FAQ : The Knot Magazine + Rebecca Crumley


I first met Rebecca Crumley last February, at WPPI in Las Vegas. I received an invitation to join her for breakfast with a group of photographers, but couldn’t make it due to scheduling conflicts. I was bummed, but shot her an email and asked if I could meet her another time during our short stay in Sin City. Rebecca is the Weddings Photo Editor for The Knot, so I didn’t even hope she’d accept my flaccid offer…but she did!

We spent some time getting to know each other at Wolfgang Puck and at the end of our conversation, I not only walked away with an industry peer, I walked away with a friend. She’s insanely bright, articulate, and knows more about photography than I could ever hope to know. Rebecca’s the real deal, so when I asked if she’d like to post a Q+A on my blog, I was stoked when she agreed!

I hope these guest posts help fellow photographers hone their craft, buttress their confidence, and raise the bar for the industry. I’ll be the first to admit I’m learning the ropes along with everyone else, so I hope you take away at least one bit of info that’ll make you fall more in love with photography and wedding magazine publication…

Photo Credit: Mel Barlow

*What are growing trends in wedding publications?
Recent announcements of wedding magazines forfeiting has taken everyone by shock in the industry. I”m actually very happy to say The Knot is still holding strong and rolling out new exciting features like The Knot Live, upping our national issue of The Knot to four times a year, launching over 200 local and niche websites this year (under the domain weddings.com), and completely re-vamping our community boards. We”re also eagerly anticipating our next book to publish in 2010 (it’s a photo-driven book all about wedding style, stay tuned for more info!).

Generally speaking, there”s an immediate need for wedding trends to be reported. It used to be that fresh content was held for print (which can take 6 to 8+ months before content is released). Between the blog world and our aforementioned projects, we’re getting the information out there quicker than ever before.

*What are some things to avoid when submitting a wedding for publication?
Be sure you’re presenting your work in a legible way. If a contact sheet has about 30 images crammed on it or extreme color shifts, it”s not doing your photography justice! On the flipside, there”s no need for bulky presentations, prints, and special bindings. The work should speak for itself, so ink printouts (about 12 images to each page) and a disc of individual files will do! Emailed files shouldn”t be so tiny or optimized that it takes away from the initial viewing quality either.

*What are common mistakes people make when submitting a wedding for publication?
It”s important to take some time to understand the difference between editorial needs vs. client needs. – Typically a blog entry or a slideshow teaser is not a sufficient range of images. Most magazines are selecting the Real Weddings because of the overall style. So that means we should be seeing more detail and décor shots than of people (though we’ll still want to see a couple of them too!). Also familiarize yourself with the publication’s brand and if the tone of the wedding fits in with the company”s voice. There are several factors that go into the final selections, so make sure you provide access to all the requested information with your submission. We”re always on tight deadlines and the slightest detail, such as not knowing the venue location can result in a missed opportunity.

*What would make your job easier in regard to wedding submissions?
My preferred submission format is a disc accompanied by a printed contact sheet and all the requested info, but most importantly including the online proofing gallery info. While it seems overwhelming to go through 1000+ photos from a wedding, I”d rather take 15 – 20 minutes upon our initial review to know if we have enough content and image variety to design a spread. It takes more time to go back and forth requesting additional images, which we usually don”t have available on deadline. Sometimes we also have internal image needs, such as running a full bleed photo and might spot an image that will better afford room for type in the design.

*What is one photo you think should be in a wedding submission, but is hardly ever included?
An overall shot of the ceremony prior to the guests arriving. This is the photographer”s opportunity to create an impressionable image that sets the environment and tone of the wedding. While couples love to have this shot during the actual ceremony, the editorial side of me prefers just the scene – people tend to be a distraction from showing the décor and make it less dramatic. These images also reproduce well at larger sizes and can be very helpful to have a horizontal and vertical option when we’re designing a layout.

*What type of submissions make you smile?
I love my job to pieces, so this is hard to reply with just one answer! First, couples that take an extra step to personalize their wedding with their history and creativity – a themed wedding that relates to how they met; photo displays of themselves as children or from earlier in their relationship; a DIY photo booth setup with props; designing an original monogram, etc. I also applaud couples that manage a stylish wedding on a smaller budget. It”s always great to share these ideas with our audience! Last but not least, a beautiful and striking environmental portrait. – I love it when photographers show off their talents with a unique and custom image of a couple, but the image is more about the surroundings.

*Anything else you’d like to add?
I could talk all day about the importance of blogging and also including vendor and location info in the posts. Sometimes we have very specific image request needs for venues or certain cities. We”ll almost always run a Google Blogsearch to find the most current results. Additionally, with just a little bit of research, knowing and understanding the world of SEO information can yield much success for your business.

If you’d like to learn more about Rebecca, be sure to follow her on Twitter or see all the fun judging she’ll be doing for the Top Knots Contest!