04 October 2011

Tips on submitting to wedding blogs

I've decided to share a few tips on how to submit and build a good relationship with wedding blogs. I haven't been doing this as long as some of the big wedding blogs, but I've learned a few things when I was pursuing photography professionally and I hope these tips help you in one way or another :) Feel free to email us with any questions you may have at damaris@lemagnifiqueblog.com.

These tips are in no particular order, so the first one we'll start off with is:

1. Follow directions. It's so important that you read the requirements on the submissions page on the blog before submitting. Whatever they ask for, make sure you have it all. Don't submit if you don't have the key requirements. Most blogs receive a TON of submissions a day/week and if you don't have what is asked for, it is highly likely that your submission won't get picked up. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions if you're confused about something. Most importantly, make sure the photos you submit are edited!

2. Be timely (applies if submitting via email). Especially when it comes to responding to an email or getting information back to the blog. Most everyone lives a very busy life which is why many people don't submit to blogs because it can be very time consuming. But it is so important to reply back in a timely manner (usually within 24 hours is great). Taking forever to reply back shows the editors that you're really not that serious about the submission and can be turned down. A lot of blogs have agendas and if one can't get the required info needed in time or can't reply back in a timely manner, it can delay the feature and the editor may decide to not feature it at all. I recently received an inquiry about submitting a wedding to my blog and I immediately sent back the info needed on what to submit. That photographer sent back everything needed the very next day. Huge points in my book. 

3. Build a great relationship with the editor/blog team. Another important tip. Show the blog that you are interested in their blog, be friendly (but don't suck up). Share the FB page, their blog, the blog content. Be active. Stuff like that rarely goes unnoticed. Also, if your submission wasn't picked up for whatever reason, be nice about it. Do not reply back in a mean or hurtful way because that will most likely ruin your chances of ever getting featured on their blog again. It's always a great idea to reply back and express your thanks for them taking the time to review your work. Also, don't complain if the blog asks for more of something (for example, more photos). Big turn off. 

4. Don't be discouraged if your submission doesn't get picked up. I've noticed that a lot of people won't submit because they're afraid of rejection. For lack of a better phrase, "That's life." It happens. You may or may not get turned down. You can't live your life NOT doing things because you're afraid. I've shared this story before... The first wedding I've ever submitted (Feb. of this year) was turned down 4 times. FOUR TIMES! I cried. I felt dumb and not good enough. But I knew deep down that my photos were good. Wait, not good. They were great. I was about to give up when I decided to try just one more time. And I did. And guess what? It got picked up. I didn't hate the other wedding blogs. I understood that what I was submitting just didn't fancy them. And that's something we all should understand. Sometimes the wedding blogs might have too much of that style of wedding and are looking for something different, or it's not even the type of style they feature. It's important to submit to the right blogs.

Other tips:
// If you're submitting to an exclusive blog (meaning they only feature content that has not been featured elsewhere other than your own blog), it's important that you do not submit to multiple blogs. Submit to one blog at a time. Exclusive blogs like to feature content that hasn't been featured on other blogs (there are some exceptions though).
// If your wedding has been featured on a blog other than your own, please let the editor know.
// Be organized when submitting. It's always best to submit everything all at the same time. And if possible (and want to score extra points with the blog, organize the photos by categories! Ex: Ceremony, Reception, Bride & Groom Portraits, etc...).
// Get your bride & groom's permission first. Make sure they are okay with having their wedding featured on a public blog that is viewed by many.
// Remember to include all vendors and links to the sites (if they have one). The more the merrier! Some examples of vendors to include: venue (ceremony & reception), cake, bridal gown, shoes, tux, bridesmaids dresses, any accessories, florals, music, invitations, rings, event coordinator, photographer, and caterer (just to name a few).
// The photos you submit should be consistent in the way they were edited.

Types of images we would like to share on our blog:
// Venue: wide shots of the ceremony and reception locations, detail shots of the venues, etc...
// Details: ring shots, dress, shoes, bouquet, veil, accessories and other jewelry, invitations, programs,
ceremony decor, reception decor, tablescapes, centerpieces, cake, desserts, party favors, etc...
// Bride & Groom portraits.
// Images that show the story of the day: bride and groom at the altar, walking down the aisle, bride and groom getting ready, bridal party portraits, etc...

Types of images we're not really looking for:
// Family portraits (unless they are unique and fun).
// People dancing on the dance floor. They're fun and all, but not what we're looking for.
// Too many non-color photos or photos that aren't consistent in their editing.

Hope this helped you! Would love to hear your thoughts :)
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