How to get Published in a Magazine in 5 Steps
If you’re like me, and you have a passion for fashion and beauty photography, you’ve probably been inspired by magazines at one point in your creative journey, and maybe even have the desire to be published in a magazine.
If that’s your dream but you have no idea where to start, I have compiled a step-by-step process for getting published. Whether you’re a creative director, photographer, stylist, model, or makeup artist, you can submit to be published — as long as you have the written permission of the photographer.
To be honest, I get a lot of satisfaction every time I get published. It’s like getting a little medal for my work, some validation.
Shout out to Jamie House, who taught me earlier this year how to get published, and lit the fire inside me to create editorial work.
I feel confident enough to tell you how to accomplish this because since I learned how to submit, I’ve been published 12 times as a photographer, plus some as a model and makeup artist collaborating with others. I want to share this with anyone who has been looking for creative motivation and inspiration.
Step One: Know Your Resources
My number one advice when trying to get published is to sign up for kavyar.com. Create a portfolio of your favorite photos you’ve been a part of creatively, whether you’re a photographer, model, makeup artist, wardrobe stylist, etc. Indicate who is the copyright owner, even if it’s you (it’s required for every picture you upload and submit).
Make sure you upload photos you don’t want to submit; they’re considered published once posted on any social media or digital platform. Look through the selection of national and international magazines of Kavyar and check out their minimum look requirements, themes, due dates, inspiration, and credit format to see what is compatible with your time and style.
Write down your favorites and their due dates, and keep them in mind when planning shoots.
Sizing requirements are usually 8.5×11 or 11×14 with 300 pixels, which you can adjust in Photoshop or Lightroom.
Shoot at the highest resolution possible, because when photos are blown up to be printed, you want to make sure they don’t get blurry or distorted.
Step Two: Be Organized and Specific
Plan shoots specifically for submission. If you have a magazine in mind you want to submit to with a theme, make sure you shoot with plenty of time to edit before the due date. Make sure you and your team have enough time during the shoot between makeup, shooting and styling to achieve all the looks you need to submit. Magazines usually require at least 3 makeup or outfit looks, or a fashion story, for an editorial to be accepted. Have some poses in mind that go with the theme and garments. Photographers and models — work with stylists or designers and makeup and hair artists.
Getting published is an incentive to collaborate for everyone involved, so let everyone know beforehand that the
shoot will be for submission. Not only does it encourage everyone involved to do their best, but it makes sure the team is committed and excited. Make sure to get the brands of clothing used by the stylist for submission, as well as the whole team’s emails and social media. Through Kavyar, magazines will send you “tear sheets,” or free copies of your published editorial.
Step Three: Work Colors and Style
Have a color palette and theme in mind when you plan and shoot for submission. It must look put together and convey a fashion story. Keep the season in mind when picking a color palette. For instance, pastels are usually used in spring, bright colors in summer, dark warm colors in fall, and muted, cool colors in winter (in general). This applies to style as well — don’t shoot fur coats in summer and swimsuits in winter.
Step Four: Be Diverse in Setting
Shoot with multiple backgrounds or settings that remain within the theme and color palette. Aim for a variety of backgrounds, poses, angles, composition, makeup, and clothes while maintaining consistency with theme and color to convey the story. Be aware of the mood here as well. Carefully pick backgrounds that complement yet keep the focus on the clothing or makeup. It helps to contrast the backgrounds with the outfits in color but matches the mood to keep the balance.
Step Five: Make a Mood Board
Gather inspiration and utilize mood boards. This can be helpful for every part of your shoot, from makeup to poses. Pinterest is a great tool for creating mood boards for anything, but especially photo shoots. Get inspiration for the makeup artist and stylist on looks beforehand on the color palette and theme so they have a good idea of what to bring to the shoot. Get inspiration for the model on editorial expressions and poses beforehand and to refer to during the shoot.
If your submission doesn’t get accepted to the first magazine you try, don’t feel bad and don’t give up. Try another one with similar style and requirements, tweak your selection of photos if you need to or edit a little more. I’ve done it, no shame.