Jul 11, 2018

5 Tips for Getting Your Submissions Accepted for Publication
by Emily Rochotte

5 Tips for Getting Your Submissions Accepted for Publication

Emily Rochotte

Photos are meant to be shared, and not just with the people who are in them! Share your work with the world (or at least the Internet) by submitting to a variety of publications. Use these editor-approved tips to boost your submissions, get noticed by editors, and be on your way to getting more of your work published for everyone to see and share!  

Follow Directions

Sounds simple, right? But you would not believe how many submitters don’t follow the submission guidelines for a publication, and editors take notice. If a publication asks for something specific, give it to them. And give it up front. Don’t say, “I will get this to you if the submission is accepted for publication”…because it won’t get accepted…because you didn’t follow directions. See how this is a vicious cycle? Put the time and effort into the submission the first time around. Even if it doesn’t get accepted, it was good practice for the next one. You don’t want to be known to editors as the person who can’t do what they’re asking

Details, Details, Details

When filling out a submission application, always include the details. Your photos are amazing, but it’s the story behind them that brings the wedding to life online or in print. Share the moments there were tears, go into detail about the cultural traditions that were observed, explain how the wedding party was chosen. Work with the couple on this, readers want to get inside their heads. A first-person perspective paired with the photographer’s story always takes the submission to the next level!

Be Unique

Publications understand that you want to reach as many audiences as possible. And if a publication doesn’t have an exclusivity clause, then by all means go and submit to multiple. But don’t send everyone the same exact submission. Explain why you’re submitting to their publication specifically (maybe you saw they were looking for fall engagement shoots or maybe you’ve been a long-time reader) then refer back to Step 1 (FOLLOW DIRECTIONS)! Not all publications ask for the same details or photos, and if you want them to believe that you want to be published by them, then the least you can do is give them what they need for consideration. If you are doing a batch submission to several publications, at the very very least be sure to address the editor or publication by name. We want to feel like you care about being on our specific platform, even if you want to be on several.

Don’t Over Do It

Publishers want a variety of photos to choose from, but we don’t want EVERY photo in the album. If we can make a stop-motion film of the cake cutting by scrolling through your album quickly, it’s way too many photos. Survey your publication to help give them what they want. If each post they publish typically includes 5-15 photos give them 25-50 to choose from. If they post an album of 25-50 photos, then give them 75-100 at most. Make them unique, not just the same pose from multiple angles and if it’s a wedding, be sure to capture the highlights and intimate moments of the entire day, giving an overview of the celebration from getting ready to the send-off.

Credit Everyone Involved

Remember when the Beatles said they get by with a little help from their friends? In this case, all the vendors involved in your photo session are your friends. A wedding required more than just the photographer to take place. A couple might have had their hair or makeup done for their engagement shoot. If you’re submitting your photos to a publication, be sure to work with your couple to get a list of vendors and their website links to credit. Imagine the couple’s florist submitted photos of their floral arrangements to a largescale publication and only credited themselves. You’d be pretty bummed that you weren’t getting any photo credit.  

Bonus tip/the submission Golden Rule

It is a courteous practice to make sure that you have the permission of the people in the photos before you share them with publications. Do not just assume it is ok, even if they signed your contract that you could share their photos. They agreed to the photo sharing, not the sharing of their life details. Absolutely do a check-in with them before you share. Their marriage might be on tough times and they don’t want it celebrated all over a wedding website right now or they might not be out to their family and posting photos of them and their same-sex partner could be detrimental to them. Be kind, be courteous and always put your clients first.

5 Tips for Getting Your Submissions Accepted for Publication

Emily Rochotte is a content maven in the wedding industry. She’s the Editor in Chief of Nearly Newlywed, Assistant Editor of How He Asked, Assistant Editor of Equally Wed and freelance writer for wedding industry publications and vendors. She loves all things love and spends her free time going to concerts of all genres and sizes and watching. Say hi to Emily on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.  Ask her anything at erochotte@gmail.com




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