Photography Submission Guidelines
We look for fresh, creative approaches to familiar landmarks and subjects in our photography, as well as seeking out the rare, exotic, strange, unfamiliar, and remote in B.C. Study recent issues of British Columbia Magazine to understand what we do, but don’t limit yourself to just the types of photography published in past issues.
Yes, our readers love the unsullied scenic photographs. But they also want pictures that are true to life: the negative with the positive, the ugly with the beautiful. We want to take our readers where they’ve never been before, geographically and visually.
Creative pictures often require innovative methods. Shoot a variety of perspectives, very distant to extremely close-up. Mix horizontal and vertical shots. Vary your lenses, wide angle to long telephoto, and your angles, shooting from very low to very high. Punctuate a series of scenic landscapes with shots of real outdoors people in the environment. And when you do photograph people, try to catch natural, candid facial expressions. Avoid shots of your hiking partner’s back.
Take advantage of the beautiful light before and after sunrise and sunset, and don’t stop shooting if the weather isn’t perfect. We like to mix some moody images into our magazine content. Good photographers are not “snappers”—they know their equipment, and they work hard at scouting and setting up shots. Superior photographers go a step beyond, bringing an intuitive or journalistic perspective to the work to produce a compelling series of related images that tell a story. They cover their subject completely, with opening and closing shots, middles, close-ups and details, double-page spreads, overviews, and the perfect cover.
We’re always on the lookout for exceptional new talent. To be considered as a freelance contributor, submit a small selection of images for review, with a list of the stock subjects you have on file. Your best bet is to send a series of images on a feature subject, or you may submit a varied mix of your best shots. Please send no more than 60 images. Please note that due to time constraints we’re more likely to review images attached to your e-mail than links to your website galleries. If we’re excited by your shots, we’ll invite you to present a wider selection and discuss your ideas. Amateur photographers often send in “one great picture” that their friends tell them should be published in the magazine. Please understand that British Columbia Magazine only publishes images that tie in with stories we have planned for our issues.
British Columbia Magazine works with freelance photographers on every issue, using images from assignments and stock. We accept photographic material on speculation year-round and welcome proposals for photo essays. We especially welcome text-photo proposals from photographers teamed with top-notch writers (though we reserve the right to select text or photos separately). We review stock submissions for possible features and department material, and for our annual insert calendar (compiled May/June).
The procedure for the few assignments we make (generally to photographers whose work we know well) is to review story and photo feature proposals we have received, outlining pictures envisioned and number of days required in the field. We do this early in the year (December/January) to establish our next year’s editorial plan. Sometimes, we will assign a photo feature and come up with a written text to accompany the images; other times, we will assign a photographer to illustrate an article we have selected. Before making a photo feature proposal, research your subject well enough to sell us on the story idea and to give yourself a base from which to start shooting.
We hate to miss the opportunity to use your great stock because we didn’t know you had it—feel free to send your updated stock list any time. Once we have reviewed your work (see “First-Time Contributors,” above), we may opt to add you to our mailing list for photo calls.
These guidelines are established to bring uniformity to all digital files submitted for publication in British Columbia Magazine. Following these parameters in the capture and preparation of your digital images will help us to easily fit your optimized, high-resolution image files into our digital workflow. This, in turn, aids us in achieving the best possible reproduction of your images. These guidelines presuppose that your monitor is calibrated, that you are working in the latest versions of file management software and that you have basic working skills in Photoshop. It’s also assumed that if you are using a digital camera for image capture, it is, at minimum, an 8-megapixel (but preferably 10-megapixel or higher) model with RAW file capture capabilities. Note: These submission guidelines apply to photographers whose work we have requested for consideration and for assigned work. First-time contributors interested in submitting a portfolio for review should see “First-Time Contributors” above.
Digital Capture and File Preparation
Digital images must be captured using RAW, and embedded, either at the time of capture or in post-capture file processing, with Adobe RGB 1998 colour space (i.e. ProPhoto and other alternatives to Adobe RGB 1998 cannot be accepted at this time). These settings are the basis for files with greater bit depth and wide RGB colour gamut that are well suited for later conversion to the CMYK colour space used in our high-quality offset printing.
