As a photographer, getting published is invaluable. Seeing our work in print is the ultimate experience as well, because not only does it put a few more notches in our belts of being a professional, but it also gives us the opportunity to share our work with the world! In my business, I have always followed the idea to publicize, not advertise. This means, I choose to spend time submitting to various wedding magazines for print and also to wedding blogs for publication, instead of spending the money on an expensive advertisement to sit in the pages of the magazine. I want people to see more of our work and you should, too! Here in Minneapolis, we are super lucky to have a great bridal publication that supports our industry greatly, called Minnesota Bride.
We caught up with the Web Editor, and oh-so-fun Megan Mccarty, to ask her some questions on the submission process and some things to keep in mind when you are considering submitting a wedding to be published.
Q. What is the best part about your job?
A. So be it if this makes me sound like a big ol’ suck-up, but I’ve always said my job goes ‘round because of photographers. You hit the ground running, capturing the weddings that make our magazines and websites what they are. From those we hand-pick what we want to portray to the next round of brides-to-be. If the worst part of my job is being forced to look at Zapfino, the favorite font of the industry that makes my eyeballs hurt, I’d say I’m a lucky gal.[quoteRight]Photographers happen to be some of my favorite people in this big, bad world, and I thank my Taurus stars to call many of them my friends.[/quoteRight]
Q. How did you start writing for Minnesota Bride and how long have you been there?
A. Some days I feel as if I’ve been with Minnesota Bride forever, and that’s a good thing. At the wide-eyed age of 19 I walked through the front door of Tiger Oak Publications, asking for an internship. Ten minutes later I walked out with one. My former editor (hi, Mary!) took me in as her editorial intern and a year and a half later created this position, Web Editor, for me. After a large handful of years I’m still here, lucky enough to look at pretty things all day. My business card squeezes it all in: Web Editor for Tiger Oak Publications’ bridal titles: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Arizona, Seattle and Oregon Bride.
Q. What are the first steps a photographer should consider when deciding to submit a wedding for consideration to be published?
A. First off, become familiar with the publication. Know the departments, the editors’ names and the type of content we regularly publish. Then be honest with yourself: Is this wedding of the caliber that we feature? A terrific photographer can capture a ho-hum wedding, so be your own editor before you submit. Keep in mind deadlines, presentation and the submission directions too. ...And please, don’t spell my name with an “h.” That “ouch” you hear is you stepping on my wrong foot.
Q. What goes into your decision as to what to publish?
A. A number of questions rotate through my head: Has it been published elsewhere? Is it timely? What’s different about this? Is there an interesting story to back up the pretty pictures? A couple years ago, when Minnesota Bride was choosing between two Photogen Inc. weddings to feature, we ultimately chose this Guthrie Theater ceremony because, in typical Eliesa fashion, you exclaimed—literally, using a slew of cap letters and exclamation points—in your submission that the groom had donated a kidney to the bride. (That’s what they call love, I believe.) But ultimately it mostly needs to stir up some sort of emotion from that indescribable spot in my stomach.
Then, of course, there are other factors that you can blame on procedure: How many pages do we have to work with? Is it too similar to something else we’re running? Have we featured this photographer or venue recently? Was it submitted on time?
Q. What kind of resources did you use to gather inspiration?
A. In terms of bridal, I consider Lover.ly, Real Simple Weddings, New York Weddings and all things Martha top-notch. But my own inspiration—which then translates into my 9-5’s—is stirred up from sites such as The Everygirl, magazines like Kinfolk (my Bible), products sold on Fab and books of blank pages that I fill with my own thoughts.
Q. What makes Minnesota Bride different and unique in an industry filled with wedding blogs and magazines?
A. It’s all about the “Minnesota” in Minnesota Bride. That Monique Lhuillier gown on the cover? 50th & France is just a drive away. That bride on page 62? She could be your old roommate from college. For such a large state, we live in a tiny city, so at the end of the day (whether that’s a summer Friday at 4 p.m. or a deadline day at midnight) our big, beautiful magazine seems like a glossy scrapbook of friends.
Q. What is one of the coolest submissions you have ever seen? Why was it so special?
A. A few years ago, as I was coming into my role as Web Editor, I came across this wedding by Gene Pease of Geneoh Photography. He was new-ish on the Minnesota photography scene, and I nearly snake-bit his arm to submit it. Not only was the wedding creative, detail-rich and photographed to perfection, but I had a guttural reaction to feature Gene’s not-so cookie cutter work before everyone else did. Fast forward a few months and Kelsey and Jacob’s wedding was the two-page opener to Minnesota Bride’s Newlyweds feature. Worth a little arm twisting, no?
Q. What kind of work are you personally drawn to?
A. Though our Pinterest-y world is attracted to details, I’m a sucker for moments. No thanks to forced poses, but yes please to first looks, rogue groomsmen and genuine belly laughs. I’m looking for a story—a beginning (getting ready), middle (ceremony) and end (reception). Even better? A prequel (engagement session) and sequel (day-after, maternity).
Q. What are some innovative trends you are seeing in the wedding industry right now?
A. I could not care less if succulents are popping up in bouquets or when yellow and grey will seize to be the color scheme of choice. However, personalization is now the norm for weddings, so your photography should be too. Sure, to appease the bride’s mother, you’ll need to capture the frame-friendly family photos, but others (ahem, me) would rather see the couple plunging into the ocean or a mascara-streaked face of tears. Make me study a photo, wondering what yoga pose you wiggled yourself into to capture it, what the subject is thinking or even what the hell is going on.
Q. What do you, as an editor, want in collaboration with photographers?
A. Help me help you. Submissions don’t need to be accompanied by a singing telegram—actually, please, never do that—but including a vendor list and the couple’s contact information is certainly helpful. The easier you make my job, the more likely you are to creep up my mental list of reliable, organized, go-to photographers.
Send your submissions (or just say hello!) to Megan—no "h"—at firstname.lastname@example.org.