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get published


Credits & Copyright Written by: Lara White

I worked very hard on this guide, so please do me a

favor and don’t share it directly with anyone. I would LOVE it if you’d help me get the word out about this

Publisher: Gryphon Publishing Inc.

free resource though. Here’s the best way to share:

Graphic Design/Layout: Naomi Creek Writing Consultant: Donna C. Arnds © Copyright 2011 Gryphon Publishing Inc. Gryphon Publishing Inc. 14850 Hwy 4, Suite A #131 Discovery Bay, CA 94505

Share it on Facebook All photos copyright Geoff White Photography Inc. unless otherwise noted. Magazine covers are copyright owned by the respective magazine publishers.

Or you can just share this link directly with people and they can get their own free copy:

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, without prior written consent from the publisher, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review. You may store the PDF on your computer, tablet and backups. Disclaimer: The information contained in this book is based on the author’s experience, knowledge and opinions. The author and publisher will not be held liable for the use or misuse of the information in this book.


CONTENTS Credits & Copyright______________________________________2 About the Author_ _______________________________________4 Praise for Get Published__________________________________5 Introduction_ ____________________________________________6 Benefits & Opportunities of Getting Published_____________7 Why Get Published?__________________________________ 8 Opportunities for Getting Published___________________ 9 Details, Details, Details__________________________________ 11 Creating Magazine Quality Images_ ____________________27 Inspiration & Examples__________________________________37 The Process____________________________________________ 44 Organizing the Submission Spreadsheet_ ____________45 Your Very Own Assembly Line________________________46 Submissions Guidelines & Magazine Style____________47 Getting “In” with the Publishers_______________________49 Advice from the Editors______________________________50 You’re Published! Now What?________________________53 Final Thoughts_________________________________________ 54


Spread the Word_______________________________________ 55

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Since becoming a

As a testament to all our

on any given day you might

embark on our journey;

professional photographer

hard work, In 2007 Geoff

find us providing shots to a

that is, our passionate

in 2004, my passion for

White Photographers was

well-known magazine

dedication to both

capturing the perfect

identified by PPA

editor, photographing a

photography and business.

image has taken me

(Professional Photographers

baseball player’s wedding,

around the world, along

of America) as being in the

capturing a party on a

with my husband Geoff.

top 5% profitability of all

wealthy client’s yacht,

home studios in the United

doing a fashion shoot,

States. Of course, what they

selling photos for corporate

didn’t say is that our

use, or advising other

profession has made it

photographers about

possible for us to have the

the business side of

time of our lives!


Bride & Bloom, San

This guide is going to set

Needless to say, we have

Francisco Chronicle,

you on the road to getting

worked hard as professional

Modern Bride China,

published, the first step to

artists to get to the top of

Professional Photographer,

making your dreams come

our industry; however,

American Photo, Style

true. Watch and listen.

in large part, we owe

Today you can find our signature images in over 60 magazines, newspapers, and blogs from countries near and far—such as The Knot, Grace Ormonde,

Unveiled, Get Married, among others.

Trusted by celebrities and heads of state alike to

Most recently we were

discreetly photograph

honored to be selected for

weddings, events, and

The Knot’s recent book

parties, I’ve lived the

The Ultimate Wedding

dream. Indeed, our lives


are so rich and varied that


our success to our

We know we have been incredibly blessed, and that’s why we are so excited about imparting what we have learned to you.

backgrounds in business.

What we want to tell you

As a professional fundraiser,

in this guide is that the

I’ve raised millions for

process is not all that

charity and Geoff sold his

daunting—once you know

Silicon Valley tech

how to do it. So let’s begin.

company for more millions

We want you to succeed

before we decided to

as much as you do.


Pr aise for Get Published: A Guide for wedding Photogr aphers "Getting

“This is THE


"This guide

“Very easy-

published is

guide for

ebook Get

includes all

to-read, well

a learned skill.



the tips we wish


If mastered,


A Guide For

we could tell

and I love the

it can pay you back huge

who want to get published

Wedding Photographers

each photographer who is

step-by-step tips, as well as

dividends. The problem is it's

and amp up their business

is a must read for any

looking to be published.

the sample photographs to

a skill set nobody knows until

strategy and processes!”

photographer looking to get

We HIGHLY recommend

get photographers thinking

their weddings published.

that photographers read

about what they should

The information is easy to

this valuable resource! "

shoot to get published!...

they either figure it out on their own (have a good time with that) or someone very kind shares it with you. Lara

Karina Timmel, Editor-in-Chief, Get Married magazine

White has given you that gift here. Get it, read it, implement it... to your own success." Dane Sanders, Author of Fast Track Photographer

“Very thorough and comprehensive. Great detailed advice along with great photo examples. You walk submission process step-bystep which is very important since so many photographers don't know where to start when it comes to submitting their work.” Kevin Chin, Top Wedding Photographer, Bay Area

the best part is,it's free. Years of experience and

the reader through the


understand and follow and

hours of sweat and passion

Heather and Kimberly, Editorial Team, Style Unveiled

Great stuff.” Kimberlee West, The Boudoir Divas

went into this amazing book. It's the cliff notes for getting published. Do yourself a favor download this book and get to work. When your weddings hit the newsstands be sure to return the favor to a fellow photographer and give back, just as Lara White did for you when she published this amazing tool.” Robert Evans, Celebrity Wedding Photographer


INTRODUCTION For many wedding &

we just weren’t sure how

different picture.

about clients with six figure

know. And if your work is

portrait photographers,

it would happen. Certain

Our photography studio,

budgets. It’s about the

already good enough to be

getting images published

photographers seemed to

Geoff White Photographers,


published, great! This guide

is the holy grail that they

get their work published

gets published regularly

hope to achieve. While it

in all the magazines.

in magazines and blogs

can be a great ego boost

Of course, you assume

around the world.

and proof that you’ve

a lot of things about those

Editors seek us out, often

got what it takes as a

photographers—it must be

contacting us with requests.

professional, the main

who they know, right?

How do we do it? How did

reason to consider getting

Perhaps they have an

we go from never getting

your images published is to

unlimited budget for all the

published to always getting

accelerate your marketing

latest gear? Some other


efforts and to build your

magic trick you don’t have


access to? Whatever it is,

Back when we were first starting out, Geoff & I used to talk about the idea of someday getting published.

you aim to be like them. You want that kind of success. How did they do it? Were they super lucky?

the most amazing images in the world, but your work does need to meet a minimum level of quality. If you aren’t at that point yet in your photography

secret from someone who’s

get there. This guide will

been on both sides of the

show you how to approach

fence. It’s not about who

shooting for a magazine,

you know. It’s not about

what f-stops & lenses to use,

shooting exotic weddings

and many other aspects of the process you need to

on beautiful beaches

hoped to reach eventually;

later. Now it’s a completely

around the world. It’s not

will give you the step-bystep process to make that happen. Remember, it’s about the process. And if you’d like to come along, I’ll tell you everything I know —no secrets held back, I promise. Let’s get started.

career, this guide is going to give you a roadmap to

Fast-forward to nine years

have quality images. Not

Let me fill you in on a little

It was a lofty goal we


To be fair, you do need to


Benefits & Opportunities of Getting Published

Why Get Published?

Getting your work published can be a huge

There are incredible benefits to getting published, many of

boost to your business. It’s like free advertising,

which can transform your business and career, including:

but better. Much better.

Greater exposure to more brides

Your work gets seen by potential brides as well

Exposure to wedding industry vendors

as key players in the wedding industry. You may

Higher perceived value from brides and industry vendors

find that planners are more interested in working with you when they know their work is more likely

More benefits than paying for expensive ads, which may offer little

to be published. It’s all upside when you are at

return if not targeted properly as part of a full-scale marketing campaign

the point in your career that you are looking for

More desirable to a “high end” bride who is seeking to have her wedding published

more exposure to your work and your brand.

