Photo Call: Your Best Northern California Images

Picture: Sunset light on Mount Lassen above Lake Helen, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

Image: Storm cloud over Lake Tahoe at sunset, from South Lake Tahoe, California

I’m inviting all photographers who are interested and would like to see their work possibly published in a book to submit images for a book project I’m working on about photographing in Northern California.

Let’s just get all the ugly business out of the way first; Yes, I’m asking for images to be donated to the project; the publisher (another photographer who has created a series with his own books on Photographing the Southwest) is offering 10 copies of the book in exchange for being allowed to use a photo. As the author, I’ll be including not only a credit line with the photo, but a special addendum that lists each contributing photographers web site address or contact info. I understand that there maybe a lot of amateur photographers who are excited and happy to submit images for this project, are happy to be “Published” and don’t care about receiving financial compensation the same as a professional photographer.

Yes, I’m also inviting fellow professionals to submit images, and include what your one-time rate would be for life of title print and electronic versions. If someone submits a great image that I feel we / I just can’t live without, I’m more than happy to dig into my own pocket to cover any appropriate license fees. Yes, of course, I’d be delighted to accept any reduced rate you might consider offering to a fellow photographer.

What do I need:

Your best shots from Northern California, from Santa Cruz and Mammoth Lakes, north to the Oregon Border. This includes scenics, wildflowers, and wildlife. Almost anything is good, but the more unique or less ‘shot to death’ photos will really be what I’m looking for:

A few examples of things I know I need are:
a Moonbow or golden light on Horsetail Falls in Yosemite.
Table Mountain wildflowers in spring
Sacramento & Nor. Cal wildlife refuges.
Sacramento River and Delta
Trinity Alps
Any other scenic or wilderness areas.
Coastal scenes.

I don’t need shots of things like Yosemite from Tunnel View, Glacier Point, or Valley View. Redwood trees. Golden Gate Bridge. If there are already a gazzilliondy-billion shots out there, I probably don’t need it.

How to submit:

Digital images via an emailed link to an online gallery or lightbox in someplace like flickr, G+, SmugMug, PhotoShelter or your own web site works best.

If you’re unable to do that, send me an email gary (at) enlightphoto (dot) com that describes what type of images you have, and a compressed zip folder with no more than 20 shots, keeping the longest dimension under 1000 pixels at 72 dpi.

I prefer to see accurate editorial captions, and not something like “Autumn Splendor”

If you’re a professional or require a licensing fee for use of any image use, please be sure to indicate that.


OK; now before the rocks & flames come at me:

So how do I, as a working professional photographer, reconcile asking other photographers to donate images for free or at a reduced rate? It’s simple, really; because I’ve been on all three sides of the fence. In addition to working as a pro photographer, I’ve also done freelance work as a Photo Editor and Photo Researcher, where my job was to bring in photos at the lowest cost possible to my clients. I’ve sourced images from photographers who aren’t pros, or have licensed images via Creative Commons. I’ve given away my own photos for free or at greatly reduced rates for non-profits, projects other photographers were working on, or for any other reason that I felt was clearly justifiable, or where I was just happy to help. On other occasions, I’ve held firm to either a small standard discount or my straight rate. It all depends; who is it and why are they asking.

If someone wants to submit images for free to be ‘published’, that’s fine. I’m great with that. If someone wants to offer me a discount off a standard rate, that’s great, too. If someone says “My fee is $X.xx”, I can respect that 100%, and I’m delighted they took the time to submit their work. All I’ve ever said, and continue to say is that “Photographers should value their work.” If they find enough value in the opportunity to be published, that’s fine. If they say, “This is my rate,” that’s fine too.

The bottom line is that I respect a photographer who will donate an image for something, or a photographer that says “Pay me my fee” about 10,000 times more than a photographer who sells the unlimited commercial use of an image to a company for $3.99.

For photographers who might like to help me out, but are unsure of what might be fair, I can only offer this as a possible solution: If you were working on a similar type project (not funded by a big company or business) and wanted to use one of my photos, what would you hope that I’d charge you? Perhaps it’s one thing if we’ve known each other online for years, or another if you don’t know me from Adam. (My name’s not Adam, Btw.) Any answer you come up with is perfectly fine, and again, 100% respected. I’m not here to try and rip anyone off, nor am I wanting to go broke buying everything at top dollar RM rates as if I was Readers Digest or Simon & Schuster.

Cheers, & thanks again for your time and consideration.

For those who plan on submitting images for review, Thanks in advance, and I look forward to seeing your work.

– Gary.

Image ID#: 110914b_LVNP-0368

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7 Comments on “Photo Call: Your Best Northern California Images”


    […] Photo Call: Your Best Northern California Images Picture: Sunset light on Mount Lassen above Lake Helen, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California. I'm inviting all photographers who are interested and would like to see their work possibly publi… […]

  2. Freddy Says:

    Just out of curiosity, since it wasn’t mentioned on the “business” part of things. Will you be selling this book? for how much, if you are? and what mediums will be use for selling?

  3. enlightphoto Says:


    It’s being published by another photographer who started the series with his own books. He’ll be selling the books in a softcover 6×9 format like his other books. I’m sure he’ll eventually have it available in digital format as well. I don’t know the exact cost he’ll be selling them for.

  4. Alan Majchrowicz Says:

    Gary, I have a few images from Mount Shasta and the Redwoods Coast in Del Norte, if you interested I’ll send a Photoshelter invite to you today.

  5. James Gilmore Says:

    Gary, are you looking for color images only?

  6. enlightphoto Says:

    Alan: Love to see what you have.

    James: No.

  7. Robert Hendricks Says:

    Here is one of my favorites, you can peruse thru my flickr page and let me know if there is any you like. Thanks.

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