How to Contact Magazine Publishers about Featuring your Photos in their Magazines

0Comments

A guest post by Garrett Chinn.

It can be a daunting task for photographers trying to get their work seen by large audiences. This article focuses on something that many photographers may be asking themselves. How does somebody go about getting their work published in magazines?

One of the things I would recommend to photographers, wanting to get their work published is to think of some of your favorite magazines out there. For example, those that are into outdoor activities, might find it useful to look at magazines such as Outside Magazine, to get an idea of what type of photos they generally include in their issues. Keep in mind that, you will need photos that are up to their quality standard, and are catered towards the type of content they are currently looking for. Another, thing to keep in mind is that, say your photos are not up to par with the quality that most popular magazines are searching for, this does not necessarily need that you have no chance of being published, you just might need to look at lesser known magazines. Once, you have found a magazine that suits your subject matter, and you have done your research, you can go about contacting the magazine publishers.

Most magazines nowadays, have websites where they list their guidelines for photographers and writers looking to get their work published in their magazine. I would highly recommend that you look over these guidelines, as they are crucial to standing a good chance of getting your work published. Another thing that most magazines, require is that along with your submission, that you send them some type of query letter, which you can most likely find online through a search on Google. Query letters, usually consist of why you are contacting the magazine, your ideas for the magazine, where you have previously been published, if applicable, and why your photos would benefit their magazine.

It is also a good idea to show the magazine publishers that you are familiar with their magazine as well. However, if you do happen to be unfamiliar with a specific magazine, you can usually request that they send you a sample issue for a small fee. Note, when sending in a query letter to a magazine, be sure that you have a copy of the original photos, as usually the magazine is not responsible for what happens to them. Also keep in mind that, since magazines usually plan out their issues way in advance, it can take sometimes a few weeks or months before they reply to submissions, and do not be surprised if they do not. Due to the hundreds of emails they receive from photographers requesting to be published in their magazines, it is difficult for magazine publishers to reply to each email.

Although, getting published in a magazine can be a difficult challenge. Becoming published can be highly beneficial to your success as a photographer. Furthermore, it can be served as something to be proud of, which, is extremely gratifying.

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  • Daveconrey

    Along with doing research on what types of photos a magazine wants, it would be beneficial to research exactly who you should be sending those photos to. Sometimes it’s the publisher, but more often it’s a senior editor, managing editor or the art director. Do not send them to all of those, just the appropriate person.

    Also, if you send and they don’t respond, give them a few weeks because they are almost assuredly busy as hell. Follow up, but don’t be a pest. If they do respond wanting to buy your work or hire you but you don’t hear back after awhile, same rules apply; follow up, but don’t be a pest.

  • It also helps your Web site to get more traffic. I once had a photo published in a magazine. My Web site traffic jumped from 10-50 views a day to hundreds a day. it was amazing!

  • Bharat

    This is a great post but for novices like me who are trying to publish our photos in magazines, it would have been better to give the names of a few magazines where we could give it a shot. Can anyone please suggest a few magazines which might publish our photos?

  • Hans Maerker

    @bharat, to refer a ‘few magazines’ as you ask for is somewhat tricky due to the variety of photography – and – the vast number of magazines. Furthermore it depends on whether you’re in Europe or in the States. What I can do for you is to lead to to some references for both sides of the ocean. These are reference books with addresses, their company websites, what they publish, look for, whom to contact, etc., etc..
    Both books are available at Amazon.

    – One is called ‘Photographer’s Market 2010’ / ISBN-10: 1582975841 and gets annually published. So the next issue will be ‘Photographer’s Market 2011’. This is mostly for the U.S. market.

    – Another good one is called ‘Freelance Photographer’s Handbook’ / ISBN-10: 1584282665 and gives you and overall information and tips about freelance photography.

    Check both books yourself at Amazon, read the reviews and decide for yourself. Hope that this helps 🙂
    -hm

  • Quite a lazy article really, and I’m never usually one to bash DPS for novice style articles, but even a novice with no knowledge at all could have thought up :

    1. Find a magazine you like
    2. Submit your photos to the photo editor

    I’d recommend the book mentioned above for an up to date list of good contacts for hundreds of magazines and books, but I’d love an article that went into abit more depth about this subject please. 🙂

  • “Quite a lazy article really” …hehe, oh the irony!

  • JJ

    So many commas!

  • Red

    Nice simple article with all the info I needed to kick start my interest, just uploaded a small collection to Lonely Planet!

  • Bharat

    @Hans: Thanks for the post…it kind of helps. But I am in India. So can a person from India publish photos in US and European magazines.
    @Chris: Are you bashing me up or are you bashing the article writer??

  • Hans

    @bharat: In general… it doesn’t matter where you are located. Mentioning the 2 different sides of the ocean was just a reminder to check the different books and customer reviews at Amazon. Reason is that the European market may have different needs then the U.S. market, and you need to know what to offer to which company.

