Monday, 26 October 2009

Facing Demons

I have done another disc of photos for the magazine that turned down my archery feature because the photos weren't up to their standard. It's for another feature (I sold the archery feature, photos and all, a few weeks back to another magazine) one about the local Amateur dramatic group I did a feature and review in the local daily paper for.

I sent the editor three sample photos of the group via email last week and they liked the old black and white images but not the colour ones! I did say to the editor that I had been told the group had access to a professional photographer and the editor wanted to see these photos. So I put this to the group and one of the members has sent me through some great shots of their recent performance. But it turns out the only professional photographs they've had taken are by a local newspaper. I did approach them to see if I could use some of them but I've heard nothing back - so I'm taking that as a no. I will email them again today just to make sure.

This photo business is really bugging me. I never envisaged, when I started my writing career, that I would ever have to be worrying about photographs! I'm glad my archery feature found another home but I can't get over the feeling that whatever photos I send to the other mag, they will never be good enough. And that means because they look at the photos first before I can even send my feature in, I'm falling at the first hurdle and that's so frustrating. I'm normally enthusiastic about sending stuff out there but at the moment I find myself holding back with this particular mag.

I know I'm capable of getting features published as I've had two accepted before, but I just cringe when I think about putting that disc in the post (I don't just have to worry about the quality of my photos anymore, but also whether they're going to get there what with the postal stikes and all!)It didn't help when the writer we had at a recent workshop seemed quite flippant about supplying photos to illustrate features and said something along the lines of, 'as long as the photos are in focus and 300dpi or above they'll do.' Well this, is clearly not strictly true!

I think I'm going to have to take the plunge, eventually, and go on a photography course and get better camera equipment. But if I find that the majority of my features are finding homes with the photos I've got then I'm happy not to make the extra financial expenditure and carry on as I am.

I have three articles on the go with lots of ideas for others so as long as I can keep rolling I'll never be short of features! I'm taking another piece of advice from the writer from the workshops more seriously, though, and that's to recycle the features I write to get more mileage out of them. I'll be trying that this week. Will keep you posted on how I get on. I know other people who've done it and that's encouraging.

Keep writing and finding new ideas. The nights are drawing in now and that gives us the perfect excuse to hanker down and get writing!

Julie xx


  1. I'm a hopeless photographer - heads chopped off, people out of focus, you name it, I'm an expert at it...

    Yes, the nights are drawing in - one thing I hate about being so far north: We leave the house in the dark and arrive home in the dark (but as you say, it's great for writing).


  2. Hi Julie

    I agree that it's not so simple as just pointing a camera and getting an acceptable result but don't be put off by this part of your writing. I have seen some of your photos and they are good(remember the one of the Archers targets) I am sure your camera is fine ( mine was under £100 and although I would love an expensive one, it's not stopping me, I think it's just like our writing, sometimes we just need a bit of luck to get that perfect photo, but I don't think you need to spend a fortune trying to achieve it.
    I loved the photos of your Daughters book - we have competition!
    Love Di

  3. Thanks, Suzanne. I quite like taking photos and I got some cracking (or should that be 'quacking' shots of the baby ducklings and swans at the wildlife rescue center. Sorry, it's been a long day!) But I don't think I'll ever be a David Bailey or whatever that famous photographer is called! I'm terrible with names, Janet, I really am.

    Still, I'm not going to let my lack of photography skills stand in my way - they can be improved, just like writing can.

    Julie xx

  4. Hi, Di. You know exactly what I mean don't you. I know you've had similiar difficulties with photos to me. I think I'm just going to have to practice and experiment with my camera. Mine's about in the same price bracket a yours. I was lucky to have it for my birthday a couple of years ago.

    I went into somewhere like Currys the other week and looked at these all singing and all dancing super dooper cameras and I could barely lift one up!! I can just see me lining up a shot but the camera dipping down in my hands so I take a photo of my feet!! Stunning!

    We do have competition! My daughter loves to draw and write and make up stories so we'd better watch out!

    Julie xx