Digital Workflow for Photography Assignments
Listed below is the desired workflow when shooting a photo assignment digitally for British Columbia Magazine:
- Shoot camera RAW files.
- Edit the images, paring the total shoot down to your best quality shots. Include verticals and horizontals where possible to allow design flexibility. Do not crop the images.
- Please make small, low-resolution JPEG copies of the RAW files, and submit to the photo coordinator either burned to a disk or uploaded to the British Columbia Magazine FTP site.
- After the Art Director has made his initial selection, he will request higher-res files. Prepare the files following the guidelines in “Preparing Digital Submissions” below.
- Create a folder labelled with the story name, and place requested TIFF files in that folder. Burn the folder to disk, or request the British Columbia Magazine FTP site information for uploading.
- Do not discard your original RAW files; we may require them.
Preparing Digital Submissions
All high-res images should be submitted to British Columbia Magazine on a CD or DVD or via ftp with these profiles embedded:
- RAW captures saved as TIFF files.
- 8 bit.
- Adobe RGB (1998).
- Minimum document size: 17 inches wide x 11 inches high (horizontal orientation), or 11 inches wide x 17 inches high (vertical orientation).
- Resolution a minimum of 300 pixels per inch.
- No sharpening.
- Metadata: Photographer’s name and copyright, as well as detailed caption information.
- A unique file name or number, ending with .tif or .tiff
We need image dimensions matching the size of our largest reproductions; a two-page spread in the magazine is 17 inches wide by 11 inches high. During the design phase, images may be cropped and resized to fit page layouts, so images must be of sufficient size. Make sure that all of your files meet the minimum specified dimensions at 300ppi or higher. No postcapture sharpening should be applied to any files submitted. Sharpening will be applied during the final steps of our production process when final image size has been determined.
British Columbia Magazine is committed to publishing images of journalistic integrity. This means we will not accept photographs that have been altered in content. Some dodging/burning, levels adjustments, saturation, and other minor enhancements are acceptable. High Dynamic Range and exposure blending may be acceptable depending on treatment. Please clearly indicate these files upon submission. It is vital that we receive accurate, detailed caption information along with the photographer’s name and copyright notice in the metadata of each and every digital file submitted. Our caption writers rely on your information in the metadata to compose magazine photo captions. Use the description fields to identify all landmarks, plants, animals, and people shown in each photograph.
Submitting Digital Files from Scanned Film
We maintain a parallel photography workflow for film, and still encourage submission of original transparencies, especially 4×5, for all our stock photography needs. Large, high-resolution files scanned from your original transparencies may be submitted for consideration for publication if they meet our quality and resolution standards.
All film scans submitted must adhere to the guidelines listed above in “Preparing Digital Submissions.”
Slides and transparencies
We prefer to receive images digitally, although we still accept hardcopy slides and transparencies. Send slides in vinyl sheets, well protected and insured for shipping. The magazine is not responsible in any way for material provided for editorial consideration. Enclose a prepaid courier package or SASE for return of materials.
Rights and Rates
British Columbia Magazine pays attractive page rates. These range from $700 for a cover to $50 for detail size usage. We credit the photographer by name either on, or beside their photo; this exposure often results in assignment queries and requests for prints, which we happily pass along to our contributors.
Because British Columbia Magazine is shipped to a worldwide audience, we buy first worldwide rights on assigned images, and one-time worldwide rights on stock photography. This includes promotional rights, so long as your picture is used in the context for which we acquired it. (That means we can reproduce our own magazine covers and pages in promotional material). For assigned material, these rights extend six months beyond the off-sale date of the issue containing your images. Inquiries about secondary usage will be referred to the photographer. Also, we reserve the right to post a single image from an assigned shoot on our website for a period of three months (or longer, with the photographer’s permission). Web usages of stock images are negotiated separately.
Thank you for your interest in contributing to British Columbia Magazine. We value your ideas and your photographic suggestions. With your help, we can keep British Columbia Magazine vital, interesting, and unpredictable. Please address all photo story proposals or picture submissions to:
Dale Miller – Editor
British Columbia Magazine
802-1166 Alberni Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 3Z3