HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR WORK FOR PUBLICATION
In the fashion industry it is important to be seen - we need to get our work in front of the eyes of our ideal clients. And let's be honest, it is one of the best feelings in the world to have our work featured online or in the pages of a magazine! While the requirements for each submission will vary, there are some universal submission "rules" you should follow.
DEFINE YOUR STYLE
This is one of the most difficult tasks we face as creatives, the question: Who am I as a creative and how do I express this through my work? Your creative style can be defined by three key characteristics:
- Subject Matter: Do you work with Avant Garde clients? Swimsuit clients?
- Emotions: What feelings does your work evoke? Is there a sadness? Is the work relaxed?
- Visual Qualities: What is your prominent color palette? How are your images composed?
The key to showcasing your style is consistency in your work. Wouldn't it be nice to be recognized for your style and to be hired to produce work that you want to create?! Ana Isabel Fontes Correia has a unique style filled with a sense of whimsy and magic. She often elicits a sense of connection with her viewer - you are drawn into the images and feel as if you are a part of that moment. Take a look at how Ana's images across different shoots have a similar style below. What stands out to you?
Photographer: Ana Isabel Fontes Correia
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Get to know the magazines and websites to which you wish to contribute. Study their style, aesthetic, the brands they feature, themes, and other featured artists. Your style should align well with the style of the magazine. Submitting work that is unaligned will most likely not be accepted.
READ THE GUIDELINES
For Pete's sake, read the submission guidelines when available! I assure you that one of the biggest pet peeves of editors is receiving submissions that do not adhere to their guidelines. Most of the time such submissions are quickly discarded.
BONUS TIP: Have your ducks in a row with your legal documents. Many magazines will ask for model releases for any minors featured in your editorial or reserve the right to do so. If your editorial features nudity, you may even be asked to present documentation demonstrating that the model is of legal age for such content.
PREPARE YOUR PITCH
Customize your email pitch to the magazine or website. While you do not need to hard sell, it is important to demonstrate your understanding of what they are looking for and how your work aligns with their vision. It is also important to not "mass submit" to multiple magazines or websites as this will often leave the editors feeling as if they are getting the short end of the stick. This isn't to say that you cannot submit the same content to multiple publications, rather that you should be more purposeful in your submissions. As an editor for AVARI MAGAZINE I appreciate submissions that are thoughtful, but succinct. I want to know the story behind the shoot, who was involved, et cetera.
BE PREPARE TO SUBMIT A LOT
It is unlikely you will be published every time you submit, let alone when you first start submitting. You are going to need to be diligent and create work regularly for submission. Do not be discouraged by the rejection that we all inevitably face. Use those moments as a learning experience and keep on submitting work, doing research, as well as perfecting your skills and style.
THE BENEFITS OF PUBLICATION
Whether your work is published online or in print, being published has many benefits: prestige, visibility, trust, and discounts.
In her book Fascinate: How to Make Your Brand Impossible to Resist Sally Hogsheads discusses how prestige can elevate the perception of your perceived value. Naturally, the more elite the magazine you are published in the more prestige you will gain. This notoriety gains you respect within the industry as well because a published talent is instantly more desirable; you are presumed to have access to connections, resources, and the industry.
When we are published we increase our chances of being "found," and for potential clients to see our work and in turn hire us. Such visibility also breeds trust in your skills. Over time, as you are published more and more, you also can demonstrate a consistency in quality and style which are important to clients hiring for larger productions. Clients want to know what to expect on the shoot day!
In the beauty side of the fashion industry, makeup artists often have to prove that they are professionals to receive special rates on their supplies. Many brands require that the makeup artists are published, asking for tear sheets or a copy of the publication as the evidence. So make sure you acquire tear sheets!
A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR YOU
Phew, there is a lot to the submission process! To make things easier we created a worksheet to help you along the way. This 1-page PDF will:
- Gather your research into one place.
- Create a submission checklist for each publication to which you wish to submit.
- Prepare your pitch.