Throughout my travels, I continually meet 4 Wheel Drive & Sport Utility enthusiasts who ask me if I can cover their club or manufacturer adventures. Most of them sound like great events and I wish that I could cover the majority of them, but I am hindered by quite a few factors, such as a small three-person staff, a tight production schedule, and time. Christian, Jordan, my freelancers, and I can only cover so much, and then we have to hightail it back to our desks to go through the photos and write articles.
I do, however, want to cover you and your adventures from a wider variety of states. What I propose is to get you, the enthusiast or manufacturer, more involved with the magazine. If you have an event that you feel would fit in 4WD&SU, photograph it, write it, and send it to me. I think this would be a great club endeavor.
These articles may run anywhere from one to five pages. The vehicles must be the same as what we have been covering for the last 20 years: Jeep, early Toyota and Bronco, Samurai, Rover, and custom adventure vehicles. No fullsize vehicles and no show vehicles. If it's bling, forget it. The photos must be as close to professional quality as they can get. Digital is preferred, 4-megapixel or higher. Point-and-shoot cameras are OK; SLR is better. I can help with the writing if need be. 4WD&SU does not run show-'n'-shine or parking-lot events, so don't even think about it. Group shots in the story will be considered. Adventures organized by manufacturers must be written from an enthusiast's perspective; I won't accept advertising campaigns. You can mention the company or shop name and what you are all about, but don't overdo it. This is all about trail adventure, 'wheeling for a good cause, and lifestyle.
If you would like a good example of an awesome adventure story written by an enthusiast and company, check out ARB's British Columbia story on page 34 of the Aug. '05 issue (or look at it online at www.4wdandsportutility.com/adventures/international/0508_4wd_arb2). Submitted articles do not have to be this extensive and may be just a one-day run, but must have a similar format.
Don't get your feelings hurt if I tell you I'm not going to run it. Just work a little harder next time. Here are some helpful hints: The higher-megapixel camera, the better; 99 percent of the time shoot with the sun at your back and shining on your subject; watch for glare, reflections, and the background; no posed shots of a vehicle stopped on the only rock around for miles; and keep it clean.
If you have any questions about this or any other matter, please feel free to e-mail. It may take a little while, but I will get back to you. My inbox has been slammed since I started including it in this editorial, especially with October's survey; the response thus far has been overwhelming. By the way, I should have the results of the survey in the Jan. '06 issue.