One of the difficulties that wedding photographers face is the challenge of having their work published online or in a magazine publication. With so many photographers vying for the limited space available, it’s easy to see how vital this coverage can be. Not only will it showcase your creativity and talent, but it will serve as some of the most effective marketing available – because it is directly targeted to your core audience.
Noting these benefits, we offer these tips to wedding photographers looking to have their work published. While we anticipate they will improve your chances, at the end of the day the detail and quality of your photos, as well as the story your work is able to convey, will both be defining factors.
Make sure all Parties are on the Same Page
One of the first things you want to get right is to ensure that all parties are in alignment with the creative angle for the wedding. That includes the bride and groom, event planners, designers, make-up artists, yourself and others. It is highly likely that your submission, if chosen for publishing, will be exclusive in nature – that is, published only in one source.
Therefore, if the wedding couple are driving the conversation around having the photos published, you need to ensure the theme put together by all parties will align with the nature of the publication(s) that they have in mind. If the wedding theme is likely to fit the style of a particular editor, contact them in advance and broach the topic – you will open dialogue and may receive some general guidance.
Add some Personality to your Message
It shouldn’t be underestimated how important it is to personalise your submission. You’re dealing with another human, and no one appreciates being called by the wrong name – or worse, reading a message addressed to a competing publication. Don’t make the message too long but do add a couple sentences on what it is about the publication that you like, and how your shoot might deliver them value – think for example, a wider audience, or particular styling aspects that could draw more engagement from their readers.
Brand your Work
It’s important to present your submission as a professional package. This includes more obvious measures like incorporating a branded logo or watermark into your photos, and submitting your photos from a professional email address. Perhaps less obvious, pay attention to smaller details like having your website up to date and proofread, while also naming submissions in accordance with your brand so that it is easier for publishers to remember the corresponding photos when being reviewed against other submissions.
Avoid ‘Spamming’ the Publication
If there’s one way to turn away a potential publisher, it’s through a pushy approach. Whether that be multiple emails covering the submission, or sending through various photos or shoots and asking the publication to select something themselves. You need to have confidence in your work and know which photos you want to submit.
A general follow-up is fine – and so is asking for feedback if your submission is declined – but don’t turn it into a chain of successive emails. For website and magazines to review and judge hundreds of submissions takes time, so remain patient. Refrain from sending high-resolution images – they won’t be necessary for online publications, and they may well irritate the recipient.
Familiarise Yourself with Submission Details
Last but not least, ensure you are complying with the submission details of the magazine or publication. You might believe you’re thinking outside the box by sending a personalised portfolio of your work in the mail to the publication, but there’s every chance your work might never have eyes laid on it. Keep it to one publication at a time, starting with smaller publications and using any feedback to refine your next submissions.