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Photographer's Guidelines


Submitting Photos To FERRETS Magazine

FERRETS is an online monthly magazine dedicated to better care for pet ferrets. The following guidelines will help you understand what we're looking for when choosing photos for FERRETS magazine and assist you in making submissions with the highest probability of acceptance.

• All ferrets should be looking at the camera, unless they are playing or involved in an activity.
• Transparencies and slides are the preferred format, although we can also use exceptional print photos for interior shots (no covers).
• All photos must be labeled with the photographer's name, ferret coat pattern and color. A unique ID number for each photo is also helpful.
• All photos must have the entire ferret in focus (unless you're trying for an artistic effect).
• Lighting should be even, with no dark shadows behind subjects.
• The ferret's image should dominate the photo when it's a portrait-type shot — do not permit a lot of space around the ferret.
• Be aware of the background (see section on backgrounds below).
• Frame the photo so that the ferret is cropped properly (do not cut off the tail when shooting a full-body shot, zoom in on only the head when shooting a head shot, etc.).
• Ferrets must be on a harness and leash in any outdoor photos.
• Ferrets should be interactive — this is hard to describe in words. We want photos that show a ferret's personality. If a ferret's head is cocked or its foot is up or it's looking at the camera like it's a toy it really wants — that's what we're seeking.
• Try for different angles, plus the usual "head-on" shot; have the camera above or below the ferret (note: avoid strange side angles like in a Hitchcock film — it's too distracting)
• Ferrets that are outside the house, but not on leash (waiting at the vet's office, on a car trip) should be inside a carrier for safety.
• When taking photos through cage bars, don't let the ferret's eyes be hidden by the bars.

• The preferred background is a solid color that contrasts with the ferret's. Jewel tones seem to be best (emerald green, sapphire blue, ruby red, etc.).
• Please make sure that any plant shown in a photo with a ferret is safe for ferrets and identify the plant.
• Be sure that the background color contrasts with the color of the ferret.
• Please be sure that the background is slightly out of focus so that it doesn't compete with the image of the ferret.
• If furniture appears in the photo, please ensure that it is does not look out-of-date or well-used
• Avoid clutter

• Props used in photos should be changed often to prevent an excess of sister shots. We never want to use the same photo twice, and we will avoid using sister shots when possible.
• Dog gates or baby gates don't work with ferrets because they can climb over or through them. Please avoid using them in photos unless your purpose is to show that they don't work (i.e. showing ferret climbing it).
• Wire-bottomed cages hurt ferrets' feet. Do not show these in photos unless they're covered with a solid surface, like linoleum.
• Litter boxes should always be shown in a corner and must be big enough for the ferret to use (10 by 14 inches is the minimum for adult ferret).
• Fruits and vegetables are like junk food for ferrets — and can even cause intestinal blockage and a medical emergency. Do not use them as props in photos except if being given as tiny treats.
• Cage interiors shouldn't be too cluttered. There should be space for everything inside, plus a bit of open space for the ferret. A litter box should never be placed beside a food or water dish.
• Squeaky toys must always be in use in photos, not next to an unsupervised ferret.
• Food bowls should be heavy ceramic or attached so that ferrets can't flip them over.

• Be sure that all subjects are well-groomed (both ferrets and people). Models should not have ragged, dirty or partially polished nails.
• When possible, models should wear solid colors instead of prints or patterns.
• Models should not be used too frequently, or else should change clothes and hairstyle to prevent creating excess sister shots that can't be used.
• Obese ferrets can't be used unless the point is to show the condition.

For cover shots, please leave space at the top for our logo. Our main concern with cover shots is that the ferret be in focus, the lighting be good, the ferret be well-groomed and, perhaps most important, that the ferret be looking at the camera and be interactive (head tilted, foot raised, great expression on face — something to show the ferret has personality).

Normally, we hold any photos in our files that we believe could be used in a future issue. Be aware that we cannot guarantee when or if any individual photo will be used. We do not work with photographers who charge holding fees. You may request the return of any or all of your unused photos at any time. Be sure you label each one with a unique identifying number, the type of ferret in the photo, and your name and address. We do not accept submissions in which the subject is not correctly identified. Please include any "courtesy of" information, if needed, on the submission.

If a photo is used, payment is made during the latter part of the cover issue month in which the photo appeared. A photo used in the May/June issue will have payment sent out in May.

Use of black and white photos is rare; however, we reserve the right to convert any color submission to a black-and-white photo in the magazine.

We do our best to return used slides in a timely manner but, because of our small staff and constant deadlines, some delays may occur. Your patience is appreciated.

Please include an inventory list, model releases (if applicable) and a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your submission.

Please send your submissions to either of the following addresses:

FERRETS Photo Editor P.O. Box 6050 Mission Viejo, CA 92690   FERRETS Photo Editor 3 Burroughs Irvine, CA 92618

We will also consider your material for our sister publication, FERRETS USA.

PHOTOS THAT ARE ALWAYS NEEDED: Ferrets in their home environments, involved in their daily activities: eating (inside the cage and out), playing, climbing, bathing, getting into mischief, escaping through a window or hole (please ensure all ferrets are safe during such photos), interacting with people and other ferrets, being surprised and doing the bottlebrush, digging and even biting.

Also needed: ferrets visiting the vet, veterinary exam of a ferret, grooming photos (nail trimming, brushing, bathing, playing in a fresh dirt box, ear cleaning, teeth cleaning), cage setups, ferrets that are ill (to illustrate medical articles about diseases), ferrets at all life stages (from kits to seniors), etc.

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