Credibility within the industry, and among your peers

It’s a trade of your images for exposure.

Opportunities to promote and publicize your published images Your studio becomes more desirable among key players in your industry

Every example you see throughout the book is an image that has been published. I want you to be inspired and motivated to know you can do it for yourself.

Relationship building with people who can give you more business Self-satisfaction and personal achievement



TIP: If you are an established photographer who has already been published, the key to getting more work published is developing and refining the process. Make editorial submissions a regular part of your workflow. This creates a steady stream of your images getting published.

Local Magazines/Newspapers (Austin Brides, San Francisco Chronicle, etc.)

(The Knot, Modern Bride,


Opportunities for Getting Published

Local publications greatly increase your chances of being published Much easier to start and build up a portfolio of published work Potential opportunities for paid gigs in your community

Wider exposure to brides in your area Exposure in your own neighborhood offers a great “hometown advantage” with both local vendors and their clients

gold star on your resume. Here are some of the things to think about

Often not published frequently, or limited to an annual wedding issue; advance planning is

publication. You can find much of the editorial


contact details in numerous places—at the

Frequently picked up by publications’ blogs; offers more bang for your

authority site Often a link to if you have an SEO* strategy, you’ll know this is highly valuable Formalized submission process CONS


when considering submitting your work for

of brides

your website from an

are interested in featuring their bride locally

published somewhere is like getting another

Seen by wider audience

buck, and often a link to

published, there are many, many opportunities.

yourself as an expert, each time your work is


bride is now a featured “hometown hero” Potential engagement with brides’ families who

goal is to build your credibility and establish

Get Married, etc.)

Bride’s family may actively promote this as their

When it comes to getting your images

Some are more difficult than others, but if your

Widely Read/ Mass MarketMagazines

High-end planners often prefer to be associated with an “exclusive” magazine

No national exposure

magazine section of a large bookstore, Amazon, in your hometown publications and through researching popular wedding blogs online. 9


High End Publications

Specialized Magazines

With each opportunity come different advantages.

(Grace Ormonde, YWD, Ceremony, etc.)

(Wedding Cakes, etc.)

By knowing what those advantages are, you can


work to a multitude of places so you can take


position yourself to reap the rewards. Submit your

Because the volume of

advantage of each benefit available. If you spend

Highly desirable by members

submissions is lower than

too much time worrying about finding the “perfect”

of the high-end wedding

the mass-market wedding

publication for each wedding, and only submit


magazines, it may be easier to get published

to one place at a time, the chances of getting

These magazines are widely

A single photo (great cake, venue, lounge)

read within the industry, so

is all you need, not a total package

your work WILL be noticed by planners, florists and other


published are far lower. *SEO refers to search engine optimization. It means that you make an effort to make your website come up higher in search engine (i.e. Google,

up-scale, sought-after

With smaller circulation, you may have to

Bing, Yahoo) results. Two major strategies of SEO

wedding vendors in your area

purchase your own copies of the magazines

include using specific keywords that your clients

May not have a formalized submission process

CONS Circulation rates are often low; fewer brides will see your work Some only publish within their circle of advertisers, so if you aren’t buying their print ads, you may not qualify Usually only publish very high-end weddings with a six-figure budget and/or celebrity cache

Wedding Blogs (Style Unveiled, 100 Layer Cake, etc.) PROS Links to your website from an authority site, very valuable if you have an SEO strategy

are using in their searches as well as getting links from “authority sites” that are highly trusted by the search engines. Having your site or blog linked to from “The Knot” or “Style Unveiled” will not only help your website get higher in search engine placement results, you will also get web traffic to your site from people clicking on the link to see more of your work.

Easy to promote and publicize Blogs need a wider variety of content regularly, thereby increasing your chances Widely followed by wedding industry leaders who like to keep their eye on fresh talent Turnaround is much quicker, often with results in 3-4 weeks instead of 6-8 months or longer with magazines

TIP: Insist on photo credit. Without it, you are working for free with no return on the investment of your time and talent.

Easy online submission process CONS May not reflect the exclusivity of a printed publication 10



What type of images should you submit? In a word? Details, details, details. Wedding magazines and blogs are looking for images of details. They want to show: how a certain theme comes together; how a bride personalized her wedding through the use of clever details; and upcoming trends in wedding design. I cannot stress this enough. It’s what magazines want. Give them what they want, and you will see your images getting printed. Most editors suggest your submissions be about 75% or more details, and the rest rounded out by a few ceremony overviews & highlights, bridal party, portraits & key moments. Finish off with more details. In case you aren’t sure what a detail type of image is, I’ve broken them down by section, to help you see where you would find these details throughout the event. Think of these images as the “poetry” of the wedding day. The little bits that illustrate the romance, the fun, and the personality of each wedding.

Think of these images as the “poetry” of the wedding day.

Schedule additional time for capturing

As a bonus, your client is going to love those

the details. I cannot stress this enough. If a planner

images. Here’s a dirty little secret about planning

or bride communicates heavy décor and/or an

a wedding: your bride dreams about the details.

interest in getting published, we make sure that

She spends hours searching sites for just the right

we have ceremony details covered: we work with

colors, considering how different flowers might look,

the venue staff to give us time in the reception

how all those tiny details will create the perfect

room during cocktail hour before the doors open;

feeling for her wedding. You’ve seen the binders.

we remind the bride to bring us a perfect invite to

You know they spend hours imagining exactly how

photograph. This requires planning to ensure that

their wedding is going to look. And then…they

portraits happen and you still have time to get in

never get to actually see it that way. Walking down

to the reception room before the guests enter.

the aisle is often the first chance they have to “see”

Many photographers fail to understand this key point: magazines offer brides ideas for planning their weddings. While they may be lovely, 35 great

TIP: Work with the planner/ venue/bride to ensure you have the time needed to capture reception details.

how all their planning and hoping and dreaming turned out. And right about then they are a little bit pre-occupied.

portraits of the couple won’t help a future bride

When you capture the setting and the décor

plan her dream wedding. Sure, it might showcase

without the guests, you are giving your client a

how good a photographer you are, but that’s not

chance—perhaps the only chance—to know that

what the magazines need, because it’s not what

everything turned out just as they had hoped. The

their readers are looking for.

fact is, most brides don’t get a chance to enjoy the

Their readers are looking for ideas: colors, favors, invitation styles, design, décor, themes, and personal touches. They want to be able to take those ideas and make them their own. When those ideas are presented in a clear, well-lit image without visual clutter (like people or half-empty sodas) it’s much easier to be inspired by that idea alone. For example, a ceremony image that includes the

event from that perspective: enjoying the signature drinks they chose; tasting the cake they carefully selected; seeing the escort card table done up how they imagined. It goes by too quickly, and is filled with so many emotions they simply cannot take it all in. Imagine their joy to experience all those things from your images, when you are able to tell their story to them.

ceremony décor along with the guests, bridal party and ceremony happening has a lot going on. Images of just the décor by itself can inspire any bride as she imagines her wedding in that setting.



GETTING READY DETAILS Getting ready details include anything from the time the bridal party is getting ready and can include the wedding dress, wedding shoes, rings, bouquets, makeup details, special coins, hair ornaments, the veil, the groom’s watch and boutonniere closeups. Basically anything that happens prior to the ceremony.


PRINTED MATERIALS/ WEDDING COLLATERAL Printed materials include wedding invitations, programs, seating charts, menus, save the dates, and often custom table signage. Make an effort to find these.


CEREMONY DETAILS Ceremony details include pew dĂŠcor, guest signing stations, programs, wraps at each seat, interesting floral arrangements, cultural touches, floral creations, parasols, and signage. If the ceremony is being held in a private garden, flower details, garden statues iron work and other natural elements can become details.


