Now the cycle begins again
Last Thursday I stopped in at a book store and found a camera magazine that I had been waiting for on the shelf, the February issue of Nihon Kamera （日本カメラ）. In it were eight pages of my New Zealand landscape photographs. They looked great. I knew the photos would be in an upcoming issue but I didn’t know when exactly. I had submitted them back in June of 2009, and in November I had called the magazine to ask if anything was happening with my photos. They told me at the time that they liked the photos but hadn’t made any decision yet. They would contact me before the year was over.
It was just days before I left for my two-week winter holidays that I received a call and a PFD file by email explaining what photos they would use and what information they needed. I stayed up until 2 in the morning that night preparing all the captions and explanations in Japanese, and emailed the info to them the next day.
Then I heard nothing from them.
But at last, the magazine was published and I can see my photos in print again. I am especially pleased because six of the eight photographs were taken in 4×5 format. That is, I took the photos with one of those old style type cameras (though mine is new) with the bellows and the cloth you need to stand under in order to view the scene and focus it.
Now, before this recent excitement dies down, I find myself already thinking about the next submissions. I have two that are nearly ready and some that need time to be prepared. It takes many weeks to select the images to go with the idea, and to write out the idea and check it over a few times if it’s in English, or to study and prepare the text in Japanese and then ask someone to check it over for me. Photo and article submissions to magazines don’t get prepared quickly, and the time to wait for a response can be anywhere from a few days to over a year. The norm is several months. However, since I now support my family with my teaching job, I have to earn money from writing and photography in order to continue photographing. This has forced me to stop being lazy, to keep brainstorming new ideas and getting submissions in the pipeline, thus the increase in success I have had since my wife stopped working to be a full-time mother.
I also have my stock agency from which I can earn money through the publication of my photographs, but I don’t make much from them and I haven’t sent them any new material for two years now. So one of my big projects is to complete a selection of photographs from 2008/09 to bring down to them, as well as to start preparing this year’s articles and portfolios.