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Greetings photographers,

Please read through the information below to better acquaint yourself with Greatland Graphics and the photo submission process.

About Greatland Graphics

The Team

I’ve been a professional photographer specializing in Alaska subjects for the past three decades. I’ll be an advocate for you–my fellow photographers. My experience in design and business will hopefully underpin a promising future for this small company. The rest of the team includes two sales reps that go to bat promoting your work:

  • Patrick Endres, owner/editor
  • Robin Brandt: photographer and long-time sales representative for Greatland Graphics.
  • Amy Johnson: photographer and new sales rep. For the Interior and Arctic.

A Planet Conscious Approach

We are proud that 2019 marked the first year that our complete line of calendars and books were printed in North America using plant-based inks and paper sourced from trees harvested in accord with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Forest Stewardship Initiative (FSI) guidelines. Also, we are transitioning to plant-based, compostable plastic packaging wherever possible.

Alaska Friendly

When people buy from Greatland Graphics, they support Alaska’s artists and communities. In addition to paying more than $16,000 last year in photo licensing fees, I will be donating part of our profits to the following two nonprofits this year:

Style

Greatland Graphics has a strong focus on nature and natural history subjects. While people occasionally occur, they are typically small and contextually part of a larger nature scene. Alaska’s beauty–occasionally blended with Alaskana life–defines the content. Check out www.greatlandgraphics.com for our current product line.

Technical Aspects

  • Sharp, well-exposed images

  • Thoughtful and compelling composition

  • Balanced use of negative and positive space

  • Effective use of color

  • Appropriate lighting, both in direction and temperature,

  • Simplicity (consider what is not in the picture, especially for backgrounds)

  • Intentional use of depth of field and eye direction control

  • Unique perspective

Philosophical Aspects

  • Greatland Graphics only publishes the work of photographers that live in Alaska.

  • Real nature photos take precedence over contrived ones.

  • Wild animals take precedence over animals in rehab and conservation centers. We don’t publish hired animals or captive game farm animals.

  • Image Adjustments and Alterations:

    • I prefer photos that have received necessary photo development or adjustments p in a photo editing program like Lightroom. These adjustments include the standard suite of local or global adjustments like color balance, color temperature, exposure, contrast, luminance, shadows/highlights, etc.
    • Images altered beyond basic photo adjustments (as in things added or removed) in photoshop should be labeled as altered. Like a composite, for example. I’m not against doing this, and I appreciate creative art, but I believe the bulk of our buyers respect what the photographer went through to get a real picture. In part, they are buying a little bit of nature and a little bit of you and your effort.
    • HDR images executed well are acceptable; however, I find many HDR images “overdone,” and I’m not fond of that look. The more real they appear, the better. I often blend exposures to increase the dynamic range.
  • The cutesy and animals appearing human-like, or doing human-like things (anthropomorphism), is popular, sometimes humorous, and tend to sell well. They are not my personal favorite, but sometimes you need to follow the marketplace.

General Photo Selection Directives

  • A calendar picture that will be on the wall for a month needs to hold someone’s interest.

  • Most people want a splash of color to look at, especially in the winter months.

  • Be Alaska specific. Pictures that scream Alaska are obvious contenders.

  • Dramatic, only-in-Alaska aerials are great.

  • Commonly viewed wildlife has a broad appeal and makes it into the calendars more frequently. Think bears, moose, and otters—but please send me a diverse range of wildlife–the less often observed animals are also appreciated.

  • Scenes with alpenglow or golden hour light, combined with water, reflections, and mountains and wildlife, are always a powerful trifecta.

  • Avoid directly front-lit subjects, including landscapes; it creates a flat and uninteresting look.

  • Strong color and composition are essential for calendar images.

CLAP(P)

Photographer Nevada Wier offers an acronym helpful when judging a photo’s strength. CLAP(P) stands for Color, Light, Action, and Pattern (I added Perspective). Any image with two or three of these is compelling. All four/five is an award winner. And then, there are always exceptions to everything.

