every person who thinks his or her photos are ready for publication I would be on a round-the-world trip right now. Nothing wrong with confidence but in this field, as in most, a blend of knowledge, hard work and realism will get you farther every time.
What was the one best thing I did from the start, besides learning and practice? I shared my work online. I had no strategy at first. I was just sharing my passion for travel, culture and music. I had always posted my vacation photos before, but when I went on sabbatical in 2008, it felt different. I was now documenting life in another country and traveling long-term, and I wanted others to learn and live through my photos. Your objective may be another, but in the end, it comes down to sharing your particular message.
Below are basic guidelines for those who have a growing passion in travel photography and want to take it to the next level.
Ten tips and steps to getting started with “exposing” your work. Because that’s what you have to do first, for it to lead to publication and opportunities. It’s what I did and it worked for me.
1. Master the nuts and bolts of photography
There are no corners to cut – you have to learn and understand the basics of photography first. And after you learn, keep mastering them. Shoot every day if you can.
Yes, it takes just a little time to understand shutter speed, aperture, ISO and other important aspects. Growing pains, people. You simply must have a good grasp on the technical side if you want to go places in the publication world. Learn why some shots attract the eye more than others, how to avoid blown out photos, how to capture action and movement, and low light. You can >> Continue reading