Logging In
Invalid username or password.
Incorrect Login. Please try again.

not a member?

Signing up could earn you gear and it helps to keep offensive content off of our site.

January 27, 2012

Photo Guidelines and Policies

Guidelines and suggestions for photography contributions to Sport Fishing

Suggestions for Contributors

Don't Send Us Fuzzy Shots!
Instead, give us photos that are, by any measure, ''tack sharp.'' Every day we see otherwise great shots precluded from use by being too ''soft.'' There's just not much point in sending any images that are not sharp  —  check them yourself with an 8X loupe (and with as critical an eye as possible!).

Avoid Inanimate "Grin & Grab" Shots
Send us images of people animated as they hold fresh (preferably lively) but not bloody fish. Counteract the dreaded Zombie Stare Syndrome. Have subject interacting with someone else if available. (Have 'em hold fish together and look at/talk to each other — while forgetting the camera even exists; suggest one tell the other a joke or ''explain'' about the fish — anything to get subject loose, happy, natural.) If subject alone, suggest interaction with the fish — hook removal, lifting from deck, even admiring it (looking at it, not you). Avoid dead fish in such photos — take 'em quick when the fish is in the boat and lively, before it's clubbed or languishes to a pale, glassy-eyed state of rigor mortis. Finally, do try to keep the angler's tackle in the shot!

Watch Out for Shots of Big Fish Held Vertically Before Release (as on deck with a Boga Grip)

Recent research has indicated that doing this may damage the vertebrae of big fish (e.g. tarpon, snook, redfish, salmon); better if you can have anglers holding such fish horizontally  —  or of course still mostly in the water.

Avoid Kill Shots of Billfish and Bluewater Sharks!
DO Send us exciting, in-focus shots of leaping, tailwalking, greyhounding fish or fish being wired for tagging or being released or admired at the boat. But skip the traditional dead stuff — hanging at the dock, draped over the transom, bleeding on deck — or anything with a gaff in it. ''Kill'' shots of other, food fish okay if — you should pardon the expression — tasteful. But that doesn't include piles of fish on deck or dock — sport, not carnage, is what we're after. Gaffs are not unacceptable, but generally not particularly desirable, either.

Avoid Bloody Shots of Fish at/in the Boat

Shoot alive and lively fish but dip 'em or wipe 'em (or shoot the ''clean'' side) if dripping blood.

Think Boats
Surveys show our national/international affluent readership owns and fishes from boats. Accordingly, we rarely have much interest in photos of fishing from piers, surf, jetties, etc.

Avoid Shadow-Darkened Shots
Give us shots liberal with use of fill flash under high sun or backlit conditions; try to avoid faces black from shadows of fishing caps.

Don't Limit Submissions to Fish/Fishing Alone
Have an eye to all things related to fish/fishing, viz: rigging, technique (gear/action), baits, lures, equipment, diving birds, weather, water (color/rips/ weedlines), feeding schools, schools of baitfish (and catching them), other boats fishing/ running, Bimini starts, etc, etc. Also, don't hesitate to photograph any/all nearshore/offshore species, gamefish or others, including those that are unusual.

Sport Fishing covers emphasize fish — fish leaping, underwater, at the surface, on a line out of the water and so on. That may include anglers interacting with fish — fighting fish, releasing or tagging fish and the like. Most saltwater gamefish may qualify. Focus must be laser-sharp to retain its quality when enlarged 1,200 percent. The dominant image must fill most of the frame to minimize amount of enlargement necessary e.g. a jumping fish that's a dot on the horizon won't make it). And of course there must be room at the top for the logo and along the left side (often shots may be flopped) for cover blurbs. See ''Cover Photo Tips'' below.

Other Suggestions
If shooting slides, stick with a high-quality low-grain film — such as Fujichrome or Provia 100 (Velvia 50 for nonaction shots in bright light) or Kodachrome-64 and Lumiere; Shutter speeds for moving fish should be at least 1/1000-second. Bracket a stop or two up/down when time permits and try for both horizontals and verticals. Compose to keep the fish as main focus of most shots and to avoid extraneous objects and background (or foreground) clutter in frame (also avoid clothing with nasty/racist/sexist inferences). If shooting digitally, certainly use the highest possible setting, including RAW if possible (as discussed above).

Packaging Submissions

Make sure that every slide has — at the very least! — your name on it. Otherwise, return can't be guaranteed. Words of description (area, species, etc.) written right on the slide can be of great help.

If sending slides/other images in one package targeting two or more articles, please places slides in a separate sheet (or sheets) for each different article and mark the sheet accordingly.

Brief captions written on each image are helpful; if no information is written on images, a sheet of captions is essential - and, in any event, always welcome/useful. (However: please make sure your slides are numbered to match your caption sheet. Too many photographers offer a numbered caption sheet to match the order of slides in the sheets but in use, inevitably some slides get pulled, shuffled around (often weeks later) and then the caption sheet offers little sure insight.

If sending digital images via CD, again, please include JPGS for review along with RAW files plus a color hardcopy printout of thumbnails.

Make sure you have on file with Sport Fishing a current contract or our accounting department will not issue payment. (If you need to be contacted, contact managing editor Stephanie Pancratz,

Payment will be issued to the first name on the slide (stock agency or photographer) or CD unless other payment arrangements are specified .

If any of the images submitted have appeared (or will appear) in any potentially competing publication, please make that clear. (This doesn't necessarily preclude us from choosing it, but it's good to know.)