Calendar Titles

Alaska Wildlife and Wilderness Wall Calendar

  • 10 x 13 inches, horizontal format

  • 12 images: 6 wildlife, 6 landscape (usually)

  • Short photographer bio and biopic for selected photographers

  • $250 per image, $150 cover bonus

  • Content: Statewide subjects almost always includes bears and moose due to their universal appeal, at least one scene from Southeast Alaska, Denali, Aurora & Arctic. Big landscapes, unique wildlife. The cover for this title often includes wildlife, usually with compelling eye contact or emotive appeal.

Denali Wildlife and Wilderness Wall Calendar

  • 10 x 13 inches, horizontal format

  • 12 images: 6 wildlife, 6 landscape

  • $250 per photo, $150 cover bonus

  • Content: Exclusively Denali National Park & Preserve subjects: Grizzly bear, the mountain (Denali), moose, wolves, Dall sheep, caribou, and other resident wildlife. Wildlife juxtaposed against Denali is always a contender. Colorful flora, vibrant landscapes, a bonus if it includes the mountain, and usually one aurora image.

Aurora Calendar – Alaska’s Northern Lights Wall Calendar

  • 10 x 13 inches, horizontal format

  • 12 images

  • $250 per photo, $150 cover bonus

  • Content: Diverse Aurora images from across the entire state. More than any other, this subject requires good technical execution—colorful, well-composed, sharp-star, Aurora landscapes. The foreground is super important as it anchors the image in reality. Human elements are excellent but pure nature, and wilderness scenes are great too. In the 2021 edition, the grid sidebar will contain a brief description supplied by the photographer about capturing the photo—weather, time of day, temperature, etc.

Alaska Time Weekly Engagement Calendar

  • 6.5 x 9 inches, vertical but will use 50% horizontal

  • 54 images, 50/50 wildlife, and landscape.

  • $100 per inside image, $150 cover bonus, $60 back cover, $40 title page

  • Content: I’d like to see this calendar style transition to a slightly more artistic focus (in contrast to cuteness). Diverse subjects from across Alaska include a 50/50 split for wildlife and landscapes/nature in both vertical and horizontal. Think simple, strong, colorful, evocative. Quotes from naturalists and philosophers accompany the pages with horizontal images. Some consideration for holiday-themed images is appropriate if kept generic.

Greatland Greetings Notecards & Matted Notecards

  • 5 x 7 inches, horizontal and vertical

  • Statewide wildlife and landscapes

  • $200 per image for 7000 imprints. Reprint fee after that if renewed.

Approximately 40 greeting cards comprise our Greatland Greetings card line. 5×7 inch cards, blank inside, with natural history information on the back. This subject’s content differs slightly from a traditional, stand-alone nature scene because people buy a greeting message. A picture that says something—has an embedded message—tends to have more retail substance. We try to balance the card line by region and subject material diversity while keeping in mind the image’s power. Successful selling cards will be relicensed after the imprint runs out.

Submission Details

Submission Window:

  • April 1 – 30  (if you are away during this period, you may submit images earlier).

  • I’m thinking about these calendars all year long, and if you think you made a unique or special photograph, feel free to send it my way at any time during the year for a quick review.

Quantity:

  • Approximately 100 images across the product line. We pay from $15-20k per year in licensing fees.

Format:

  • Digital files only

File Type:

  • PREFERRED–RAW files converted to DNG:

    • If you make adjustments to a native RAW file in Lightroom–like a *.CR2 or *.NEF–those adjustments get saved to a companion (buddy file) .xmp file. If you convert the native RAW file to a DNG, those adjustments get embedded into the DNG itself. Embedding is preferred and removes the need to make sure your .xmp file always accompanies the RAW file. When I view your DNG file, I can see all of the adjustments you made.

    • For original RAW files (NEF, CR2, etc., not converted to a DNG), make sure the .xmp file accompanies the RAW file.

    • I prefer RAW files because it gives me the best chance to optimize the file appropriately for quality. Yes, .tifs and .jpegs can work and often are fine at smaller sizes but working from RAW is how I can be sure I’m making it the best I can.

  • Tiffs: if RAW files are unavailable.

