Photo Submissions

Parachutist Photographic Guidelines

Parachutist does not have a writing or photography staff—we rely almost entirely on our readers for content. Your input makes Parachutist possible, and we welcome editorial and photographic submissions. Please follow the guidelines below when submitting photos:

  • Electronic submissions are strongly preferred (see form, right). Images should be high-resolution, at least 400 ppi (pixels per inch) and no smaller than five by seven inches (2,000 by 2,800 pixels). Regardless of resolution, we cannot accept video captures or screen grabs (even from high-definition video) for most uses since the images will be too pixilated to print properly.
  • Include the photographer’s name, the names of the people in the shot (unless there are eight or more jumpers), where and when the photo was taken, as well as any interesting information about the picture.
  • Photos must arrive 30 to 45 days in advance of the cover date of the issue in which it will be used.
  • Photos should be exclusive to Parachutist for North American print publications. Parachutist pays only for exclusive, first-run photographs unless prior arrangements have been made with the managing editor. Parachutist does not make any restrictions as far as online or overseas use of photos.
  • Photographic submissions are accepted with the understanding that the person submitting them has the right to publish the contents of the submission and has assumed appropriate model releases for recognizable subjects in the image. The person submitting the material assumes all liability for content, as well as assuming responsibility for any claims arising therefrom and/or made against the Publisher.
  • The Parachutist staff reserves the right to post the submitted material on USPA’s website as well as redistribute the material in its final, laid-out form for reprint requests.

How to Submit

Questions about the submissions process may be addressed to communications@uspa.org or (540) 604-9740.

  • Three files of up to 10 MB each may be submitted through our website (please use the form to the right). Most contributors find this the easiest way to send us photos, and the form walks you through the necessary steps. Due to the large number of submissions we receive, we are unable to reply personally to each submission. After the submission, you will see a thank you note, which indicates we received your files correctly.
  • If you are planning to submit a large number of unsolicited files (more than 10), please send low-resolution JPGs for review to communications@uspa.org. Include a note that higher-resolution versions are available. If the photos are chosen for publication consideration, you will receive an e-mail asking for a higher-resolution file.
  • We cannot use negatives or slides. Photographic prints should be scanned and sent to us electronically. (In certain circumstances we’ll accept photographic prints by mail—please e-mail or call for details.)
  • Parachutist accepts photos on computer disc via mail (often the preferred method for large numbers of high-resolution files). Send to USPA, Managing Editor-Parachutist, 5401 Southpoint Centre Blvd, Fredericksburg VA 22407. Discs will not be returned and Parachutist is not responsible for lost materials.
  • Often, photos are kept on file and used at a later date along with a topical article. If you would like a photo withdrawn from consideration, e-mail communications@uspa.org with the approximate date of submission and a copy of the image for reference.

Helpful Hints:

Parachutist receives an enormous number of photographs each month, so to give your work the best chance at publication, please bear the following in mind:

  • Parachutist considers only photos of activities that comply with the United States Parachute Association’s Basic Safety Requirements and FAA regulations. (We cannot accept photos in which jumpers are—or appear to be—falling through clouds, or photos in which non-aerobatic aircraft are steeply diving, for instance.)
  • We give preference to photos in which jumpers are following USPA’s safety recommendations (for example, photos of tandems in which the instructor and student are both wearing helmets and altimeters will take precedence over those in which they are not).
  • We can’t consider photos for only the cover or one of the larger spots in the magazine.
  • Cover photos must have a vertically oriented composition with room for the masthead. We can occasionally crop photos to fit, but significant cropping generally causes the remaining photo to be too low in resolution to blow up to cover size.
  • Photospread photos must be horizontal in orientation and of a large enough resolution to be blown up to fit two full pages. There should not be a significant content in the center of the photo where the gutter between pages obscures the image.
  • Make sure your photo complies with our quality requirements at the top of this page! Please be aware that photos that look good on a computer screen may not be suitable for print purposes. Most photos that meet our requirements are 500 KB or more in size. Almost all dedicated cameras take photos that are larger than this, so when we must reject a photo for technical quality (the number-one reason photos are discarded) it is because:
    • The photo was taken with a camera phone
    • The photo is a screen-grab from video
    • The photo was shrunk automatically by the sender's e-mail server (please check your settings)
    • The photo was taken off of a website or social networking site, most of which shrink photos to low-resolution to save bandwidth.
  • Please send only one photo from each jump unless they are significantly different. In other words, send only your best shots.