COCKTAIL DETAILS Cocktail hour details include signature drinks, appetizers, rented sofas, flower arrangements & dĂŠcor, seating charts, escort card displays, signage and unique entertainment.


RECEPTION DETAILS Reception details include overview images of the room, table settings, cake, cake close-ups, favors, chair linens, signage, lighting, head table, menu cards, centerpieces and anything else interesting you can find. Note: Reception details are almost always captured during the cocktail hour. For big scale weddings with heavy dĂŠcor, we will work with the florist/planner to have the reception setup prior to the ceremony so we have extra time with the details and setup.


UNUSUAL/UNEXPECTED ACTIVITIES On occasion, a wedding will include something out of the ordinary: a new trend that hasn’t caught on yet; a cultural festivity; or unusual entertainment. Capturing these details can be tricky as they are often brief or take place in an obscure corner. Going over details with the bride in advance will allow you to be prepared for these moments.


LOUNGE & AFTER DINNER DETAILS Lounge or after-party setups offer great opportunities for details including dessert bars, cigar bars, snack stations and lounge dĂŠcor. These may be set up during the ceremony as part of the reception or the lounge area or after party may not be set up until towards the end of the reception. Always check with the planner or venue staff.


PERSONALIZED DETAILS Personalized details are anything unique to the couple or part of their “story.” For example, one clever bride had made her groom’s boutonniere, using lace from her dress (shown on right, 3rd image down).


WORK A THEME An editor can pull a story together from a dozen images that illustrate a theme in clever ways. For example, a guest at a barn themed wedding is wearing a cowboy hat or cowboy boots; take special care to capture that. For a yellow theme, create images of each and every yellow detail that supports the overall idea. Themes capture the unique personality of the event, and highlight your skill of capturing the story.


ADDING WARMTH TO DETAILS Sometimes adding the “human touch” to a detail can give it that extra warmth needed to complete a feature story. Notice that the people are merely background in the images.


SCENE SETTERS Scene-setter images are great because they set the stage for the story, giving the audience a sense of place.


The publicity we received from this celebrity wedding (Major League baseball player Eric Byrnes) led us to booking several other celebrity weddings.

CELEBRATION IMAGES Images that reflect the celebration, such as exit images, or a relaxed bridal party having fun together are perfect for featured weddings.


USING DOWNTIME TO PLAY Some weddings seem to fly by and you simply don’t have the time or the manpower to capture everything you’d like. Other times, the day progresses at a more leisurely pace and allows you the opportunity for creative play time. This is a great time to push yourself creatively. Wander about the setting to see what unique angles you can come up with. Take the time to look, to see. These are all examples of images taken during downtime. When we simply looked about, we found new and interesting views, angles and details that we had not seen earlier.


creating magazine quality images

Ok, now you understand that the magazines (and the brides reading them) are mainly looking for photos of details. The irony is that most wedding photographers consider themselves people photographers, not product photographers. Well in truth, being a well-rounded wedding photographer in this day and age means being good at portraits, photojournalism, landscape, architectural, and yes, product photography. Brides may not hire you because of your detail photos, but your detail photos will get you published, which puts your other photos and more importantly your name in front of them. Since magazines want 75% or more of your submission to be details, we’ll focus on how to best photograph details. However, many of the following guidelines and tips can be applied to non-detail photographs as well.


Being in the Right Place at the Right Time

Allow Plenty of Time for Photographing the Details

We’ve all heard this saying, and you may be thinking, how does that apply to

This is especially important if you are not already an expert detail photographer.

detail photos, that only applies to photojournalism. Well, on a wedding day,

It may help to think of the details as portraits that you have to schedule into the

most of the details end up getting “used and abused” by the end of the day,

timeline. And don’t worry, as you get better at photographing details you’ll get

so it’s important to not tack on shooting details as you happen to walk by

MUCH faster at it. The wonderful difference between portraits and details is that

them throughout the course of the day, but to plan capturing details like you

you don’t have to wait for the details to stop moving, smile and look at YOUR

plan when and where the portraits happen. The dress and shoes should be

camera. And remember, practice makes perfect.

photographed before they are put on, the flowers before they wilt in the sun, the appetizer plates before they get half eaten, the reception room before any guests get access to the room and put all their purses and coats on their chairs, the dessert table before the drunken revelers demolish it like kids in a candy store. Without this forethought and planning, your detail photos will be snapshots at best, or you’ll miss them entirely, and the rest of the advice in this section will be moot.

63mm f 4 1/100 sec ISO 1600 Flash off

When first learning how to take detail photos consider arriving thirty minutes early with the sole purpose of photographing details. This allows time to get creative and try things such as this image – just the initials engraved in the top corner of the invitation. It turned out that these initials were used throughout the day for other wedding collateral and even the lighting gobo. However, at the time we captured this, we hadn’t seen the other details and didn’t know this element would play such a strong part in the overall design theme.

50mm f1.4 1/60sec ISO 800 Flash off

Food was the major theme at this wedding, so we planned time in the food prep staging area, allowing us to create images of the appetizers untouched. The bride and groom are paying for that presentation, and many times they won’t even notice until they see your photos afterwards.



ADVANCE PLANNING Before the wedding be sure to talk with the planner, florist and/or venue to get a sense of the details and how dĂŠcor heavy the wedding will be. Work with these other vendors to adjust both the wedding timeline and your own photography timeline as needed, in order to give you the time to photograph the details well. Remember, these vendors want and need photos of their work, so they will be more than happy to adjust the timeline when possible to allow you to do your job. 50mm f 1.4 1/80 sec ISO 640 Flash off

This was a very dĂŠcor heavy wedding where the bride had spent a lot of time with the planner getting just the look she wanted. We worked with the planner to ensure the room was ready early and cleared of wait staff and we had access before guests entered.



Bounced Flash Rocks Directional light is one of the cornerstones to studio and portrait photography, and you should apply the same technique with wedding details. Whether using natural window light or on-camera flash, try to photograph your details with side-lighting, to show off their contours and features. In a reception room you may well have to use flash to supplement low room lighting; this is fine when used correctly. First, if you are using a diffuser on your flash (which you generally should be), remove it. Yes, remove it. If you are photographing the cake, for example, and there is not enough light, or it’s flat light, aim your flash to bounce off a wall to the left or right side of the cake, and this will give you wonderful side-lighting showing off the contours of the cake. This will not always work, depending on the room layout, colors of the walls, etc., but with practice, you will start to learn when to use flash, and when to use or not use your diffuser. As a general rule of thumb, for detail photography, we only use flash when there is simply not enough light, or when we have flat lighting and want to add directional bounced light, as in the cake example. 50mm f2.8 1/60sec ISO 3200 Flash on

The lighting on the cake was flat, so we bounced the flash (with no diffuser) off a wall on the left to add definition ot the contours of the cake. Try this technique at your next wedding.



Out Of Focus is Good What?!? Ok, let me clarify, you don’t want blurry detail photos, but you also don’t want detail photos with everything in the frame in focus. You generally want only a part of your photo (and often only part of an individual detail) in focus, and the rest out of focus. Low f-stops are your friend. We photograph most of our details at f2.8 or lower, often at f1.4 & f1.2 with prime lenses. Isolate the detail from the scene, whether it’s a table centerpiece surrounded by the clutter of table settings, wedding favors and salt & pepper shakers, a wedding cake with 15 tables and a DJ setup behind, or the signature cocktail drink on a bar with the bartender and a wall of bottles behind. The other huge benefit to shooting at very wide apertures is it eliminates the need for flash in most situations. 85mm f1.2 1/100sec ISO 400 Flash off

To create this shot, look for a row of tables and focus on the second table, so the rest are out of focus. Pay particular attention to the positioning of the first table—how much you include depends on how it looks in the photo. Also pay attention to the angle of the line of tables, which will vary depending on the size of centerpieces. This is one example where practice makes perfect. The key is that you are leaving only one table in focus, and the rest out of focus so they don’t distract the viewer, but lets them know that it is a reception room with many tables.



