An American fashion magazine has created a storm by expecting photographers to pay $860 if their image is chosen for its cover. In a ‘the world’s gone crazy’ role-reversal, Sheeba magazine's submission guidelines specify that photographers lucky enough to have an image selected for the cover will have to pay for the privilege of having it used.

In the magazine’s defense, it does style itself as a place where photographers, designers and models have an "opportunity to show-case and promote their contemporary masterpieces worldwide through print, digital and social media exposure" and presumably getting the cover position allows that photographer the most exposure.

Work placed inside the magazine is published for free, and at the moment there’s a special 50% off deal for cover placement.


In return, the photographer gets a copy of the print edition, a high-resolution tear sheet, and possibly an interview inside the magazine. Although billed as a monthly magazine, there seem to be three ‘volumes’ some months. The 74-page latest issue costs $26 for the print edition.

It isn’t clear what the magazine’s reach is, or exactly how much exposure gracing the front cover will gain the chosen photographer. The magazine’s Instagram page has fewer than 2,500 followers and its Twitter posts appear in the feed of just 75 people. The magazine is a little more successful on Facebook where it has 6,703 followers, but its most recent post is rather soiled by a lengthy comment thread about the morality of its cover policy.

If you don’t feel up to applying for a place on the cover, the magazine is looking for a number of interns to help put the publication together. The job ads offer the "opportunity to gain valuable editorial experience in media publishing and further develop a professional portfolio in return for work efforts" and a promise that you might be considered for a permanent position in the future. There’s no mention of payment, but the magazine expects considerable skills and dedication, and someone to layout 100 pages of content—perhaps three times a month.

For more information see the Sheeba website.