In today’s interview we talk to Debbi Allen, the editor-in-chief of new photography title Photography for Beginners. Imagine Publishing launched the title on the 30 June 2011 as a replacement for Digital Camera Essentials. Debbi tells us about the target readership, what the magazine will be covering, how she wants PRs and freelance journalists to help, and more.
About Photography for Beginners:
Who are the target audience?
New photographers who shoot with a cameraphone, compact camera, compact system camera or beginner DSLR. Our readers embrace the new ways we all take, edit and share photos – so there’s lots of social networking advice, editing tutorials and practical shooting advice.
What subjects do you cover? What stories are you most interested in covering?
We cover every facet of shooting, editing and sharing images for beginners. From shooting better landscape to learning how to use your built-in flash, using layers in Photoshop or creating a digital postcard in iPhoto, sharing images via Twitter or printing them out. We also review some cameras and accessories every month.
What makes you different from the other outlets in your sector?
There are currently no other titles that fully embrace the beginner photographer, and the tech-savvy. We love iPads, smartphones, compact system cameras and Photoshop.
How do you decide the content, front covers and headlines?
We run lots of polls on our Facebook, Twitter and websites to see what everyone is shooting that month.
Do you produce a features list?
Yes we do, and PRs can feel free to contact me for this.
Do you use freelance contributions, and if so, are they for any particular section/type of work?
We do – and we welcome new freelancers and ideas for every section of the magazine.
About you and freelance journalists:
Do you like freelance journalists to get in touch with you directly to pitch ideas? And if so, how?
They can email me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org and should include their name, contact details, examples of their photographic and written work (or links to them) and a short synopsis of the feature they are pitching.
Name the three most important attributes that make a freelance journalist stand out for you and would make you use them again.
Reliability – deadlines are there for a reason! Quality of work, both written and photographic. A friendly demeanor.
Do you work closely with PRs or do you keep them at arm’s length?
We work very closely with PRs and many of them contributed ideas for our first issue of Photography for Beginners – thank you!
If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
The PRs I deal with are all very good.
How should a PR approach you about their client?
Phone calls or emails are great, and nothing beats a face to face meeting.
What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
Images with press releases are a must.
When is the best time for PRs to contact you & what is your deadline for contributions?
We are a four-weekly magazine, so deadlines change every issue. It’s best to contact me for lead times and deadlines.
Describe a typical day at work:
Every day is different – and that’s what I love. With Photography for Beginners launching, a lot of my time was on photoshoots and writing features. There’s also commissioning, flatplanning, checking workflow and submissions, updating the website and social networking sites, team meetings and helping out if needed on our other photo title, Digital Photographer.
What interests you most about your job?
The photo industry is really friendly, the teams I work with are talented and no day is ever the same.
Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
I’ve worked for Imagine Publishing for five years, starting on Advanced Photoshop as Editor and then moving to Digital Photographer, eventually progressing to Editor in Chief of the photo titles.
Do you Twitter?
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