Building a career as a photographer in the surf industry presents a range of challenges. Getting your shots in magazines is different from signing major brands for marketing campaigns, for example. The challenges are mostly fun, and there will be many, some you won’t be able to predict. But aside from lining yourself up with a good mentor or an internship, a simple understanding of the differences in working with publications, clients, and athletes can go a long way in helping you succeed. Here are a few hints.
Working With Publications
With publications, it’s important to create a relationship with the photo editor. That person will be your connection to getting images published with a magazine, either in print or on a site. You can start to build that relationship with an email — a friendly email — introducing yourself and sending three to five of your favorite photos (in an email-friendly size). Don’t overload their inbox. Your intro email can answer questions like where you’re from and what you enjoy or specialize in shooting. Show them how you can help them and what you can do differently. Continue this relationship by sending little photos here and there and eventually, you’ll get requests: “Hey, can you shoot this?” “Could you shoot that event?” “Do you have this photo?” Be dependable so a photo editor can count on you for resources and unique angles.