Photographer friends, do you take advantage of publication opportunities to showcase your work? Because, Jasmine and I are here to tell you if you don’t, you need to re-prioritize your workflow.
Publication opportunities are a unique aspect of our industry, and trust me; the benefits make it worth your time and effort. From enhancing the client experience to improving your SEO rankings, having your work published is a strategic way to help your photography business expand and grow.
Jasmine Norris of Jasmine Norris Photography is an award-winning and published photographer (who is also located here in Lafayette, Indiana!), and she and joined me on Priority Pursuit to break down how to get published as a wedding photographer. Her photography work has been featured in over 300+ publications and she brings over a decade of wisdom and knowledge to the photography industry. She shares all the tips and tricks on how to get published, but more importantly, why this is a critical component for your photography business. Even if you’re not a wedding photographer, there are many opportunities and advantages to getting published, so stick with us as Jasmine shares how having her photography work published has helped her own business grow and thrive.
What does it mean to get published & how can it help your business grow?
Getting published is an opportunity to further promote your photography work to a wider audience. Essentially, “getting published” simply means that your work—your photos if you’re a photographer—is picked up by publications and is used or featured by publications (either in print or online).
This kind of exposure provides validation for your skills as a photographer, while also highlighting other vendors’ work. Additionally, you receive backlinks to your website which is great for improving your search rankings.
Now, before we get too far into this, don’t assume getting published is only for wedding photographers. There are many different publications that focus on different aspects of our industry, from family and maternity to landscaping and real estate, that can feature your photography work even if you’re not exclusively focused on weddings.
However, to my fellow wedding industry friends (whether you’re a photographer or not), I highly recommend taking the time to submit your work for publication. It’s a mutually beneficial way to build your brand and improve your search rankings, promote other vendors you work with, and celebrate the wonderful couples you had the opportunity to shoot!
It’s a natural reputation builder that can help sway decision making during the booking process or remind past clients how happy and pleased they were with their choice of photographer. It’s exciting to get the news that images from their wedding were good enough to be featured in a wedding publication!
To summarize, Jasmine shared these five ‘whys’ being published as a wedding photographer can help your business grow:
- Attract new clients and help with referrals
- Strengthen vendor relationships
- Promote brand reputation and expertise
- Improve SEO rankings
- Enhance the client experience
Okay, I get that it’s important. But, what steps do I take to get published as a wedding photographer?
Before listing specific steps, keep in mind that focusing on publications is one of those tasks that isn’t necessarily difficult, but it’s hard to accomplish if it’s not a priority and tied into your normal workflow. In this episode, Jasmine listed the following steps on how to get published as a wedding photographer.
- Review your photography work: Go back through recent work and pick weddings you’re proud of. Specifically focus on great details and unique concepts that stand out. Publications are a source of inspiration for couples who are planning their own upcoming weddings, so sharing shots of the ceremony and reception locations, florals, invitations, and decorations help them visualize what their own day could be. Also, keep in mind, you won’t need to regularly review and look back once you establish a workflow that works for you.
- Research publications: Investigate different publication opportunities. Look for the types of weddings being showcased, matching shoot styles, and publications that cater to your geographic area.
- Choose approximately 100-150 images: A good rule of thumb is to plan for 100-150 images for the submission. Editors like to see a variety of images, portrait and horizontal, and look for the images that tell a story of the wedding day from start to finish.
- Write a compelling submission story: Don’t just leave it simply at photos. Sharing the love story helps highlight the wedding theme which helps editors get a feel for the couple and wedding (And, yes. It’s okay to repurpose blog content!).
- Prep the submission: After choosing your favorite images, finalizing your submission story, and identifying the other vendors involved in the day, Jasmine uses Two Bright Lights—a publication platform—to submit to different publications. Keep in mind submissions are also accepted directly on most publication’s websites as well.
- Keep seasons and holidays in mind: Issues typically match the current season they are published in. For example, a Christmas-themed December wedding is unlikely to be featured in the April issue! So be strategic in the weddings being submitted and try to plan in advance so editors have time to review and slot the feature in the appropriate season.
- Don’t get discouraged: If you get denied, keep at it! It may take a few tries to find the right publication fit. Remember that couple portraits and details should be the focus of submissions. Avoid family portraits, food shots, and pictures of guests dancing.
How can I work publication submissions into my normal workflow?
Now, I understand if this sounds overwhelming, but once submitting weddings for publication becomes part of your workflow, you’ll likely be shocked by how simple and rewarding the process is.
For example, once a wedding is edited, blogged, and the gallery is shared, Jasmine turns focus to submitting the wedding to publications. This naturally fits into her workflow since she has already chosen her favorite images and written a story for a blog. Because of this prep, publication submissions are a task that can be easy to hand over to an intern or assistant to help manage as well (which is what I personally do).
If a submission is accepted for publication and is featured, Jasmine then leverages the opportunity to reach back out to the client and share the good news! She also does the same for vendors so they are notified and aware their hard work is being shared and shares about the feature on social media.
How can I talk about being published without sounding ‘braggy’?
First, don’t be afraid to share and brag about your published work! If you don’t share, your clients probably won’t even know about the publication. Maximize the marketing value of your published work by helping tout your reputation and skill.
Secondly, remember the published work isn’t all about you. A lot of hard work by other vendors helped present a beautiful day, while the couple brought the whole vision to life with their planning. When sharing the published articles, focus can shine on celebrating the couple and vendors for their amazing work on the wedding day.
So get to it! Take the first step and look back at the incredible work you’ve accomplished this year and start researching publications for submission!
Join the In Focus Marketing Summit waitlist!
If you loved hearing from Jasmine in this episode, you’re going to want to check out the In Focus Marketing Summit!
Jasmine and I launched the In Focus Marketing Summit as a workshop to help photographers thrive as business owners by teaching them exactly how to strategically market their businesses.
During the In Focus Marketing Summit we’ll cover:
- Website development
- Social media planning
- Identifying your ideal client
Join our waitlist to be the first to know upcoming dates in 2022 and to hang out with us for a few fun days!
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