Today I’m going to show you my process for getting my images published in fashion magazines.
Before we start, I want you to know that I’m not a frequently published photographer and I’ve not been published in a major magazine.
But I have been published multiple times in small and mid-range publications. My goal is to earn my way into the better known magazines.
To make that happen I’ve developed a simple process to help me. As a photographer there are so many things to juggle. Photoshoots, editing, planning, casting calls, marketing and making time to continue to practice and learn.
Most photographers start off like I did. Hopeful. Imaging that every photoshoot will end up on the cover of a magazine or at least a small spread inside. The reality is very different. That’s why you’re reading this. You realise that it’s not as simple as you hoped and you’re looking for someway to help improve the odds.
Why does being a published photographer matter?
Each of you will have your own reasons for wanting to be published. Here are a few of mine:
- The popularity of the publication rubs off a bit on you. Being published in a friends local e-magazine with 5 downloads a month isn’t something anyone will care about. But get into something like Vogue Italia and your brand will benefit.
- It’s a simple way to gauge how good your work is. You’re probably thinking of 2 or 3 magazines that you’d love to see your work in. And they probably publish incredible work from other artists. If you are shooting in a similar fashion and they are passing on your work than it’s a simple way of being told, “Get better”. This is obviously a simplification but you get the point.
- The better the publication the better access you have to better talent. If a model or mua or hairstylist know that shooting with you could lead to them being in a magazine they also love then they’ll want to work with you.
- It pushes you artistically. If you’re stuck in your creativity you can easily find a theme in a magazine for an upcoming submission and use that to guide the direction of a concept.
My process for getting published
This is a simple step by step process I created for myself to help increase my odds of being published. Once I created the process, I hired an assistant to manage it. Here is the system I created:
- First create a list of all the magazines you want to submit too. Add as many or as few details as you want. Have one column for the links for their submission page for easy reference. My list has 184 magazine editors and influencer bloggers on it.
- Create a master folder in Google drive for this publication project.
- Inside this master folder, create a folder for each photoshoot with it’s title. In this example the photoshoot folder is “Avant Garde Hair”. Create a separate folder titled “Work in Progress”. After the photoshoot has been submitted to the first batch of editors, place it here. This way you know which photoshoots are in the process and which ones still need to be submitted to magazine editors for publication.
- Click once on a folder containing the individual photoshoot. Click on the details tab. Edit the description and include the credits for everyone who participated in the shoot and any other details. This is where you keep the details of the shoot for easy reference when submitting to editors.
- Pick three editors from your list. Submit your shoot to these three by following the guidelines on their submissions page.
- After you’ve submitted the photoshoot to the first three editors. Move the folder containing the shoot to the “Work in Progress”. This is a simple way to help you track which photos you’ve already submitted.
- If the editors haven’t responded in 3 weeks, then submit the shoot to the next three editors you’ve chosen for that particular photoshoot.
- Every photoshoot follows this process until they are picked up for publication or they go through the whole list.
Some basic tips include the following:
Submit your images to magazines that fit the look and feel of your shoot. If you did not create an avant garde image, do not submit it to an avant garde publication.
Read and appreciate the work the editors are publishing.
Email them back when you get a rejection and thank them for their consideration.
It’s a simple system but it does take effort to maintain.
There are many benefits to a process like this. It makes sure that my photoshoots live on long after they are shot. I’ve has some collaborations get published a year after the date I shot them.
It’s also a simple way to separate myself from other photographers who don’t go through this type of effort on behalf of all those who shoot with them. Models, mua’s and stylists know that after they’ve shot with Shane Baker Studios, our work will continue to be shared until we get published or every relevant editor says no. Weeks, months and in some cases a year after our shoot, I’m still putting our collaborations in front of influencers.
I hired an assistant who does a great job of following this process and that’s given me a lot of leverage. Keeping up with something like this isn’t a strength of mine. But I do feel it’s important. So hiring someone who is better at this type of thing has helped tremendously.
Getting an email every once in awhile that a shoot is being published is such a satisfying feeling.
I hope my process helps inspire you to create your own version for making sure your shoots stay viable and increase your chances of being published.
If this works for you comment and let us know what you got published and include a link.