    Although it can make a difference in regards of the time frame. Being in Europe and shipping to a European company takes less days then shipping across the ocean. Provided you don’t use electronic download service and license your images.

    In your case (India) maybe you should sign up with one of the Online Fulfillment Centers that are out there on the Internet. You can display your products on their server, and they do the rest of the business for you. Either offering electronic downloading or printing, shipping & handling. Those centers charge a certain percentage of the sales price for their service.
    -hm

  • 1) Learn the value of your photography and stop giving magazines free images on a whim.
    2) Research the magazines in your market and find a good fit.
    3) Present them your book or at least website.
    4) If they’re not willing to publish your images unless they’re for free, you’re not ready to be published yet.
    5) Stop worrying about getting published and instead work at being a better photographer. Get good enough and they’ll find you.

  • I think the best advice is captured in Matthew Dutile’s concise 5 points. Thanks!

  • Scott

    Many Art Directors are also canvassing Flickr & other photo sharing sites…I sold a photo for a greeting card that way & a friend sold one to Essence magazine

  • @Scott
    Would you be willing to share how much you and your friend were offered for your photos?
    Regarding the article, some information on the actual market value of photography for magazines would have helped in case the approach is successful…what do we ask for our photos?

  • I got this article by clicking 5 Steps to Better Photography in the email newsletter. Getting the wrong link has happened a few times.

    Since I’m here anyway – I found the comments to be far more informed and beneficial than the article. Also, there are typos and the writing needs to be tighter. Guest posts still need to be edited, DPS.

  • Harold

    Nice article for those of us who are still learning contrary to the hyper critical opinions on here… Thanks for helping me figure out how to move closer to generating revenue with all these dam MB’s eating up my storage space… Between the effort of getting published and attempting to sell stock images, after shooting and editing that’s enough to keep one busy for a season or two.

    I like the article combined with the reality check of Matthew D’s comments! As one of the other posters stated, I found this article on a wrong link… LOL Thank you for sharing.

  • Thank you for the very info arrive article. Who wants to go into depth will always be able to do more extensive research on the subject. This article covers the basics a beginner should know and consider to prepare himself and his work to getting published. I woul love to get my picture published in The New Yorker magazine. I love New York and I have been capturing its vibe for a few years now.

  • LuVenia Simmons

    Im a Cook out of Columbus,Ohio with a Southern flare. Im looking to get notice and have my food in a Magazine.

  • Tanya Kuznetsova

    What’s up, with, the commas?

  • alex

    I have a very outstanding picture of a baby and its mother in the lake helping her child and the sunset is beaming across the lake, its a heart felt picture and i would believe it would touch hearts in all kinds of things, motherly advices, magazines, how to be a good mommy….etc, anything, this portrait portrays the bond between a mother and daughter and the background is just ecstatic. your missing out if u dont take a look at my photo!

  • madhulika

    HI i need help with reducing a large raw file of 20mb to 1-2mb. can someone please help.

  • sherin sam

    hey madhulika, if u reduce the file size of ur images u will be reducing the image quality as well, you can export ur raw file in adobe lightroom into ur desired file size . u can also use “save for web” in adobe photoshop for “jpeg” images

  • Thanks. Very nice writing tips for me. I have some photo editing photo in fiverr services. I can edit, retouch any photo.

  • I love this article but i feel you should also check out this article on the #HuffingtonPost about gaining credibility and get your work featured on major publications too! – http://huff.to/2edetoy

  • I love that you put it has to be catered to the style the magazine likes. I have noticed that people with automotive in their book want to shoot makeup, etc… The magazines need to bet on you and they accept safe bets only. I always say just be consistent and own your style.

Some Older Comments

  • LuVenia Simmons July 22, 2013 02:27 am

    Im a Cook out of Columbus,Ohio with a Southern flare. Im looking to get notice and have my food in a Magazine.

  • Tatiana Valerie September 16, 2012 02:34 pm

    Thank you for the very info arrive article. Who wants to go into depth will always be able to do more extensive research on the subject. This article covers the basics a beginner should know and consider to prepare himself and his work to getting published. I woul love to get my picture published in The New Yorker magazine. I love New York and I have been capturing its vibe for a few years now.

  • Harold October 23, 2010 10:52 pm

    Nice article for those of us who are still learning contrary to the hyper critical opinions on here... Thanks for helping me figure out how to move closer to generating revenue with all these dam MB's eating up my storage space... Between the effort of getting published and attempting to sell stock images, after shooting and editing that's enough to keep one busy for a season or two.

    I like the article combined with the reality check of Matthew D's comments! As one of the other posters stated, I found this article on a wrong link... LOL Thank you for sharing.

