11 Ways to Avoid Being Rejected for Publication

Getting published is the best way for me to get my work in front of potential brides. It’s my most effective marketing tool and in my coaching sessions, I always advise photographers to focus on building their publication portfolio. It doesn’t matter if you are just starting or if you have been in the game for years - getting published is going to take your business to new places. Over the last few years I have learned a few things about submitting weddings, engagements and inspiration shoots. Today I am sharing 11 ways to avoid getting rejected for publication so that you can focus on getting great content in front of great editors.

11 Ways to Avoid Being Rejected for Publication - The Jordan Brittley Blog
11 Ways to Avoid Being Rejected for Publication - The Jordan Brittley Blog

Only include images that help to tell the story better

As photographers, it’s important to create a gallery full of gorgeous imagery. When you are submitting to a blog, you only want to include the images that tell the story the editor wants to see.

Make sure the gallery is made up of mostly vertical images

Editors want to share a lot of images in a blog post! Are you submitting to a magazine? All the more reason to submit vertical images (think about layout)! You can still submit your favorite horizontal images, but be mindful of how those images are affecting your overall gallery. If you have a vertical photograph of the same detail, just include the vertical photograph!

11 Ways to Avoid Being Rejected for Publication - The Jordan Brittley Blog
11 Ways to Avoid Being Rejected for Publication - The Jordan Brittley Blog

Carefully edit each photograph

It’s important to tediously analyze each photograph that you submit for publication. Is the coloring in the image complimentary to the rest of the gallery?

Composition is key

Images that are composed well will look great on their own and great when paired with another image from the gallery. When an editor is creating a blog post, you want to make it as easy as possible for her to create a beautiful layout.

Don’t include images that the editor might like

Only include images that the editor is going to love. Then, when she sees a gallery of images that she loves, she won’t be able to say no to publishing the wedding!

Include all the vendors

Most blogs want to see the list of vendors upfront. If this is requested, make sure that you include all the vendors. I always request the list of vendors from the bride before I submit. After the wedding is picked up for publication, I double check with the bride just to make sure that everyone is credited appropriately!

Include the bride’s point of view

Editors (and their readers) love to read about the wedding from the bride’s point of view. This is also a great way to connect with potential brides because if they are interested in the story, they are interested in how the story was photographed.

11 Ways to Avoid Being Rejected for Publication - The Jordan Brittley Blog
11 Ways to Avoid Being Rejected for Publication - The Jordan Brittley Blog

Size the images accordingly

A lot of blogs will automatically decline submissions if the images don’t meet the desired width, so resize appropriately!

Address the letter to the editor correctly

If you get declined by one blog or magazine and are in the process of resubmitting, make sure that you write a new letter to the editor. It’s important to personalize the introduction to the wedding so that the editor can connect the wedding with her readers.

Read all of the submission guidelines on the editor’s website

This may go without saying, but make sure that you check the website before you submit. Every blog and magazine lists the guidelines for submissions. Thoroughly read through the submission process and re-read it again before you ever submit the wedding!

11 Ways to Avoid Being Rejected for Publication - The Jordan Brittley Blog
11 Ways to Avoid Being Rejected for Publication - The Jordan Brittley Blog

Details need to be meaningful

When you are selecting which detail images to show it can be hard to know what an editor wants to see. Instead of including every detail image that you have, try including only your best work of the different angles or different stories.

I always try to include a great landscape shot along with some details from the environment. Consider what would be meaningful to the couple in the setting and most likely that will be meaningful to the editor as well.

Related: 10 Myths About Getting Published, The Dos and Don’ts of Creating a Wedding Submission

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