On Assignment: Shooting for the Cover of a Magazine!

by | Feb 2, 2018 | Stories & Expeditions | 2 comments

Ever wondered what it was like to shoot a photo that was featured on the front cover of a magazine?!

Well, it is a nice idea, but I actually don’t know what it’s like yet….none of the photos I’ve ever taken have been featured on the front cover of a magazine.

But! It just so happens that if any of the pictures I take (or you take, or anyone takes for that matter!) are the most amazing, the most beautiful, the most incredibly, absolutely the greatest pictures in the whole entire world of old schoolhouses, and if The Old Schoolhouses Magazine decides they want to use one of them, then, yes! you might get to know what it feels like to have your photo featured on the front cover of a magazine!

I know, it’s a gamble, but if I’m already close to an old schoolhouse, and going to be spending time taking pictures anyway, then why not at least give it a try?

So, I’m giving it a try! I hope you enjoy this little video that shows how I decided to photograph this little schoolhouse in Ohio on the trip home from a conference last summer.



Behind the Scenes Insights

  • I wouldn’t have ever gone to this location 175 miles away from home if I hadn’t already had been traveling through the area for another reason, in this case, a homeschool conference.
  • I looked for old schoolhouses across the entire state of Ohio using a website I stumbled on called www.oneroomschoolhousecenter.weebly.com. I’m sure there are more schoolhouses across the States than that are listed on this website, but it’s a good start and the best place that I know of to date.
  • I did this location-scouting on the road because I didn’t have time to do it any any other time.
  • I used mymaps.google.com to create my own map of the schoolhouses I found online in Ohio.
  • I then color coded the pins on the map to help me know which ones were worth visiting and which ones weren’t.
  • Once the schoolhouses were listed on a map, I could see which good ones were close to my route.
  • The more flexible your schedule, the more flexible you can plan your route to pass by the one(s) that are most likely to make a nice picture.
  • I then picked the best one closest to my route and made plans to stop there as close to golden hour as possible (ie. scheduled length of time spent for friends, food or bathroom breaks based on the best time of arrival at the destination).
  • It just so happened that Jonathan and I had plenty of time that day, so there was no rush when we arrived and we spent over an hour just chilling out and taking pictures and enjoying the beauty of the location.
  • When I arrived, the first thing I did was walk around the entire area to find the best angle, looking for foreground subjects and best angles for the light.
  • I then pulled out the camera and shot my favorite angle, the one with the fence in the foreground.
  • I spent the rest of my time shooting other angles. I think I found multiple angles that I liked, though I still think the first one was best for the cover of a magazine. I’ll submit all of them to TOS though.
  • That first shot, I was shooting in Aperture Priority mode. That’s why I said “it was giving me 1/25th sec” for shutter speed.
  • We left as soon as the sun disappeared. We didn’t have time for night photography there. Plus, we had 175 miles yet to go.

Where to Submit Your Photos

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is paying for pictures of old schoolhouses. The current request is for pictures of schoolhouses that would do well on the cover of a winter-issue magazine. Submit your pictures on Shoot to Serve before March 31 for the assignment, Old Schoolhouse in Winter (ends March 31).

170910-JAS-3848_Advance One Room Schoolhouse, , _Canon EOS 5D Mark II 17 mm 1-25 sec at f - 11 ISO 50170910-JAS-3898_Advance One Room Schoolhouse, , _Canon EOS 5D Mark II 17 mm 0.5 sec at f - 11 ISO 50

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  1. ANA


  2. James Staddon

    No, we were not there when it was open so we could not go in. But we did look in the windows and I think it was all set up like a real schoolhouse from way back when! So yeah, it was sorta like a museum. I’m not very familiar with the Amish. From those whom I have met, they are kind and intelligent, but in great need of a biblical understanding of salvation and personal relationship with Jesus Christ.



  1. My Obsession With Old Schoolhouses - Lenspiration - […] where I started incorporating shooting schoolhouses into Shoot to Serve assignments. I actually recorded a video of myself shooting…

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