PDP: Lone Wolf Magazine Email Critique

Section: Professional Development

Lone Wolf Magazine has been the pinnacle of where I want to end up as a photojournalist for the past year, and is the publication that was the catalyst that helped me decide what I want to do with the rest of my life. I originally picked up a copy of their publication while adventuring around New York City last year, inside an incredibly packed-to-the-gills newsstand. Thus, I decided it would be completely appropriate and quite a positive impact on my experience and education to submit some of my works via email to both Lone Wolf’s submission page and the editor in chief herself, Natalia Borecka. The goal here was not to receive back a ‘kudos’ or ‘sorry, but…’ but instead critiques on how to improve my work in order for it to be as high-quality as possible. In order for this to count for the professional development portion of the Personal Development Project, I decided that it would be more appropriate to ask for advice from seasoned professionals who employ similar individuals to that which I am aspiring to be instead of asking a direct, “Is this adequate for your publication or not?” which also comes with the negative tone of an amateur requesting validation – which I would most likely not be the happy recipient of in such a situation (they state on their website that if you do not receive a response in two weeks, you shouldn’t expect one). In the process of typing out the e-mail, I decided it would have the best outcome if I wrote what came out of my fingers immediately, and then gave it a day or so to simmer while my brain could come up with some more professional revisions. The original draft looked something like this:

“Dear Lone Wolf Employee,

I, Quinn Kirby,

[insert photo here]

am requesting

[insert photo here]


[insert blog link here]

professionally trained

[insert photo here]


[insert photo here]

in order to improve

[insert photo here]

my photojournalism skills-…”

and so on and so forth. After a decent night’s sleep I decided that not only was this was inadequate, but immature in the most comic sense, and promptly cleaned it up into a properly responsible and dedicated request of both the editor and whichever employee happened to be chance enough to receive my correspondence:

“Dear Lone Wolf Staff Member,

I’ll keep this as concise as possible for you!

My name is Quinn Kirby, and I am requesting that you critique my photojournalistic efforts in the hopes that one day I may be employed by a similar – or even the same -establishment that you are.

I have no professional experience as a photographer nor journalist – I am a Freshman attending Central Michigan University – but I have taken many amateur steps at honing and continuing my craft. I am aware that many published journals use freelance artists in their publications more often than not these days, so what I am asking is that you critique my work with the eye of an editor (and I would be wholly grateful if this found its way to Ms. Borecka).

In order to keep this short and your work on schedule, I will leave you with one single link to one of my works: https://poetsandprose.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/2059/

Thank you so much for taking the time to help me improve!

Much love and good vibes,

Quinn Kirby”

[The following images were included as attachments.] 

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  It has now been ten days since I have sent my pseudo-resumé to Lone Wolf’s editor and recipient of their ‘Submit to ____’ e-mails. 

I’m not necessarily expecting anything back at this point, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I will make an excitement-fueled update if they do, in fact, get back to me in the next few days before that fortnight mark of no return hits. 

I’ve been trying to get my motivation to the point where I would do something like this to help myself professionally for about as long as I’ve wanted to become a prominent photojournalist. I’ve never been able to actually push myself to type up a request, nor have I had the confidence in my abilities to shoot out such correspondence to a publication that I aspire to create. Even if I do not have the privilege of receiving a response in the next couple of rotations around our world’s axis, I will be happy enough to know that I have the positive audacity to push for what I want, need, and have the talent to gain, though my future education and experience will bolster my abilities and make me more of a force to be reckoned with.

It’s crazy to think that in eight years I’ll either be creating content for high-quality publications that add educational and artistic value to our culture rather than degrading individuals for whatever the heck they’ve been up to in their private lives (*cough* tabloids *cough*) or beginning my own publication of the sort, but I’m completely aware that it will happen. I don’t have a hunch or anything, and I’m not psychic. I just know. Like the coming of the seasons; just as I know autumn will come, so will my time. With dedication to my craft, I will become.

Much love,

Quinn ❤

Update: It is October 30th. I did not receive a response, but I’ll be trying again once I’ve been professionally trained!

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