Freelance Photography: Employment
Where would I like my work to be seen? What platforms
Magazines: As discussed in previous posts, one way of working is having your work published in a magazine. Whether that is as a photo essay, editorial or a submission. It is either a form of employment and earning money, or getting your work out there to be seen. A particular source I have been aspiring to be a part of is Oh Comely, a magazine:
“oh comely is a curious, honest and playful independent magazine…Each issue we pick a theme and see where it takes us”
I have been reading this magazine for some years now and really like the feel and philosophy of the magazine (aimed at young women). The magazine accepts submissions, but has one photographer that works on each magazine (doing the editorial work) who is Liz Seabrook where her role is also ‘Lifestyle Editor’. But I was unsure of what this entails at the magazine…
You’ll need creative flair, a well organised approach and extensive work experience to be successful in this competitive field
A magazine features editor is responsible for the content and quality of a publication and ensures that stories are engaging and informative.
Most opportunities are in large publishing companies that produce a range of titles. These include weekly and monthly consumer or lifestyle titles, which are commonly referred to as ‘glossy’ magazines, as well as a variety of trade publications.
Features editors are also employed by specialist publishers, online media and in-house magazines. Magazine features editors do not always need to have specialist knowledge of the subject they cover, unless the content is highly technical, although an interest in the subject is usually expected.
The role varies according to the size of the publication and the nature of its content, but as a magazine features editor, your responsibilities will typically include:
- overseeing the layout, appearance and content of feature articles
- generating ideas for features with writing staff
- commissioning articles from freelance and in-house writers
- managing writing staff and freelance feature writers
- editing and re-writing articles, some of which may be rejected or returned to the writer for revision
- overseeing artwork, design and photography for the features section of the magazine
- attending photo shoots
- organising meetings with writers and artists to discuss ideas for artwork, layout and features
- negotiating payments with freelance writers
- understanding and complying with media law and industry ethical guidelines
- selecting feature articles for each issue
- sending out briefs to writers, which can include word count, deadline, fee and writing style
- proofreading all pages before going to press
- raising the profile of the magazine
- networking with others at industry events
- assisting other staff to meet their deadlines.
Her website contains a lot of work that she has shot for Oh Comely, but also advertisement work and portraits etc that she has done freelance as Oh Comely is a small scale magazine only run by a handful of people. She shoots film and is mostly seen working with women and or/the outdoors. On her website she has an about section, where she has examples of her clients, her description (area of photography) and her contact details.
Although it is unrealistic that I would be able to work for the magazine, I would like to know how Liz makes money and functions as a freelance, as I really enjoy her photography and have followed it for sometime. I am not a portrait photographer necessarily, as I work mostly with interiors, but I am hoping to also practice as a freelance. One day I would like to contribute, but I appreciate the aesthetic of the magazine containing film photography over digital.
Going beyond her photography as well, I appreciate the design and layout of her website. As someone who is yet to form and mould their own website, it is of interest to see how other photographers are presenting themselves. In particular I like the clean and simple theme of it, it is not complicated in any way, neither is it visually overbearing. Her gallery is made up of a collage of images that you scoll down in order to see more, each image is uploaded with a hand written label as to their purpose (who she photographed for). The general aesthetic of her website isn’t dissimilar to the magazine she works for (where it uses a lot of white space and isn’t visually complicated), perhaps this is deliberate in order to associate herself to the magazine