Archive for publishers

The Canadian Landscape Photo Contest

Posted in Monthly Photo Contest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2010 by Darwin

Jan – March 2010 LLTL Photo Contest 

Theme – The Canadian Landscape 

For the first LLTL photo contest of 2010 the theme is The Canadian Landscape. Anyone can enter the contest but the image entered must have Canadian geographical content (natural landscapes, cityscapes, intimate landscapes, or rural landscapes from Canada). The reason for the restriction is because the winning image will be published in Outdoor Photography Canada magazine which only features images from Canada. So if you live in Canada or have visited and have an image you’d like showcased enter now! 

Judge – Roy Ramsay – Editor and Publisher of Outdoor Photography Canada magazine 

Roy Ramsay, editor and publisher of Outdoor Photography Canada magazine, will judge this competition and pick a first, second and third place image. The winning image will be published in Outdoor Photography Canada Magazine. Get your photos in front of the eyes of an editor by entering this contest! 


Entries will be accepted from January 20 to March 31, 2010 at midnight MST. 


Winning Image 

1. Publication of the winning image in Outdoor Photography Canada magazine – great exposure! 

2. A one year subscription to Outdoor Photography Canada magazine. 

OPC magazine

3. A free pass to SNAP! Mastering Digital Nature Photography from Capture to Commerce with  John Marriott, Samantha Chrysanthou, and me to be held on April 24 and 25, 2010 in Canmore, Alberta. Pass does not include airfare, accommodations or transportation to Canmore. If the winner is already registered for SNAP! no refunds or cash value will be assigned. The winner, if already registered in SNAP!, can choose to transfer their winning pass to another person. 

SNAP! Photo Seminars

4. An autographed copy of Daryl Benson’s Canada book – the best coffee table photo book on Canada ever produced (in my opinion). 

©Daryl Benson

Second Place 

The winner of second place will receive autographed copies of John Marriott’s best-selling books: The Canadian Rockies: Banff, Jasper and Beyond (regular edition) and Banff and Lake Louise: Images of Banff National Park. These books are outstanding and are my favorites among the plethora of books on the Canadian Rockies.

©John Marriott

©John Marriott

Third Place 

The winner of third place will receive two signed 8×12 inch prints (below) one each from Samantha Chrysanthou and Darwin. 

©Samantha Chrysanthou

©Darwin Wiggett


How to Enter 

This contest is free to enter. Send me a JPEG no larger than 400 pixels wide in the horizontal axis and set your colour space to sRGB. Please include a link to your website and a direct link  to a larger version of the photo if you have one. Also you need to include a short paragraph about the photo either about how you took the image, or why the image resonates with you, or what you are trying to express to the viewer. Also please include the location of where in Canada the image was shot. It does no matter when you took the image, with what media, only that you are the artist who took the photo and that the photo is from Canada. This contest is open to any one, anywhere in the world of any nationality, the only requirement is that the photo is a picture of a Canadian Landscape.

Send entries to – please only one entry per person. The photo will be displayed on this blog with appropriate credit and a link back to each artist’s website (be sure to include your website info!). No other use of the image will be made without the artist’s prior permission.  The winner will be responsible for getting a high res version of the first place winning image to Roy for publication in Outdoor Photography Canada magazine. 

This ain’t no rights grabbing photo contest, I’ll just display your photo here as outlined above.

But I do reserve the right to cancel the contest and/or prizes without prior notice (what if someone dies and can’t provide their prize or I get abducted by bald-guy loving aliens?).

Good luck! 


Outdoor Photography Canada

Posted in Magazines, Marketing with tags , , , , , on March 31, 2009 by Darwin

I thought I would put a plug in for Outdoor Photography Magazine (OPC). This young magazine (9 issues old) just keeps getting better with each passing issue! The latest edition is no exception with lots of meaty informational articles and lovely imagery. I am also happy to have a feature called “Expose Right“. This article lets photographers know how to get the best possible exposures with digital cameras in a simple two-step process. I find that the majority of photographers do not understand how to get optimal exposure from their digital cameras. I hear far too many complaints about noisy files from the latest batch of digital cameras. If you have noise in your files, then you have exposure problems and the camera is not to blame! Expose right and you will not need to use noise reduction software and you’ll get the best possible files from your camera.

OPC is also a magazine that showcases the work of photographers across Canada. If you are Canadian and shoot outdoor and nature imagery, then submit to OPC and have your work showcased. The magazine pays the highest rates I have seen for photo rags and really showcases photographer’s work nicely. While you checking things out, enter the Spring 2009 photo contest (April 30th deadline) for prize goodies and maybe even subscribe to the magazine. This is a magazine worth supporting. I do have a slight bias though!

