We have another Photo Premium tutorial exclusively available to Premium members today. In this tutorial, we’ll be photographic writing and learning how translate your passion into words. Learn more at the jump!
Have you ever read an article on Phototuts+ or in a photography magazine and thought that you could do the same, or even better? The good news is that writing an article about photography (or anything you’re passionate about) is not really difficult. It’s a learnable skill, and all you need to start is some guidance.
Why write articles? One motivation is money. Photography is an expensive pastime, and writing about photography can help you pay for it. I’ve written articles about accessories that I’ve bought (such as a close-up lens, pictured below, light tent, neutral density filter and various software plug-ins) which have more than paid for those purchases.
Another is to build a reputation and bring traffic to your website. For that you can also volunteer to write guest posts for photography blogs and websites.
Freelance writing can be a great way of earning a part-time income to supplement the salary from your job. With hard work, and a bit of luck, it’s possible to turn it into a full time career.
The advice in this article will help get you started. While it’s aimed principally at people who would like to write about photography, the advice applies to any type of non-fiction writing.
Before you can begin writing articles, you need to find something to write about. It helps if you have expertise in a certain area of photography. If you are good at taking portraits, for example, then put together some ideas for articles about portraiture using your photos to illustrate them.
If you lack expertise, you need to gain some. You should master a technique before you write about it. Once you’ve learned something, the knowledge stays with you forever and you can go on and learn something else. Over time your expertise and experience will grow.
Study Your Market
If you’re a regular reader of Phototuts+, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what sort of articles the we publish. Go back through past articles of the website or magazine you hope to write for. Study them so you can get a feel for the type of material used. There are several ‘styles’ of articles on our website, of instance, and you should think about what article format or style you want to use for your first piece.
The first article I wrote for Phototuts+, Seven Tips for Taking Travel Photos Like a Pro, follows a simple formula that anyone can use. Whatever your area of expertise, I’m sure you can think of seven tips to write about.
If you’re going to pitch an idea, it has to be something that hasn’t been covered before (or a new angle on something has). If someone else has already written a similar article, your idea will probably get rejected.
Creating an Outline
Once you’ve decided what to write about, you need to put together an outline. A plan is essential, as you will follow it when you come to write the article. It will also form the basis of your proposal.
Your outline should have a short paragraph for every main heading your article has, and a short sentence for every sub-heading.
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