Press & Photojournalism: Having Intent & Strategy
I feel like this is super important. We're finally getting into the meat of of how to how to pitch and how to write. But having intent and strategy behind your photography is so important, and it's opened up a whole new world of pressing photojournalism that I didn't even realize existed. So I kind of talked about press tours and for those of you that don't know and I didn't know until I wrote that first article for Huffington Post and then the South Dakota border tourism asked me. They basically said, Nearly Do you want to come in this press tour? And I'm like, What? Like I just didn't even know. And so I wrote back them. I'm like, What does this mean? We just want to really show you a great time and everything we have to offer and, you know, and like hopefully you'll write about it. I was like, Okay, And so when I went on the tour, him at all, these journalists and I started picking their brains because I've never really hung out with a bunch of writers. I was like the only professio...
nal photographer in the group, and I learned so much information from them that they're like, Oh, yeah, We got these, like, once a month to get these free trips all the time and blah, blah, blah what you know. And so I found out really quickly that we photographers like make money. But the writers get all these travel perks like it's so many travel perks and they don't make a lot of money and some other and some of the writing, But they get the amazing cloud and travel perks. And so I thought that's when I had my ah ha moment. Okay, I need to be able to like we're so much more valuable having photography experience on top of writing. Like if I'm here and I can write an article, I'm already way more valuable. Like I said, I shared all my images with them, and they use that for their articles. So being able to be a triple threat so important. So this is an image I did. I did a workshop in the Grand Canyon, and it was funny because I was literally just teaching photography and how to do nature and landscape. And my girlfriend, Anne, was I've never been to Grand Canyon can I join your workshop? And I said, Yeah, and she had just come from Paris and like, she shows up like, all fabulous with this, like hat box and stuff to my workshop. And I was like, Oh, girl, you're modeling for me Like I saw this red hat I'm like, This is ridiculous. It was really funny, cause I asked, people worked up like, Do you mind if I know? It's not like quite the Grand Canyon Lake and I threw like this, like hot Asian with a red hat like the middle of your photo, just for some stuff. And it turned out being like a really fun part of the workshop because I'm always, like pop color into your background or like it was really funny. She's like, Okay, I really do think I would be modeling for years was standing on the cliff and high heels for the shot. She's very terrified, but it was I just loved it. I loved the reminded me of like Helmet Newton, and I love the graphic ness of it and is adding a pop of color. But to me, I always love adding some sort of element, like that my imagery and then this ended up getting a license for stock as well. So you know Yeah, take the take that Grand Canyon photo. But then why not play and, like, add something else to it and and take different versions? Going in and having intent in strategy is so important. And so I want you to think about having a strategy and, you know, defining your media goals and who you want to reach again. Having a voice having a direction appointed, view you there's no. Just like I'm gonna mass submit to, like everyone you should really hone in on. Like, who do you actually want toe be aligned with? Like what Brand is really speaking to you and kind of has the same ideas that you do with your work and your photography and writing the story. The subject matter, You know, you should really Onley right for or submit or, you know, or basically be aligned with a brand that is, is your message because, like that's what were talking about before you don't put work out there in your website that you don't stand behind or that you don't really want to promote like if you don't really want to shoot Ah, lot of newborn photos, then don't post newborn photos. So it's like you really only want to be doing things that are aligned with your brand, and what you like to do is a photographer and writer, so defining meeting goal is really important to have a have a really defined message, coming up with story content to pitch beforehand the magazines. I talked a lot about this, so there's a difference between submitting your story and pitching, and pitching beforehand is really important because honestly sometimes gives editors like I never thought about that before, and sometimes they just accept your idea because they're like, That's brilliant or the like Ooh, I like that. But can we changed a little bit where at the very least, they were like No, no things. But then, you know they know you. And so I pitched all the time. I pitched ideas, all the times of people to the point now where people will be like, Will you just tell us what regions you want to go to and we'll, like, figure out something fun to do together There are, like styled shoots so Ah, lot of publications are are now, like coming to me are brainstorming with me when they're having board meetings about future ideas and shoots Because I spent so much time pitching to them on my travels and putting yourself on the radar. This is gonna be you guys love this. I don't know if you heard of map DEA dot com but you guys need to familiarize. You're going to spend, like, an entire day or so. I don't know if you want on it, Christa, but it's like to die for travel photography. So it is a website where you can self publish your articles about travel. You can create an account. It's free and the the caliber of work and photography and stories on their outrageous. It's amazing it actually made me go. What I I'm not that good. Like I don't know. I'm looking at the photography. It blows my mind, and it's all, you know, user populated. So anyone who wants to publish a travel story and it's a really beautiful, easy format to do it, you can like dragon, drop your pictures. You change your fault in the layout like really easy. This is a great way like, you know, you talk about that. Catch 22. Where had I published? If I don't have anything published before, how do I get publications and start publishing my articles, Will you? You can start self publishing on sites like Map DEA and then use that published article to promote yourself to other publications and say Here's example of my writing I've done from Apthe. You don't know if it's paid or not and you say This is what I've done from apthe I'm I'm really passionate about. I'd love for I'd love to write for you is a really great way for you, Teoh kind of, you know, try to launch yourself as a travel writer and a really great platform to show your travel work. They How it works is the images and the stories that get to the top like they have editors that map here that then they curate the stories and they pick their favorites in the showcase Those. So if your stuff amazing, you're gonna be at the top. And if it's like, you're gonna be the bottom and get kind of lost in the shuffle, But no matter what your stuffs online and it's published, so it's a really great way to do that. So I'm a huge fan of map dia. I'm just a huge fan of the work that's on there. It's so inspirational. I get a lot of ideas for travel rating and for just taking pictures and looking at it. We're looking. Yesterday there was an artist that took these pictures of like elephants and animals in Africa that used to roam freely. And now their lands have been destroyed by humans and went and printed the's huge pictures on canvas of like an elephant, and then would go into the region where elephants used to room and have, like locals, construct this huge portrait of an elephant in like a wasteland of like a a dump or something like that, and literate and then do a photo of the entire scene. And it was such a powerful imagery to see, you know, this giant life size portrait in a land that's like the story that they used to walk like, and that was an article called Inherit the Dust. I think unmapped a and it's just so inspiring to see like, you know, everyone that's published on there is doing personal work. And so it's very passionate and personal on there. So getting press and we're gonna dive, really deepened and later on. But getting press it's got to start somewhere. And so so publishing a map to use when we have doing it. But honestly have guest blogging is one way of doing it or having a friend or somebody just write a block post about you have someone gush about you and how amazing you are and feature you, um, as a It's so good to get stuff published elsewhere That's not on your own personal blawg, and I'll explain why later. That's super important. Get people to start writing about your feature. Get someone else to feature on their blogged your story or something that you do or cool trip you just did or shoot, because that's all gonna help you later on and also helps give you traffic so you could even offer to do that for a friend. Be like, Hey, I'll do up like maybe like SAB Friday, my favorite, you know, like every Friday you feature like your favorite photographer or you feature someone that you admire something, and you could start just doing things like that where your featuring each other, like some of my friends. And I have done that on future. My roommate was a vegan chef, and she's future in my workable. And so the more you get people, even not within your industry, like people outside your industry to kind of feature you, and and it helps you a lot with getting press.