Getting your image on the front of a magazine is a bucket list tick for many photographers. You should get rewarded for your efforts as well – after all, your image is one of the key elements that's going to make readers pick up the magazine and buy it.
It seems, though, that fashion magazine Sheeba (no, we've never heard of it either) didn't get the memo on how this is all supposed to work.
In a 'generous' gesture, first spotted by PetaPixel, the magazine is offering photographers the chance to have their own image grace the front cover. There's money involved too – but instead of paying you, Sheeba is looking for $430 for the privilege of your image being chosen.
That's not all. Taking a closer look at the rules and conditions Sheeba wants you to adhere to, your submitted image must not have seen the light of day on your social media channels or your portfolio, and must not have been printed in another magazine (to be fair, that last one is typical of a lot of magazines, although normally they state that it shouldn't have appeared on the front cover of another publication).
Should your image be chosen you'll be required to send a high-resolution file and pay $430 via PayPal. You're getting a bargain though, as Sheeba's normal cover charge is a hefty $860.
You'll also be required to sign up to Sheeba's Release and Publication agreement, although it's not sharing that online. We'd hate to speculate, but we wouldn't be surprised to find that you're signing up for more than just a single-use agreement.
As a mark of Sheeba's gratitude you'll receive high-resolution tear sheets, and a copy of the magazine with your image on. The magazine sells for a rather steep $26 –at that price you'd think it could afford to pay photographers.
We've heard of photographers being asked to supply images for free in the name of exposure (although we maintain that if your work is good enough to be used you should be paid for it), but this is ridiculous.
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Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK's biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.