There are so many things to consider when you are trying to get published! Because of the stress that surrounds the submission process when you first start submitting your work, I think it’s easy to believe some things that aren’t true! I’m here to share 10 myths about getting published and what you really need to know!
MYTH 1: IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO GET PUBLISHED
I completely understand feeling this way, but it’s just not true. It takes some work to figure out what editors want to see, but just because your shoots get rejected doesn’t mean that you will never get published. If you just shot a wedding and it has been turned down by the major blogs, consider submitting to a smaller blog just to get your publication portfolio started!
MYTH 2: IF ONE BLOG DOESN’T WANT THE SHOOT, NO BLOG WILL WANT THE SHOOT
Not true! I will often submit a wedding or engagement session to a major blog, get rejected and it will get picked up by another major blog. It just depends what the editor currently has lined up on their editorial calendar!
For example, I submitted an anniversary session to Style Me Pretty but they weren’t looking for anniversary sessions at the time. So I submitted to Grey Likes Weddings and it was picked up in just a couple of hours!
So just go find the blog that is looking for the shoot you are sharing!
MYTH 3: I NEED TO WAIT UNTIL I HAVE THE *PERFECT* SHOOT TO SUBMIT
Do NOT wait until you think you have the “perfect” shoot! It takes time and practice to get your publication portfolio rolling and it’s important to start today. Do you have a wedding, engagement session or other shoot that you can submit? Do it today! Just take the risk!
Plus, once you have your submission ready, it’s easy to send it to another blog if you get turned down for publication. Just keep going!
MYTH 4: I CAN ONLY GET PUBLISHED IF I PAY TO BE A LISTED VENDOR
I am not a listed vendor on any blog. And I get published! That’s proof that you do not have to pay to get published. Also, don’t make the mistake of assuming that if you become a listed vendor that you will automatically get published. Editors are still looking for great content to share with their readers!
MYTH 5: THE SUBMISSION PROCESS IS TOO COMPLICATED
It can feel overwhelming to read through every blog’s submission process, but editors really have simplified the process in the last six months! Grey Likes Weddings, Green Wedding Shoes and other major blogs just ask for a link to a dropbox folder. If they are interested in publishing the shoot, they will then follow up to request vendors and information from the bride. Style Me Pretty lets you set up your own account through their submission dashboard. You can easily view all of your submissions in one place!
Yes, submitting a wedding will require some attention to detail but it is not too complicated! Just go do it!!
MYTH 6: THE EDITOR DOESN’T LIKE ME
Don’t take it personally when your shoot is declined. It has nothing to do with what the editor thinks of you as a person or as an artist; she is doing the very best she can to serve her audience. Shift your focus. Ask yourself: How can I best serve this editor’s audience?
By asking that simple question, it will help you stay focused on great content when you are writing for the submission and when you are selecting images for the submission. Plus, it will become obvious that you are putting a lot of thought into your submission and you will start to hear back from editors pretty quick! It will make them excited to see your name in their inbox or their dashboard. It’s a win for everyone to put others first!
MYTH 7: I NEED TO SUBMIT AS CLOSE TO THE DATE OF THE SHOOT AS POSSIBLE
Not true. Sometimes editorial calendars are full for that season by the time the editor sees your submission. And they won’t move around their editorial calendars unless showing your shoot is a MUST (because it’s so unique)!
Over time, you will become more familiar with the editorial calendars of each blog. If you shoot an autumn engagement session at the end of autumn, it is going to be more challenging to get that session picked up by a major blog than if you had submitted at the beginning of engagement season. I always assume that major blogs are full on engagement sessions for the fall by the end of September. This doesn’t mean that I don’t submit any engagement sessions in October, but I just understand that it’s very possible that it won’t be picked up right away!
I also help my brides to style their engagement session so that it is completely unique to them. This helps my submissions stand out from the rest in a natural way… because each couple is different! You can read a magazine article I wrote for Lemonade and Lenses on styling engagement sessions HERE.
Once I heard back from Grey Likes Weddings in the spring of 2014 (referencing myth 2) that they weren’t looking for winter engagement sessions, I decided to hold off on submitting the shoot. I waited and submitted to Style Me Pretty in November of 2014 and that’s when they picked it up!
MYTH 8: IF THE BRIDE’S DETAILS WERE BETTER, I WOULD HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED
It is not the bride’s responsibility to have the best details so that you can effortlessly photograph the wedding. Because photographing the details is never going to be effortless or you are settling and static.
As a creative artist, I want to constantly be growing. I go into every wedding with a fresh vision and a passion to serve my clients! This is a key part of getting published for me. Don’t view a lack of details as a limitation; view it as a huge opportunity!
Whatever kind of wedding you are shooting, style those details the very best you can. Don’t become lazy when you have a typical wedding and don’t become lazy when you have a high end wedding! Work diligently at whatever you are doing and it will pay off.
MYTH 9: ONLY HIGH END WEDDINGS GET PUBLISHED
This is not true. Lots of major blogs actually say that they are wanting to see all types of weddings and budgets. For instance, the very first time I was ever published on Style Me Pretty, it was a wedding with a much smaller budget! It just has to do with how you photograph the wedding!
MYTH 10: I SHOULD INCLUDE EVERY GOOD IMAGE IN THE SUBMISSION
Editors don’t need to see every image that you love in the submission gallery. They want to see the best of all of your images. They want to be able to select any random image, pair it with another random image and be confident that they will look beautiful together.
Most major blogs now provide a link to the entire gallery, so it’s also important that slight variations of the same image or pose are excluded from the submission gallery. Each image needs to be able to stand on its own, be paired with another random image and be able tell a really beautiful story to someone who wasn’t there.
And since I want to continue to share what I know in a way that benefits you, holler at me on Twitter or Instagram (tagging me) and use the following hashtag: #askjordanbrittley. You can also connect with me through the #ASKJORDANBRITTLEY Facebook group! Let’s build a little community!