My shot made the cover of Marlin Magazine!!

A shot I took is on the cover of Marlin Magazine. It's a photo of a black marlin that I took in Panama at the world famous Tropic Star Lodge. YAHOO!
Actually I am getting lucky with a lot of covers recently. If you want to see all of them, and also peek at some of my recent shots from Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Cabo, and Kona, check out my gallery here: http://www.bluewaterjon.com/gallerybyjon.htm
If you see something you like, and you'd like to order original prints, please contact me through my website. I am also doing private shoots now for resorts, yacht owners, and anglers.


New article about my trip to Costa Rica's Crocodile Bay Lodge

This winter I had the pleasure of visiting Costa Rica's famous Crocodile Bay Lodge. It's really an incredible resort, and home to some of the world's best fishing and ecotourism. I wrote a 2500 word article about my visit there in the latest issue of Destination Fish Magazine and you can read it here:  Fishing in Costa Rica for Exotics: Crocodile Bay Lodge by Jon Schwartz It's the only place I know of where you can pull on sailfish, marlin, roosterfish, and dorado in the morning and get face time with exotic rainforest animals in the afternoon. I hope to bring my wife and kids there someday.

Working with Jon Schwartz: A Guide for Captains

Here are some guidelines I use as a ride-along photographer. Please review them prior to me coming aboard and let me know if there is anything that doesn't work for you.

How to contribute as a captain or mate:
If I am sending you questions or interviewing you in person, you can answer whatever questions you like, in email or by phone or in person. If I’m in town I’d be happy to take you to dinner and take notes then.  I can interview on the boat but it's sometimes not the best when you are busy with the clients and spread and the wind is blowing. Sometimes I use only a fraction of the material I get for an article, but since we don’t know what will make it in, and if there will be any follow up articles, it’s always cool to have people contribute as much as they can.  Don’t worry about making it sound perfect or even spelling or punctuation if you’re writing  your responses, I’ll clean it up. If I happen to get a whole lot of images and information from one source, then maybe I can write a separate article about that one person.

Who will be featured in the article? 
Some articles feature only one captain and/or crew member, and in some, I try and use a panel of experts. If it’s a print mag, to the extent that I am allowed, I will of course attribute quotes to you ( that’s standard) and also mention your business name ( usually in a list at the end).  If it’s a print magazine they have the final edit so they might take out a bunch of stuff I wrote and I have no control over that.  Once I got a great pic of a fish and included the captain who put me on it, and a mag took the part I wrote about him out, so please know I don’t have the final say. If you would rather only contribute if you are the only one featured in the article, let me know in advance.  If you have any particular concerns about this, please let me know and I can be more specific depending on the article(s) I am planning to write.

Where will the article be published and when?
I try and “pitch” articles to magazines all the time. Some have themes, and some come about when we catch something and I realize, “Hey, maybe this is a good idea for an article” and then I contact the magazine. I also write for my website which is a PR5 and gets a lot of hits, my blog, my Facebook accounts which have over 5000 friends and fans, and other websites. I typically don’t get paid for web work but I do a lot of it because it’s fun and the exposure leads to other opportunities. I might go fishing with you for a day and only write about you in my blog if I didn’t get much material, but then if a week later I write about something that gets 100,000 hits- and that’s happened before- chances are lots of those people will be scrolling to the blog post I wrote about you, and they might also go to your site. No guarantees of course, all I can promise is that I will do all I can to take the coolest pictures and make the biggest “splash” with them in print and online, and I will try to include you in the coverage or articles when appropriate.

Giving out Pictures to Clients: 
When doing ride alongs, I can offer the angling party, at my expense, 3 action prints from the day that I will send to them in 8x10 prints. I will send them to the lab for processing and delivery within 2 weeks of the charter. I will select the images; hey’ll be nice but not the best as I need to keep those for commercial purposes. If there was no action,  or the only shots I got are really unique and I need to keep a wrap on all of them, I will provide 3 stock shots from my collection in 8x10 prints, again of my choice.  I do this because there’s not much money to be made in fishing photos and writing ( at least in my experience) and the only way for me to approach breaking even is to keep the best images for commercial use. I am not trying to sell images to your angling clients and make money off of them. However, if they want more than the three 8x10’s that I will send them, I guess they are welcome to buy images from me like anyone else is, although I have a $400 minimum. I have over 30,000 worth of gear and I pay all travel costs out of pocket as a freelancer.

