Congratulations to Vic, whose filler has been accepted by Take a Break's Fate and Fortune magazine. In his email, Vic says of the editor, "She asked me if I have a photo of me as a scout (as you predicted) - unfortunately I haven't. Her second choice is a photo of me as a boy. I have one of those and have emailed it to her."
I am obviously overjoyed for two reasons. Firstly, that Vic has done as the editor asked and found a picture that meets the editor's requirements, even if it isn't her first choice. As a result he will be published. The second reason is that it's nice to know that I was right!
Pictures are so important these days and not just for articles. The letter and filler market needs pictures just as much, if not more. A friend of mine had a picture published in a magazine once. It was of a sign. "Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Fortune Teller could not be here today." The picture says it all! You don't need anything else!
Whatever you submit, always ask yourself, do I have a picture that I can send with this? Often, especially for the letter pages, the pictures are quite small when they are published, so you don't need to have the photographic equipment of David Bailey or Lord Lichfield. Sometimes, a mobile phone image is enough.
Look out for funny signs, amusing situations or people just being silly. The chances are, the image and a sentence or two will net you £25, £50 or even more if you send it to the right place.Take a Break, That's Life, Real People, Pick Me Up and many more need photos for their letters pages, and some of the specialist hobby magazines like to see pictures of readers with their own magazines in unusual places.
So, next time you're just about to send something off, just stop and ask yourself - can I illustrate this in any way? As Vic has found out, you may not have the perfect image, but sometimes any second choice image is better than none.
Good luck ... and don't forget to smile!