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How to write an article for TDL magazine

Deputy Editor Kirsty has written this guide to help you both when thinking about what to send us for your article proposals and also when writing your final article if your idea is accepted for publication...

You might be feeling a little daunted about actually writing something about your work. After all, we are photographers, we deal in the visual and many of us can find the act of writing difficult.

Tianna J Williams' article about her maternity work.

So I have come up with a few handy tips to help you put your article together.

Firstly - don't panic! Before I became a photographer, I spent 15 years working as a journalist and editor on the local and national press. Finding stories, writing articles and moulding other writer's words to fit and flow beautifully on a page was LITERALLY what I did, every single day.

So whether you are an experienced writer or this is your first time putting an article together, I want to reassure you that you are in safe hands.

1. What is the focus of your article? Get your original pitch out and put it somewhere you can see it so you can remind yourself exactly what you are writing about. Refer to it every so often to make sure you are keeping on topic.

2. DON'T start with a quote - Aristotle, Henri Cartier-Bresson and (my personal favourite) Anonymous, may have had lots of wonderful things to say about photography, but we didn't ask them to appear in our magazine, we want to be inspired by YOU.

DO think about what inspires you, what you love most about your work, what makes you pick up your camera to create? Speak from the heart.

Here are some of my favourite intros from our editions to help inspire you:

"If I could eat sunbeams for breakfast everyday, I would. I love natural light, both indoor and out. I love the adrenalin of the unknown power of it, and the magic it brings. I love how it forces me to constantly create and adapt."

Lisa Rogers: Illuminating Your Photoshoots

"I have a dark side, spawned from the gruesome fairy tales we were told as children."

Martina Jefferson: Giving In To My Dark Side

"We changed our plans a hundred times. Checked for updates a million more. We strategised contingency after contingency. You see, you can't just drive from India to the UK without passing through China or Iran, and we were 9 months into a trip trying to do just that!"

Kirsty Larmour: This Interrupted Life

"It's 4am and I am about to meet you. I have been waiting to see you, but even more, to hear your first cry."

Anca Civet: Metamorphosis of Motherhood

3. The structure of your article is going to depend on what you are writing about. I always find it helpful to try and ask myself some questions when I am writing an article, what do people want to know about my work?

Are you writing a 'How to' article? Or are you telling us about a personal project? Take us step by step through your process in a logical or chronological order. What inspires you? How do you come up with your ideas? How do you execute them? What gear do you use? What settings are you dialling in? What is the best advice you can give for someone who wants to try this for themselves?

Prioritise the most important information. Try to sum up what you want to say in a few main headings or points and then go back and expand on these for your article.

4. Word Count: Getting a balance between showing off your beautiful photographs and your words is of utmost importance to us.

A single page article is usually going to be around 350 words. A double page spread may be up to 800 words. So we ask for you to try and keep to 400/450 words for a single page article, and to send us no more than 1000 words for a double page. It's my job to fit your words and pictures on to the page. Once I have your article in my hands, I'll edit it to fit the page and contact you if I need any further information or clarification.

Amy Ryan's article about looking for shadows.

5. Still stuck? Contact me and we can have a chat about what you want to say and how to get it down on paper.

Good luck! We can't wait to read all of your amazing articles and projects!

See more info about what to submit and guidelines on re-sizing here.

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