Getting published is a goal for many wedding photographers. After all, nothing beats having your work recognized by a well-known (or smaller) publication. Having your photography published is a big deal for sure, but its benefits go beyond stroking your ego and validating your years of hard work.
Having your wedding photos published in a physical or online medium helps spread word of mouth and establishes credibility with prospective clients (bigger magazines, even). Not only that but getting published can also help your online presence. Getting published in an online magazine or photography blog can help strengthen your site’s SEO via backlinks from credible domains. Think of it as free advertising for your business– nothing beats free!
Getting your wedding photography published sounds awesome, but where do you begin? Truthfully, it takes a lot of hard work, effort, and some thick skin. You may receive many rejections before being able to publish one piece, but don’t let that discourage you; all good things come with time. Here are a few tips to get the ball rolling if you’re beginning to pitch your photography to different publications.
Before you submit anything, closely look at what every publication you have your eye on is posting. Photos that might be a great fit for one publication’s aesthetic might not match another’s at all. For example, if you notice that a publication focuses on weddings with a modern or urban aesthetic, submitting photos that were taken on a beautiful hilltop or countryside probably isn’t going to cut it. You want to be sure to familiarize yourself with every publication’s style. Otherwise, they might filter out your future submissions without thinking about it!
You should also consider the publication’s editorial calendar. Typically, magazines and other publications know what they will publish months or issues in advance. For example, if you want to submit photos of beautiful Fall weddings with autumnal colors, you should submit those photos in the Summer well in advance.
Some magazines and other publications may have tedious requirements to follow, but it’s crucial to do so if you hope to have your work published. As you might have already figured, editors can be super picky. Magazine editors may ask for additional details, such as vendor information and surveys filled out by the couple. Requirements can also include a certain number of images and file sizes. Whatever the case is, make sure you follow their instructions to a T.
This probably goes without saying, but make sure you’re sending in your best work. When you’re shooting a wedding, engagement, or elopement, make sure you’re taking photos of what made those events so remarkable. Did the couple use interesting props or ornaments? Then make sure you get close-up shots of them! Publications are always looking for unique submissions to make them stand out among their peers, which means your work should reflect that too.
Don’t be afraid to start small. There are some smaller blogs and publications with solid reputations that could provide you with positive publicity starting out. If you find a local or smaller magazine that you think your work would be a perfect fit for, don’t hesitate to reach out to them! In many cases, if you want to play in the big leagues, you’ll have to start small in the beginning– and that’s OK. Any positive publicity, big or small, is welcome and boosts your business. Also, those backlinks might come in handy for SEO purposes.
If you’re planning on making a lot of submissions simultaneously, it might be wise to invest in a submission platform to save you time. Many submission platforms, like Matchology or Two Bright Lights, make it easier to submit to any publication you want. Submission platforms make it easy for users to upload their images, edit descriptions, and tag vendors that worked at the wedding. Once you’ve completed your prospective submission, these applications will help by giving you a list of sites where your submission would be a viable fit.
In some cases, major publications will require you to make your submissions directly through them, but for smaller publications and everything in between, these platforms could save you a great deal of time.
Finding a publication to submit your wedding photography can be tough. Finding one that will actually publish your work can be even tougher. However, it’s important not to give up, no matter how many rejections you receive in the beginning. In many cases, rejections will come with feedback that will help you along the submission process at a later time. Sometimes a “no” in the beginning can turn into an emphatic “yes” later on. The more you try, the more you learn, and the more you grow– that’s why it’s important to never give up!
For many photographers, getting their work published is often seen as a crowning achievement, but everyone has to start somewhere. If you’re not sure about where to submit your work starting out, make a list of magazines and publications you want to be featured in one day and go from there.
If you enjoyed reading this post, make sure you check out my blog for more photography tips and advice.