Best kind

The best photographs are the ones that editors will buy and publish.  And that means you must give them what they want.

If it’s black-and-white, then give them black-and-white prints.  (Remember that while a color photo (transparency or print) can be turned into a black-and-white photo, a black-and-white photo can’t be turned into a color photo.)

However, most magazines (and even newspapers with today’s modern color printing) want transparencies.  A transparency is a “slide”.  A transparency is a photo you hold up to the light, so light from behind allows you to view it.  Most transparencies are 35mm slides.  That is, they are small transparencies (3.5cm or 35mm wide).  A 35mm transparency is usually mounted in a white cardboard holder.  Larger transparencies can measure up to a giant 15cm or 150mm wide, and these are usually not mounted in cardboard.  You also can’t take large-format transparencies with an ordinary 35mm camera.  Color magazines prefer transparencies and usually slides will do.  A transparency is a “positive” and there is no intermediary “negative”.  On the other hand, color print film is developed and becomes a negative (the colors seem reversed), and from this negative a positive, or print, is made.

Remember that usually, almost every scenic shot benefits from having a person in the picture, to humanise the photo and often to add scale, to give the viewer of the photo some idea of the size of things in relation to the size of the person.  Go to any mainstream publication, count up the number of photos, then count the number with PEOPLE in them…the overwhelming majority of photos have people in them.

Another question is how many photos to send.  Well, first of all, ask yourself how many photos does your target publication use with this kind of article you’re sending in?  One?  15?  Two?  Send the same kind of number.  BUT!  Here’s what is SO important.  Send only your best example of each kind of shot.  If you’re sending one photo, don’t send your best one and your second best one, only your very BEST one.

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