Have you ever thought about sending your photos in to a newspaper or magazine?
Often photos on their own can make a story, and while it’s usually professional photographers who are commissioned by news outlets, they do publish images from the public too.
So if you have a breathtaking image, or a photo that is taking off on social media, there’s the potential that the press could use it too.
In this podcast I’m chatting to Vasi Siedman from Pet Pix Academy in Florida who has had her photos published in HUGE publications like the New York Times.
She’s sharing how she went about it and has come tips on how to capture awesome images of your dog at Christmas and all year round too.
You can listen in on the player link below or carry on reading the key topics covered as a blog post.
Hi Vasi, can you tell me about you and what you do?
I’m originally from Bulgaria but I live in Florida now. I’m a photographer and I teach people all over the world how to take pictures.
All my pet pictures are taken on my iPhone 11, 90% of everything I teach is how to take photos on your iphone, it’s simple and easy. There’s lots of editing you can do.
Where have your photographs been featured?
One of my biggest accomplishments was in the New York Times with some photographs I took of a client.
I’ve also had my photographs featured in Dogster magazine with some festive photographs of dogs. In the UK my photographs have been in Take A Break magazine and the Puppy Post.
Have any publications featured you as a photographer?
Yes, the Puppy Post featured me which was brilliant with a lovely article about my business.
I always make sure I have every article I’ve been featured in my mastheads on the website and I link to them too.
What has been the impact of the coverage on your business?
It has worked miracles for my business. My Instagram following has grown and my podcast listeners.
You can tell that people are impressed with the places that my photos have been featured.
It also meant that I’m able to raise money for rescue organisations because I’m reaching a larger audience.
Tell me more about your fundraising…
I’m helping the Benji Strong Foundation raise money for pets who have cancer.
The money raised goes toward helping the owners pay for the correct diet, medication and anything else they might need.
I’m currently running an auction where people can come and get pet pictures, and we are doing something very special and bringing awareness to their amazing work.
What would your advice be to pet businesses who don’t know if press coverage is worth the time and effort?
I would say it’s the best thing that you can do! It’s invested time that pays back.
If you want to succeed in your business you have to take the time to schedule it in and make sure you do it.
What are your Christmas plans?
I will be at home in my pyjamas opening gifts with my daughter and watching TV with my family.
We will Facetime my mother and father who are in Bulgaria.
Christmas is a busy time but every day is a new opportunity to take photos and make memories and maybe even write a little story and submit it for publication.
What’s the harm in trying?
Vasi’s festive photography tips:
- If you’re taking days on the day of the holiday make sure to do it as early as possible when everyone looks their best.
- Choose a good location. I like to use the Christmas tree. I’ll take the tripod and put my phone on selfie mode so that I can see where everyone is standing – we get the dogs in and the whole family.
- Use the timer on your phone, put it on for 10 seconds to give you enough time to get into position.
- Take a few pictures – get some of them looking at the camera, one of them where everyone is hugging and laughing or if you use a remote control for your tripod this way you can hold it and try to record a 30 second video so you can screenshot from the video.
- You could convert the picture to black and white to make it more interesting, and use a photo editing app like Canva to make it even more festive!
- Before you start editing, check the brightness of your phone.
Vasi’s general photography tips
- Always ensure you have good lighting and try to use natural light, so by a window or outdoors.
- Make sure you wipe your phone or camera from both sides before taking pictures and get rid of grubby fingerprints.
- Try to think what message you want, so if it’s winter use snow, if you’re shooting outside the best time of day is about an hour and a half or two hours before sunset – this is known as golden hour as it has the nicest light. The morning is nice but try to avoid midday if there’s very bright sun.
- If you’re shooting inside try to go to the largest window but be wary of your background, it might be best to use a backdrop which could be a blanket or your branded banner.
- Avoid cables or distractions in the backgroun
- Use a flashlight to avoid heavy shadows.
- Make sure there is some room around the photo so that the publication or whoever is using it can decide if they want to cut it to vertical or horizontal.
Want to find out more about Vasi?
Visit her website: www.petpixacademy.com
Vasi also has her own podcast here: www.petpixacademy.com/podcasts/petpix-academy-with-vasi-siedman
And follow her on Instagram at www.instagram.com/petpixacademy
If you found this post helpful and want to learn more about photography, you might enjoy How to use tricks to improve your pics with Liz Gregg or How to take part in National Dog Photography Day with Kerry Jordan