    • 8 bit (not 16 bit)

    • Unsharpened (Sharpening is done relative to the output size and is, therefore, a final step just before publication. Trust me to do this)

    • Not Cropped (I may need to resize or work with more of the image, so knowing what is available is very helpful). If you want to show me your preferred crop, send a small jpeg of your preference. Of course, horizon line straightening crops are fine.

  • JPEGs: Only send jpegs if shot as an original jpeg. Please send the original jpeg with NO adjustments.

Include IPTC information

  • Description / Caption

  • Location

  • Credit: (example: Patrick J Endres) Please put your copyright attribute in the copyright IPTC field.

File Naming:

  • file naming protocol: first name-last name-your file name

  • examples:

    • John-doe-214578.dng (numbers ok)

    • John-doe-red-aurora.tif (words ok)

    • John-doe-brown-bear-172.dng (combo of number and words ok)

  • renaming can quickly be done in most programs like Lightroom.

Folder Structure:

  • Please put all images in one folder named: first name-last name-current year. For example:

    • patrick-endres-2020
  • Zip the folder (patrick-endres-2020.zip)
    • Mac: Right-click, or two-finger click and select Compress Folder
    • PC: Right-click and choose zip folder.
  • Do not make a folder called GreatlandGraphics.

Delivery of Files:

  • Option 1-Preferred) Drag and drop zipped folder at www.greatlandgraphics.com/upload. (made active during the submission window)

  • Option 2) Not everyone may have internet bandwidth sufficient for the delivery of large digital files. Mail USB thumb drive (no DVD or CD) to:

    • Greatland Graphics, 3875 Geist Rd, Ste E PMB 449, Fairbanks, AK, 99709.

Alaska Stock Photographers

  • I negotiated with Alaska Stock to pay you directly for the full amount of the license fee provided I let them know to track the usage history. If I chose one of your photos and Alaska Stock represents it, please let me know.

Publication Tips

I’ve had several hundred images published by Greatland Graphics over the years, so I’m familiar with the historical style that has defined these publications. Please indulge in sharing a few general photo submission tips that I’ve learned over the years as a stock photographer.

First of all, the foundation for any photographer wishing to get published requires work that reflects good composition, technical excellence, and well-targeted content per the publication. What follows is nothing new for you veterans, but some may find the tips helpful in boosting your publication success rate.

  • Study each publication (historically) for style and subject material and select your images accordingly.

  • Know the consumer/audience. For example, Alaska Geographic represents Alaska’s Public Lands, and they are a large Greatland Graphics customer. So including scenes from Alaska’s National Parks and Public lands has intrinsic value. If two great moose photos are contenders, one taken in a National Park will likely have an edge in the selection process. Many of Greatland’s customers include local Alaskans, tourists, and Alaska lovers worldwide. While we have a faithful following of individuals, many who buy our products are tourists visiting the state.

  • Be conscious of location specifics and subject preferences. In general, I prefer academic honesty when presenting subject matter. However, an animal commonly observed in one location, although taken somewhere else, can still be a candidate as long as the environment feels consistent.

  • Consider seasonal diversity (for calendar submissions). Some color included with winter scenes is helpful. Spring and winter are often underrepresented.

  • Make sure your digital files are technically well prepared and of appropriate resolution for the reproduction size.

  • Do not crop too tightly (actually, I prefer uncropped photos). There are often design and format reasons that require a little extra room. Trust the editor to crop appropriately. If you want to crop to present a compositional idea, don’t overdo it.

  • It’s about quality, not quantity. Don’t submit redundant or repetitive content. Significant variations of a similar subject are ok. If you have 100 good images, send them. If you have ten good photos, don’t send 90 poor ones. Let the editor pick from your best stuff after you have done thoughtful preliminary editing.

  • Editors like easy access to the details of the photo. Fill in the IPTC information fields, including photo caption and description, location, and credit line information. All good photo management programs offer this feature. If yours does not, get one that does. I’m a big fan and a long-time user of Adobe Lightroom. Knowing how to use a DAM program (Digital Asset Management) like this will save you hours and hours.