What I need from Angling Clients and Captain/Crew
I need people on board to sign a model release at the start of the day so that I can use pics they might be in for commercial use. Anglers will also need to agree in signature not to do anything with the prints I give them other than hang them up at home, so that means no scanning, copying, putting onto Facebook, etc. The reason for this is that once they end up on the internet without a watermark, they are basically gone and people use them for their own marketing without crediting me and the image loses all it’s value. I'd be happy to share some stories with you about this.

Giving Pictures to the Boat/Captain 
I am happy to take 4 pics of the boat/running shots, I can get some neat ones from the water, either at the end of the charter, during a break in the action, or even right before we pull in to the harbor. I can also do one portrait of the captain and crew. You can use them for marketing purposes and I will send them to you at internet resolution, all I ask for is a link to my site on your site somewhere, and I will also put a small photo credit in the picture on the bottom corner of each photo. I am also happy to provide some internet resolution pics for your website that will help your audience understand the fish they might catch. Basically the more you help me by letting me ride along and contributing, the more I will be happy to stoke you out.

Copyright and Rights to Photos: 
I retain ownership of all photos that I take on board. If there is a magazine or another writer that wants to write about you and your charter operation or you as a captain, that’s great. Simply tell them that I have images they can probably use and they will contact me directly.  I will probably be happy to sell them the image for a one time use.

Good Enough:
I’m a small fry. Still, when I include people in articles, I try to only feature captains and crew that are fun to be around for all types of clients, because I hope people fish with who I write about. Therefore if a captain or crew member is buzzed, unfriendly, or talks a lot about sensitive topics like politics or religion on the boat, I won’t include them because this is the kind of stuff that turns off some people.

Me getting in the water, or not:
I enjoy underwater photography, but not all captains and anglers like me to get in the water, and unless I am paying for the charter, I am a guest and I only do what I am allowed. If I am coming with you, let me know in advance whether or not I should bring my underwater gear. Plus, I only go in when it seems like a good idea to me and the captain says it’s a good idea to go in, which is usually if/when a fish is calm and under control, and in good health. The captain is the boss. There’s no point in me getting in with a spent billfish or a green billfish either. If I am bringing my underwater gear the captain and mates and angler should conference about when I might go in, if at all, and how to arrange things once I am in.  If you are OK with it, I’ll probably want to try and get some photos of the boat in the back and the fish in front. I’ll show you some pics of how to arrange the cockpit so that it looks good from where I am shooting, because I often take pics looking up at the boat. Basically, the less people in the shot the better so no one should be standing around looking at me. The angler and captain and crew at most should be in the shot. You might be surprised at how many pics I take, because out 50, maybe one will be good.

News Items: It might be boring to you, but....
I have a knack for making the most out of a story or a cool picture. If you know of any weird fish around or ocean happenings that can be photographed or can be caught or were caught in the past, let me know. These “weird” pics and little stories can make great headlines. A one eyed shark pup (not my story) was world wide news for a week about a year ago, and probably got millions of readers. The more unusual, the more interest there is. Be sure to let me know about anything that can be seen or written about that’s like this. You might think it’s boring but this stuff can “go viral” with people that don’t get outdoors much. That could mean lots of hits to my website, and if yours is on mine, then yours too.


Nicaragua: Fishing and Surfing Paradise!

I just got back from Nicaragua. I had a BLAST. I was there to get images for a travel destination feature that I am writing for Marlin Magazine.  The fishing was fantastic; there were TONS of sailfish , and I got some really epic fishing shots that will make for a great article. Until the article comes out, I need to refrain from discussing the fishing , but if you want to see what they catch down there, go to Surfari Charters' site  www.surfaricharters.com
The surfing was also epic. Not that I surfed- I was too busy taking photos. In fact, I got to do something new: take pics with my underwater housing in the surf. I can't wait to do more! 

Basically what you do is you hang out in the impact zone, where the waves break, and the surfer comes straight at you, and veers off at the last second. I think I'll only be doing this with people that know what they're doing! The above photo was actually taken from a boat, but for the first one, Captain Lance Moss, owner of Surfari Charters was actually really close to me. 

I took the above shot from the beach. I must say, Lance has assembled an awesome crew down there; each staff member was super courteous and helpful. They could put you on a sailfish in the morning and then snag some waves in the afternoon. Plus his chef was killer. The chef is a native Floridian who had been formally trained in the US at culinary school. I can't wait to return!