High ISO is Your Friend This applies not only to detail photos, but to all your low light photos at a wedding. With the advent of digital photography and Photoshop, many photographers have fallen into the trap of “pixel peeping” their images on their large computer screens, and have subsequently become scared of any digital “noise”, to the point where they expect every image to look like an ISO 100 image in full sun. You must remember that we are used to seeing grain in photos from looking at decades worth of film images. So while you don’t want to shoot at high ISOs unnecessarily, don’t be afraid to turn it up, especially if you shoot in RAW mode and process your photos with basic noise reduction. It’s hard to give specifics because cameras ISO / noise ratios have changed dramatically over the past few years and still differ a fair amount between camera makes and models, but I’ll give an example based on equipment we’ve used. Most of the images you see in this guide were photographed with Canon 5D or 1D Mark III cameras. With the Canon 5D we’ll shoot up to ISO 1600 without thinking about it, and 3200 on occasion when needed. With the Canon 1D Mark III’s we generally leave them in auto-ISO mode where it is set to automatically ratchet up to ISO 3200 as needed, so many of the detail photos you see in this guide were photographed between ISO 1600 and 3200 (particularly the reception details). 50mm f2 1/60sec ISO 3200 Flash off

Here’s an example of an escort card table with no flash at ISO 3200, so as to not get bad reflections from the flash on the metallic embossing, and to prevent flash shadows from one card to the next. Photograph details without flash whenever possible.



Decluttering The Chaos Have you noticed how many things they can fit on a wedding reception table before you even add the food and guests? Or how about the chaotic scene in the bride’s getting ready room, complete with last night’s leftover room service and bags of Doritos everywhere? Magazines and their readers don’t want to see this stuff. They want to see beautiful details, usually one at a time, in a clean setting with nice lighting. So pay attention to your composition, paying particular attention to the corners and edges of your frame. Just as importantly, don’t be afraid to rearrange things to improve the scene. The dress can and should be moved, ask for the rings and other jewelry and move them onto a clean surface with better lighting. Ask the bartender to make one of the signature cocktails and take it somewhere with a nice background and lighting, or have a bridesmaid hold it. When photographing reception tables feel free to move salt & pepper shakers, glassware, table cards, etc. to improve the photos—be respectful of the venue staff and put the items back when done. And to repeat an earlier guideline, use a shallow depth of field to choose what you want in focus and what you don’t. We often use prime lenses, such as the 50 f1.4 and 85 f1.2, both used wide open to capture details. This allows you to have a table centerpiece in focus with much of the foreground and background elements on that table out of focus, let alone other tables in the background. See some of the photos below and read the captions for more details on specific types of images. 30mm f2.8 1/80sec ISO 400 Flash on

The dress was in another room, wrapped in a layer of plastic, with leftover room service lying about. Not the most photogenic situation. Take the dress and hang it somewhere nice. Yes, be careful, don’t let it get wrinkled or dirty, but don’t be afraid to touch it. In this photo we hung the dress in a window, and moved the Chanel collection to a table to create this styled image. Also photograph the dress alone, and when in backlit window you’ll usually want to overexpose by 2-3 stops to blow out any details outside the window and get a nice exposure for the dress.



Become The Magazine Layout Designer’s Best Friend This guideline can help you not only get published, but will make your life easier (or your designer’s life) when designing your client’s albums. For magazines especially, the space on every page is worth a premium. The graphic designers at each magazine have to figure out how to fit each story and photo combo into a set number of pages, maintaining the stylistic integrity of the magazine as well as making it easy to read for the reader. So what can you do, as the photographer, to make their life easier? First off, try photographing every detail in both horizontal and vertical orientations. Remember to keep at least one good vertical and horizontal version of each image when you edit your images down to the keepers. When a magazine designer is laying out a page, especially a collage, and you have given them both orientations of each image, you make their job much easier and faster, which will make them feel all warm and fuzzy when they see your work. Vertical: 200mm f3.5 1/2500sec ISO 160 Flash Off. Horizontal: 200mm f3.5 1/3200sec ISO 160 Flash off

A very simple example of the same detail photographed in a vertical and horizontal orientation. When possible, submit both orientations of detail photos to magazines to make their layout jobs easier.



Magazines Don’t Want to See Everything

Beware The Photoshop Buffet

On the other hand, be careful to not overwhelm the photo editors or magazine

In today’s world of Photoshop and plugin/action mania, its easy (and fun)

designers by giving them too much choice. If they have to sort through 20

to turn your photographs into art. Whether it’s adding traditional darkroom

variations of the bride’s bouquet, you have now added work to their day…no

techniques such as sepia toning, dodging & burning and vignetting, or more

more warm fuzzies. Unless the composition is significantly different, such as the

extreme changes such as selective colorization, quadrupling the size of the

bouquet on a very different colored background, or close-ups of individual

moon, or superimposing the bride and groom on the side of a skyscraper, the

flowers or details on the bouquet vs. the whole bouquet image, try to pare it

sky is the limit. However, for the purposes of getting published you must learn to

down to two orientations of each image. This doesn’t have to be absolute, if

restrain your creativity. Each magazine must remain true to their stylistic integrity,

one orientation isn’t working, don’t include it, but in general it’s pretty easy to

or their brand will be diluted or confused. You may think blue sepia toning is the

accomplish and doesn’t take much extra time.

greatest thing since sliced bread, but the magazines don’t want that, so don’t waste your time or theirs. Regular and light retouching is fine; just make sure

Don’t Be A Pain In The Neck

your photographs still look like photographs. Remember also that a magazine will often be looking to group images together from different photographers for

Don’t let your details (or people) fall out of the photo. What do we mean by

sections on cakes, favors or other detail categories, and they need the images

this? Avoid extreme angles. You can generally get away with more extreme

to go well together on the same page.

angles with detail photos than people photos, but for the purposes of magazine submissions it’s best to not push it too far. The magazines don’t want their readers to have to turn their magazines half sideways to view an image, and this point is even more important when it comes to online publishing.

Get the Color Right Speaking of images going well together, please take the time to color correct your images before submitting. The magazine is not your lab or Photoshop

Sharp, Soft or Just Right?

assistant. If they look at your photos and see unedited uncorrected images they will simply move on to the next submission. You are the photographer; it is your

There is a lot of confusion in the printing industry around both image sharpness

job to make the images look their best. If you are capturing in RAW format (you

and color spaces. Because of this, and to keep things simple, we recommend

should be), taking the time to photograph a grey card when shooting details will

that you use an appropriate amount of image sharpening in your workflow

save you pulling your hair out during color correction when trying to remember

so the images will print well in magazines (or on any media you use for that

exactly what shade of off-white that wedding dress was—and if you have

matter), but be careful to not over sharpen, whether by mistake or for creative

someone else doing your color correction then it is even more critical to have

effect. For color space, convert your images to sRGB if they are not already

this reference point.

in that color space. If you don’t have a good sharpening workflow, we highly recommend the folks over at Pixel Genius and their excellent PhotoKit Sharpener software and sharpening methodology.



inspir ation & examples

Sometimes images require a bit of styling to create a magazine quality look and a pleasing image. Don’t be afraid to pick up an item and reposition or even create little vignettes (think of them as product scenes) with details such as the jewelry. We frequently unpack the wedding gown and hang in a window, ask someone to hold something up for us, or rearrange in a way that creates a pleasing visual. Be sure to remove any clutter from the image (half empty drinks, plastic wrapping) and only use “fresh” details such as a flat, clean invitation or a freshly



50mm f1.4 1/500sec ISO 400 Flash off

85mm f1.2 1/5000sec ISO 500 Flash off

This wedding was décor heavy and had been planned with an eye to publication (the bride wanted her wedding featured and designed accordingly). We arrived a day early to this destination wedding and worked with the floral designer to capture as many details in advance as possible. These flower girl shoes were photographed with the centerpiece in the background for color.

