1. Use striking and high quality images
This is obviously a very important requirement. However, you should not judge your work by yourself since you will have a tendency to be subjective. Therefore, you need to find other people to offer their opinions of your work. This could be either a photo buyer or a photo editor.
2. Use relevant subject lines
The fact is that there are many photographers out there looking for work. Most photo editors receive dozens of emails on a daily basis, meaning that some emails go unread. Therefore, if your email is going to be opened and read, you need to make sure your subject line is relevant and catchy. Avoid the temptation of writing deceptive subject lines or creating unnecessary urgency by using words such as ‘Urgent!’ You will only end up losing the trust of the buyer or editor.
3. Use relevant images and text
The story idea and images that you are sending should be relevant to the recipient and immediately obvious. Avoid beating around the bush and get to the point right away. Since photo editors are very busy people, you need to make sure that they can quickly scan your email and understand what it’s about.
4. Have a distinct technique and style
Don’t try to imitate other people. As a photographer, you need to have your own distinct approach and style. If you just think and look like any other photographer out there, there is a high possibility of being ignored.
5. Use images representative of your site
The subject matter and style of the images used in your email should be representative of what is available on your website. If a photo editor or buyer is impressed with your style, they might want to have a look at your site. When they arrive there, make sure they get more of what they saw in your email.
6. Target your mails
It is important to know who the recipient of your email is, what their interests are, what styles are relevant to their publication and what images they have used recently. This way, you will be able to send each person a personally tailored email.
7. Appeal to emotions
Playing with emotions of your recipients can be a very effective way of getting their attention. When they read your stories or see your images, let them feel something. Describe moods and feelings and sell your photos and story using expressive terms.
8. Share previously published work
If your work has been featured in other publications before, you need to share it. When photo buyers and editor see your work in these publications, they will get a good picture of your professionalism and range.
9. Mention geographic location
Photo buyers and editors are interested in knowing where you are located. Most would want to work with a photographer who is readily accessible and doesn’t have to travel. Therefore, it is important to mention where you are located so as to take advantage of work that is available in your area.