The Do's and Don'ts of Creating a Wedding Submission
It’s fun to get published! I know that getting published means more inquiries, a stronger presence on the web, a stronger brand, and overall growth in my business. Getting published is a vital part of my business. So if you’re a photographer and you want to take it to the next level, it’s time to take your publication portfolio to the next level too. Maybe you are just beginning in the world of getting published and you need a place to start. Or maybe you’re a seasoned pro at getting published and you are eager to add more features to your portfolio. Whatever the case may be, I’m here to share the do’s and don’ts of creating a wedding submission because getting published is always good for business.
Related: Jordan Brittley's Publication Plan
Read the submission page and follow instructions - Every editor has a submission page on their website (even magazines!) so that you can easily read through the guidelines for submitting to their blog. Be careful to follow these directions exactly or your submission might be declined automatically.
Include an excerpt from the bride - I always ask my brides to answer a few questions because it’s fun to hear about the day through their eyes. They include so many meaningful details and I want the editor to know the story behind the images.
Write a letter to the editor - In addition to an excerpt from the bride, include a letter to the editor from yourself! Use the opportunity to introduce yourself, tell them what you love about their blog, and why they are sure to fall in love with the wedding you’re sending.
Carefully cull the gallery - Your submission gallery is a place for your strongest images. This doesn’t mean that you include every image that you love. Be selective when you are choosing the images to submit. Try to think about the gallery from a reader’s perspective: What images do they need to see so that they understand the story? What images do they need to see to be inspired as they design their own wedding?
Allow for the majority of photos to be vertical - I only include 5-10 horizontal images in the entire submission. The rest are vertical! Editors like to be able to pair images in a diptych for their blogs and vertical images always look better in a magazine layout.
Include a photograph of the invitation suite - This is a must for any great submission. I always ask the bride to bring a full invitation suite so that I can photograph it with the rest of the bridal details!
Include photographs of all the bridal details - Editors want to see photos of the rings, veil, dress, shoes, bouquet, and any other bridal details! Style these photographs well so that they look great in the gallery. I think that photographing bridal details well goes a long way in a submission!
Include genuine photos of the bride and groom - These photographs help the editor and readers to connect with the couple. Include photos of the couple laughing together and enjoying the day together.
Include a lot of black and white images - I love including black and white images for blog submissions, but I keep them to a minimum. While they may be artistic, it won’t benefit the reader as much as a large gallery of color images.
Assume that you’re ever going to be published - While it’s possible that you have the perfect wedding with a lot of unique details, getting published on a particular blog is never a guarantee. It doesn’t matter what kind of photographic career you have or what kind of name you have built in the industry. Editors are looking for weddings that will inspire their readers and although you may be able to make an educated guess about what that wedding looks like, you can never know for sure.
Include too many photos of one aspect of the wedding - Yes, editors want to see all of the gorgeous details, but it’s possible to include too many images. Shoot purposefully and submit purposefully. I don’t know of any editors who will cull the gallery after you submit, so it’s your job to make sure it’s internet-ready!
Nag the editor for a response - Every editor will tell you exactly how long it takes to review a submission on their submission page. Don’t email them to ask them what they are thinking or when you will have an answer. Be patient and wait for them to let you know if the wedding is a good fit for their blog or magazine
Submit to another blog while you’re waiting to hear back from an editor - Don’t ever do this. Just be patient and wait for a response from the editor. If they have guaranteed that you would hear back from them within a certain time frame and you haven’t heard from them, just follow up (with a kind email).
Leave out any vendors - Make sure that you include a full list of vendors. I always double check with the bride and the coordinator to make sure that everyone is appropriately credited.
So tell me about your experience! Did I leave off any do’s or don’ts? What challenges have you faced in the submission process? What steps did you take to overcome those challenges?
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!