Five Simple Steps to see your photography published in your favourite magazines

Five Simple Steps to see your photography in your favourite magazines | Rebecca Hawkes Diary

There are two main ways to see your work inside a magazine (without photoshop of course!), having an editorial commissioned or submitting your work. As a freelance fashion photographer and a magazine editor I see submissions on a daily basis as well as sending submissions myself. Most of are editorials at Haunt are submissions and in this post I will cover the best ways to get your work published in this way.

At Haunt we put up a theme and our wonderful readers deliver the goods! This is the way many online magazines work, as well as a few print publications. As a magazine it is great to open up an inbox of imaginative photography, in this format our contributors have far more freedom to let their ideas make an impact. However with a bulging mail account of course some emails stand out from the crowd. Here are 5 simple steps to getting your email read and your work on screen and on paper.

Rebecca Hawkes for Odalisque Magazine | Rebecca Hawkes Diary

There are probably many publications that you lovingly read every month. I have a whole bookshelf and improvised bed-side table full. So already there are most probably publications that you would like to submit to. You can start by researching these titles online but try and be realistic, you probably won’t get your photography into Vogue Italia on a submission (however website does publish upcoming photographers work online)! See if these magazines take submissions by taking a look on their contact page. Some great sites to look at, that regularly publish work from submissions are Paper Cut magazine, Odalisque, Material Girl and Indie Magazine, Ballad Of, The Ones to Watch, Kit magazine, Bunch Magazine, Volt Café and of course Haunt Mag!

+ Look to the magazines you love
+ See which publications publish similar work to your own

With many magazines, including Haunt, we set a theme for an issue and like to see editorials that fit within this theme. This can be great starting place for you to gather inspiration for an upcoming shoot and be able to make sure your story will be in keeping with other work submitted.
While researching, be aware of the magazines requirements and how they like work to be submitted. If you send a mass email to editors without any regard of the particular magazines requirements it won’t be the greatest surprise when you don’t receive a reply. Some frequent requirements you mights see – shoots that feature graduate/upcoming designers, shoots with more than one designer, format of which to showcase your work and almost always, the requirement for work to be unpublished (including your own personal blog/website).

+ Research which magazines take submissions
+ Research their requirements
+ Submit un-published work
+ Take into account the magazine’s issue theme

+ Submit without checking what the magazine is looking for

Rebecca Hawkes for Volt Magazine | Rebecca Hawkes Diary

At magazine, inboxes are filled with submissions, and editors have a limited amount of time. Solution? Keep your email precise. Of course it is wonderful to hear long emails about how great your magazine is, but flattery is not always the key to success. The best way is simplicity. State the idea of the shoot, that it was recently shot and unpublished. Include the crew credits (photographers name, stylists name e.c.t) with links to their work. This will help if the recipient wants to see previous work and may become helpful if the shoot you are submitting doesn’t quite work for that issue but they like your aesthetic. A final note on the text, be polite and be patient. You are asking for their time and you want to benefit from this email.
When attaching your shoot to the email, send low res imagery. In today’s world, viruses are easily sent and with a large stack of emails, having to download files (or unzip files) from strangers isn’t safe. The best way is to imbed small resolution Jpegs (in a viewable size, no thumbnails) to the email. This makes it easier for the recipient to view on a mobile device and gives instant accessibility to your work.
When sending out editorials you are welcome to write to several publications. Do not include all recipients in one email. As a result it appears you are desperate to have your work published in any magazined rather than specifically in theirs. Send separate emails and keep your fingers crossed!

+ Keep your email short and precise
+ State the idea for the shoot, crew credits and unpublished status
+ Send low res imagery that can be embedded within the email

+ Email all the magazine’s you would like to submit to in one email
+ Create a file with your images that the recipient/editor will have to download to see your work
+ Write a lot. A long story is charming but not necessary

Follow Up
As I mentioned before, polite and patience is key! At some magazines you may not hear back at all and some you may. If you do not hear back, do not take it personally as Editors receive a lot of submissions and do not have the time to reply to everyone. This usually means that your work has not been selected but you may of course follow up with a kind email, or submit another shoot that may be more in-keeping. After sending a follow up and once again not hearing back do not keep submitting the same shoot in the hope that it will get published. This will do more harm than good, as you will not be taking into account the recipient/editors time and most likely will just frustrate them.

+ Be polite
+ Be patient
+ Understand that magazines and editors are very busy

+ Pressurise your recipient as to why work is un-published
+ Email on a regular occasion
+ Understand that the recipient/editor cannot reply to everyone.

Get Published

After submitting you may hear back from a magazine asking for high resolution (high res for short) imagery and credits. Congratulations! They like your work. Ask for their resolution needs and any other requirements. Submit these in a way that is easy to download, such a large file sites dropbox and wetransfer. Along with the images you should include a document with crew credits and clothing credits. Make sure your clothing credits match up with the images. These can either be cross-referenced by the image title or visually with a thumbnail.

Hold tight and see your work go live! Then start it all again…



  1. Michael Bryant

    This has been very helpful I have had some work published but would like more thank you for the insight I will take this onboard

  2. Pingback: 5 Ways to get published in Vogue Italia – Caitlin's Music Blog