Wednesday, April 18, 2007

How to Get Published in Magazines

To help me put together some advice on getting published, I turned to someone who has been published many times in more publications than I can keep track of: Joe Photo. Click play to see what he has to say!

Joe also has a great blog called "Cup of Joe", which he updates daily with inspirations and photos.

Amy Squires also gave me some great advice:
• Send the magazine editor a link to one of your best events to get them interested
• Make sure the event has great details and is fashionable
• Send a CD with a selection of images- but not too many
• Make sure the images are already corrected to your tastes
• Include a printed proof sheet of the images with reference numbers
• There's no money in submitting images to magazines

Granted, both of the photographers above are speaking of wedding publications, but there are some basic principals that can be applied to almost any publication. I've also learned a few things along the way from my mother who is a former editor, copywriter, and still acts as a publicist in her current position.
• Think about the type of person you want to attract and what publications that person would be most likely to buy and read
• Think like an editor and take a close look at the magazine you're interested in and the types of images that are being chosen by the editors for publication
• Submit current work and avoid anything older than 1 year
• Include contact information for the bride & groom as well as any other relevant details
• Include your business card and make sure your name and phone number are on the actual CD
• Make sure photos are 300 dpi, at least 5x7 resolution
• Choose the publication wisely and do not submit the same images to multiple publications
• It may take up to a year before your images are published
• Local magazines will have less competition for publication versus national magazines
• Photographers who advertise with the magazine are more likely to be published with that magazine
• Show them something they've never seen before
• Make it a habit to submit your work regularly

Now that you have lots of great information about what to submit for publication, the how should be pretty easy to find. Most magazines list their submission guidelines somewhere in their publication or on their website. In magazines, check near the table of contents or in the rear index. It's often in very small print with little more than an email address. If an email address is all you get- make sure that your first impression has plenty of positive impact and concisely requests any release forms neccessary. When you're looking on a website, look near the bottom of the page for a "contact us" link or an "advertise with us" link. Then look for submission guidelines.

Once your work has been accepted, make sure that you read release forms very carefully. You may not want to agree to all of the terms a publication puts in place. If you find something that you don't agree to, simply cross that part out when you send the release back. For example, consider the following:
• Will you be given credit by name for the work you're providing for free?
• How long will the publication have the rights to publish your images? (advice: make sure it's a year or less- especially in case of a divorce!)
• Are you giving the publication the rights to use your images in their own advertising?
• Are you positive that you will be maintaining the copyright and not transferring it?
• Are there any terms about exclusivity and not using the images elsewhere?

While submitting images from one entire wedding seems like the most logical thing to do, also consider creating a type of editorial out of images with a common theme. Perhaps there's a very inventive florist in your town who you would like to team up with and produce commercial images for, which you could then submit for publication. Think like an editor and create a compelling story with images that would appeal to both your ideal client and the publications they would read.

If you use the advice mentioned here and end up getting published, please leave a comment with a link to your published work so that we can celebrate your success!! Likewise, if you have any additional advice to add, please share it in the comments as well!! If you're a member of the following forum, you can also use the following link to view more throughts on this topic: DWF


  1. Excellent post Anne! I have always wanted to know more about how to get published. Thanks so much for doing all this.


  2. Great advice, Anne!! I love this article!

  3. Wow thank you for sharing this valuable info.

  4. You're awesome! Thanks for doing the research for us!

  5. Wow! That's a lot of great advice! Good luck!

  6. Great insight into getting published! Sounds like you need a lot of persistence and consistency if you are doing it yourself... ;-)

    Kairos Moment Wedding Films
    KMWF Blog

  7. great advice, thanks for posting this! :)

  8. Work for free is pretty much it - bwaaaa, ha, ha, ha.

    Just kidding with you, Joe's answer was funny - have someone else do it. So it really comes down to editing your work, if its good, from the perspective of someone selling something, magazines. So if you can get into their head and then them images they like - you're in. And definately start local, it's probably more valuable to you as well.

  9. Thanks so much, Anne. I'm going to be spending HOURS on your blog! This information is invaluable.


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