I photographed the bride’s bouquet in a variety of locations. The Mediterranean colors of the outdoor fresco made a complimentary backdrop for the bouquet. The bride prefered an image that featured the stem wrap details. Both images were selected for publications in different features.

2nd Panel Top:

50mm f 2 1/80 sec ISO 2000 Flash off

50mm f2.5 1/200sec ISO 400 Flash off

The couple are both named Erin, so the image plays on that. By having extra time and requested details in the getting ready room, we had the opportunity to create many pleasing detail images which contributed to this wedding getting selected for multiple publications as well as the venue advertising campaign.

These confections were created by the pastry chef as decorative elements for the lavish dessert buffet. Rather than photograph at the dessert buffet, we placed them against a plain backdrop and set them out in a staggered fashion. This image was used as the lead image for a story about the couple’s foodie themed wedding.

2nd Panel Bottom:

Far Right:

54mm f2.8 1/200sec ISO 400 Flash off

46mm f2.8 1/400sec ISO 640 Flash off

When photographing a ceremony program, it often needs some presentation adjustments. For this particular image, we simply pulled one out a bit to capture some of the text.

This is my favorite way to capture ceremony programs as it gives the image a personal touch. Ask the greeter to hold programs up towards you (right side up) and fan them out a bit. Focus on the text.

4th Panel:

made signature drink.



Use the cocktail hour to


4th Panel Top:

capture reception décor.

35mm f2.8 1/400sec ISO 400 Flash off

25mm f1.8 1/80sec ISO 1600 Flash off

Once the guests enter the good detail images.

Notice how this image features the table setting and linens, with the chandelier in the background? I will take a similar shot from a variety of angles until I find the best perspective and background. Sometimes this takes time.

Once you’ve gotten the main details such as the wide angle and centerpieces, look for smaller details such as linens, chair covers, menu cards and other small touches. These are the things that catch an editor’s eye for a feature wedding.

We always plan 10-30

2nd Panel Top:

4th Panel Bottom:

room, it is difficult to get

minutes for the reception room details immediately following after ceremony portraits. Besides the wide angle room images (coordinate clearing the room with the Banquet Captain or Planner) look for menus, centerpieces, linens, chair covers, signage favors and unique angles.

50mm f1.4 1/250sec ISO 640 Flash off

110mm f2.8 1/1600sec ISO 500 Flash off

This room was gorgeous to the eye but challenging to capture due to the lighting and combination of high and low centerpieces. By getting down at table level, I captured the centerpieces in a way that showcases their simplistic beauty. If I had more time I would have removed the salt and pepper shakers.

When photographing the entire reception design, composition is key. Centerpieces are lined up to create visual movement through image.

2nd Panel Bottom:

For this setting, the color palette popped against the grass, so a wide angle lens was used to capture both the ground and the chandeliers.

50mm f1.4 1/5000sec ISO 400 Flash off

I was interested in capturing the color palette in this image. I wanted to deemphasize the favors and seating cards (not strong details) so I kept them out of focus but in the frame to add visual interest. Centre: 50mm f1.5 1/6400sec ISO 400 Flash off

Look up-sometimes ceilings have interesting details such as unique lighting and chandaliers which add to the event’s ambiance. We often shoot the first dance from lower angles to include interesting ceiling details as well.


Far Right: 28mm f1.8 1/100sec ISO 800 Flash off

TIP: Include both orientations (horizontal and vertical) of an image in your submission for layout flexibility.


Weddings often feature a dessert table, late night snacks or favors set up later in the reception. Find out by asking your bride or planner in advance. When putting together your wedding game plan, be sure to include these details as part of your schedule. I recommend coordinating with the Banquet Captain on site to stay informed of the exact timing for set up. Be sure to capture these details quickly, as they are often “enjoyed” within moments by guests, and after this, it is no longer photographically viable in terms of “magazine quality” so you have to be prepared to move fast.



4th Panel:

85mm f1.2 1/200sec ISO 1600 Flash off

50mm f2.8 1/60sec ISO 1600 Flash off

This candy buffet was full of fun, bright colors. To keep this image from feeling cluttered, we focused only on the lollipops, composing the image to create a line that leads your eye across the image.

This was a combination favor and dessert table, so there were a lot of details in one place. Rather than try to capture them all in one image, we created smaller vignettes of the entire scene. In post-production we punched up the colors a bit by increasing the saturation.

2nd Panel: 50mm f1.4 1/60sec ISO 3200 Flash on

Far Right:

I was enchanted by the idea of cookies and milk shots and knew a wedding editor or blogger would be too. It was one of several creative budget ideas the bride used to add personality to her wedding.

135mm f2 1/500sec ISO 1600 Flash off


We always try to photograph details without flash if at all possible to preserve the mood. When dessert bars are set up mid-reception, you only have moments to capture before hungry guests gather and begin devouring the treats.

32mm f2.8 1/60sec ISO 3200 Flash off

This late night snack was scheduled to be set up towards the end of the evening. We asked the Banquet Caption to let us know when they started setting it up so we’d be ready before guests wandered over. Because the food was under yellow heat lamps, it didn’t look great close-up, so we captured it from a wider perspective.


Spend time in the



reception room before

15mm f2.8 1/60sec ISO 3200 Flash off

C24mm f3.5 1/60sec ISO 1000 Flash off

the doors open.

The venue had specifically requested images that captured the look of the ballroom with the center divider, so we used a fisheye to capture the entire room. While the décor details were minimal, the wedding’s foodie theme took center stage for a feature article. This image highlights the great lighting.

A wide angle lens was used to capture the long head table. Pacific Weddings chose this as well as a close up detail of the centerpiece to feature in their “real wedding” story on the couple.

Keep shooting it from different angles, different perspectives. You’ll start to notice there are certain


ways to photograph

85mm f1.2 1/800sec ISO 1250 Flash off

details that make them

The gold plated glassware really adds to the ambiance in this setting, so they were included in the overall table settings image. If the centerpieces require lighting, be sure to ask staff to light at least one table for you.

look their best, and then you’ll get quicker at it.


TIP: Higher ISO & no flash allow lighting to shine in ballroom reception detail images.


Walk around the


3rd Panel:

reception room,

63mm f2.8 1/500sec ISO 1600 Flash off

50mm f2.8 1/80sec ISO 2500 Flash on

looking for all the little

The couple brought in an event designer to create many unique details and vignettes for them. The entire event was a “detail heaven” that Bride & Bloom selected to feature. Having so many rich detail shots allows an editor to put together a multi-page feature story.

This was created after all the “main” details were already captured. Sometimes you need to just spend time in a room to “look” and “see” the smaller things like the chair cover details. For heavy décor weddings, we frequently bring in a third shooter for a few hours (at additional cost) to focus solely on details.

cake, favors, chair

2nd Panel Top:

Far Right:

covers, chandeliers,

85mm f1.2 1/500sec ISO 1600 Flash off

50mm f3.2 1/100sec ISO 800 Flash off

linens and anything

This table setting featured many gorgeous rentals including gold damask chargers (decorative under plates) and beautiful pearl napkin rings. We created numerous detail images by featuring 1-2 details per image, using others are background.

Sometimes you need to go smaller and capture one detail of a detail. This is one rose on a willow branch centerpiece at the escort card table. In another image, we photographed the escort cards from a low angle to use the centerpiece as background.

details–centerpieces, table names, special head table details,

else that catches your eye. Create images that feature each detail as well as little vignettes of detail groupings.

2nd Panel Bottom: 85mm f1.8 1/300sec ISO 1000 Flash on

From the same wedding as the above image, the focus here is on the menu card and miniature gold easel. Post production darkening enhanced the Canon 5D’s natural vignetting.



