When you think of selling your travel photos, you probably don’t imagine close-up shots of a creepy caterpillar, a dog sniffing a turtle, or a butterfly on a flower. But most of us have photos like these in our portfolios — and you likely CAN sell them. Even if you’ve never sold a photo before and you consider yourself a beginner. Scroll down to find out how and where from professional stock and editorial photographer, Efrain Padro…
Lori Allen Director, Great Escape Publishing
Ranger Rick: Sell Photos to Kid and Nature Magazines
By Efraín M. Padró
During a break at the Ultimate Money-Making Photo Workshop, I took some time to sit down with attendees and look over their photos. One was a cute shot of a dog sniffing a turtle. Another attendee showed me some pictures of butterflies. And yet a third person shared with me some very colorful images of a creeping (and creepy, if you ask me) caterpillar. By the time I finished with the last review, I was seeing a trend in nature photos, so I suggested to the caterpillar photographer that she consider selling her shots to Ranger Rick Magazine. This might be a good outlet for you, too, if you have, or like to take, similar photos.
Ranger Rick is a very popular kids’ nature magazine published by the National Wildlife Federation, with a focus on conservation. As you can imagine, they publish a lot of animal pictures, including bugs, butterflies, frogs, raccoons, and turtles. You can take a look at the magazine’s site, and get feel for its style, here: Ranger Rick website.
While Ranger Rick isn’t a travel magazine, it does cover animals and insects that you could photograph while out and about on your travels… or in the pond in your backyard. Here are a few tips to increase your chances of getting published in Ranger Rick and similar kid and nature magazines. These will work for photographers of any level — from amateur snappers to professionals:
** 1. Contact the magazine and ask for their submission guidelines. I did not see a specific page in the magazine’s website containing the guidelines, so fill out the “Contact” form, tell them you are a freelance photographer with a collection of animal images, and ask for a copy of the guidelines.
** 2. While on the “Contact” page, check the “Would you like to receive our e-letter?” box. The Ranger Rick e-letter includes pictures, so study them before sending your first submission.
** 3. Send images that are framed tight on the subject with clean backgrounds (make sure they’re free of any distracting clutter). Although images of, say, a lone moose in the distance can be beautiful, keep in mind that Ranger Rick caters to kids, and kids respond more to straightforward images where the subject is big, bold, and takes up the entire frame.
** 4. Show animals doing something. Although animals are so cute that they look good just staring at the camera (and cute sells), pictures of animals engaged in any behavior (like playing or running or flying) are in high demand. This will require additional time and patience on your part, but the extra effort will translate into more sales.
** 5. Finally, make sure you follow the submission guidelines when you approach the editor — especially on first contact. You want the photo editor to know you are a professional and can follow directions. Following these simple tips will help you place your work in Ranger Rick (and other nature magazines).
Now get out and shoot something!