FAQ : How To Get a Wedding Published

Personal

So the story goes like this: During my first year of business, I was contacted by a fabulous bride. Nicole found my work and decided to book online after reading my blog and discovering we went to college together (though she graduated a couple years after me). Shortly after shooting her wedding, I received amazing news that she earned the position of assistant editor at Inside Weddings Magazine. I was beyond proud of her and we sent a flurry of emails back and forth with giddy excitement. I know I say this too often, but–really–I love my brides.

A couple months later, I shot Kasey and Nick’s wedding in Seattle. Nicole–being the fabulous J* Bride that she is–still followed my blog (10,000 bonus cool points for her!)–so she dropped a line and suggested I submit the wedding for publication in Inside Weddings Magazine. There were no guarantees of publication, but she felt it’d be a good fit for the winter issue. Lo and behold, when I received news the wedding was published, I was through the roof with excitement!!

Since then, I’ve received emails from photographers asking how they can get published. Embarrassingly, I’m the first to admit, I’m no expert…in fact, I really don’t have the best of suggestions. A bit ago, I was struck with the idea I should contact Inside Wedding Magazine’s Senior Editor, Marilyn Oliviera, and pass along the questions I’m commonly asked. Nervously, I emailed her…with the tonality of Oliver Twist asking for more soup. I totally didn’t think she’d respond (due to her busy schedule and uber fab life), but she carved out time for blog readers and I’m incredibly thankful.

Photo Credit: Jay Lawrence Goldman

*What’s the best piece of advice you can offer when submitting a wedding for publication?
When submitting to a magazine, send a lot of detail shots of the wedding. Often I’ll receive dozens and dozens of beautiful images of people, and while they’re lovely to look at, what I really need to see more of is the event itself. Amazing floral arrangements, unique decor, creative tabletop — these are the things that give brides inspiration for their own weddings and end up composing most of a feature.

*What’s one thing to avoid when submitting a wedding for publication?
Don’t send more than one or two weddings at a time unless you already have a relationship with the editor and/or you’ve been specifically asked to do so. I’ve received as many as 20 (20!) disks at a time from a single submitter, and it’s just too much time to devote to a single person. Narrow it down to your very best work on the most beautiful events, and submit those.

*What’s something you wish everyone did when submitting a wedding for publication?
I wish everyone would include the following information with their submissions: the wedding date; the wedding location; and the couple’s names and contact info. When and where a wedding took place are both important components of the consideration process, and once a wedding is selected, the editor will need to contact the bride and groom to get the process rolling. It may seem like basic info, but sometimes I’ll get a disk with absolutely no references at all — just a CD with a photographer’s name on it — and I have to hunt down the additional information before I can consider the wedding.

*How many images should a photographer include when submitting a wedding for publication? What’s too many?
I personally prefer around 100-150 of the best images — lots of detail shots! — that cover everything from the bride and groom getting ready to dancing at the reception. That might be a lot for other editors, but I find that it holds up the process to have to ask for additional images to review and then wait for the photos to arrive. Anything over 250 tends to be too many — I find myself sifting through a lot of people shots and images that all look the same. Whatever you do, do not send all of the photos for an entire wedding — make sure you edit for fantastic shots and key parts of the event, and send the best images you have.

*How do you prefer receiving wedding submissions? Like, do you like contact sheets? A cover letter? A Q+A from the bride regarding the wedding details? What kind of CD case do you prefer? Etc.
A disk that is clearly labeled with the photographer’s name, the couple’s name, and the wedding date and location (Lisa Smith & Don Jones — 12/21/08 — Miami, FL — Photos by Jasmine Star) is like gold to me; if it gets separated from its cover sheet, I can pick it up and know exactly what it is and where it came from immediately. Including a short cover letter is fine, and a full or partial vendor list is even better. Inside Weddings’ submission policy requires that a member of our Editor’s Circle make the submission, so we have a specific form that we distribute. If you aren’t a member, you can contact an Editor’s Circle member that also participated in the wedding for the form that allows you to submit the images on their behalf. Also, If there is a unique angle to the wedding or an interesting story re: the couple and/or how they met, by all means include it.

