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Catching Attention

North Lake, Bishop Creek Canyon (10/2/18) Phillip Reedy

Bishop Creek (10/2/18) Phillip Reedy

There’s one sure way to catch attention in Bishop Creek Canyon. Cast a fly rod at the east end of North Lake. That’s where photographers stand to get the classic shot of North Lake at peak.

Earlier this week, Phillip Reedy stood “shoulder to shoulder” with about 30 other photographers there, waiting for the right shot.

Then, because he photographs a lot of cover shots for fly fishing magazines and is always looking for good backgrounds, he put on waders, picked up a fly rod and began fishing. Soon, the other photographers there wanted to take pictures of him posing in his fly gear as he fished.

Phil joked to them that he could pay for his trip if they would each pay him a $5 modeling fee. All joking aside, Phil got his compensation another way. He found, “that North Lake is packed with eager brook trout so I caught a number of those during the day while waiting for the light to get better.”

Also, one of the fishing shots he took might eventually be purchased for use on the cover of an outdoor magazine.

North Lake (10/2/18) Phillip Reedy

Phil’s humorous story leads me to suggest that fall color photography can be revenue producing, in addition to being an entertaining avocation.

If you have professional equipment and solid skills at photography, consider combining a fall photo outing with taking photographs for possible magazine covers (RV, fishing, hunting, cycling, off-roading, backpacking, hiking, etc.). Here are some tips to successful magazine cover photography:

  • Before shooting, consider which magazines you intend to “pitch” your photos;
  • Know how the magazine (for whom you’re shooting) lays out its cover. Research past covers online and shoot to fit their style;
  • Consider how much space should be reserved for the magazine’s masthead (name/logo);
  • Know whether the magazine allows images to bleed behind its masthead or whether that space should be kept uncluttered;
  • Leave space in the photo to announce articles inside the magazine (often to the left and/or right of the image);
  • Shoot images that fit a specific magazine’s focus or that illustrate a potential topic;
  • All gear seen in the image should appear to be new or not easily recognized (magazines want to appear trendsetting);
  • Outdoor models should be attractive and real (they need not be professional models, but they should appeal and be believable to readers);
  • Magazine covers are vertical, so shoot with that in mind. Shoot both vertical images for covers and horizontal images for inside the magazine. Compose horizontal shots for possible additional use as cover photos;
  • Photograph with seasons in mind. Whatever appears in the photo should be natural to that season;
  • Shoot RAW or high resolution fine images. Magazines only use images of the highest quality for their cover;
  • Models should be outfitted in contemporary clothing, shoes or gear (you’ll never sell the photo if the backpack looks like it was a hand-me-down); and
  • Be prepared for rejection. Magazine editors choose images to illustrate a story that’s already been written (the cover story), to relate to the month of issue or season and to reflect events, trends and topics of interest to readers. Even the best photographs get turned down, when they lack relevance to the magazine and its readers. 

North Lake (9,225′) – Peak to Past Peak – GO NOW as YOU ALMOST MISSED IT!