How Do You Break Into Freelance Photojournalism?

camera photo photojournalist
flickr: Hamed Saber

That’s the question that was posed to us by a friend.

We’re pretty confident in giving out “how to break into freelance writing” advice. We even co-sat on a panel about doing just that earlier this year. But photography?

We assume the same principles are valid—get some clips at smaller papers and magazines and work your way up to shooting bigger assignments at bigger places, but how about the mechanics? How many clips do you include when pitching an editor? (In print, by the way, three is usually the magic number—and your pieces must have stellar ledes, because that’s about all an editor’s gonna have time to read.) Is a query letter still important or do you let the visuals speak for themselves?

We want to throw this out to the crowd, but as a starting point, A Photo Editor has quite a few posts on breaking in that may be up y’all’s alley.