Handy Hints for the Freelance Writer #1

Carry a camera. In every dealing I’ve ever had with an editor, they’ve always asked me to supply photos to illustrate my articles. You could source images on the internet, but then you have to make sure to read and obey the licensing rules for each image that you use.

Good places to look for photos on the web are everystockphoto, flickr, Wikimedia Commons, and Google Images. It takes a bit of time to search for images but you can often find high quality, professional photos which look much more attractive than anything you could produce yourself. If you are writing about a very specific topic you may not find an image that corresponds to your article’s content.

A lot of the articles I write are reports about local events so it’s often more straightforward to take my own photos.  Since I mostly write for the web, the quality of these images has not been much of an issue. Recently I’ve been submitting articles to print magazines where image quality is a lot more important. I don’t want my inadequate photo-taking skills to be a barrier to getting published so I’m going to have to get myself trained up. I’m not sure how yet. I guess I’ll start by reading some books about photography and then look into courses. 

Can anyone recommend some books to get me started? Are there any skills you’ve had to learn to increase your chances of being published?

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4 thoughts on “Handy Hints for the Freelance Writer #1

  1. Mt, you’ve been busy, Helen! How exciting! Lit Fest, writing a book review! Good for you. And now photography! I have done some free lancing in the last year, but have not dabbled at all in photography, although I would like to. Tonight I posted with a photo of my own, because I got called out for using a photo from istock, and I thought, gee I better get a little better at this photography thing! And here you are with this post. Let me know if you find anything helpful.

  2. Hi Jennifer,

    I used to think that being a writer meant spending all your time writing but it’s not true. The more I talk to other writers the more I realise that being a writer means taking on other roles to push your career forward. Editing, marketing, networking, researching … so many different things to think about. I’ll let you know what I find out about taking photos to accompany articles, and if you have any tips about aspects of freelance writing I’d love to hear them.

  3. My daughter was attacked by a seagull in Lyme Regis. You’d think you’d get a better class of seagull there. More literary seagulls even. But no. She was so frightened she dropped her bag of chips.

  4. That would be absolutely terrifying, Joseph. And once the chips were on the ground I bet hundreds of birds dived in to feed. Now I understand why Daphne du Maurier was inspired to write The Birds.

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