Some years ago I came across a new Canadian outdoor photography magazine aptly named Outdoor Photography Canada (not to be confused with Outdoor Photography in the U.K.). I became a subscriber almost right away mostly because I wanted to stay in touch with what was going on in outdoor photography back home but also because I was hoping to find another place to submit material for publication.
My first two offerings were based on previously published articles. The editor responded the very next day to my initial inquiry and said that the ideas sounded good but they were looking for unpublished work, so if I could rewrite them from the top down they might have a chance. I also noticed that they had a regular profile department featuring the works of various professionals and serious amateurs. I sent off my own profile piece with a batch of my best Canadian landscape images.
By the end of 2008, the editor said he liked my work and was hoping to find a spot for it in the coming year. In the summer of 2009, when I pitched two more ideas his way, the editor said they sounded good and he was thinking that it would be best to introduce me to the magazine’s readers with a profile feature first, and then use my articles in the future. If I didn’t hear from him before October I should send him a message.
This sounded very exciting. I began paying more attention to the profile pieces and read carefully what kinds of questions the photographers were asked and how they answered.
In October I sent off two more articles and a cover letter reminding the editor of what he had written back in August. When he had received my submissions he sent me a message saying that he was thinking I would do nicely in an ex-pat piece. At first I was disappointed. That’s all my efforts would boil down to: an ex-pat piece? Announce to everyone that I was no longer living in Canada and basically write me off as a future contributor? But then I had to think about it again. It was still an opportunity to get my work in the magazine. Besides, the ex-pat idea might just be the angle he was thinking to use for me. That didn’t mean all my submissions would be returned unused.
So with the latest issue having arrived in my mailbox just last week, I am now thinking carefully again about what kinds of questions I might be asked and how I can respond concisely and concretely, all the while maintaining a sense of my easy-going and humble disposition. I am interviewing myself in preparation.
But who is to say if this idea will actually be realized in the pages of the magazine? Maybe I am just dreaming somewhat narcissistically of my time in the limelight. But I have discovered one thing – all this thinking about my views and ideas of photography has helped me understand things about myself as a struggling photographer more and it has inspired me with an idea or two for a future article submission, if not to OP Canada then to another magazine.