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Publishers of calendars, greetings cards, postcards, posters and prints are constantly searching for fresh images for new editions and products. However, it is important to check requirements before submitting material. Images should be of high quality, and particularly so for the calendar, poster and print markets which may refuse anything less than medium format material. Return postage and packaging should always be provided.

A photographer hoping to supply images to these markets must specialize in particular subject areas to have any real chance of success. Once subjects have been chosen, it is vital to understand exactly what publishers want, when, and in what format. Blind submissions are almost always unsuccessful.

The calendar market is perhaps the largest consumer of images, with thousands of new calendars being produced every year. Study every calendar available, observe how they are designed and note the subject matter carefully. Photographers should not rely solely upon their own judgement of what might constitute a good calendar. The publishers have vast experience of what sells and what does not. To have any chance of selling images a photographer must choose subject matter that meets particular requirements. They must also supply images of particular sizes and aspect ratios which fit established calendar formats.

The demand for photographic image postcards is smaller than in the past, perhaps because of greater use of art and graphics in modern designs. Competition is therefore intense. The easiest way to make a start in the postcard business is perhaps through local images. Relatively small quantities printed and offered to local shops at reasonable prices may be sufficient to establish a small market. However, for any real success it is necessary to produce precisely what a large publisher requires in terms of subject, quality, style, format and timing. Contacts within the business are therefore essential.

Poster and print publishers again require high-quality work which meets their needs. As for calendars, study whatever is available and note subject matter and style for each publisher. Then make contact with the market that best suits your work.


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