*Will editors feature a wedding that has been previously featured on a wedding blog? This is actually a topic that has come up a few times, and it really depends on the situation. If a short feature was published on the photographer’s own blog, that isn’t really a problem — we understand that photogs want their best work to be seen. When a wedding has been picked up by multiple blogs and broadcast across the internet, however, that’s a problem. It costs tens of thousands of dollars to produce and publish a single wedding feature, and we have to make difficult decisions about which events to feature because of the space limitations of a print publication. Devoting pages to an event that ends up making the blog rounds before the magazine hits newsstands is extremely frustrating and rather unfair to the other photographers whose work was in the running and had to be passed upon. Other publications may feel differently, but if you’re looking to have a particular event published in print, a good rule of thumb is to do a round of print submissions and then make the weddings that were not picked up available to the web.

*What images do you wish were included in submissions, but hardly ever appear?
Again (and I can’t repeat this enough), detail images. I would venture that approximately 80% of the submissions I receive require me to ask for additional detail shots. Keep in mind that Inside Weddings devotes multiple pages to each and every real wedding that we feature — it’s one of the aspects that sets us apart from other publications. There have to be enough amazing details for us to fill six-to-ten pages with photos. Oh, and I love photos of the father of the bride’s first glimpse of his daughter, and of children looking fascinated, bored, or full of joy.

*Do you prefer working with wedding publicists? For someone who doesn’t have a publicist, do you recommend hiring one?
Wedding publicists can be a great resource for photographers — they may have relationships in place within the industry that are invaluable, and taking the coordination aspects off of a photographer’s hands can be extremely helpful. We certainly don’t mind working with publicists that are courteous professionals, and welcome the relationships — just make sure that the person you choose to represent you comes highly recommended, has a good track record, and is someone whose personality and level of professionalism will help rather than hinder your goals.

*Should the same wedding be submitted to multiple magazines for publication? Why or why not? What’s happened when the same wedding wanted to get picked up by multiple magazines?
If you have your heart set on one particular magazine, it makes sense to submit to them first; however, increasing your chances of getting a wedding picked up by submitting it to multiple publications is completely fair. What you don’t want to do is to confirm with one magazine and then change your mind, or tell more than one publication that they can run the same wedding. If your first choice hasn’t gotten back to you and someone else wants it, you can check in for a status update before confirming with the second title.

*When submitting a wedding, who should the package be addressed to?
The Editor-in-Chief typically isn’t the best person for submissions. Some publications will have a “Weddings Editor” or an editor of another designation that is clearly linked to real weddings, but when in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to call and inquire.
To learn more about Inside Weddings, be sure to follow them on Twitter or become a Fan on Facebook!

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  1. Christine (Artemis Clover Photo)

    July 23rd, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    i love FAQs and this one is awesome! i am surprised that details shots are what they look for. i love people shots but i can see why now in terms of representing the event in its entirety.

  2. Val McCormick

    July 23rd, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Åwesome information! Thanks so much!!!

  3. Sandra Regier

    July 23rd, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing! That is fabulous info!

  4. Larry Reeves

    July 23rd, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Thanks for posting this, Jasmine! This is so helpful to me and I’m sure thousands others!

  5. Anna

    July 23rd, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Awesome! Highly informative FAQ. Thanks for taking the time to share this J*. You rock! Marilyn’s insight on this really does make things clearer on submissions, especially the details bit 😉

  6. melissa

    July 23rd, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Very good information. Thanks Jasmine!

  7. Melody @ Sweet & Saucy Shop

    July 23rd, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Such great info!!! Thanks so much!

  8. Kim Kalyn

    July 23rd, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Super duper helpful !! Thanks Jasmine 🙂

  9. michelle cunningham

    July 23rd, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    great post jas!

