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05-08-2011
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If you ask a photographer (or anyone, at that matter) to contribute to your magazine, is it generally expected that the photoshoot will absolutely be published in the magazine? Or is it understood that it's still up to the editor to make the final decision?

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05-08-2011
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It depends on how you arrange it.

If you ask for "submissions" then there is no guarantee. That means that any photographer is welcome to send in editorials that are already completed and you will pick only those that interest you. But that also ties the hands of the photographer somewhat, because he probably won't be able to get good clothes/fashions for the shoot and may not get good agency models either, because he doesn't have a guarantee that you will even use his editorial at all.

However if you "commission" a photographer ... you pretty much guarantee you'll run something for that particular photograher in a particular issue. You, as editor, will still get to pick the shots that will be used and order specific photoshopping. You will also provide the photographer with a "pull letter" in advance which states that you will credit the designer if shots of their clothes are used and that you will be financially responsible for any loss or damage. Then the stylist can shop around and see which designers would be interested in lending clothes for your magazine's editorial. She'll be able to get something on loan ... probably from several designers.

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06-08-2011
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^Oh ok, so that's all that a commission means, giving them a pull letter for clothes? I thought it meant the magazine would cover expenses as well.

Our situation is kind of weird, because we're shooting our own editorials and beauty stories, but the owner/editor told me she won't publish the shoots if she doesn't like it. And she rejected the last shoot we did, yet she won't tell me what it is she wants, beyond which models to use, or even show me an example or come to the shoot. Is this normal?? I can see her side, but I also don't feel comfortable asking people to work with us when everything seems so up in the air -- especially since these are people I work with on my own tests.

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07-08-2011
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Hey, this isn't really normal, it actually sounds pretty unreasonable.
If you are putting the whole thing together and asking favours of your team with only the hope that it will be published, the least the editor can do is give you a mood-board or some kind of instruction of the visuals he/she likes- soft, moody, strong, dynamic, textured, clean... you aren't a mind-reader or a work-horse!
Of course you are in a position where you want to have your work published and I don't know the full situation but in these circumstances what usually happens is there is a pitch and a collaborative discussion between the editor or director and the team working on the story.
Maybe just ask for a simple mood-board, or even send him/her a mood-board of your own that you have for the story you want to create, and see where that gets you?
Good luck
PS your mood-board could be as simple as three or four inspiration pics that give a good idea of the lighting, style or mood of what you want to shoot (ie if it is studio or outdoors, natural or stylized, etc)

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07-08-2011
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Good idea ... she will probably want to see your ideas before you shoot them. Would certainly save your team a lot of time ... I don't see why she would not respond to that.

But also ... consider the published editorials in her magazine as her mood board ... so you can get an idea about what she likes. Each magazine has a look and a style that you can disect.

If you look at any Vogue editiorial and any Nylon editorial ... you will notice a vast difference between them. Vogue is often high end couture clothes, runway models, with fancy studio shots or exotic location shots, lot's of fancy lighting ... making the models look beautiful and rich. Whereas Nylon uses younger looking, edgy models, funky, weird combinations of clothes, and the locations are more akin to street scenes, run down apartments, garages, alleys, the lighting is often only one sharp point with deep shadows ... it all speaks to countercoulture, rebellion, rock 'n roll and youth.

So analyze her "style" for her magazine and try to emulate that.

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Last edited by BetteT; 07-08-2011 at 05:57 PM.
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07-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimberwyn View Post
^Oh ok, so that's all that a commission means, giving them a pull letter for clothes? I thought it meant the magazine would cover expenses as well.
That's not all "commisioned" means .. it can certainly mean they are covering expseses (or not) or paying the crew (or not). But if you are commissioned to do a shoot, that means that she basically has hired your team to do a specific shoot for a specific edition ... under contract. So, they are willing, at that point, to issue a pull letter.

You are just submitting stories ... and that is a long shot, when you do that ... as I see you have already found out. Magazines that accept submissions accept them from everybody (usually) so they don't take time to explain what they want. They just use the best that come in ... so it's a competition between all the teams that are submitting.

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07-08-2011
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@Fiancee I work for the magazine; I'm their "fashion director" (I put together all the content but the owner has the final say on everything). That's what I'll probably do is create a mood board or just show her example pictures of what I'm planning, but last time I showed examples and explained what I was doing, yet no one expressed problems they had with the model/etc., until after the shoot was already done.

