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  • Writer's pictureSue Adams

What I’ve learned about magazine covers

I have recently just had S A Country Life magazine choose my photo for their January 2020 cover. You can imagine how excited I was as I really don’t claim to be a professional photographer. But this is the second time I’ve had a photo chosen (in 4 years mind you) and this is what I’ve learned along the way.

· Know your magazine - look at the covers for the last few years and truly understand what the magazine wants. Modern foodie magazines want a photo that makes your mouth water – the apple pie must be oozing filling and the ice-cream is already melting in your mouth. S A Country Life looks for a photo that makes you want to know more about that particular travel story inside. But it must have a person or an animal as a focal point.

  • Most magazines are instantly recognisable from their cover design. Make sure you know the magazine and the type of cover photos they use. Vogue has beautiful women usually doing something exotic these days eg. hanging from a cliff in a beautiful dress. But they want eye contact as well.

  • Space – as odd as it sounds a magazine cover photo must have some space in it and not be too busy. The cover needs to advertise what’s inside and for that there needs to be writing.

  • S A Country Life chose this photo because everyone wants to be at the beach on a beautiful day – and I was lucky because the colours just worked and the passing surfer was happy to pose. But I did do a little planning as I knew I needed big sky so there was space.

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