  10. Feuza

    July 23rd, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Wow- I can not believe how detailed her answers were- Thanks Marilyn! and I wonder if she is Portuguese or Brazilian, with that last name, humm.. Great Great info, I think this post has answered all doubts about submitting to magazines, Thanks J* for sharing

  11. aK-Shoots

    July 23rd, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Awesome! Thanks soo much for sharing this J*

  12. Shuva Rahim

    July 23rd, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    This is really good info! Thank you for sharing this!

  13. Alice Hu

    July 23rd, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Thanks for posting this Jasmine! I love Marilyn. She is one of the sweetest person I know.

  14. Kathryn Speyer

    July 23rd, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Thank you so much for this advice, Jasmine! I desperately wanted my photog to find a magazine to publish our wedding and we worked together really hard to make it happen… then, she dropped off the face of the planet. I haven’t heard anything from her in months despite my attempts to check in. SIGH. On the other hand, I do know that it’s unlikely that our wedding would be published no matter how unique, because I was a blogger for Wedding Bee. Oh well!

    Great FAQ. I just read all of them and I am extremely thankful for you writing them. I am in the same place now where you were a few years ago… hubby being my photo "pimp" and everything. You’re an incredible inspiration!

  15. Lydia

    July 23rd, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Thanks so much for doing this, Jasmine! Very helpful!

  16. Kaysha

    July 23rd, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Kudos to Marilyn for taking the time to answer your questions! This was very helpful, thanks for the great post!!

  17. John Lyons

    July 23rd, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Thanks for sharing Jasmine and Oliviera!

  18. Jacqueline Fronters

    July 23rd, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    As a photographer trying to get my name and business out there, this info is much needed. Thank you for helping others and thank you to Marilyn for offering great advice

  19. Dawn McCarthy

    July 23rd, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Incredibly useful information! Thanks so much for taking the time to do this J*!

  20. erin harvey

    July 23rd, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Thanks so much to both of you for all the helpful info!

  21. Chris c.

    July 23rd, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    THANKS Jasmine! I was going to ask ‘that’ question next. I have inquired about their procedure before but never got an answer back. Thanks for your ‘CONNECTION’!

  22. Julie Lim

    July 23rd, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Wow, awesome post! Thanks Jasmine!

  23. B

    July 23rd, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    So if I write you a letter with fear and trembling and ask you to shoot my wedding, will you? What if I include that I’m your same blood type? What if I include that we shared a bed during thunder storms? What if I tell you I love you with a cherry on top?

  24. Carolyn Egerszegi

    July 23rd, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Thanks for this valuable and informative post! I’m so glad I found you at the very beginning of my career as a photographer. You’ve done all the legwork for me so I can just concentrate on creating great images and capturing wonderful memories for my clients. Thanks!!

  25. Carrie V.

    July 23rd, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Thanks for getting the nerve to send the email and sharing this great info!

  26. cassandra m

    July 23rd, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    THANKS Marilyn!!!! and thanks J*…one of your most informative post yet. LOVE IT. I actually bought that magazine with your wedding published….still have it.

  27. StephLynnPhoto

    July 23rd, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    This is so helpful. I was just researching online a few days ago about this and coudln’t find anything that helps. You are awesome for doing this! Thanks so much!!

  28. Blair Van Bussel

    July 23rd, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    So helpful! Thanks Jasmine!

  29. Robert

    July 23rd, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Thanks for this post Jasmine. I really like it.

  30. jen Avril-Rae Shannon

    July 23rd, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    I totally just bought that magazine (the very one pictured above) right before my July 10th wedding looking for good pose and lighting ideas. LOVED it!

  31. johncalvin

    July 23rd, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Thanks for the post. It’s great to get insight.

    Completely off topic… Jasmine, have you considered doing an interview for a photography podcast like TWIP? I would love it if you did something like that. I would love to hear JD being interviewed too!

  32. Stephanie Stewart

    July 23rd, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    What a great FAQ post, love it!!! Thanks for the great info! 🙂

  33. Alana

    July 23rd, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Thanks for doing this!!!

  34. Jen Creed

    July 23rd, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    What fantastic information! Thanks so much, Jasmine and Marilyn!

