Selling photos to the press…

If you are selling your story to press, it might involve selling photos to go with your story… here we answer all your questions.

Selling photos to the press
Photos are key to selling a story

Why are photos important?

Imagine buying a newspaper or magazine and seeing in it only writing? Imagine there is no TV and only radio? Many editors believe photos can be MORE important than the copy – because good photos illustrate a story. And whether journalists like it or not, many readers will just look at the headline of a story and then the photos…

Do you always ask for photos when selling and marketing a story to newspapers and magazines?

Yes. We always ask you to email us some photos of yourself and any other photos that might be relevant to your story. So, for example, if your story is about you having a baby, we would ask for recent snaps of you with your baby along with ones of you when you were pregnant – and you with your partner. This is because we know a lovely photo of the person behind the story will make editors keener to buy it. Excellent photos can also transform a borderline story into a fantastic one.

Is it possible to sell a story without photos?

Unless you are going to sell your story anonymously (and there is vitually no market for anonymous stories) when selling your story you will need to be available to be photographed. To ensure the highest price, you also need to provide snaps from your own album. For example, if you are selling a love rat story, publications will expect to see old photos of you with your ex in happier times. With weightloss stories editors will want to see old ‘fat’ pictures of you – and new ones of the slimmer you now – before they make an offer.

What happens if I have ripped up all my old photos?

In some circumstances it can still be possible to sell your story. Magazines and newspapers also often take their own photos of you to go with stories. However, some mags only use reader’s own photos so that rules them out buying your story. And unfortunately we have come across cases where someone has had a great story to sell but no good photos to go with it and because of that their story is unsaleable.

Should I send photos out when I am trying to sell a story?

No, only send photos out to an agent once they have expressed an interest. We cannot speak for other agents, sell story websites or publications you contact directly. But at National Story when you initially email your photos these are only ever used for marketing purposes. We then require your written permission to actually sell your photos for publication each and every time your story is sold – and you only give that permission if we find you deals you are happy with.

Who owns my personal photos when they appear in a newspaper?

If you sell your story through National Story, you always own your photos and it is our policy to never sell them on without your written consent.

What about photos taken by the newspaper or magazine themselves?

When you go through National Story we arrange that any photos taken by newspapers or magazines of you cannot be sold on without our consent and most importantly your consent – as above.

Can I just sell a photo?

Of course. Sometimes the story is the photo. We are able to sell your photo or photos worldwide. Read more about how to sell a photo or video footage here: Sell My Photo

To find out if you have a story to sell, and for free advice: Contact Us