As soon as you start to get serious about photography you'll find that you may want to build up your portfolio by having your images featured in publications, both online and in print.
Getting your photos published doesn't have to be a daunting task. There are a number of tips that you can take on board in order to increase your chances of having your work viewed and considered for publication. We’ve rounded these up for you below, so be sure to take note & get your gorgeous photos out there for the world to see!
Polish your images:
Let’s assume that you recently captured some photographs that you’re really proud of and you’ve decided you want to get them published in order to share them with as many people as possible! Between the capturing and submitting stages, it’s important to make sure your images are as impressive as they can be.
Post-editing can work wonders and BeFunky’s free-to-use Photo Editor can help you to do everything from concealing blemishes and altering exposure, to taking the photograph to a whole new level with incredible ‘one-click’ effects like the Perfect Skin Tool.
And just in case you're wondering, here are a few editing tips for creating dreamy and whimsical images.
Familiarize yourself with the publication:
You’d be surprised by how many photographers simply collect a publication’s contact details and submit their work with little prior knowledge of what that publication is all about. When photographers do this, it’s immediately obvious to the person reviewing submissions, and to be honest, it’s an instant turn-off. There are a number of tell-tale signs in submissions which immediately reveal this, so I’ll go into further detail about each one below.
Identify the aesthetic or style of photography being published:
Let’s face it: when you submit work to a publication that is so far removed from what the actual publication focuses on, it not only wastes their time, but ultimately wastes your time too! By looking through the magazine, newspaper, or even website, you need to ask yourself some questions: is there a particular theme evident in the images showcased?
For example, do they only focus on fashion editorials, black and white portraits, or animal photography? Would you describe the images as vibrant or moody? Vintage-inspired or starkly modern? Sweet or grungy? Are there themes for specific issues, days, weeks, or months? The list could go on, but it’s extremely important that you identify whether or not your own work would fit with the publication’s aesthetic before you reach out to them.
Next, delve a little deeper:
Does the publication only choose to showcase work from particular genders, ethnicities, or social groups? It isn’t uncommon to have publications which only showcase young female’s work, or other publications celebrating the work of photographers from a specific geographical location, so it's always a good idea to do a little extra research to be sure.
Know the submission specifications:
All publications which accept submissions will have a section on their website dedicated to this information. You’ll want to instantly find out things such as: how many images you can submit, the specific dimensions images must be, whether or not there must be a minimum number of outfits featured, as well as if the models in your images have to belong to an agency in order for you to submit that shoot. Each publication is different, so even if you’ve been published before, you’ll want to double-check the next publication’s preferences!
Find out how you submit your images:
Some publications will have their own submissions form available, while others will require that you email them. Additional information which the publication might cover in their submission information is specifically how they want you to share your images. For example, some will want them attached to the email, while others may require a Dropbox, Google Drive, or WeTransfer link. Following the preferences set out in the first place will streamline your submission process and increase your chances of standing out from the rest of them!
Address the correct person:
When a name isn’t listed in the submissions information or on the homepage of the website, then a simple ‘hello’ or ‘dear [insert name of publication] team’ will usually do the trick, as it’s friendly but polite. When the name of an editor or other team member in charge of reviewing submissions is listed, however, then you certainly need to address your submission to them. When this is the case but a photographer begins their email with ‘dear sir / madam’ (and the staff member’s photo on offer clearly shows she is a female), or even ‘to whom it may concern’, it’s a huge sign that they haven’t familiarized themselves with the publication at all.
Although this goes without saying, we all know that a little politeness goes a long way! Those who come across in a friendly and professional manner will often be remembered well beyond their submission, increasing their chances of repeat collaborations and even recommendations via word of mouth.
Have you got some images you’d love to polish?