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The Joy of Tear Sheets

Tear sheet imageTear sheets (that’s tear as in rip, not as in cry) is the name given to pages from a magazine or book sent to the photographer who took the photos. Sometimes they are literally sheets torn out of the publication, but I always request several copies of the entire magazine or book and usually get it.

(Aside: Since I was a writer long before I was a photographer, I still think of them as “author’s copies,” but I guess that doesn’t really fit when it’s a photo. “Photographer’s copies” would be more accurate, but for some reason “tear sheets” is the industry jargon, even when it’s a whole book.)

ANYWAY, the joy of tear sheets for me is that they always come as a surprise. Not that I wasn’t expecting them, but they are usually so slow in coming that I’ve completely forgotten about the project by the time they arrive. Then one day out of the blue a package shows up in my mailbox containing books or magazines.

Today, for example, I got a big, mysterious-looking box from Japan. I couldn’t recall ordering anything from Japan, so this seemed weird, and I started to fear I’d been drunk-shopping on Amazon again.   But I opened it to find three copies of a Japanese travel guide that had purchased some of my Burning Man photos (I wrote about that previously in a blog entry called How to Sell Photos to a Book Publisher).

We get so used to seeing our images on computer screens, that it’s always exciting, almost shocking, to see them in print and hold them in our hot little hands. Well, it’s exciting for me anyway. Maybe if you’re Chase Jarvis or Annie Leibovitz the novelty wears off. Or maybe not.

P.S. If you can tell me which 4 photos on that page are mine, I’ll give you a free copy of my portrait photography course.

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One Comment

  1. Frank Laird says:

    Phil, just finished the Photoshop course, absolutely fantastic. I learned more doing PS retouching along with you (on my PC) than I ever did in any classroom. Many thanks. As far as the photos on that page go, they all look like your photos. So my official response is: ALL of them are yours.

    Frank Laird
    San Diego, CA

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