Lensatic Essays

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There are a lot of sites and publications dedicated to the idea of documentary photography, storytelling, and visual essays. We’d like to think there’s room for another one, especially if it’s geared towards photographers who know they have something to say (or hear) through their photos but are exploring how to present their work. That’s the boat we’re in.

If you’re interested in presenting your work here, please do get in touch. Our submittal guidelines are a work in progress, but here’s the gist for now.

Tell a story. Convey an idea.

We’re all learning. Give it your best shot, push yourself, don’t be afraid.

Keep it concise. Ruthlessly edit (the project, not the images), and then edit again. Writers call it an economy of words. Strive for that.

We’re all about documentary photography. Save the Photoshop for your fashion portfolio. Seriously. Minor adjustments to imagery are ok. We’ve all taken underexposed photos.

Be honest with your work. The National Press Photographers Association Code of Ethics is the place to start. Most of us aren’t professional photojournalists. If our cameras are earning their keep, it means we’re also shooting fashion, editorial, stock, etc. It’s ok for our purposes to have other interests and connections, but be aware of them and spell them out

Some of the most powerful, compelling stories happen in dangerous places and situations. We admire photographers who tell those stories, but we are not able to provide photographers with the necessary resources to support those projects, and we think that support is critical.

Keep it simple and short. We’ll say it again – be ruthless with your editing. We’re not saying that because it’s a world of short attention spans (it is), we’re saying that because there is a fine line between a cohesive story and a messy slideshow. You can always provide a link to additional photos in the series.

We’ll probably copy the technical guidelines from burn diary / burn magazine. For now, think small JPGs optimized for online viewing.