For the past couple of years I’ve been offering workshops for photographers on “How To Get Published”. Three were in conjunction with a photography workshop – one in Malibu, one in Bakersfield, and one in Santa Barbara. Then there was The Experience in Las Vegas during WPPI which I put on with three other top wedding bloggers as well as three top wedding photographers.
I have two more workshops on calendar for 2014 – as well as some projects to be announced – all to help photographers make sense of the sometimes confusing process of submitting, and more importantly, getting accepted for feature by the publication of their dreams.
Today I thought I’d go over a part of the “Getting Published” process – the actual submission.
While some may think having beautiful photography would simply be “enough” to get published, such is not the case. Yes, providing an editor with outstanding photography is more than important – there are lots of other details that go into deciding whether a submission will be featured. One of the most important factors is whether the photographer has provided enough information about the wedding or shoot.
Let me preface this by saying – if you have submitted a wedding or shoot to Fab You Bliss recently and I am working with you on obtaining more information, please don’t feel like I’m singling you out. This missing step is a common occurrence – one that happens more times than we editors would like – which is why we offer the workshops we do and write posts such as this to help educate photographers. So don’t worry, you’re not alone.
What I’m hoping to do with this post is provide you with the information you need to combine your fantastic photography skills with the BEST submission techniques so you can WOW even the most critical editor.
One of the easiest ways for you to make sure your submission goes from “maybe” to an absolute “yes” is to provide the name and website of every vendor who worked on the wedding. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been really excited about a gorgeous wedding only to find not one vendor listed. Seriously, this happens a lot!
Let’s just assume when this happens it is an oversight and the photographers don’t know that editors need such information. So now you know you need to…
# 1. Provide a list of all vendors who worked on the wedding or shoot. This includes all bridal party attire, especially the bride and groom’s.
It would be plain silly for any editor to feature an image of a gorgeous dress, shoes, etc., yet not provide the information for our readers to find it for themselves. In addition, the vendors who worked to help create the wedding or shoot deserve to get credit and a spotlight as well. So be sure to make their information available in your submission so editors don’t have to ask for it – or worse, so you don’t get rejected because it’s not there.
# 2. If the vendor has a website, please provide it.
You’d think that # 1 and # 2 here are saying the same thing. But they’re not. What I’m saying in #2 is this: Let’s say Beautiful Flowers is the name of the florist who provided all of the flowers for the wedding you are submitting. Obviously you know the name of the company. And you’ve also provided their email address. JohnDoe@BeautifulFlowers.com. But what you haven’t provided is their website address.
Did you know that if John Doe has @BeautifulFlowers.com as their email address it’s 99% likely that http://beautifulflowers.com is their website. And even if it isn’t, you should take the time to find out what it is and provide the correct information to the editor of wherever you are submitting. I will say this, if an editor has to go look for contact information, your submission goes from “absolutely yes” to “well, maybe” in seconds flat. I don’t mean to be blunt, but we have a lot of submissions to you choose from. So make sure yours stands out among the rest!
# 3. Please do not refer us to your blog post for information.
Respect is a huge part of getting your work published. Unfortunately, too few people recognize this. Maybe it’s because many photographers don’t realize how many submissions we go through. Maybe it’s because they don’t realize how disrespectful it sounds to send us searching somewhere else for the information that should be provided within the submission itself. Either way, don’t let this happen to you. If you really want to impress an editor, carefully read through their submissions guidelines and provide everything they ask for and then some. And be sure to follow this for EVERY publication you submit to, no matter how big or small they are.
# 4. If the couple has information on the wedding, please provide it with the submission.
There have been plenty of times where I’ve viewed a submission that is leaning towards the “maybe” feature, but as soon as I read the lovely, amazing or sweet story the couple provided – it instantly becomes an absolute “yes”. The more information you can provide for us editors, the easier it makes it for us to accept it. It really is as simple as that.
The bottom line is this, it’s important to remember it’s not only your beautiful imagery that will make or break your submission. Lots of information needs to come along with your images – the more the better and the easier you make it for the editor to accept – and the more you’ll get featured.
Also, be sure to give the same extraordinary submission effort for every publication you submit to. The way you submit should be the same for a blog that receives 10,000 visitors a month to one that receives a million. The reason I say this is because, one – you are a professional and you should treat everyone with the same professional courtesy. And two – you never know, that blog that receives 10,000 visitors a month today could be the blog that receives over a million visitors next year. And wouldn’t it suck to have burned a bridge with them?
So remember – the key with getting your submissions accepted is to provide exactly what the publication is looking for. Think like an editor. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine what they are looking for. If you can do that and satisfy that need – you’ll be published every time!
Thanks for stopping by!