|Quoting johnmiller (Reply 8):|
Thing is with payment is there are many magazine editors out there who don't have great photographic literacy and thus will choose a picture based on price rather than quality.
To some extent I think that's irrelevant - the majority of reputable mags in the UK (at least those from the big publishing houses) will normally have fixed rates for an image depending on size and placement. I think where quality comes second is in relation to the story. Above all the image needs to be relevant to the articles being run in that issue.
These are challenging times for magazines - advertising revenue has been dropping. For freelancers, this may be an opportunity as some mags have been forced to drop staff photographers. But again, no matter (almost) how good the pic, its worthless unless it illustrates the article.
You can also help yourself by being professional, quick and above all reliable. Editors HATE time wasting - if you get a reputation for delivering the goods, editors will start contacting you for shots, and possibly assignments. I have been told by one editor that he didn't like using sites like A.net because some people are slow to respond, or send images which look fine on screen, but are not good enough for print. This can lead to time wasting and missed deadlines.
One thing to think about - what format are most aviation pics shot in? Landscape. What format is a magazine cover?
At a rough guess, I would say I have sold roughly equal amounts of portrait and landscape shots, even though I have shot far more in landscape format (though I should say I don't often contribute to aviation mags anymore). The picture editor of the title I work most for says in every
story brief "make sure you shoot plenty of portrait format"
One final thought - become a specialist ... pick a niche and learn it inside out. Chasing after "special shots" is (unless you have very special access) unproductive ... if only because you will be competing with many others. When I was shooting mostly aircraft, I sold far more pics shot at local grass strips than I ever did from the big airports or airshows. Learn as much as you can about your chosen niche - it will help with captioning, help you predict sellable shots - and maybe even lead to an article commission.
Colin K. Work, Pixstel