I’m by NO MEANS an expert on how to be published on a wedding blog. But I’m learning a TON and it’s starting to pay off. So today I’m sharing 5 things and tomorrow I’ll share another 5 things I’ve found valuable for me as a seek to be published on a blog.
Before I get into the list though, I want to say one thing. And that is that I’m rejected far more than I’ve been accepted. But I’ve learned not to give up. If a wedding gets rejected from my first choice I wait a day or two, and submit again to my next choice. There’s literally a blog for almost every wedding. The thing that keeps me going is reminding myself that my couples have worked hard to make their weddings happen, and so did their other vendors. A feature is a very affirming thing at the very least.
The 5 things below are just things that have helped me approach how and why I want to publish. I put a lot of effort into my submissions because I have to. It’s not something that comes naturally to me, and I want to do it well. It’s hard work.
So without further ado, here’s what I’ve been learning about how to be published on a wedding blog.
- I have to play the long game when it comes to getting featured on a wedding blog. That means that publishing has to take me somewhere. I can’t just throw images at major publications and expect results. Instead, I have to look at how I want publishing to work for ME. So for me, it’s 3 steps: Leveraging the SEO power of a feature on a blog with a higher google ranking than me. Next, to build a sizable enough portfolio so that I can take those things and use them to get into bigger publications like Style Me Pretty or Martha Steward Weddings, and finally to gain clients I love to work with 100% of the time.
- When first started looking into publishing, I literally had a rejection rate of 100% for several months. I was approaching blogs on my own, with images that weren’t very well curated, or well thought through, and I would be instantly rejected. So while I learned to curate, and style my submissions and their presentations, I looked for blogs that were just starting out. I combed through my photography facebook pages, googled new blogs, and so on, looking for places that people had been published on and seemed like hadn’t been around for very long yet. And I submitted to blogs that seemed to have a more liberal acceptance policy. This gave me the confidence and skill to try again with other blogs and to change up how I assembled submissions.Be strategic. Putting together a submission takes a TON of work. I had a submission be accepted this week, and it took me over 8 hours to prepare from culling to doing some extra editing, to crafting an intro note. It takes time to do well. But before you start all that, look around at the blogs you think the wedding would look great on. THink about it the style matches similar styles on the blog already. Are you a comparable skill level and editing style? Do you have a gut feeling this would go well if you submitted? GO. FOR. IT. The worst that can happen is that they say you’re not a fit. And it’s ok. We can’t be all things to all blogs.
- Make it easy on yourself. Two Bright Lights has made it easy for me to submit. I used to resist it. I literally thought it was a waste of time and money to use it when I could approach blogs on my own. But in reality I was wasting my time by not using it. I can load my images, add the vendors, then look through the blogs on the list after I click on that exciting submit button. I can open another browser to see which blogs would be a good fit for which weddings. It’s so much faster for me, which in turn has allowed me to publish more. It was money well spent, and I wish I hadn’t been so resistant to it before.
- Think editorially. And ya’ll, this is one of the hardest things for me. I don’t photography editorially naturally. I’m very documentary in my approach, and I’m looking for emotion and connection between the people I photograph. I photograph rings and shoes and flowers and so on, but I’ve had to learn to do it in a very natural, narrative style that matches the flow of the day. That’s the style I’m evolving in my work, and one that I have in the back of my mind as I work. I take inspiration from details I see in magazine, and art, and occasionally the blogs that are my long term goals. I’m learning to style details in a natural and authentic way. It’s ridiculously hard, but it’s so worth it. Some people are naturals at this, and I am not. I’m very minimal, and people focused and I’ve had to learn to take time with details if I want to be published. And find blogs that love details but also the natural connection and emotion I bring out in my images. But a few key things I’ve learned: Moving stuff is ok. If I hate a lamp, move the lamp! Ask bridal party if you can move bags into the bathroom and do a general pick up before dressing so I can have a clean area is totally fine. Anything I need to do to get a beautiful image is going to be ok with my brides and ultimately benefit my publishing goals.
There have been a few resources I’ve gleaned that have helped me frame my approach: This Article was helpful. So was this one. And I loved this video. It helped me realize I need to take 2 steps back so that move three forward. Definitely worth a watch!
Phew. I’ve written a lot about how to be published on a wedding blog, and I still have a few more thoughts which I’ll blog this weekend or Monday. Until then, Happy Photographing, Curating and Submitting!