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preping up for magazine

What do you suggest for preparing a packet for a hopeful magazine article or just getting a couple pictures printed? I've submitted 3 times in the past 4 years and I have had no luck. I don't know if my pictures are not of enough high quality or if I should go back to doing all original stuff. All my work is custom, but there is so many great portrait artists out there that I feel overwhelmed. I've been trying to make a name for myself in this business for almost 11 yrs now. I was taught by an award winning artist and I know I'm good. I'm starting to run out of steam dude. Any help from you would be greatly appretiated. Keep up the good work. Your tattoo's are a major insperation to me. Thanks Mike!


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RE:preping up for magazine

If you don't have a name in the industry yet, and your trying to create one by tattooing portraits, now thats a tough road to go down, because there is a lot of artists doing them now a days and there doing them very well. But that doesn't mean it's not possible. It just means that you have to work twice as hard and step it up, to stand out. When I say "stepping it up," it may mean tattooing better or creating something new that people haven't seen, thinking of what hasn't been seen is the hard part, and thats where the focus should be. Now I haven't seen your work and I haven't seen your photography skills to pin point why magazines aren't taking your submissions. I would say, make sure your photos are takin with a camera that has at least 7 megapixels, you could get away with 5 mega pixels but 7 or higher is better. Don't shrink the photos, keep them actual size. When your blacking out the background in photoshop, don't use solid black, use a shade lighter(almost black), so it doesn't take away from the true blacks that are in your artwork. I suggest when taking photos of your work that you use a black foam board that you can get at any art store or Office Depot, Staples, etc. So then you don't have to worry about that step after you take photos. I see a lot of people when they are blacking out the background they will continue with it and make it black all the way around the tattoo, almost right up to the piece, which I think is horrible and I'm sure magazines don't appreciate it either. It's nice to see what part of the body it's on and the size of it, when it's all blacked out it's hard to determine those things as a viewer.
For submitting photos to magazines... put together a disk with the full size picture files, when your deciding on which photos you choose to put on the disk remember "Quality is better than Quantity." In the envelope you should write a small letter introducing yourself, keep it short and sweet, it wouldn't hurt to say a few nice words about the magazine you are trying to reach. You could also print out the photos on either one piece of Photo paper with the images on it, or print them all out on photo paper,and within the letter state that the print out shows what pictures are on the disk.( Just so they don't toss the disk without seeing whats on it).
If you don't get any bites, then get back to work and tighten up some loose ends, do some new work and send out more disks, theres a lot of magazines out there so you could send more than one disk. Don't give up on it! Hope this helped out.
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RE:preping up for magazine

I came to Mike's forum to get some more information regarding the Hyper machines and saw this post.

I received many pictures daily, and a big part of them you can see they are well executed tattoos, but I end up not using them because they are low resolution, poorly photographed, bad angle etc.... maybe I am a bit picky. My suggestion would be get a good camera in case u haven't got one, learn how to take a good picture, use a black back ground or white, if not edit the background with photoshop, that will sure make you portfolio looking way better. I hope that it helps.

That is the way it works for me and my mag, I don't have a clue how it works for the other magazines. I just want to try to help a little bit.
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RE:preping up for magazine

sorry forgot to say, yes Mike is so write in all what he said, in particular I like what he said regarding editing the picture using photoshop and darken the tattoo all around and so we have no clue which part of the body it was done, it doesn't look good and readers can have an idea of the size proportion as they don't know where it was done.....
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