Take images of both the


2nd Panel Bottom:

overview detail scene

50mm f2 1/160sec ISO 400 Flash off

50mm f2 1/200sec ISO 400 Flash off

and individual vignettes.

This incredible dessert table featured a small main cake and lots of cupcakes displayed in a variety of ways. This allowed us to create a number of unique images, which was helpful when several publications wanted to feature this wedding.

In this example, we have a cake table and a cupcake display. Create an overview image that captures the

2nd Panel Top:

entire scene, and then go

50mm f1.4 1/250sec ISO 400 Flash off

back and create individual

The goal of this photo is simply to create an appetizing image of the cupcakes, whereas the image to the right is designed to highlight the unique display of a single cupcake.

images from each of the details. Often these images are much more interesting visually than the scene overview.


3rd Panel: 50mm f1.4 1/250sec ISO 400 Flash off

Far Right: 50mm f1.2 1/200sec ISO 400 Flash off

TIP: Avoid extreme angles and heavily Photoshopped images.


the process

TIP: While at your local bookstore (choose one with an extensive wedding magazine section) gathering editorial contact info, be sure to notice the types of images selected for that magazine. You’ll want an idea of the types of images a particular magazine prefers.

Where to find blogs & magazines: Local magazines, newspapers and blogs are constantly on the lookout for free images. Many of them have annual themed publications, such as a wedding issue, back-to-school issue, or holiday issues that could use related images. Spend an afternoon at your local Barnes & Noble, gathering submission details of wedding or related

Organizing the Submission Spreadsheet

In order to get moving on your submissions, put together a detailed spreadsheet of the various blogs and magazines you would like to submit to. This initial effort pays off, as you will go back to this information again and again.

industry magazines. Many magazines have contact info within the first couple of pages. Look for the editorial contact. You can also search the websites of magazines for editorial or submissions guidelines. If no information is available online, simply call them or use a generic email. If you ask for the submission

What to include in your spreadsheet: Name of publication Address/phone/email/website Contact Deadlines Notes about style (see page 47) This may feel like a massive project, but this is one of the secrets to getting published regularly— following a process. If you take the time to put the info together once, you’ll save yourself hours later on. It will also be easy to maintain and grow. Once you have this spreadsheet together, you are well on your way to getting published. You have the

guidelines, they will usually give you an address

tools, now you need to set up the system.

or send you a form email with the details. It’s really

We will be sending you a spreadsheet to get a

that simple. You don’t have to know anyone or have a personal contact established.

head start on this. See page 55 for more details.

Dedicate an afternoon to collecting this info, and organizing it all into a spreadsheet. This is going to be one of your most important tools to getting published.



TIP: Be sure to include vendor contact info. Sometimes they get a credit, sometimes not; it depends on the magazine. One of the best benefits to getting published is building strong relationships with vendors. By getting their work published, you gain a serious advantage over other photographers. 1. Select weddings to be submitted for publishing. 2. Cull about 50-200 images per wedding into desktop folders. 3. Create separate folders for magazines that do not publish entire weddings but are more detail-focused, such as wedding favor

basic process our studio follows:

bride created all the details, etc.). 10. Mail the packages out/submit online.

you’ve photographed lately that contain that

a quarterly batch of editorial submissions. We will

particular aspect.

also submit a wedding to a specific publication

6. Determine which weddings are going to which

individual submission guidelines, but this is the

designed after the dress, it’s a DIY wedding and

it typically takes us about a week to pull together

spreadsheet put together, you are ready for

our marketing calendar. You’ll want to review

Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, or the cake was

We have our process honed and organized, and

Your Very Own Assembly Line fresh images quarterly, as a regular part of

about the couple and the wedding (bride is a

you can fill with images from every wedding

submitting, get their permission, and ask for

outside our quarterly schedule if requested by a planner or magazine.

specific info you might not have, such as their

By sending submissions out to 30+ places, your

dress designer, etc.

chances of getting something published are

5. Organize contact info per wedding to include the entire vendor team, bride contact info, and interesting details/storyline.


your first submission. In our studio, we submit

with bride’s contact info plus interesting details

magazines, cake magazines, etc. These folders

4. Reach out to brides, letting them know you are

Now that you have your editorial contacts

9. Put together cover letters for each submission

7. Print out image contact sheets per wedding, per submission. 8. Burn CDs per magazine submission requirements. Each CD might have 3-5 weddings on it. Some blogs prefer that images

much higher. If your work is good and you are able to create magazine-quality images, then it is likely that you will have several items published from each quarterly effort. So the point is…don’t be choosy. I’m not suggesting you send every single wedding to Martha Stewart Weddings. Don’t waste your time unless you have a wedding that has their look and feel. Remember, there are lots of magazines and blogs that are looking for weddings that don’t follow a very tight style, but instead are looking for general inspiration. Follow the process, and it will happen.

are FTP’d directly.



TIP: “I look for a wide range of couples, budgets and types of weddings. You’ll see everything from a DIY farm wedding to a ritzy NYC event in Get Married.” – Karina Timmel, Editor in Chief, Get Married Magazine

Submission Guidelines & Magazine Style

If you want to be taken seriously by an editor, do yourself a favor and follow their submission guidelines, and pay attention to the style of weddings they publish. Many magazines have

Submission Guidelines

Examples of magazine styles:

Review each magazine’s or blog’s policies for

The Knot tends to prefer weddings that are “within

submissions. Most of them will provide details

reach” and inspiring for brides of any budget. They

online regarding how they prefer to receive

are not interested in celebrity weddings and six

submissions. If you do not have an established

figure budget weddings that are not relatable to

relationship with the publisher, it’s highly advisable

their readers. Anything young, hipster, trendy and

to follow their specific rules on how and when

within reach for an everyday bride…The Knot might

they like to receive submissions. Not only will you

be interested.

increase your chances of getting published, you will also be showing them you are professional and able to follow instructions and do it “their way.”

Wedding Style Each magazine or blog will have its own personality and the types of weddings they

In Style Weddings publishes celebrity weddings (Hollywood A-listers). If you have a “B lister” wedding, it might get published if there happen to be no “A list” weddings that month. If your celebrity bride wants to get their wedding published, leverage their connections wherever they might be…just be sure you get photo credit.

publish, meant to inspire their readers. Follow their

Your Wedding Day (YWD) tends to focus on

blogs and read their magazines so you have a

publishing from their circle of advertisers and they

clear understanding of their particular style and

look for high-end weddings put together by a team

brand. It’s important to find a happy medium here,

of their advertising partners.

so that you are sending in weddings that might be a match, yet don’t sell yourself short by only submitting a wedding to one publication at a time.

a certain “flavor” or type of bride who reads

Martha Stewart Weddings publishes very few weddings per issue, but those that do get published have a strong DIY “look” even though these weddings are often highly planned and

their magazines, and they try to cater to their

organized with big budgets. Soft pastel colors in a

readers. Have an understanding of their process

dreamy setting that feels very home-like; this is the

in order to increase your chances.

Martha Stewart style.



By understanding what their needs are, you are seriously increasing your chances of getting in. We submit images from almost all weddings, unless the client has indicated they do not wish their wedding to be submitted. Each of our weddings may get submitted to anywhere from 10-20 magazines plus blogs. There are two reasons for this: 1. You never know what they will choose. You might think an image is an absolute guarantee, but if that wedding does not happen to stand out in the submission stack that month, or if your wedding is THE hot color that month, well then it’s not likely to be picked up as a feature. Why is that? Because if they receive stacks and stacks of hot pink weddings, then that trend is going to be old by the time their next issue comes out. They are looking for the next trend. Plus, sometimes they need one little detail of a particular item —a funny flower girl, a dessert in a color they need—to finish a themed mood board, etc. 2. Increase your odds: the more places you submit to, the more likely it is that something will get picked up somewhere. That means more exposure for your brand that you can leverage.

