True North Photo Journal is a new online platform dedicated to publishing the best in Canadian photojournalism and documentary photography. In an age of Twitter feeds, Facebook and fake news, Canadians are becoming increasingly hungry for reporting that gives context and meaning to our ever-changing world. With so many news outlets clamouring unsuccessfully to be the first to break a story, True North encourages photographers to shed light on important issues by taking a more in-depth and thoughtful approach to their work. As such, our motto is “better, not breaking”. Whether it’s covering current affairs, photographing long-term documentary projects, or producing insightful personal essays, True North provides a platform which connects Canadians with photographers who have something to say.
. True North looks to foster a form of visual storytelling which exposes issues that matter to Canadians. In order to do this we are looking for two things: exceptional images and in-depth reporting. While strong, well composed images are obviously essential to a good photo essay, without well-researched text they will fail to meet our standards.
. We encourage photographers to seek out stories that have been undocumented, under-reported, or could be improved upon with visual treatment.
. True North accepts submissions from Canadian photographers working at home or abroad. Submissions are also open to international journalists covering Canadian issues.
. True North accepts all genres of photography so long as your images are strong and your story is relevant. While personal essays are accepted please keep in mind we are only interested in subjects which speak to a wider audience. Twenty-five photos of your dog Rex just aren’t going to cut it.
. All submissions should include between 10 to 35 photos as well as 400 to 800 words of introductory text. Captions are encouraged, however, if your text gives sufficient context to the photos they may not be required.
. True North also has an interest in publishing single images. In order to justify paying for a single image the shot must able to tell a story that is compelling and relevant as a single frame. Pictures of Justin Trudeau kissing babies will not cut it.
. In fact under no circumstances will True North Photo Journal ever publish a picture of Justin Trudeau.
. True North accepts previously published essays so long as doing so does not violate the terms of a previous agreement.
. Dimensions: All photos should be sized between 1,500 and 2,500 pixels on the long side at a resolution of 72 dpi.
. All photographers should provide a short bio (50 to 250 words) and a headshot, as well as links to relevant sites and social media.
. To pitch a story idea to us please email a brief outline of your project – not more than 1,000 words – along with three images which you think best illustrate it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep pitches concise and make sure explain why your story would be a good fit for the True North.
. Please start the subject line of your email with “PITCH”. i.e. PITCH: Homelessness in rural Nova Scotia.
. True North is dedicated to supporting photographers. As such each photo essay that is published by True North will be paid for.
. Rates for a photo essay (text and photos) that have already appeared in other publications or platforms are $100.
. True North has an interest in commissioning exclusive stories. Although we are currently working with a very tight budget we can offer competitive rates for photo essays that would be of interest to a Canadian audience. The more in-depth and compelling the story, the more we can pay.
. True North was started up thanks in part to a $4,000 grant from the NWT Council For The Arts.
. True North believes that those who cannot afford subscriptions should not be prevented from viewing its content. As such there will never be a paywall for this site. However, moving forward, the website will be supported through donations from the general public. If you believe in the importance of compelling visual storytelling please subscribe to the site through the Patreon link at the bottom of the page.
. All donations will be used toward paying photographers for their work – with a small percentage going toward the editing and curating process. As the platform continues to grow that money will be used to pay photographers as much as possible rather than going toward supporting a bloated top-heavy bureaucracy.
Transparency is paramount to ensuring that the public can trust media outlets. As such True North will keep readers updated about its finances on a regular basis including a breakdown of how much revenue it has brought in, how much of that money ended up in photographers’ pockets, and how much of it was used to support and grow the platform (editing, curating, advertising etc…). The amount of money raised through Patreon is also publicly available on the True North’s subscription page: https://www.patreon.com/truenorthjournal