  35. Amanda Herzberger

    July 23rd, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Jasmine – this is a really great post – thank you so much!

  36. john p.

    July 23rd, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    way cool thx

  37. Karen Snyder Photography

    July 23rd, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    I am a Boston photographer who follows your blog and I want to thank you for this post. I have been wondering the answers to these questions and I am so glad you helped to provide them!

  38. Jennifer

    July 23rd, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Thank you x a bajillion! That’s brilliant info and it’s so helpful.

  39. Nicole Palacios Silva

    July 23rd, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Love the post!

    Great idea, Jasmine. Of course, wonderful, informative answers from Marilyn and wow… that cover is gorgeous 😉

    Yay for Inside Weddings!

    Feuza: Answer is Portuguese.

  40. Nerinna

    July 23rd, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    You’re incredible! Thank you for sharing this. I’ve been wondering how people get published.

  41. Heather Kincaid

    July 23rd, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Really interesting Q&A! Thanks so much for thinking of this and for sharing it with all of us. 🙂

  42. Cathy Crawley

    July 23rd, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    Thanks Jasmine, this is such a brilliant post and you are fabulous for doing this for your loyal blog readers!

  43. jamie delaine

    July 23rd, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Cool! She has some great tips! 🙂

  44. Cynthia

    July 23rd, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Beside the wonderful photography, I read your blog because I like your insight and comic relief! I feel honored.

  45. kristin brancaleone (the treasured petal)

    July 24th, 2009 at 12:18 am

    what a fabulous post! so many great pointers that I never would have thought of. good thinkin!

  46. Quentina

    July 24th, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Thanks soo much for this post. Great informative and encouring. I do have a question for you. I am an ameature photographer, just trying to get out there and right now I shoot with a Nikon D60, and I have a 18-55mm lense. I was looking to start purchasing new lenses, but than I thought about a new camera.. What do you think would be better, purchase new camera, or start my lense "collection first? P.S. Love your work, I am always on your blog checking up the new post!!

  47. katelyn james

    July 24th, 2009 at 3:21 am

    you’re awesome for taking time to do this! both of you!

  48. Amy Clifton

    July 24th, 2009 at 3:56 am

    Thanks to both of you for the Q&A! Submitting a wedding is one of my goals for the year, but I haven’t really known how to get started. This info is great and lights a fire under me! BTW, the Oliver Twist comment cracked me up. 🙂

  49. Jessica Shae

    July 24th, 2009 at 4:22 am

    Cool post…very helpful info!

  50. Jennifer Burns

    July 24th, 2009 at 4:32 am

    You are such a giver J*
    Thank you!!

  51. ashley bugg

    July 24th, 2009 at 4:44 am

    AHHH! I LOVE THIS POST! J* thank you SO much for taking that leap for us and hitting that send button! This is SO super helpful and I canNOT wait to take advantage of this information! Marilyn, thank you so so SO much for taking time to answer all these questions — I’ve always wondered about the process but been so crazy overwhelmed by all of the unknown..

  52. Amanda

    July 24th, 2009 at 5:00 am

    Awesome!!

  53. Nicole Glenn

    July 24th, 2009 at 5:27 am

    Awesome! Your FAQ posts are da bomb. Yes, you heard right, da bomb.

  54. Juliann

    July 24th, 2009 at 6:57 am

    Ahh, it’s Marilyn! Didn’t expect to see her face on your blog, haha. She is uber fab and beautiful. I also STILL read your blog. Ever since Nicole was considering you for her Engagement and Wedding photos 😀

  55. John B.

    July 24th, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Great info, thanks for posting it.

  56. Konfral

    July 24th, 2009 at 9:39 am

    That’s super-valuable information. Thanks J*, and thanks Marilyn!

  57. Michelle

    July 24th, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Hey, Jaz, great post, thanks a lot. I don’t know it translates to the UK but I’m planning on sending a wedding out to the nationals soon. This is invaluable. Thank your for your bravery!

  58. Emily Heizer Photography

    July 24th, 2009 at 10:09 am

    "If you aren’t a member, you can contact an Editor’s Circle member that also participated in the wedding for the form that allows you to submit the images on their behalf."