TIP: Magazines are not necessarily looking for the most gorgeous images; often they look for images that illustrate a story they already have in mind.

This image was published in a “best of” issue of a wedding magazine. This image is certainly no award winner, which only goes to prove that you don’t need to be the world’s best photographer to get published. This image filled a slot they needed at the moment, and my guess is they liked the polka dot pattern. I captured this image (and many more from the dessert spread) while bored and waiting for dinner to finish. Had I not submitted this wedding (which I did NOT think would get published), we would not have landed ourselves a spot in the annual “best of” issue.



TIP: “Deliver the pitch via email. Include a summary of the wedding—where and when it took place, the couple’s names, what was unique about it.” – Karina Timmel, Editor in Chief, Get Married Magazine Often when we get a request from a magazine that they are interested in featuring a particular wedding, they have a very tight turnaround. The faster you can respond, the better— 24 hours later may be too late. Respond to emails and phone calls the same day or as soon as humanly possible. If they request images, FedEx or FTP them that day, if

Getting “In” with the Publishers

possible. When these editors & editorial assistants realize how responsive and easy you are to work with, they will come to you more frequently with their last minute requests. Bottom line, they want to work with people who are going to make their jobs easier. Facebook friend the editors; they often send out last minute requests for specific images they are looking for. Don’t be shy; it’s their job

If you follow the suggestions in this guide, your

to get to know photographers.

chances of getting published are going to

Follow editors on Twitter & Facebook and

increase significantly. However, you can go

occasionally comment so they get used to

further by working on building relationships with

seeing your name. Editors tend to be very social

photo editors and publishers. I’m sure you’ve

people, so don’t worry about upsetting them.

heard the saying, “people do business with

They love this industry as much as you do.

people”. Building relationships with the editors

Introduce yourself at conferences, bridal shows

over time certainly helps you, but it also helps

or industry events. They love to put a face with a

them. Remember, they need to find images to

name, and they make it their business to know

fill magazines and blog posts. You can provide


images. See how this is a two-way street?

Follow their specific submission process to a T. Send them good work regularly. Even if they don’t respond, they are getting used to seeing your work. They might pass on a wedding for the magazine, but a year later may feature a wedding or a few of your images on their blog, where they have a lot more space to fill. Be gracious, respectful and responsive. I never call and ask “why didn’t something get chosen?” or would they “take a look at it?”. These are busy people, they have a process, and it just works the way it works. In times like this, remember the process and follow the steps again. Persistence! Editors are very busy people. Don’t waste their time with checking in follow-up emails and calls. If your images work for the issue they are working on, they will get in touch. If not, respect their decision and move on—don’t hound them with emails and calls. These tips can help you develop relationships over time. Remember, it can take months and years to build those relationships, so think of this aspect of your marketing like planting seeds and watering them. Over time, some of those seeds will grow. Actually, most marketing works that way.

Be aware: there is either complete separation between the editorial and advertising departments, or they are working hand-in-hand.



TIP: What about exclusivity? For a featured wedding, yes, but we also get many images published individually. For example, a trade magazine uses a cocktail image, a bridal blog runs a ceremony shot in a 'Wedding Cultures' story and a local bridal magazine uses a first dance image for their DJ story. All from the same wedding, and totally fine. Q: How many weddings do you like to receive

Q: How can photographers improve their

at one time? Is it better to send more or less,


in terms of the number of weddings submitted?

Advice from the Editors

What would a guide to getting published be without some advice from the sources themselves? Not to worry, I’ve got you covered. Here are some tips and advice for you straight from the editors.

A: “We like clean, bright images. A lot of times

A: “Five is the max from email submissions, but

we receive images that are too dark or contrasty

if you have more, just send them in a package

(they won’t look good in print). Sometimes I see an

by mail. The Knot is very flexible about receiving

image and I think…if they would have just taken

submissions.” – Rebecca Crumley, The Knot

this out of the shot…” – Rebecca Crumley, The Knot

Weddings Photo Director

Weddings Photo Director

Q: What’s something you wish everyone did when submitting a wedding for publication?

A: “Think about backgrounds. Keep them as clean as possible.” – Rebecca Crumley, The Knot Weddings Photo Director

A: “Ask first what the submissions process is—is there a form to complete? We have a submissions process that helps streamline all the real weddings we receive. Also, don’t submit every wedding you photograph—hand-pick the one or two that are absolutely stunning/unique and submit those.” – Karina Timmel, Editor in Chief, Get Married Magazine A: “Strive for consistency in the ‘image look’—we have had beautiful weddings that we have had to decline because some images were artworked in a vintage style, some in a cross-processed style, and a mix of many others (all within the same wedding).

Trade magazines such as this one don’t receive many submissions, so it is much easier to get featured like we did on this cover. In fact, we’ve gotten cake images in almost every single issue of this magazine over the past few years. Besides having a steady stream of promotional material, imagine how the cake bakers rave to their clients about us.

Sticking to one consistent look is something we really look for. This makes our layout cohesive and more appealing to our readers.” – Heather and Kimberly, Style Unveiled



Q: What’s the best piece of advice you can offer

Q: What’s one thing to avoid when submitting

when initially submitting for publication?

a wedding for publication?

A: “I’m a big fan of a highlights CD of a

A: “Being personally attached to the images.

photographer’s portfolio.” – Rebecca Crumley,

Historically we have not featured these types

The Knot Weddings Photo Director

of photos: group dancing shots, cake feeding,

So even if you don’t yet feel that you have the right wedding for The Knot, go ahead and let them know you are here. Send them a portfolio CD with your best work. Rebecca says they love to keep those types of images available for when they need an image to illustrate a story. Plus it gets your

underwear images (pre-dress photos), bouquet tosses and family formal portraits. Please send only images that you and your bride would appreciate having published for the world to see. Anything you send we feel is fair game to publish.” – Heather and Kimberly, Style Unveiled

name and your work in front of the real weddings

A: “Make sure that you are sending the right type


of images. If you send in 30 photos and 25 of them

A: “Send a personalized greeting like ‘Hi, Jane’ vs. ‘To Whom It May Concern’ and locate the masthead in the magazine (list of names) or

are portraits of the couple, you’ve missed the point.” – Rebecca Crumley, The Knot Weddings Photo Director

‘about us’ section and find the right person.

A: “Do not attach high-resolution images that clog

You don’t always have to go straight to the top;

up an editor’s inbox.” – Karina Timmel, Editor in

look for the editor of the section in the magazine

Chief, Get Married Magazine Q: How do you prefer receiving wedding submissions?

Q: What is the typical turnaround time before you get back to a photographer?

Q: What about sending slideshow links? Rebecca shares that this is actually a pet peeve

that you are pitching.” – Karina Timmel, Editor in Chief, Get Married Magazine

A chance meeting at a bridal show led us to getting featured on the cover of this local magazine twice. The editor visited with us in our bridal booth, looking for fresh talent to feature for his local publication. He actually picked out several images to feature (which ended up being covers) right from our booth that day. Our work has been featured inside the magazine many more times since then.

A: “We’re very flexible (at The Knot); CD, contact sheets, online gallery… we try to make it as easy as

A: “The Knot tends to respond back to

possible for photographers to get their work in to

photographers in about four weeks’ time after their

us.” – Rebecca Crumley, The Knot Weddings Photo

regional deadline.” – Rebecca Crumley, The Knot


Weddings Photo Director

of hers. A: “What you have to understand is that a slideshow of images chosen for a bride is very different than images chosen for a magazine.” One question that Rebecca gets a lot: “Why do you always publish the same photographers?” And she always has the same answer: “When was the last time you submitted?” Never, you say? Well, ok. The photographers that get published are the

TIP: Befriending people in the advertising department will not help you get published unless the magazine has a policy or preference for publishing within their advertisers.


ones that have a system for submitting. Like I said before, the biggest secret to getting published? It’s about the process.


