Canadian Geographic Photo Club - How does a photographer get published in Canadian Geographic?

How does a photographer get published in Canadian Geographic?


This image by Patrice Halley is exemplary of the type of photography that Canadian Geographic accepts. The angle illustrates the various layers of the landscape and captures the full depth and scale of the valley. The image is sharp allowing for small details such as the trees and rock crevices to stand out. The lighting also adds a certain ambiance, as small shadows are cast from the treetops. All these elements combined create a visually appealing photograph.
For aspiring photographers, getting published in a well-known magazine is the first step toward building a successful career. Canadian Geographic publishes the work of many seasoned photographers and some up-and-comers, both of whom submit a strong body of work along with their ideas and proposals.

A freelance photographer's work can make it into the magazine in a few ways.

An interesting pitch, with a strong portfolio and experience to back it up, is a great way for new photographers to get their work published. A photographer can pitch any idea to CG, bearing in mind the types of stories and photos we print.

Freelance photographers can also get published by sending CG an already completed body of work for review.

These image submissions also must be in-line with what the publication's style and subject matter and must follow strict file format requirements. High-quality, high-resolution JPEG is the accepted image format for CG.

Even if the pitch or completed work is compelling enough to make it in the magazine, CG always looks very closely at a photographer's portfolio.

"The very first thing we look at is their portfolio, their work and ability," says CG photo assistant Kathy Frankiewicz.

Portfolios are critical in determining whether a photographer is right for CG. There are qualities Frankiewicz and CG creative director Suzanne Morin look for in a portfolio:

  • Talent: A photographer's natural ability and eye

  • Composition: The structure of the photos and the combination of artistic elements

  • Imagination: How the photographer uses his/her surroundings

  • Esthetics: The overall appeal of the photos

  • Technical quality of the photos: The sharpness, contrast, exposure, noise, etc. of the photos

  • Photographer's personal approach: How the photographer decides to take their photos

  • Over manipulation: CG does not accept images that have drastic changes in colour and contrast and any manipulation of content

  • Photographer's range: The types of photos a photographer takes (i.e. portraits, wildlife, wide range, specific niche etc.)

After considering the portfolio, Frankiewicz and Morin look at a photographer's experience. Whether the person has shot for other magazines and what type of work they have done play a role in CG's decision.

However, "this doesn't mean there isn't room for new talent," Frankiewicz says, "but, experience is something we pay attention to."

Experience combined with imagination, resourcefulness and reliability are important qualities for a photographer to possess, especially for assignment work, another way to get published in CG.

Since there are so many variables when shooting for an assignment, like the weather and travel delays, "the more experience you have, then the more able you are to deal with those things," says Frankiewicz.

Once we are familiar with a photographer, their work, skills and experience, CG might assign the person to shoot a specific subject or story related to their niche and skill set.

A great portfolio, experience and the skills that come with it are what CG looks for when deciding to publish a photographer's work. Still, fresh faces with new experiences and portfolios are always welcome at the magazine.

"We're always on the lookout for new people and new talent," says Frankiewicz.

By Michela Rosano


1 comment

RyanGajsek posted 2015-02-06 2:14am

Just curious how a photo with what looks like chromatic aberrations gets into your magazine. Page 56 and 57 of the Best Wildlife 2015 edition. It doesn't seem to be a printing error or the halos would be around the whole subject.


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