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Tips to Get a Photo on a Magazine Front Cover

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Tips to Get a Photo on a Magazine Front Cover

Every railway enthusiast who takes photographs of steam or diesel trains probably dream about having their photo on the front cover of a railway magazine.

My Front Cover Photographs 

This month May 2021, I have had a very big shock. Two railway magazines have used my photographs on the front cover. Yes, not one but two! As you can imagine, I was very happy, excited and so impressed.

Here, you can see the front covers of the Heritage Railway and Railways Illustrated magazines.

The Railways Illustrated magazine shows D6851 (37667) and 37688 at Totnes working the Locomotive Services Limited private charter on the 4th April 2021. My photo on the Heritage Railway magazine cover is 75014 at Goodrington Bank on the Dartmouth Steam Railway 15th April 2021.

Back in July 2018 I had my first photo that was used on the front cover of the Heritage Railway magazine. I was so surprised and happy!

This photograph shows the Heritage Railway magazine issue 244 with my photo on the cover. GWR 6000 Class No: 6023 ‘King Edward II’ is seen climbing Goodrington bank on the Dartmouth Steam Railway on the 14th July 2018.

Photo tips for the front cover

Nearly all magazines publish their submission guidelines on their websites. If you cannot find the guidelines, it would be worth sending an email or phoning them.

Once you have read their submission guidelines, make sure you follow it exactly.

Your photograph must be vertical and not horizontal.

Railway enthusiast, Photographs, Front cover

The quality of your photo must be excellent so that it helps the magazine sells well.

The photo must be in colour, not black and white (unless asked for).

Keep the photo natural.

Do not add things to your photo or overdo the colours.

The top part of the image must not contain the main subject, as this is the main area for the title of the magazine.

Try and have the main part of the photo in the centre. The magazine usually add text to the left and right side of a photo.

When you send your photo to the magazine, make sure it is a high-quality JPEG/TIFF image file.

Also include the information of the train.


If you send a photograph to a magazine hoping to have it on the front cover do not get discouraged if it does not happen. The only problem is that you are not the only photographer sending photos. Never give up, just keep trying.

If you do not think you will get a photo on the front page of a magazine, take a read of How to Make Money from your Railway Photographs.

All three of the magazine front covers showing my photos are now in a frame and on the wall at home. Hopefully one day, I will get another photograph on the front cover!

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