Q: What advice can you offer someone starting

Q: Do all weddings that get published need to

out that hopes to have magazine-worthy

be a glamorous couple with a huge wedding



A:“We love getting images from new and fresh

A: “Absolutely not! We’ve seen brides do some

photographers.”– Rebecca Crumley, The Knot

pretty spectacular things on no budget…

Weddings Photo Director

Our readers are real women…” – Karina Timmel,

A: “Images need to speak for themselves” – Karina Timmel, Editor in Chief, Get Married Magazine After getting a feature in Modern Bride of a Chinese couple, we were approached by the magazine’s sister publication, Modern Bride China to run the same feature. Not only was the bride thrilled beyond belief to have something to share with relatives that could not make the journey, but we could now add the phrase “internationally published” into our marketing blurbs.

A: “The first thing is don’t be afraid to submit. The second is look at your work objectively and keep planning brides in mind. In our experience they want to see ideas they can use in their own weddings. This generally means details like images of cakes, the dress, shoes, tablescapes, venue, and escort cards—anything that took thought to

Q: What do photographers need to know that is different about submitting to a blog? A: “Your features are more permanent and directly send brides to your site (via links). For us specifically, we search engine optimize (SEO) all of our features with the top search terms for their specific wedding or feature. Also, aside from having the permanent real wedding feature in our ‘real wedding’ sections, we also try to blog about it on our main blog section for additional exposure. Another thing to keep in mind is that (just like with print) there is a production time. Especially with features, because we do a Q&A with the bride and

Editor in Chief, Get Married Magazine A: “We’ve published everyone from ‘rock star’ photographers to ‘the newest newbies'’. A quick look around Style Unveiled shows that we feature multiple styles. We can’t even count how many photographers have had their first publishing experience with us. It’s always exciting for us to discover new talent and share it with our readers.” – Heather and Kimberly, Style Unveiled

design. There is no such thing as too many detail

A: “A great photographer can dress up a low

shots.” – Heather and Kimberly, Style Unveiled

budget wedding and make it look great.”–

Understand the difference between client needs and editorial needs. The story of how hard you

Rebecca Crumley, The Knot Weddings Photo Director

worked to get the image is not relevant to a

That is so true. As a photographer, your goal is to

wedding magazine or blog. Don’t submit images

make every wedding look great, even when it’s not

that are your favorites simply because of the

as fancy as the bride would have liked.

complexity that went into creating them (go ahead and submit those to us at PhotoMint though!). Will that image inspire a bride without the backstory? YOU have a great opportunity to be “the next big thing”. All you have to do is put your work in front of them.

TIP: Make sure you have clients’ permission before submitting their wedding.

groom.” – Heather and Kimberly, Style Unveiled



TIP: “The more regularly you submit great weddings, the more likely you will be published.” – Karina Timmel, Editor in Chief, Get Married Magazine

Ok, now what? Does your phone start ringing off

Imagine how much more effective the publicity

the hook? Do brides start knocking your doors

will be if instead of just you promoting it, you have

down trying to get to you, insisting on booking your

the bride, the planner, the florist, the venue, the

highest package? Unfortunately, no. I wish it were

makeup artist all promoting it for you. Yep, that’s

that easy, I really do. Now that you have gotten

what we do.

something published, don’t expect that the world will change for you. It’s kind of like when you work for months and months to develop your website. You sweat every detail, and revise, revise, revise. Then finally, the day comes and it goes live. And… nothing. There it is, yes. After all that work, you have this feeling of accomplishment, and you sort of expect things to start happening. You send out

You’re Published! Now What? Now that you’re published, what can you

expect? Well first things first…congratulations! A little celebration is in order. I think the moment calls for a little champagne, myself. A little happy dance never hurt anybody. It’s important to celebrate your achievements. Take the time to enjoy your accomplishment,

an email to everyone you know exclaiming your great joy of having birthed your new website, and actually wait for the emails/phone calls/bookings to start rolling in. Immediately. However, the reality is that the launch of your site is similar to getting published. Now that it has happened, you still have a lot of work to do. You have to get the word out. How do you do that? There are lots of ways you can promote your news: your blog, Facebook, twitter, a newsletter, email campaign, etc. The biggest thing is that you need to spread the word. You have to actively promote it yourself in order to truly get the full mileage out of it.

you’ve earned it.


Send your bride a copy of the magazine and congratulate her. You know that magazine will get carried around in her purse for the next few weeks, whipped out at every opportunity to bask in the glow and share her accomplishment with others. Let the vendor team you worked with know that one of their weddings got published, and give credit to their team, especially since they might not get credit in the magazine directly. Make the vendors your heroes and they will remember it. This alone will pay huge dividends in future months. Everyone wants to work with a success. Once you’ve been published, you now have something tangible you can use to build wonderful relationships with other vendors. Strong vendor relationships are the key to our success as well as many well-known successful wedding photographers. There’s a lot to it though. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sending you some emails that explain the exact steps we take to build solid vendor relationships that lead to a calendar that’s booked solid.




It took us a few years to truly understand the

I’m shining the light down this path for you

As a special bonus to you, we are

secrets to getting published. We had a lot of

because I want you to succeed. You can do it.

sending you the tools to save you hours

misconceptions. Once we finally understood

If you’ve read this far, you’re armed with almost

of time. Expect to receive:

the process, it was so simple it was almost

all the knowledge you need. However, I still

silly. Just submit. A lot. Over and over. That’s

have a few other ticks up my sleeve for you.

all there is to it, in a nutshell. Just remember

There are template letters and spreadsheets I

that the devil’s in the details, which is why this

use as part of this process, and I’ll be sending

guide is filled with every juicy tip & trick I know.

you a link to these downloads, so watch your inbox for that. I want to make it as easy as possible for you. Make sure you let me know how this guide worked out for you. Tell me when you’ve sent out your first submission packet. And of course, when you’ve got a brand new magazine in your hands and your images are inside. I’ll clink a glass for you! There are other benefits to creating magazine quality images even if they don’t get published. You’ll have a great set of images for marketing to the vendor team. Encourage them to use

• The editorial contacts spreadsheet with all contact info for the publications we submit to. This will save you HOURS of time, all you have to do is add your own regional magazines and blogs • A template cover letter to send out with submissions, customizable to fit your style • Tips on leveraging your editorial coverage to book more weddings and charge a premium • A checklist to keep you on schedule with editorial submissions

these images in their portfolios, their blogs, etc., and you will develop your own personal

If you haven’t yet signed up to receive

fan club that will send you more referrals than

these great free downloads & our weekly

you can handle. It’s truly a win-win.

newsletter, go here and do that now.

Those editors are waiting to receive something

from you. You know what to do. Now get going.

just submit. a lot. over and over 54

Questions? Email and watch the blog for answers.


SPREAD THE WORD Did you learn anything from this book? I hope it has been helpful for you, or even business transforming! This project has been a true labor of love for me, and I would deeply appreciate any help you can give by spreading the word and passing this link on so others can download their own book + get all the free bonuses from PhotoMint. Here’s the best way:

Join the Conversation Facebook: Twitter: Blog:

our mission PhotoMint helps wedding photographers like you get results quickly and efficiently in all areas of your business. We teach photographers at every level how to increase profits, streamline studio operations and get more time for the things you love: shooting incredible images and spending time with those who are most important to you. Everyone deserves to be successful doing what they love. What’s possible for you?

PHOTO THE BUSINESS OF PHOTOGRAPHY Did you like this book? Our next guide will be available for purchase in November, just in time for marketing season.

Share Help me get the word out by sharing this link with other photographers:


Follow this guide, and you’ll soon have your own collection of published work.

Get Published - A Guide For Wedding Photographers  

Get Published - A Guide For Wedding Photographers