SOUTHWINDS is always looking for cover photos and we generally will pay for them at $65/cover.

  • Photos must be vertical (portrait format)
    • We often get vertical photos out of horizontal photos if the pixels are there.
  • There must be enough pixels to print big enough to be on the 8 1/2 inch x 11-inch cover.
    • We need 200 pixels per inch, which is 1700 pixels wide (8.5 inches x 200=1700) by 2200 pixels height, but we can sometimes get away with less if the photo is of good quality, ie, very clear and in focus. These dimensions are what we need AFTER we level the horizon and crop the photo. We prefer to do the final leveling and cropping.
    • We always level  the horizon. The horizon must be close to level to have enough room to crop it and still keep the subject matter in the photo. We will level if you don’t. When taking a photo, hold the camera reasonably level (without a tripod – on land – it’s impossible, but not a big deal if it’s somewhat close to level).
    • If the photo is real high resolution, we can easily reduce it. Just send it to us in an email as a jpeg attachment.
  • Subject matter: Photo composition is the most important aspect (as long as there are enough pixels). Composition is: Is it a great photo to look at? They are really great if you just keep wanting to look at it.
  • The photo must have a sailboat in it, or part of one (see below for trawler photos). A photo where the main subject is something you see from a sailboat – and you are taking the photo from a sailboat – then part of the sailboat you are on must be visible in the photo, so someone can see it was taken from a sailboat.
  • In line with our efforts to include trawler and powerboat cruising and living, we will also accept cover photos with a trawler, and especially with a trawler and sailboat in it.
  • Otherwise, the boat can be sailing, motorsailing, anchored, docked, even on land. We printed a great photo of a Hobie cat cat on land with the sailors next to it rigging it. Another was an old black and white of many small boats on land getting ready to launch for a race.
  • The sailboats can be cruising, racing, kids sailing, windsurfers, kite boarding, daysailing…
  • We’ve done two covers that were artwork.
  • Kids sailing are some of our favorite covers.
  • Close-up actions shots are great, as are groups of sailboats in the distance. It’s all about composition.
  • We are quite proud of our cover shots and the variety we’ve had over the years. To view our covers since 2003:
  • Dark photos don’t print so well on newsprint. We’ve done a few, though.
  • Contact the editor for questions or to send photos in.







Almost all articles printed in the magazine are photos that come with the article and are by the author. We generally do not seek out or pay for stand alone photos, and if we do, we rarely pay for them, although some photos we might pay for. Here are some of the types of photos we would look for.

  • Photos of something unique, like funny photos or just something unusual or particularly beautiful. Notice the above cover photos. These are all simple, beautiful photos. First one is just a boat and an airplane (click on it to see the larger version and you can see the plane). The last one is just a collection of unusual photos (click to view larger version).
  • Crash photos (not an appropriate word but one sailing magazine always has crash photos in each issue of, perhaps a boat flipping in a race, or its sail tearing, etc. We don’t want to be morbid or glorify boats crashing, but some might be great photos.
  • A collection of related photos that would all go on one or two pages as a photo essay with very little text. We would pay for this.
  • Race Photos, but they usually come with racing reports. We generally would not pay for these stand alone photos as the article author usually has some. But if someone has good race photos they would like to contribute, or something unique, please let us know.