The common goal for any aspiring photographer is to one day see their work in the glossy pages of a magazine. Unfortunately, many photographers make several common mistakes when submitting their hard work to publications. In order to avoid rejection and set yourself apart from the herd, read on to find out 10 mistakes photographers make when submitting to magazines:
KNOW YOUR STYLE- For every interest, hobby or art form there is a magazine. It is important to do your research and find the right magazines that fit your personal style. Even if you’re sights are set solely on fashion and beauty, understand not all fashion and beauty magazines are created the same. Some are more artsy and experimental, some are minimal, others provocative. Find the magazines that match your personal aesthetic and focus on them.
Resolution– You want the pictures you submit to represent you at your best. Sending poorly pixilated pictures or files that are too large won’t do you any favors. Lowering resolution might save you some space on your computer, but will convey a negative message to those you’re submitting to. Sending files that are too large can be a nuisance to those trying to download them. If you don’t know what size your pictures should be, fret not, most magazines provide the answer, all one must do is search their submission page. For example, Flawless magazine requires pictures to not exceed 1024 pixels. If you can’t find a submission page, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask.
Theme- Every so often a magazine decides it wants to center an issue around a certain theme. If you are going to be submitting to a magazine like this, you must make sure your photos fit the theme. Even if the magazine itself does not require a theme, your photo set should still have one. Your images should form a cohesive story. Having one picture dark and Gothic while the next one is flowery and bright doesn’t make much sense. Let your images tell a story that is truly captivating as a whole.
Credit- It wouldn’t be very nice if someone used your images without crediting you, so why do it to someone else? It’s proper decorum to make sure you attach a list of all contributing creatives with your submissions. Everyone who helped work on the photo-shoot with you should get a credit as well as all labels worn by your model. Most magazines require this and won’t even look twice at your submission if credits are not included.
Editing- You’re photos need to look professional. Over editing images or using filters can make you look like a big amateur. Your main goal when taking pictures is to get the lighting right before the camera even clicks. A great picture should require very little tweaking. Let your photography skills shine through in every photo you take.
Emails- Take your submissions seriously. Having your images in a magazine is a great way to get your foot in the door of an incredibly competitive industry. Magazine editors tend to be busy people so remember to be courteous of their time. If they respond back to your submission, be sure to answer in a promptly fashion. Failure to answer on time can potentially result in your images not being published. They are busy and they have deadlines, respect it.
Photo Limit- Magazines set specific guidelines. They let you know exactly what they want for a good reason. You might think all three hundred pictures you took are top notch but no one has time to look through them all. Editors are busy, often spending their days pouring over dozens of submissions. Flawless Magazine asks photographers to only send ten images, other magazines commonly ask for less. If they like what they see they might ask for more.
Simultaneous Submissions- Submitting to different magazines at the same time is absolutely fine and encouraged. What’s seriously frowned upon, however, is sending the same photos to multiple magazines at the same time. It’dbe mighty embarrassing to have separate magazines like your work only to realize someone else wants to publish it too. Publications want pictures that have never been seen before so be sure to keep track of simultaneous submissions. Know who you sent to, who rejected you, and be sure not to resend anyone the same pictures again.
Unoriginal- What’s the best way to ensure no one will notice you? Blend in. It’s a good idea to take a look at the kind of images a magazine publishes. It’s not a good idea to try to replicate them. Use them as inspiration but don’t try to emulate flat out. Magazines want fresh and new images, so originality is extremely important. Be creative and be yourself. Let your artistry be apparent.
Deadlines- Every magazine has a deadline for submissions. They must get everything compiled in a timely manner to send off to the press or to publish online. It does not matter how good you are, a magazine will not hold the presses for you. Be sure to check deadlines and to respect them.