Pitching to a Photo Editor


What would be the correct way to pitch to a Photo Editor?

Answer by: Smita Sharma, Photojournalist and Documentary Photographer

Pitching to a Photo Editor, in the correct manner, is extremely important to ensure that your work is considered seriously. A pitch provides a gist of the work that you intend to publish. Before pitching, you need to understand that the job of a Photo Editor is extremely intense and demanding. Editors receive hundreds of emails every day, and it might not be possible for them to acknowledge all of them, except those that are relevant.

Therefore, in the subject line, and in a few words, write about what your project deals with… An example being, Illegal Coal Mining, Odisha, India. One has to remember that your pitch should not look like an essay with numerous photographs attached. I am saying this because I often receive heavy emails from emerging photographers. This is extremely unprofessional and a big no.

So how can you pitch the right way? The goal of pitching is to catch the attention of the editor. Before sending your concept, do adequate research about the publication, and see if your work is of interest to them. A sports project might not appeal to a fashion magazine, unless there is something relevant that might interest them. After that, write a synopsis of your story in three to four crisp sentences, and send your images as a link, such as Dropbox or WeTransfer. Don’t attach the images in the email. Most editors will not open it. Apply sound judgment and brevity in your pitch, and keep it honest.

A sincere proposition will surely stand out, and has a much greater chance of catching the editor’s attention. In the end, thank them. I have seen many youngsters who forget to show gratitude, which is rude. Remember, communication and respect is key in such matters, and goes far in establishing long-standing relationships with editors.