What is a Tear Sheet?

A tear sheet is a way for a photographer to show and prove that he or she had photographs published. It is sort of like a visual resume of your accomplished work. I was introduced to the idea by Bill Weitzmann, an experienced and accomplished photographer, who called it a “Clip File.” He showed me his clip file, which was a physical portfolio with all the newspaper clippings of his published photographs. Looking through his published photographs was truly inspirational!

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 12.30.01 AM

I started my own clip file right away after being so inspired by Bill showing me his extensive clip file. Over the years, I keep building up more and more published photographs and many of them are published online. So, I decided to maintain an electronic version of my clip file as well.


As you can see in this example above, I include my photograph, the caption, and the photo credit for use on my tear sheet. This way, I can see my accumulating photographs that are being published. Over time, it is enjoyable to see all the photographs that an editor saw worthy of publication. I can also track my progress as a sports photographer to ascertain if I am improving in the quality of my sports photographs.


Many times the university where I shoot sports, puts my photographs on their website. The example above shows an upcoming celebration for the head football coach’s 50th Anniversary. They used my photograph and provided my photo credit on the arm of the coach’s shirt sleeve in my photo.

ESU Media Guide 2015

Sometimes my photographs even end up on various publications, like this Football Media Guide from last year. I always try to obtain a physical copy of such material, but having a record of it in my tear sheet is also good and shows others how my photographs are being used in a variety of ways.


My growing tear sheet will hopefully show potential clients and editors that I am becoming more accomplished as a sports photographer. The tear sheet is evidence of my photographic accomplishments to date.

You can view my tear sheet here: http://bobshankphotography.com/TearSheet.html This is also a sneak peak at my upcoming website redesign. I will be rolling out the revision in the coming weeks, once everything is finalized and ready to share. I am excited about this new revision and hope it will provide a better way to show my sports photography work and capabilities. You can be sure you will be reading about my new website design here once it is ready to go!