@BetteT This is our very first issue, and none of us really have any experience at it, and I'm the only one who has taken time to research -- for example, I had to explain what a masthead is, and the difference between advertisements and editorial content. And generally when I explain how things work (mostly what I've learned here) they don't believe me and want to try to cut corners, like asking designers to pay shipping for gowns both ways.

She has shown me what magazines she likes though, so I do have that detail to work off of.

Oh and for this project I'm not submitting to the magazine, I'm on staff. I am planning to submit to magazines on my own time though, which is why I asked about commissioning But, say if I do get a pull slip from a magazine, do they normally cover any shipping costs involved with getting garments in?

Thanks for both of your help and input, as always!

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08-08-2011
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Oh OK now I see better the situation. I think it is a sign of the owner not really knowing what she wants or lacking a bit of experience (which is normal if you are all starting out) but it's not really fair to you. It's pretty frustrating actually!

As BetteT said, a good way to get an idea of what she likes is to see previous issues of her magazine, but if this is a first issue it makes it hard. I really do recommend mood-boards! Even if it is a Tumblr, which is what I've used in the past, or now there is http://pinterest.com/ which is like a virtual pin-board.

Communicating direction and ideas ahead of time is really the best way to avoid bumps in the road later on. Maybe having her on-set is good too, to ensure that if she sees something she doesnt like she can step in right away and get rid of it, rather than waiting til it is all finished and chopping the entire series.

As for shipping costs, in my experience it is split, the designer or rep for the brand will pay to have it sent to you, and the stylist or fashion director will arrange for it to be sent back (retain your receipts and claim these from the owner). The basic costs should always fall on the owner, it is her operation and ultimately if this magazine makes it big and she is raking in money, you can be sure it is going to her pocket first. That's the good and bad part of being an owner

Hope this helps

Side note- if your budget is tight (and it's a first issue so I'm guessing it is!) then consider trying to borrow garments as locally as possible. Shipping is expensive! If you can pick up and drop off what you borrow easily you are saving yourself lots of money in the long-run!

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08-08-2011
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Ah ... as a staff member ... she definitely should be colaborating with you and the photographer in advance so that you both have direction about what she wants to do and what she expects from both of you. But, as a staffer, it's your job to figure it out too ... and deliver what she wants. If you are not on the same page then it won't work.

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09-08-2011
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It's very frustrating! Because they want me to produce this ultra luxury publication for them on a budget of $0.

@Fiancee - borrowing locally is what we're planning to do for the most part, but again it's tough because of the market we're in. There are only two main bridal stores and none of the big names are here, plus all the photographers locally borrow the same dresses all the time from these shops for their promos etc.

You guys both have great input, as always, thank you!

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10-08-2011
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You get what you pay for ......

You deserve to be paid ... but if not that, at least expenses paid.

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Last edited by BetteT; 10-08-2011 at 03:48 PM.
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10-08-2011
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^
I have worked in situations where contributors weren't paid- either because it was something that was starting out with no budget, or because it was a purely creative thing rather than something with a commercial purpose...
But in this case yes, I think you should at least have your expenses paid, and it seems a lot of responsibility is being put onto you.
Good luck

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28-11-2011
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How much a lead time should a photographer be given between taking the photos for a magazine and getting them back to us? Is it unreasonable tell the photographer that we want the entire set of pictures taken from a shoot within a couple of days after the shoot takes place? I'm thinking about giving them a time frame up front next time (not for editing and such, just to get the whole set) but I'm not sure what the rule of thumb is about approaching this and I dont want to piss them off...

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28-11-2011
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when i work with photographers (at my day job), we usually narrow down the photos on set (first cut), then they give us a drive with all the selects on it within a day...
then we have a schedule of when we have to get them final selects for retouching back (that's usually at least 2-3 weeks after the shoot)...

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28-11-2011
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No photographer will want to release and unedited and unretouched full size photos to anyone ... even a magazine.

But if they are not "tethered" to a computer so you can see them the day of the shoot (as Kimair said), they will give you a proof sheet ... smaller images all printed on a sheet ... or nowadays, more likely a CD with low resolution images .. to use for selecting the finals. Then, he will have to work on those images selected.

So, I think that about 3 days is reasonable for proofs. Probably the best way to talk to him about it is to just ask him what his turnaround time for proofs will be ... and negotiate from there, if you need them faster. Then get it in writing ....

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