Outdoor Photography Canada - Spring -issue 09

A Great Publisher

Posted in Good News with tags , , , on March 26, 2009 by Darwin

After reporting on the poor payment policies and all round unprofessional attitude of Firefly Books and Browntrout Publishers  over here, I figured it was time for some good new about publishers. So here it goes….

For several years now I have had the honour of working for Dogs in Canada magazine which is a monthly publication of the Canadian Kennel Club. This is a magazine about purebred dogs for purebred dog owners.  And interestingly it is the oldest continously published monthly magazine in Canada founded in February of 1898!

Almost every assignment I get from Dogs in Canada is to photograph puppies. Now I am a huge dog lover, but send me off to photograph puppies and the joy is almost payment enough! But here is the great thing; Dogs in Canada pays decent rates, they have reasonable terms, the photographer retains ownership of the images and they pay promptly. Plus they are incredibly helpful setting up shoots, giving good advice and just plain treating photographers with respect!

How refreshing and how rare! Thanks to Kelly Caldwell, the Editor-in-Chief, and the rest of the staff for a top notch operation!

If other photographers have some good news about great publishers send a note my way. Let’s reward and support these fine publishers by doing work for them and buying their magazines!

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

Seller Beware

Posted in Marketing, Rants with tags , , , , on February 4, 2009 by Darwin

Photographers who sell their work to magazines, calendars and books as stock photography know all too well the idiosyncracies of the publishing industry. Photographers have a product to sell, namely photos. But who sets the prices for these photos, the seller or the buyer? In almost every other transaction on the planet, the seller sets the price of his goods. Makes sense eh? But in photography it is often the buyer that tells the photographer what the usage fees will be! Strange but true. It’s like going to the supermarket and telling the cashier that you only pay 50 cents a pound for coffee.

Even worse, after the publisher tells you his going rate for buying your pictures, then he sets the timeline for payment! Most publishers pay after publication. That means that although they order your picture now, they will not pay for it until after they use it. Imagine going into a grocery store and getting food but not having to pay anything until you eat the stuff! 

And then, to add further insult, many publishers have ‘terms’ that  payment will be made within three months of publication. So If I ‘sell’ a photo to a magazine in January, it often takes until 3 months to go to press, and then three more months until I get paid. Six months! Imagine not having to pay for your groceries for six months after you ‘bought’ them?

Ok, the scenario above is ‘standard’ and in my mind pretty darn unacceptable, but this is how the industry runs. Collectively we might be able to change things but photographers are fiercely independant and there is always someone willing to sell photos for crappy terms. Chances of things changing are slim if we all just go on accepting the publishers terms. More and more, I am weaning myself off of publishers who I think are not worth dealing with.

On several occasions I have dealt with Firefly Books in Canada. This company buys a lot of photos from freelance photographers and stock photo agencies especially for their line of calendars. If you plan to deal with Firefly be warned that getting paid may be more difficult than anticipated. In my experience, not only is Firefly extremely tardy in making payments (way beyond that described above), I could only get paid after threatening legal action (on more than one occasion). Other photographers I have talked to have had similar experiences so I am not alone on this one.

Maybe someone out there has had great experiences with Firefly and would love to present another view. But for me, this is one company I will no longer sell photos to. The hassles of dealing with any company that is truant is just not worth including in my business model. Firefly has been banned from my list of potential clients. I now only deal with ‘reliable’ publishers and though I make less sales, I am happier and less stressed, and running my business by my rules, not someone else’s.

Update – Feb 9 – Here is a note from a photographer who shall remain anonymous about working with Browntrout, one of the major calendar publishing companies:

“I submitted 2010 images to Browntrout in July 08; calendars on stand on June 09 for Tourist season; re-printed and out with a vengeance for Christmas season in Nov 09. Contract states “will commence payment in March of year following publication (March 2010). Typically I start screaming at them in Sept of payment year and usually see cheque in early Dec (2010 in this case). So, what’s that … 2.5 years! 

To add insult to injury three years ago they said digital files only (no increase in fees for saving them scan costs); two years ago the files had to be profiled CMYK to their colour space, and this year they had to be keyworded to their specs. Oh ya, they also wanted contributors to agree to a 20% decrease citing global economic difficulties.  Mmm – I guess we photographers are immune!”