  • Denise October 22, 2010 07:52 am

    I got this article by clicking 5 Steps to Better Photography in the email newsletter. Getting the wrong link has happened a few times.

    Since I'm here anyway - I found the comments to be far more informed and beneficial than the article. Also, there are typos and the writing needs to be tighter. Guest posts still need to be edited, DPS.

  • Luigi October 22, 2010 07:41 am

    @Scott
    Would you be willing to share how much you and your friend were offered for your photos?
    Regarding the article, some information on the actual market value of photography for magazines would have helped in case the approach is successful...what do we ask for our photos?

  • Scott October 9, 2010 02:06 am

    Many Art Directors are also canvassing Flickr & other photo sharing sites...I sold a photo for a greeting card that way & a friend sold one to Essence magazine

  • Felicia October 8, 2010 07:10 pm

    I think the best advice is captured in Matthew Dutile's concise 5 points. Thanks!

  • Matthew Dutile October 8, 2010 01:13 pm

    1) Learn the value of your photography and stop giving magazines free images on a whim.
    2) Research the magazines in your market and find a good fit.
    3) Present them your book or at least website.
    4) If they're not willing to publish your images unless they're for free, you're not ready to be published yet.
    5) Stop worrying about getting published and instead work at being a better photographer. Get good enough and they'll find you.

  • Hans October 5, 2010 07:08 pm

    @bharat: In general... it doesn't matter where you are located. Mentioning the 2 different sides of the ocean was just a reminder to check the different books and customer reviews at Amazon. Reason is that the European market may have different needs then the U.S. market, and you need to know what to offer to which company.

    Although it can make a difference in regards of the time frame. Being in Europe and shipping to a European company takes less days then shipping across the ocean. Provided you don't use electronic download service and license your images.

    In your case (India) maybe you should sign up with one of the Online Fulfillment Centers that are out there on the Internet. You can display your products on their server, and they do the rest of the business for you. Either offering electronic downloading or printing, shipping & handling. Those centers charge a certain percentage of the sales price for their service.
    -hm

  • Bharat October 5, 2010 04:14 pm

    @Hans: Thanks for the post...it kind of helps. But I am in India. So can a person from India publish photos in US and European magazines.
    @Chris: Are you bashing me up or are you bashing the article writer??

  • Red October 5, 2010 03:53 pm

    Nice simple article with all the info I needed to kick start my interest, just uploaded a small collection to Lonely Planet!

  • JJ October 5, 2010 11:20 am

    So many commas!

  • Sime October 5, 2010 12:36 am

    "Quite a lazy article really" ...hehe, oh the irony!

  • Chris October 5, 2010 12:31 am

    Quite a lazy article really, and I'm never usually one to bash DPS for novice style articles, but even a novice with no knowledge at all could have thought up :

    1. Find a magazine you like
    2. Submit your photos to the photo editor

    I'd recommend the book mentioned above for an up to date list of good contacts for hundreds of magazines and books, but I'd love an article that went into abit more depth about this subject please. :)

  • Hans Maerker October 5, 2010 12:10 am

    @bharat, to refer a 'few magazines' as you ask for is somewhat tricky due to the variety of photography - and - the vast number of magazines. Furthermore it depends on whether you're in Europe or in the States. What I can do for you is to lead to to some references for both sides of the ocean. These are reference books with addresses, their company websites, what they publish, look for, whom to contact, etc., etc..
    Both books are available at Amazon.

    - One is called 'Photographer's Market 2010' / ISBN-10: 1582975841 and gets annually published. So the next issue will be 'Photographer's Market 2011'. This is mostly for the U.S. market.

    - Another good one is called 'Freelance Photographer's Handbook' / ISBN-10: 1584282665 and gives you and overall information and tips about freelance photography.

    Check both books yourself at Amazon, read the reviews and decide for yourself. Hope that this helps :-)
    -hm

  • Bharat October 4, 2010 03:26 pm

    This is a great post but for novices like me who are trying to publish our photos in magazines, it would have been better to give the names of a few magazines where we could give it a shot. Can anyone please suggest a few magazines which might publish our photos?

  • Chen October 4, 2010 11:28 am

    It also helps your Web site to get more traffic. I once had a photo published in a magazine. My Web site traffic jumped from 10-50 views a day to hundreds a day. it was amazing!

  • Daveconrey October 4, 2010 08:05 am

    Along with doing research on what types of photos a magazine wants, it would be beneficial to research exactly who you should be sending those photos to. Sometimes it's the publisher, but more often it's a senior editor, managing editor or the art director. Do not send them to all of those, just the appropriate person.

    Also, if you send and they don't respond, give them a few weeks because they are almost assuredly busy as hell. Follow up, but don't be a pest. If they do respond wanting to buy your work or hire you but you don't hear back after awhile, same rules apply; follow up, but don't be a pest.

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