Getting Published

Trillium by tree, Bob Grytten image
Trillium by tree,
Bob Grytten image

“This image is not publishable.” Or that’s what I was told – when I mentioned that it was shot with a 3.2MP camera. But it was published – Cover of an Alabama magazine. And yes we were paid for it’s use. I made this  image lying on my belly to minimize the distracting background with a point n shoot camera around 2005.

Is that what you really want to do – get published?

That is my passion, too!  Most everything I do is centered around that objective.

That is actually why I picked up a camera – a career move, after aptitude testing with Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation suggested photography might be one field I could use my bundle of aptitudes.

Well, today I would say this… First, finding out what you have the aptitudes for will save you a lot of heartache. Because, unless you have the inside guts – when times get tough, you may not be happy.

“Ah, Happiness,” you may say to yourself. “What does that have to do with making money?” We’ll if you want to make money, get a job with the US printing office of Revenue.

Not what we’re talking about? OK! Let’s do it this way – One receives reward for providing something that someone needs. That’s what work is about, as I see it. So what about happy?

Happy is the goal. Money without satisfaction can grow old pretty fast. That’s what most people do. Go to work, Make money, go home, go to work, make money, go home. We’ve got to break that cycle of thinking. Lets find something that will give us satisfaction, “…that wild horses can’t pull us away from,” as Harvey Lloyd would say.

Because, as everything runs in cycles and when the cycle for our work dips, we had better really like it, or we may be in Hell, until it turns upward again. So, step one should be to somehow find out what drives us, what we can be good at.

Still want to get published? It is a form of recognition? And I can tell you that it can be a real high. The first things I had published was because the magazine needed the image. Southern Boating Magazine used images I had made of the Southern Offshore Racing Association event. But, how did that happen?

SORC 1st published image  by Bob Grytten
SORC 1st published image by Bob Grytten

Let’s presume that I knew how to operate a camera. What next? Photograph what you know about.

We knew about racing because one of our passions was sailing and we had been doing club racing, so instinctively I knew when the boat would tack, what the sails would look like, what kind of activity would be going on – what, when and where. That helped a lot.

The camera used for this image was a Nikon 8008 with a Tamron 60-300mm lens, in 1987. I can still remember when I first saw the article in a super market.  Always it was my quest to market my images and that has been the prime driver.

I began writing to provide photo/text packages. And my emphasis shifted to making stories in more of a problem solving role with editors. I like to locate editorial needs and if I can fill them, that’s where I spend my time. The market has since changed, and my most recent published credit was just last week with a travel magazine on line. We need to have a conversation in that area.

Bob says, Thanks!
Bob says, Thanks!

See more tips and news, schedule of workshops, and membership at Lens Lugger Photographic Association.


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