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Reasons Why Emerging Photographers Should Get Published in Online Magazines First

September 19, 2016

When you’re just beginning to pursue your love of photography, it can be easy to make big plans for your first year, with one common aspiration being to have your photo shoot published in a widely-distributed print magazine.

While this is an admirable dream to have (you should always think big), I would like to let you in on a not-so-well-kept secret: aim to have your work published in online or digital publications at first in order to truly take your career to the next level.

There are a number of huge benefits to having your work featured in online magazines and I’m going to discuss all of these with you below!

Reasons Why Emerging Photographers Should Get Published in Online Magazines First - Photo Contest Onsider 2

Online Publications are the Future of the Media Industry:

Have you noticed some of your favorite (or even big-name) print publications shutting down or moving to online issues only? I certainly have over the last few years and it’s easy to see why. Printing costs are extremely expensive and as a result, it’s sending these print-only publications out of business. Running an online-based publication can cost next to nothing to start-up and manage, so this has naturally become the direction of the media industry.

With the rise of social media in our daily lives, along with our strong reliance on digital technologies, these factors have also contributed to our preference for consuming online media, such as magazines. After all, could you seriously go a day without your phone, computer, or iPad? Because of this, people are flocking to digital publications now more than ever, and you definitely want to get your photography in front of their eyes!

Many online magazines now surpass print magazines’ circulation and readership numbers too, so having your photography featured online is helping you to gain a larger amount of exposure.

Reasons Why Emerging Photographers Should Get Published in Online Magazines First - Photo Contest Onsider 3

More Online Publications = More Chances at Getting Published:

Because of the little to no start-up costs involved in publishing an online magazine, you’ll find that there’s plenty of new publications popping up each day. This is great news for photographers, because it means that you have more potential magazines to submit your work to, along with a way higher chance of having them feature your photography – it’s a win-win!

Along with the exposure that comes with having your work featured in a digital publication, you can also enjoy a boost in social media following, the potential to attract more clients, and even some fantastic networking opportunities that might come your way. Plus, you get to include your pretty impressive accomplishment on your resume or portfolio and being able to say that your photography has been featured in a publication does give you more credibility.

If your heart is still set on having your photography published in your favorite print magazine, then fear not! Having your work featured in multiple online magazines could serve as the perfect stepping stones toward achieving this. For example, your first small online feature might lead to being published in a slightly larger digital magazine, and so on.  

Reasons Why Emerging Photographers Should Get Published in Online Magazines First - Photo Contest Onsider 4

Some Online Magazines are Specifically Aimed at Emerging Photographers:

If you’ve never had your photography published or featured before, then you’ll be pleased to hear that some online magazines are actually aimed towards new and emerging photographers to help give them more exposure. Some of these include Burn Magazine and Photo Technique’s ‘Underexposed’ section. I also regularly feature emerging photographers on Whim Magazine.

Approaching these publications and having your work featured by them is also a great confidence-boosting exercise for photographers who might be lacking in this.

There’s Usually a ‘Lower Barrier of Entry’:

This might sound like a bad thing, but I can assure you it isn’t! A lower barrier of entry simply means that the publication has less-strict rules in place when it comes to submissions. While some publications might insist that a photo shoot contain a set number of outfits and only a model who is represented by an agency (for example), many online publications won’t really give these things a second thought (I know I don’t!).

This is great for emerging or beginner photographers because fewer rules gives them a higher chance of having their submission accepted and published. It also means that you won’t have to feel as though you only have a shot at getting featured if you have 100,000 social media followers (or something crazy like that!).

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Where to Next?

If you’re an emerging photographer and you’re completely sold on the idea of approaching online magazines to feature your work, then you’re probably wondering where to go from here. While a quick Google search of ‘online photography magazines’ will bring up plenty of results, I would personally suggest going on a site such as and browsing through their photography category there. You’ll find all sorts of wonderful publications with various aesthetics aimed at various audiences, so target those that fit into your own desired photography style!

If you need some tips on how to successfully submit your work to publications, you can also read this previous article. Best of luck!

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