Disclaimer: I am no expert in blogging, submitting to blogs, or anything that starts with a b. Except maybe burritos.
It all started when I was planning my own wedding…I began reading one or two wedding blogs for inspiration and suddenly an obsession grew and I was looking at these things for hours and hours! My favorite blogs were the kind that had lots of “real weddings” features every day. The more details these blogs showed, the better! I stalked my favorites religiously and aspired to have a wedding that was worthy of a blog feature! Is that weird? I must have spent hours right clicking and saving pictures I liked (this was bp…aka before Pinterest) and trying to figure out how they made the things or where they bought them!
Because of my obsession with wedding blogs, really early into my photography career I became really excited about the idea of having my own work published somewhere. Reading wedding blogs has pushed me to shoot more editorially and I love that! I also feel like I want to validate my clients by submitting their weddings places and having their hard work shown off. The fact that my wedding photographers were featured on so many sites I loved validated the investment I was making in them!
My workflow for submitting a wedding or engagement session looks something like this:
1. Create a separate folder for submission
2. Choose favorites for submission
3. Resize for web (usually to 800 on the long edge because there aren’t many blogs that would need larger than this…I do it with blog stomp!)
4. Upload to Two Bright Lights
5. Choose an editor I think would really love the wedding/engagement session
6. Submit and wait to hear back! If they decline, I’ll repeat steps 4-6 with a few more editors I think would be a good fit.
7. When my work is published (YAY!!) I screen capture the page with my couple’s feature and post it on Facebook and blog about it. I also email my clients and say something like “Yay! Your beautiful wedding was featured on whateverblog check it out by going to blahblahblah.com!”
That’s pretty much it! See how simple that is? You can do it too! Don’t believe me yet? Here are a few more tips!!
Do your research!
Make sure you are researching the blogs you submit to BEFORE you submit. There are LOTS of blogs so a lot of them specialize in specific things! There’s no easier way to get turned down than submitting something that is just a bad fit for a blogs niche. I also feel like it’s kind of rude to submit something that is completely out of the realm of what that blog publishes…it just makes it look like you don’t even care to actually read their blog! If you aren’t sure if something would be a good fit for a particular blog, email the editor and ask!
Submit LOTS of details
I think this is hard for a lot of photographers because the portraits are really our favorite part of the day…but wedding blogs are looking for first and foremost, BEAUTIFUL DETAILS. I love wedding details and I know my clients spent a lot of time and money creating these special things to tell the story of their day, so I always try to take care and get lots of detail shots. I also am always thinking about shooting their details in as editorial of a way as I can…which leads me to my next tip.
Practice shooting editorially
If you think you have no weddings you could possibly submit because you’re starting out, or you’re just not attracting the kinds of clients that have super awesome rustic details like you really like, I want to challenge you to start shooting each wedding (or engagement session) with publication in mind. This might sound silly to you, but it really helped me shoot with a more conscious attitude knowing that I wanted to try to submit each wedding that I shot.
Two Bright Lights!
This goes along with do your research, but some blogs (and magazines) have exclusivity requirements. Meaning they will not accept work that has been featured on another publication. Sometimes this even means they are not interested in work that’s even been seen on your own blog, so if you are really interested in getting published somewhere specific, check their requirements in advance!
I know it can be intimidating to put yourself out there and start trying to get your work featured when you are new to it…when I first started submitting things and got rejected, sometimes I seriously felt like it was a personal rejection, but guess what? It’s NOT. Blogs are businesses too and the fact that they are often looking for very specific things or maybe you just weren’t a fit does not mean that you are a terrible photographer or that you suck as a person (which is what I thought…). Keep trying and keep submitting your work! And keep practicing and working at your craft too!
Ask for feedback
Sometimes when you get rejected from Two Bright Lights the editor you submitted to will send some feedback with the rejection (I really hate that word!), which is so helpful! If you didn’t use TBL or did but didn’t get feedback, don’t be afraid to ask! You can’t grow if you don’t learn from your mistakes and setbacks:)