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Photo Contest Insider Blog

5 Signs You’re Ready to Start Submitting Your Photography to Online Publications

November 28, 2016

Are you an emerging photographer looking to start having your photography showcased in online publications? If so, good on you! This is the next step-up to gaining more exposure with your work and journeying along that long and windy road to becoming a professional, full-time photographer.

If you’re not so sure about this, or just need the extra convincing, here are 5 signs you’re ready to start submitting your photography to online publications!

5 Signs You're Ready to Start Submitting Your Photography to Online Publications - Photo Contest Insider 2

You’re producing work of a high standard

When you first begin capturing photographs, it is understandable that you won’t be 100% happy with their quality, composition, or the way that they convey the message you originally intended. This is just part of gaining experience as a photographer, so don’t stress!

As you practice and experiment with your work more, you’ll start to notice yourself evolving as a photographer and the quality of the work you produce will justifiably increase over time. You’ll soon begin to be pretty chuffed with your final results and you’ll even feel proud to share the photos on your website and social media.

Instinctively, you will know when your work has reached the quality that publications are interested in, but if you need that extra clarity then I would suggest that you do some research. Follow your favorite online publications on social media and regularly visit their websites or digital magazine issues to gain a clearer idea of the type and quality of photography they are showcasing. Now, be honest – do you whole-heartedly believe your work is of that same standard? If so, congratulations! You’re certainly ready to start submitting your photography to online publications.

5 Signs You're Ready to Start Submitting Your Photography to Online Publications - Photo Contest Insider 3

You’re collaborating with models, HMUAs, or stylists

While this isn’t a strict necessity (and largely depends on what types of images the publication features), it is true that the majority of photo shoots showcased in an online publication will have a team behind them – even if it’s just a small one. Understandably, you will need to rely on certain professionals to work their magic on elements that bring your shoot together, whether it be fashion stylists, hair stylists, or make-up artists (just to name a few).

While I personally don’t mind if a model is signed to an agency or not when featuring work in Whim Magazine, other publications do, so another vital tip is to check out each magazine’s / website’s submission guidelines first.

As a general rule of thumb though, if you are organizing teams for your photo shoots and making this effort to bring your work to a whole new and professional level, then you have what it takes to also try your hand at submitting your photography to online publications. If you start approaching smaller publications first, you also have a greater chance of being published, so don’t be afraid to work your way up the ladder. Best of luck!

5 Signs You're Ready to Start Submitting Your Photography to Online Publications - Photo Contest Insider 4

Your online presence is impressive and professional

When people visit your website or online portfolio, are they only exposed to your best work? Does it portray the genre(s) of photography that you specialize in and are more passionate about? If a publication likes what they see when you contact them, chances are they will want to find out more about you and your photography by visiting your website and / or social media. Therefore, it’s vital that your presence on these online platforms is both professional and impressive.

If you keep your career and your social life separate on social media and you’ve got an ‘About’ page on your website that reads like a sophisticated CV or cover letter, then you’re good to go! You can at least breathe a sigh of relief knowing that your online presence is something to be very proud of.

5 Signs You're Ready to Start Submitting Your Photography to Online Publications - Photo Contest Insider 6

Your photography is gaining attention online

Have you noticed your photos are starting to gain plenty of likes on Instagram? Or perhaps your photography business’ Facebook page grows in following each and every day, to the point where you almost can’t keep up? When your work starts to gain flattering attention online like this, it could be a sign that you’re ready to increase your exposure even more by working with publications!

It might sound vain, but social media attention doesn’t lie. If people are liking the photography you’re putting out there, then chances are online publications will too. You’ve got nothing to lose!

5 Signs You're Ready to Start Submitting Your Photography to Online Publications - Photo Contest Insider 5

You’re confident about the submission process

Many emerging photographers might feel overwhelmed by the process of submitting their work to an online publication, but once you overcome that initial fear, it’s truly a sign that you have the confidence and self-belief to take your career to the next level.

Submitting photo shoots to an online publication shouldn’t be a particularly difficult task, but it is one that requires you to ‘put yourself out there’ more. Many photographers feel as though they’re opening themselves up to potential rejection, but just think of the good that could come from a successful submission!

The most important tip is to always check a publication’s submission guidelines before you email them, as well as the fact that you must be very familiar with the aesthetic / style of the publication before you submit work to them.

If you want even more helpful tips about getting your photography featured in online publications, then I urge you to read one of my previous articles about this topic (it even comes with a submission checklist so you can’t go wrong!).

Are you showing any signs of being ready to start submitting your photography to online publications? If so, we wish you the best of luck with the process! For those of you who may need a little extra time to feel ready for this step, don’t stress – you’ll get there eventually!

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