Anastasia Stanmeyer Talks of Berkshire Magazine

Anastasia Stanmeyer officially did the funniest political post of the day:

Listened to Trump’s speech to the UN General Assembly today. Leave it to him to totally ruin a song for me. #RocketMan

— Anastasia Stanmeyer (@AnaStanmeyer) September 19, 2017


Not only that, but she was our keynote speaker at our First Club Meeting. She made suggestions about possible opportunities to photograph volunteers in the Berkshires (see article linked in the previous sentence). What’s more, she also talked about what she looks for in photos in Berkshire Magazine. If anyone reading this doesn’t already know, she’s the editor of the magazine. That means her opinion about the photos getting into the magazine is perhaps the most important opinion.
Some of what follows is from her. A lot has been extrapolated from what she said. Plenty came out of my head, though I’m not entirely where it came from, but I felt was relevant enough to include:
  1. She prefers not having to crop images, unless she has to in order to make the contents of an article fit. The photographer should decide what belongs in the picture.
  2. She tries to find unusual images that stand out. This includes how you’ve cropped the image, your vantage point, focusing on details someone else may have overlooked, etc…
  3. She showed us some images that have been in recent issues, then showed us dozens of outtakes to those same shots. Dozens of near misses, just to get that one shot that works best. If you think you’ve already got your shot, keep shooting.
  4. She provided samples of recent Berkshire Magazine issues. Looking at what’s been accepted can give you an idea of what styles are common and what may be accepted in the future.
  5. A good example she gave was Megan Haley. Megan is a photographer who contributes to Berkshire Magazine. Follow the link to see examples of the quality and variety in her gallery.
  6. You are actually encouraged to come up with story ideas to go along with your photos. You don’t have to, but photos are more likely to be published when there’s a good story to go along with them. Berkshire Magazine has lots of photographs in it, but it is not a photography magazine. Stories and themes are important.
  7. Provide plenty of photos for them to choose from, but not too many. Be an editor of your own work before you send it to the editor. If you’re photographing a story for the magazine and offer 50 or so pictures for her to select from, that’s good. If you offer 200, not so good. It’s too much work and too many images to have to filter through. An editor’s time is valuable. While submitting images, ask yourself whether you would want a specific image in the magazine. If you wouldn’t want it in, chances are you’re right. (Side note: Don’t be discouraged into not submitting because you don’t think it’ll be accepted. If you would want it to be in, take the chance.
  8. Once a photographer’s image has been published, he/she can submit it to other magazines or other media outlets as they see fit. You’re not limited to only having it appear in only Berkshire Magazine.
  9. The winners of our competition Volunteering and Giving in the Berkshires will be in the magazine and gain you some exposure as part of the competition. Don’t think that’s the only opportunity you have to be in the magazine though. Photographer’s are free to submit anytime they choose and by getting your foot in the door with the competition, it makes your name easier to remember in the future.
  10. Say you want the cover. It’s a long shot, I know, but let’s be optimistic here. You’d want to shoot vertical/portrait style, wouldn’t you? After all, the magazine is vertical. The magazine also does two-page spreads, clusters of smaller images that fit a theme or tell a story, etc… Lots of bright interior shots and stills, usually with only soft shadows. If submitting directly to the magazine, submit in a way that fits with common themes and formats to increase your chances.
October 3rd
Remember the date. It’s an important one. Not only is it the date to submit your “Volunteering and Giving in the Berkshires” photos for first competition of the year (6:45pm is the deadline for both prints and digital), but it is also the date to bring in prints you’d like to put on display in our Showcase Space in the museum! For details on that, in case you missed the first meeting, go HERE.

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