  • Cover Images: A great cover image needs color, simplicity, copy space, emotional power, and shelf appeal from a distance. Test this by viewing it from 10-15 feet away. It should make you want to reach for it.

A Photo Editor Likes It When…

You are responsive

Be responsive, be responsive, be responsive. Before I began my professional photography career, I worked in production and design with some photo research. This work taught me several things about the demands, deadlines, and last-minute changes intrinsic to the design and photo selection process. I carried these into my photography business, and I believe they were a helpful contribution toward success. There is a design flow that stays more intact when communication remains timely and responsive. I implemented this responsive principle early on in my photo career by making it a point to respond to photo editors within a few minutes, if possible, even if it would take me a while to compile a submission. (I also had an office manager for ten years—which I know is not a luxury available to all). Editors are often juggling several options simultaneously, and having to wait a few days for a question to be answered can make or break a sale. And let’s face it, many photographers have communication gaps because they are off the grid in the field somewhere. I realize one person can’t be everywhere; just be responsive to the best of your ability. If you are away for a while, consider activating an auto-response email during your absence.

You are pleasant to work with

Almost everyone appreciates and respects the value of someone’s time and resources. Politeness and courtesy go a long way. Photo editors can be corresponding with 50-100 people a day during the height of publication, and encountering a polite and helpful demeanor–in contrast to an antagonistic one–goes a long way.

You are efficient

With the margin lines thinning all around us in nearly every conceivable way, efficiency may be one of the few metrics that remain in our control–at least to some degree. Almost anything on paper takes more time, and time is currency today. If I can save time, I can often save money. And if I can do the latter, I’m willing to pass some of it on to you. Efficiency is the reason I’m shifting to a centralized, cloud-based venue for exchanging files and documents. Simplicity gives way to efficiency, and efficiency gives way to productivity.

You cultivate a relationship

The better you and your editor know each other’s workflow and communication preferences, and style, the better the relationship is to both parties. Trust allows you to break rules that the masses need to follow. It can save time and energy. I have cultivated a strongly defined workflow over the years, and photo editors I work with know that I’ll provide them sharp, well-processed files for publication. They know I’m responsive, and they know I’ll do my best to help their schedule, not hinder it. I’ve always approached the relationship keeping this question in mind: How can I make myself one of the photographers they like to deal with the most? How can I make their job easier? And by the way, I’m not under the delusion that all photo editors are great to work with!

Photo Payment Rates

Photo Payment Rates:

I’m increasing the amounts paid to photographers for the 2021 product line. This increase goes against almost all the photo buying industry trends, but I think it is achievable through business efficiency measures and focused sales efforts. I want to make these the best Alaska calendars out there, as well as the best paying. So help me make this successful by submitting some great stuff. If the sales revenue increase, I’m happy to share it with you.

  • Wall Calendars:

    • Inside: $250

    • Cover: $150 bonus

  • Engagement Calendar:

    • Inside: $100

    • Cover: $150 bonus

    • Back Cover: $60

    • Title Page: $35

  • Notecards/Matted Prints

    • $200 for 700 card imprints ($0.20 royalty per matted card)

Licensing Contracts

Licensing contracts will be sent via email. They may be signed digitally as a PDF, or you can print it out, sign it, and send me a scan or a picture taken with your phone.

Payment Schedule

Photographers with work published will receive a check upon publication (usually in April of the following year).

Miscellaneous

Communication

I use an email list to send out submission details and other communication. I’m pretty responsive via email but not a big fan of the phone. Feel free to reach out anytime with questions. patrick@greatlandgraphics.com

Complimentary Copies

Photographers with published work will receive a complimentary copy of the publication and may purchase additional calendars at a 50% discount while supplies last.

Know a Talented Photographer?

If you know a talented photographer that is not currently submitting to Greatland Graphics, have them send me an email. I’m always open to new talent.

Constructive feedback

And finally, I’m not afraid of constructive criticism and honest feedback. It helps to know what is working and what is not. The mutual admiration society never fosters excellence. Information feeds the process of improvement. Just be nice.