There is a lot of mystery around magazine submissions. “How do I get published?” you ask us, “I’ve tried everything I could think of and my fashioney pictures are just not getting picked up by magazines.” Here are five photography tips so you can produce the best editorials you’re capable of and have your photographs picked up by a fashion publication.
1. Unless you’re shooting fine art, remember to always work with only the very best (agency represented) models. You’re shooting editorial photography, which calls for an extraordinary subject. So choose a model that has an otherworldly essence. We know your sister/friend/neighbour is a beautiful girl, but is she so beautiful she kind of looks like something from another planet? Casting the right model is an integral step in getting your pictures published.
2. Switch up the wardrobe and submit at least 8 images! Frequently photographers submit 6 images, half of which feature the same outfit. Which means half of those images are unusable from a publication’s perspective. If you’re running low on clothes, we advise that you broaden the scope of your shoot. Why not photograph your models hands? Her feet? Why not grab a shot of the location? Sometimes these “non fashion” images carry a story in beautiful ways you never would have expected.
3. Get a hair stylist. There is nothing like a pro hair stylist to add that perfection to a shoot. Let’s face it, from a photographer’s perspective, makeup and/or skin is easy to “fix” in photoshop, but hair is next to impossible. A holy truth about humans is that we are endlessly fascinated with good hair. This is in part because it is such a rare thing to see in reality, and partly because it is incredibly difficult to achieve without the help of a professional. When you see a beautiful hairstyle you instinctively know how hard it would be to pull off on your own hair. Make sure your model has “difficult to achieve hair” and you’re guaranteed to have editors gushing over your photos.
4. Be cohesive! Your approach to every editorial should be similar to a movie director’s. Each shot helps to tell the overall story. This is what we mean by “fashion editorial photography” – a series of cohesive images that serve some kind of narrative, usually fashion related. Sometimes things don’t work out the way you planned – it happens! So carefully edit out any wardrobe and makeup looks from your shoot that don’t flow with the rest of your theme.
5. There’s something irresistible about the texture and gritty quality of images that were taken the old fashioned way. It’s sort of fool-proof strategy for getting your work published. As we all know, in the age of digital photography shooting film can be such a pain in the ass. But keep in mind that, generally speaking, the more effort you put into your images, the more that effort is reflected in the quality of the art produced. Above all others, this is the golden rule for getting your work into a magazine: The harder you had to work for your images, the more likely that they will get published. Simple as that.
ALSO WORTH NOTING: there are exceptions to every rule, but if you want to play it safe we advise steering clear of the following fashion cliches: Flower wreaths in hair (every month we receive hundreds of photography submissions with this accessory featured throughout); Bathtubs (especially with flowers floating in them); Train-tracks; HDR: Broken Doll; Black balloons on a roof-top overlooking the city/empty parking lot; Model-as-magical-woodland-creature in H&M clothes. As far as wardrobe is concerned, pay close attention to details. If your clothes are wrinkled, lumpy (and all from Zara) you have no hope of getting published.