    This sentence makes absolutely NO sense to me at all. A editor’s member who also participated in the wedding? You mean, you have to know someone first and bring them to the wedding? LOL I am sure that is totally NOT at all what she is saying, but I am so, so, lost. Can anybody help me? Otherwise, very interesting. The Knot’s guidelines are totally different, but this was great.

  59. Jessica Jacob Photography

    July 24th, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Great post! Thank you Jasmine for gettting up the nerve to ask such brilliant questions. And thank you Marilyn for taking the time to answer them. You both ROCK!

  60. Karin

    July 24th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Aw snap Jasmine. You are a genius! Thanks for being so considerate to not only find out this information, but to share it with the rest of us! You are the bomb.com

  61. imthiaz houseman

    July 24th, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    you are so fabulous…thanks for sharing great information!

  62. Kevin Keith

    July 24th, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Great advice Jasmine! Thanks so much for sharing that with everyone!

  63. Amy

    July 24th, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I do believe you have become my "morning paper" (even though sometimes it’s afternoon or evening).

    Thanks for the tips! You’re sweet to share this type of stuff with the Internet. 🙂

  64. Betsy, La Vida

    July 24th, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    You rock! Thanks for sharing this info!

  65. Joanna Tano

    July 24th, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this advice and for all your q & a posts – they’re extremely helpful. You are very generous to share with all of us!

  66. Magnus Bogucki

    July 25th, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Great article! Thank you!

  67. maalaea

    July 26th, 2009 at 5:29 am

    great post!

  68. James Wittwer

    July 26th, 2009 at 5:40 am

    Great, great post…thanks so much!!!

  69. Seyeau Photography

    July 26th, 2009 at 7:20 am

    Great info…I’ve never considered submitting to a magazine but after reading this I can’t wait! 🙂

  70. Connie Falmer

    July 27th, 2009 at 2:44 am

    luv this post, it answer so many questions I had about wedding features 🙂 thanks J* !

  71. Daniel

    July 27th, 2009 at 4:13 am

    This is such good info. Thanks for posting it. It confirms a lot!

  72. Jason Grubb

    July 28th, 2009 at 1:38 am

    Thank you for the info!

  73. Wayne Bradt

    July 28th, 2009 at 4:50 am

    Great info, thanks!

  74. Fabuluxe Photos

    July 28th, 2009 at 5:15 am

    wow. I missed so much…wasn’t able to read you blog for a couple of days… LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. Thanks.

  75. kimberly Semlor

    July 28th, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    It’s great to have some of these questions answered by someone completely in the know! Great info and very helpful, thanks! We have some beautiful weddings and want to share them!

  76. Paul

    July 31st, 2009 at 6:01 am

    Thanks for the interview, Jasmine. NIce job asking relevant questions and eliciting the valuable information.

  77. CReid

    August 3rd, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    What a great and informative article. Thanks for sharing!!!

    Regards,
    Carl

  78. Emily Hoskins

    August 9th, 2009 at 4:57 am

    Thanks so much for sharing Jasmine. I’m definitely going to try this out!

  79. Karen Stott

    August 17th, 2009 at 4:17 am

    Wow …that was jam packed with useful tips. Thank you so much for taking the time to email her and for sharing it with us.

  80. DeLaun Fuller

    October 24th, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Thank you so much for taking the time to find and share this information. Your generosity and photog community focus are inspirational! Thanks again.

  81. Randall

    February 3rd, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Really helpful information, thanks for doing the foot work to get this sort of industry perspective

  82. Pabst Photo

    August 11th, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Do you think it’s more valuable to your brand to get published in ink or on a heavily trafficked website?

  83. Mark

    March 19th, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    Useful info, thank you.

  84. KC

    July 9th, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Thank you so much for posting such a useful post! I think my next wedding is going to be the first I submit for publishing, which I’m very excited about. The couple is very unique with their own sense of style. I’m bookmarking this post to come back to it when the time comes!