So You Want to Be Published?

"The prospect of getting your images published is pretty exciting to anyone -- at every level. However, to be worth your time and effort, a little bit of strategic thinking is helpful," says Cate Scaglione, of Life as Fine Art in NJ / NYC.

In the ever-evolving world of photography, emerging and well-known artists are always curious how to get into their first publication. In my experience as a publisher of an international magazine for boudoir photography, Cate Scaglione has nailed it with her tips on what we're looking for. Director of Design, Erika Gorman, concurs.

Each publication or blog has their own style guide. Understand and recognize the difference. Style Me Pretty is not looking for the same images as Ink Magazine. Whether you're writing content or visual content, the tone of your work's compatibility with the publication is crucial.

Make a target list of where you "NEED" to be to get your audience; Then, look up the editorial calendar of that publication. Think about what you can do to fulfill that editor's story roster, with the underlying story dynamics listed above.

All clients want free stuff. They'll promise moon and stars to get FREE stuff. Identify which clients are truly movers and shakers and the key influencers in the community. If they are business owners that request a form of barter, carefully examine their track record to fulfill on that promise. An example here is a chef I photographed for a fraction of the cost; but I knew she had aggressive PR plans and she included me in all of them. A newscaster I photographed gets 1000 likes every time he posts anything. So a comment on his Facebook page about me yielded 100 new relevant page fans in a single day.

Editors are deadline-challenged and constantly mining content. Everyone wants to be their friend. And, they know it. They don't want to publish you just because you are YOU and because you take pictures. They want a backstory... something entirely different, unheard of, groundbreaking, sentimental, shocking, and inspiring. However, be aware they are so busy they may not respond or think of you... that is, until they need to.

My former career in entertainment brought me in touch with many interesting people. Some of them are now famous or on their way. Some of them are just smart, interesting business people. I nurtured these relationships for many years. I've offered to photograph them as they were on their way, and they don't forget that generosity. One already established celebrity appreciated me photographing his home so he could be published in Hamptons-based media, where he was establishing his philanthropic

When asked if getting your work published for the first time -- makes it easier to get published again, Jacqueline Tobin of Rangefinder Magazine says not necessarily:

"I think that isn't necessarily true. The photo industry changes so fast and in wedding and portrait, specifically, the subsets of those genres continue to grow (engagement, save the date shoots, same sex, boudoir, maternity shoots, newborns, senior portraits, etc)..if you don't keep up you won't necessarily keep getting published. Your work needs to grow and evolve as the industry does. I think that's why it's important to do personal projects. That is a good way to try and get published when your other work isn't."

Great point. It's not easy. Keep up the good work, your creative juices flowing, and pay attention to what's in demand for print. Now go create!