27 February 2014

The benefits of getting your work published [part 2]

A couple weeks ago, we posted the first part to this series on the benefits of getting published. A huge thanks Sammy of Closer to Love Photography who put together this article for us from his perspective!

It was 2010 and my wife and I had just photographed our VERY FIRST Wedding together. Excited with the overall outcome of the photos that we captured, we decided to aim high and submit the Wedding photographs to a renowned Wedding Blog. Weeks passed and we didn’t hear a word. We were certain our work had gotten lost in the shuffle of thousands of other photographs that get submitted to Blogs on a daily basis. Approximately 2 months had passed since we submitted, and we received THE email: “Congratulations, this submission has been selected for publication on our Blog!” We were shocked. Excited. Overjoyed. Honored. Grateful that this Blog noticed our work! As new photographers starting out with a brand new photography business, this was huge reassurance to keep going on! The Wedding got featured a few weeks later and we slowly noticed an overall increase in inquiries for our photography from future Brides that saw our work featured on this particular Wedding Blog. We had just launched our photography business and quickly learned a valuable lesson: the importance of submitting photos to a Wedding Blog, in hopes that they will fall in love with the images and choose to feature them on their very own website for the rest of the world to see. Getting featured meant more exposure to Brides that we otherwise would probably never have the opportunity to reach on our own.
A year had passed since that particular Wedding Blog last accepted a Submission from us. For 12 months, it was constant rejection and emails that read: “Unfortunately, this submission is not a fit…” We were discouraged submission after submission! When that Blog turned us down, we decided to press on and submit to another Blog. And if they turned us down, we kept fighting until someone said YES! We would not go down without a fight. Was it discouraging at times? Yes, very. But we decided that giving up was never an option. So we didn’t. Eventually, the photographs were featured somewhere and we were just grateful that somebody, ANYBODY, appreciated all the hard work that went into capturing the photographs that we were submitting.
Eight weeks after submitting a brand new Wedding to our favorite Blog – after being rejected for 12 straight months! – we received the Congratulatory email that we were long awaiting! It took another 8 weeks before the Wedding was featured on the main page of their Blog, but it was well worth the wait. It was a day unlike any other and we remember it like it was yesterday. For every hour of the 12-hours that we were awake, we received AT LEAST one phone call or email from a Bride who was searching to hire a Wedding photographer – and they had seen our photos featured on the Blog and were interested in hiring us as their Wedding Day Photographers. From that ONE feature alone, we booked 20 Weddings and I was able to completely quit my full-time career as an Ultrasound Sonographer and dive into the exciting world of full-time Wedding photography! That day changed my life, our family’s life, FOREVER.
see full post here
In 2012, the exciting trend continued. We would be featured on the same popular Wedding Blog 15+ more times, and countless emails and phone calls would pour in from Brides all across the world. The exposure was unparalleled and nothing short of amazing! We would quickly see our photographs pinned on Pinterest – and not by us. Our photos were pinned by the editors that were featuring our Weddings. And then users would re-pin their pins (and those would get re-pinned, and re-pinned, and… you get the idea!) We would quickly see photos go “viral” and a new movement of Brides that discovered us on Pinterest became the new normal! Soon, we would receive emails from Magazine from all across the globe, interested in printing our Weddings in their Magazines – when we asked how they found out about our photography, they would inform us that they saw our photos on a particular Wedding Blog or on Pinterest. We were shocked as we saw what an impact getting featured on a Blog was becoming! We transitioned from “Southern California Photographers” to “Destination Photographers” as we were blessed with many opportunities to travel the world, documenting Love.
In 2013, change was in the air. Wedding Blogs began charging for content which meant that the chances of getting featured on a Blog would be greatly decreased unless you became a “member” of a particular Blog, or paid to a part of their “preferred vendors” list. We seemed to have missed the memo, but we knew changes were taking place behind the scenes because for the first half of 2013, we had not received any responses back from the Blog that we had previously been featured in 15+ times. We quickly learned that this was the direction many (but not all) Wedding Blogs were taking, and my wife and I decided to sit down and discuss the pros and cons of investing in this area of our business. Prior to this movement, we had never paid a penny for advertising. We relied heavily on prayer, social media, other Wedding Blogs, and referrals from our wonderful Couples as the biggest source of advertisement for our photography and our brand.
see full post here
We decided that in order to allow our photography to continually be seen at the rate it had been, and continue reaching a larger audience in ways we would never be able to achieve on our own, that we would invest in this new wave of advertising. Our rationale was: If we book just ONE Wedding because of this new investment, then the investment would pay for itself. And we fully understand that Blog editors need to make a living, too. Mutually, together, we are helping each other reach big goals. So since making this decision, our story continues beautifully and our photography continues to reach a broader audience in ways we can’t even begin to imagine. It’s Wedding Blogs such as Le Magnifique that truly make a world of difference for photographers! We have been so incredibly fortunate and blessed to book Weddings from “Le Magnifique” Brides and cannot fully express our gratitude for editors such as Damaris Mia for believing in our work, so-much-so that they are willing to showcase our work with the rest of the world! When an editor decides to feature a Wedding that a photographer has spent countless hours perfecting (from shooting, culling, post-processing, blogging and submitting!), it truly helps affirm the beauty and worth of all that we do. Our Couples definitely affirm the love they have for their photos. But when a third party (AKA: a Wedding Blog) step in and says: “Oh my. I love what you captured! Can I showcase your art for the rest of the world to see and admire too?” …Well, it truly is encouraging, to say the least! We cannot fully express our gratitude to blogs such as Le Magnifique for all that they do. The best way my wife and I can show our gratitude is by continually submitting our photography to various Wedding Blogs. The Wedding Industry thrives when we all come together to help, unite, and encourage each another. We are all in this endeavor together, and collectively we can continue showcasing beautiful art for the rest of the world to see!
Sammy Cosa Closer to Love Photography http://www.closertolovephotography.com
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