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I don't want people to shy away from submitting if they are inexperienced writers. The reality is that, as Editor, I aggressively work over every story. It's not unusual for me to take three full days to edit a story, crop and optimize the photos, and then do the layout. I've taken an 800-word submission and made a 2200-word story.
But without photos, there's not much I can do. Here are six tips for taking good photos.
1. Get a variety of angles -- gun rear quarter, 90deg side, front quarter (in front of muzzle), and an overhead. Include close-ups of action, scope etc.
2. Include a shot or two of your work bench, dies, loading rack (with rounds), etc.
3. When shooting outdoors in the shade, experiment with daylight fill flash. It's very important that you know how to use daylight flash.
4. Get CLOSER. Most shots can be improved by moving toward the subject. That cuts out extraneous backgrounds, plus it usually results in a sharper photo.
5. Always include a photo of someone shooting the rifle, or someone in shooting position on the bench. Take a version showing the whole gun, and another that may just show the shooter and the back third of the gun.
6. Take photos of your good targets, and include a shot of the firing line and range. This makes the story more interesting.