Trying to get your photography work published? Does the following scenario sound familiar? You pour your heart and soul into a shoot for an adoring client or a styled shoot to move you along the path of creating only the work that you love and, once you have the snaps edited to perfection, you’re ready to share them with the world. You’ll post on social media and perhaps even post on your blog to share but you’re left feeling like something is missing–how do you get your incredible snaps in front of new people? How do you share what you created with more people? You’ve seen other photographers sharing how they are ‘featured’ in magazines and blogs and you become determined to approach this avenue of visibility but you’re left wondering, ‘how do I even start?’ That, my friend, is what I’m here to share with you.
Having your work published in print magazines, or in their virtual counterparts, or on blogs where your ideal client is bound to be searching, is a way to get your name out there along with the images that will draw clients to you based on the best of the best work you’re sharing. Being published increases your authority as a known, credible name in the industry and also helps with SEO linkbacks where people click from other places on the internet back to you! Overall, becoming a published photographer is a wonderful way to grow as a creative and professional. On top of that, being published is also accessible!
Let’s take a look at a few key points to having your work published for the world to see.
There are seemingly infinite numbers of blogs and magazines out there. Do your research to find the magazines and blogs that best match your style AND are where you know your ideal client searches. If your shooting style is more light and airy, applying to a fashion forward, dramatic, art-influenced publication isn’t a smart move and ends up being a waste of your time for applying. Take time to find the best publications for your style and make a shortlist of the ones you’d like to apply to be featured in. We like to use Two Bright Lights for researching which publication is searching for a specific type of publication.
Did you know that blogs tend to get 300+ submissions… per week? That can sound intimidating but don’t let it scare you. It just means you need to be sure you’re submitting something truly incredible to be seen! Be original when submitting images– think of submitting images that are in unique locations, that are truly captivating stories from the visual storytelling perspective or the actual story behind the images that is translated into the images you’re sharing. Being original will get you far! Being original and executing with excellence will take you even further.
You may hear people say things like, ‘it’s all in the details’ and when submitting for publication, the details are what can set you above the rest. Pay attention to all the little details of every image, every word. Try to imagine every image you submit being the ONLY image submitted and that’s going to be blown up on a billboard. Every single detail is visible on that scale! That little shift in perspective will help you select only the best images with the most fascinating details to be published.
A great story is crucial to include with phenomenal photos. When writing out the description to accompany the images, ensure it’s a great story that inspires. Share details about the wedding day, the venue, the couple and even in the inspiration behind the details. Try your hand at honing in one magical detail that you can weave into the story of the day. Include heartfelt descriptions of moments, why or how something caught your eye, and the powerful, emotive elements from the stolen glances, sweet smiles, and other intimate details only you had the privilege to witness from your role as photographer.
Apply to become a preferred vendor with a publication! Your submission will get priority as a preferred vendor and you’ll be able to provide content for insights on upcoming themes and even seasonal articles that help set trends!
I understand that submitting to a magazine or blog to be published can be nerve wracking– will they think my work is good enough? Will I apply and never hear back from anyone? Am I even a good photographer? The self-doubt can come creeping in ever so slightly that you don’t even take the risk and apply. When the worst that can happen is you don’t hear back, it’s really worth it to take the plunge, put your best snaps and stories forward, and see what happens. If you DO hear back, and they want to publish your work, you’ll be able to add the badge of honor to your website, your social media and you’ll be on path to becoming a stronger voice of authority. Plus, you’ll most likely find some new clients, too!