As a wedding photographer, getting published was one of my biggest goals from the beginning. At this point in my career, I have been fortunate enough to be featured in print 19 times and featured in over 70 different online publications including The Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, and Martha Stewart Weddings. This process has come with a lot of patience, learning, and persistence. I went from knowing nothing about submitting, to getting featured regularly.
If you’re new to the world of publications, here are my top tips for how to get your wedding photography published.
Use a platform – While most major publications require you to submit directly through their website, there are some helpful programs for submitting to many other publishers both large and small! Matchology is my favorite product for this. They make it super easy to upload your images, descriptions, and tag vendors. After your submission is complete, they give you a list of submissions that would be the best fit for the submission. Two Bright Lights is another helpful tool and features different publishers than Matchology. Having one (or both!) of these programs really eases the burden of submitting. The best part is that if your submission gets turned down, you can seamlessly resubmit to another publisher without having to craft an entire submission from scratch.
No publication is too small – I have been featured in some of the biggest wedding publications in the world, but that doesn’t stop me from still wanting to work with smaller blogs and magazines. When I am approached by editors of publications that are just starting, I am always happy to help them out by sharing my work. Everyone starts somewhere and you never know which small blog will be the next big one! Also, backlinks are a big help with SEO… so I am always trying to get as many as I can!
Do your research – You can have THE BEST photos in the world and your submission will still get declined if it doesn’t match the blog or magazine’s aesthetic. I can only imagine how frustrated editors must feel when they get bombarded with submissions that clearly do not fit their style or otherwise go against their requirements. With a little research, you can find out everything about what an editor is looking for and determine which is the best fit for the shoot or wedding that you are hoping to have featured. Some of the best ways to find this information are by looking at their “submissions” or “about” pages on their website. I have even created a Google spreadsheet for myself which includes all of the publications that I regularly submit to and all of the info about what they do and do not want.
Follow instructions – It may be tedious but it is so crucial to follow all of a publishers requirements if you hope to have your submission accepted. Some editors ask for a specific number of images, file sizes, vendor information, and other details. Some of the largest publications even require a multi-page survey to be filled out by the couple. All of this needs to be done correctly in order to be considered for a feature.
Reach out – Some publications have a list of photographers to which the send “content calls” when they are looking for specific things to feature. It never hurts to reach out to the editors of your favorite publications and see if this is something they do.
Don’t get discouraged – When it comes to getting published, you are going to get a lot of rejection. It took me 3 years and many “Sorry, this is not a fit” emails to get my first feature on Style Me Pretty. Even now, I still hear “No” alllll the time. It is a normal part of the publication process and the best thing you can do is learn to not take it personally. There are so many reasons why an editor chooses not to feature your work and it’s most likely not because they hate it (even though that’s how it feels when you get your first rejection email!). If you want to be published, you absolutely have to keep trying over and over again. Persistence is key!