It’s been deadline time in the land of Funky Junk over the past few. My next writeup for FOLK magazine will highlight my bedroom, so I’ve been adding the finishing touches for full room shots.
With social media the powerhouse it is today, your door may get a knock one day soon as well. Interested in the process I go through? Read on!
1. Start project WAY in advance.
I started the bedroom revamp about a month ago. I have no idea how TV decorates in a day because that’s not me. Decorating evolves and just improves with age. This is another reason to pick up what you love whenever you thrift. Stockpiling ensures you have the right stock.
2. Work on the project in small chunks.
I don’t have a week straight to devote to any decorating, let alone even one full day, so I hit on the project when I can. I may install wood one day and paint the next. Doesn’t matter.. just move forward with intention to complete by a certain date and don’t stop until it’s done, preferably ahead of schedule. Definite deadlines bring new meaning to projects and it’s no fun pulling all nighters.
I also find I don’t do my best work when under pressure, so starting early ensures I can produce my best work.
3. Shoot good quality photos.
A must! Set your camera on it’s best settings (high resolution), ensure you have plenty of ‘natural light’, and use a tripod.
Different publications will request different desires, however most magazines love high res in case they blow them up to full page size. You can always export the high res lower later if requested, so there’s no loss in work involved if you edit on high and export lower another time, even for blog purposes.
Confession… Editor Ben loved so many of the projects in the Folk linkup but can’t use many due to the quality of photography. So… please heed my advice above and practice. Maybe I’ll do a quick lesson on an easy way to photograph your projects for submission… sound like a plan?
4. Take TONS of photos.
See how the story above changes with the slightest movement of the lens?
Take lots of photos and I mean lots. I lost count on the bedroom reveal, but let’s just say, I’m using photos over several shoots because not all turn out on a given day. Weather, settings, time of day all play a part. Shoot more than needed so you can pick and choose your very best and offer your editor a good selection.
5. Export and edit photos
I have never submitted even one photo that I haven’t tweaked with some kind of photo editing program. I don’t mean add funky hazes or vignettes, you just want them sharpened, saturation played with and brightened up. Just remember, you can’t fix a bad photo. Work on lighting and steadying the camera first.
What I do with original photos is export a copy into it’s own folder. Never ever work on your originals, always create copies. I now bring them through photo editing software to sharpen, lighten, saturate, whatever they need. (I use Picasa and Photoshop Elements)
And always leave your photos without watermarks for magazine publications.
6. Upload online
Yes, you can email them but high res photos eat lots of space. There are many ways to submit to magazines but my favourite way has been to upload them to my own photobucket account, set a password, then give access to the editor. This way the photos are ready for other submissions as well.
7. Submit the writeup
I use Pages on my Mac ($20 program!) to create the writeup, then send as a pdf file. If not self explanatory, it’s also a good idea to either provide a mockup of the layout so they can see which photos go where or simply assign that information within the writeup.
8. Clean up and breathe again!
After a deadline has been met, I always start to breathe again. Cleaning up the mayhem created is first on the list, then a fresh list is started for the next project.
9. Do this anyway ‘in case’.
Haven’t been published yet? Every awesome photoshoot you take, I recommend to edit a copy of the high res photos NOW so you have stock photos ready to submit. When magazines wish to feature you, they are strict with deadlines and you don’t want to bypass an awesome opportunity when offered a chance.
I look forward to seeing your work in print. Now get busy!
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