The silly little things that come back to bite you in the …

digitalphotomag

The image above is from a spread of my photos in the “Gallery” section of “Digital Photo” magazine. The issue should be out in the UK in a week or two.

That’s great and all, but here’s a short story with an important point.

The pay for being featured in this particular section of the magazine, is not significant, it’s better than what most magazines will give for something similar, but it’s insignificant nevertheless. My main motivation for sending images in was not the money, but the exposure. “Digital Photo” is one of the most widely read photography magazines in the UK and probably Australia. It’s a great platform for spreading the word about what I do to thousands of people.

Ideally this is what I would want to happen – readers see my images, they like them, they go to my website and see what else I do. Hopefully someone wants to buy a print, someone else might be interested in a workshop and a few others may want to buy the ebook tutorial. Good idea. Well, not so fast. Why? Because the website URL is not there! Why is it not there? Good question.

When submitting images to “Digital Photo” you have to provide all your contact details, as well as a website URL, if you have one. All that info goes to someone, though I am not exactly sure to whom. I thought that since I had provided the URL of my website it would automatically be included, along with my images. Incorrect!

My initial reaction was a good amount of cursing, out loud. That’s my reaction to many things that frustrate me or make me angry, but once I get that out of my system, 🙂 I take a deep breath, relax and analyze – what went wrong? The answer is simple – I assumed without actually communicating what was important to me, without verifying anything. I assumed wrong. Good opportunity wasted, lesson learned.

Editors have a lot of stuff on their hands and including my website info into a publication is likely not on their “to do list”, especially not if they haven’t been requested and reminded. Even when they are requested and reminded, things can and will go wrong and in that case the editor in question should have a good kick up the butt. Not the case here, instead, what I thought was common sense, a silly, little insignificant thing, came to bite me in the place where the uncooperative editor should be kicked.

The lesson is one that applies to anything in life – if something is important to you, go after it, let the relevant people know, remind them and remind them again. Sure you there’s a chance that you may come across as annoying, but I’d rather come across as annoying and have an opportunity to maximize the return from my efforts than be a nice, complacent fellow who gets almost nothing for his hard work. Simple as that. Don’t do what I did. 🙂

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12 Responses to “The silly little things that come back to bite you in the …”

  1. Jeffrey Chapman Says:

    Fortunately, I can (barely) see that the article begins with your name. So readers are just a quick and easy Google search away from finding you. And they will. Probably the lack of URL won’t hurt. It would have been nice, but people will find you. Lots of them I suspect.

  2. Gavin Says:

    If I saw images like that, I’d make the effort to find out how’d taken them. As Jeffrey says, it’s just a quick Google search and that won’t put people off. Still, as you say, an important lesson learned. Congratulations on the article though, it looks very impressive.

  3. Glen Goffin Says:

    I’ve forgotten where, but after I saw that image they featured of the mine worker in an online article somewhere, I just HAD to track you down! I’m sure everyone else who sees it will do the same. Congrats on the article and peace.

  4. Craig Ferguson Says:

    I often find that when I come across a new (to me) photographer in a magazine, it’s often quicker just to type their name into Google and click on the relevant result than it is to manually enter a URL.

  5. DaveT Says:

    I don’t know how to tell you this – your article in this month’s edition of Digital SLR Photography, doesn’t have your web URL either. However, like the others have said above, your images of India (the feature of the article) are so good that I am sure people will google your name and find you.

    Thank you so much for the tips. From what I have seen so far in my research about magazines, that take freelance work, is that they pay little or in some cases give you alternative rewards such as a camera bag or a tripod. And one magazine I saw, retained the right to keep the submission on file for any of their other magazines in their publishing group.

    I hope that the resulting publicity from your efforts does lead to other things and give you more return on your investment.

    DT

  6. Mitchell Says:

    Ok, so I guess at least some people will find me. Thanks for the encouraging words. 🙂

    Dave T: I am aware of the Digital SLR photography thing and that’s sorta the other case I mentioned here, the butt kicking one. I did everything in my power to have the website included at the end of the article and it was going to be, but…well…I guess I like the magazine enough not to want to get into it. And there is a contributors section, where if someone looks hard enough, they will find me, but in my opinion it’s far from the first place someone would be naturally inclined to look.

    Your research is correct, but there are different sections of the magazine which will pay different rates. Some sections are for regular contributors, but that does not at all mean that your work can’t be featured there, the images just have to be appealing enough to the chief editor. That’s more the path down which I go when submitting to magazines. The pay is much higher, not amazing, but at least of some substance.

    The “gallery/readers” section in magazines is usually only useful for publicity. My last publication in the same section of “Digital Photo” brought me some good results and the girl who attended my private workshop actually found me through the magazine.

    That section is a good way to get your foot in the door, get some attention and generally see where you’re at, but after a couple of times you get over it. However, there is definitely value in having work published in certain magazines, even if you don’t get paid. I’ve received much more money from the sales generated by the appearance of my work in “Black and White” than from any fees paid directly for my images in photography magazines, it mightn’t happen for all kinds of images and not at all times, but certainly makes being published, even for free worthwhile.

    Camera bags and tripods or memory cards, or whatever else are not so bad, if don’t need them, it’s easy to sell them on Ebay. Of course it’s a bit of a pain and you wouldn’t make a career of it, but in the early stages of one’s career you have to be creative with how you get your income. 🙂

  7. DaveT Says:

    Thanks for the information – it’s good to know it’s not all the doom and gloom that I had initially thought.

    DT

  8. Dave Says:

    Congrats on getting onto Smashing Magazines ’35 Beautiful Photography Websites’ list.

    http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/07/10/35-beautiful-photography-websites/

    More great publicity!

  9. Mitchell Says:

    Thanks, Dave.

  10. Gavin Says:

    Mitchell, if you can’t go, I’m free! 😉

  11. Philipp Says:

    “The lesson is one that applies to anything in life – if something is important to you, go after it, let the relevant people know, remind them and remind them again. Sure you there’s a chance that you may come across as annoying, but I’d rather come across as annoying and have an opportunity to maximize the return from my efforts than be a nice, complacent fellow who gets almost nothing for his hard work.”

    I totally agree. I`ve had some situations where i “should” have been more “annoying”, haha.

    (I really like your wrestler series.. very impressive!)

  12. Joesph Dause Says:

    Fine work, I need to hear more from you.Are you working in a Group that you can make such a cool Blog?

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