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Want to Get Published? Avoid These 6 Mistakes to Create Magazine-Worthy Images

A Guest Post by Lara White from PhotoMint.

If you are trying to break into the glamorous world of wedding magazines and blogs, stay away from these six mistakes listed below. These tips will show you what to avoid when it comes to wedding photography, and what to do instead.

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Using Flash

Look through wedding magazines and one thing you will notice missing from most images is flash. Of course, there are times when it can’t be avoided, and in these cases using bounced flash is the way to go. Unlike direct flash, a bounced flash creates directional light which will highlight contours.

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Using a High F stop

Another thing missing from most wedding images featured in magazines is a high f stop. Details just look better with a soft background. Isolate your details from visual clutter surrounding it to allow that detail to shine through in your image. We typically capture details at f2.8 or lower. By using as low an f stop as possible, you also eliminate the need for flash in most cases.

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Not Removing Visual Clutter

Sometimes the only thing standing between a great image and a throw away is a half-empty soft drink. Or a plastic bag. When capturing key moments and details, scan the frame for visual clutter. Things that will ruin an otherwise great image, like a half-eaten plate of food, the plastic bag the wedding dress came in, salt shakers, purses and coats at the table, or a wet stain on the linen are all items that can distract and ruin an otherwise gorgeous moment.

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Missing Key Details & Moments

Doesn’t it just kill you to walk into the cocktail hour and see an escort card table in a complete ramshackle? You can tell from looking at it that 10 minutes ago it was a complete work of art. All you’re left with is a few scattered cards and some empty appetizer plates. This can be avoided with some simple planning. Talk to the bride, the planner and or the floral designer to get a sense for the various details and where and when they will be set up. This way you can plan to capture those gorgeous details in their pristine state, which is usually 1-5 minutes after setup is complete. You’ve got to be quick on those details!

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Not Having Enough Time

If your goal is to get published, one of the worst things you can do is gloss over the details of the wedding design and décor. As far as magazines and wedding blogs are concerned, details are where it’s at. If you do not allow yourself enough time in the photography plan, you are likely to miss key details. It is also likely you won’t have enough time to capture them properly. Details tell the story of the day.

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Random Photoshop Actions Applied to Images

When putting together your submission, avoid applying random Photoshop actions to a handful of images from the same wedding. Images with a “vintage” look don’t work next to a “gritty” look in a layout. If you are going to apply a vintage look to a wedding, go ahead and apply that look to the entire submission in order to keep a consistent look and feel to it. Otherwise, it looks out of place. Staying consistent in your style helps define you and your work.

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There you have it. This is just a smattering of advice related to getting your wedding images published.

If you are interested in getting more advice and tips on the subject, you can download my FREE ebook: Get Published: A Guide for Wedding Photographers. It’s loaded with advice, tips and tricks that our studio has used to get published over 70 times in the last four years alone.

Good luck with your submissions process. Let me know how it goes. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Lara White is a photographer and author from San Francisco, CA. Check out her free guide to getting published: Get Published: A Guide for Wedding Photographers or visit PhotoMint, a blog filled with photography business tips and marketing advice.

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