To help all the creatives in world with tips on how to get their work published. Here are some tips and common practices editorials follow when reviewing/accepting submissions. Covering quality and formatting of images, to originality of content. We hope that this helps you out for all of your future submissions.
Some magazines have themes, or a particular aesthetic that they follow. They may be looking for images that best match their monthly theme, or overall look and feel of the editorial. Best practice to submit 2-5 images that related to the theme at hand. Be sure to follow their guidelines on how many to submit.
Images may be rejected if they contain nudity or other mature content. Some magazines are not able to accept nudity. Not that nudity can’t be an art form, but it doesn’t relate to their viewing audience. Some magazines may be okay with implied nudity. Implied nudity is anything where the male/female genitalia are hidden/disguised. Be sure the content you are submitting matches the mission/background of the magazine you are submitting to.
Submit original content! Try to do something that you haven’t tried before. Editorials like to see uniqueness and originality. If submissions are too identical to previous content, or there are too many similar images received by submitters, they may go unnoticed. Think outside of the box.
Try switching concepts up a bit. Add in props that are unique. Scope out locations that have less human traffic. Use different lighting techniques or angles. Scope out a makeup artist to give the theme a new twist. What makes your images stand out?
In the past, we have heard horror stories from fellow editorials in regards to photographers/models demanding their images to be published, or to be published in a particular way. Unless you are paying for the submission, or the magazine is paying for your submission, lean back.
Don’t email asking the editorial when their submissions will be reviewed. Deadlines are usually posted on their websites/social media along with their guidelines. If they are not an editorial that sends out a “We regret to inform you..blahblahblah,” and you did not receive an email stating you were accepted. DON’T LET IT BRING YOU DOWN. Again, there are many reasons as to why your submission may not have been chosen. Try reaching out to a supportive community for some feedback and take it as constructive criticism.
If the editorial DOES send emails of regret and they DO provide you with rejection reasons, take it as constructive criticism. UNLESS, the email is mean, hateful, racist, body shaming, demeaning, etc. If this is the case, don’t submit to them again.
If you do not like a magazine’s guidelines, don’t submit. Find an editorial that fits who YOU are as a creative.
Print magazines will always require image specifics so the images print the way they were meant to be seen. Sometimes as a digital editorial, it is easier to work around this as they aren’t sending files to a machine to be physically printed.
Standard requirements are usually 300 DPI/high resolution, 8x10 or 8x11 (8.375″ x 10.875″ to be more specific). Editorials have live, bleed and trim spaces that may affect an image. You can learn more about those here. Some magazines also prefer PNG over JPEG or TIFF images.
Do not send screenshots of original images. *face palm* You may be very eager to get your submissions in, but this will result in a quick no. If you want your images to be accepted and to print nicely, submit them as requested. Editorials aren’t trying to do this to be a pain. They want your work to look good in print! It’s worth waiting to submit quality content.
Selfies/Cell Phone Images
Most editorials are NOT modeling agencies. Sending in selfies will not land you a spot to work with a photographer to get in a magazine. Submissions here at Myssfit Magazine are sent by freelancer photographers and models who work together on creative projects. There are many modeling Facebook groups you can join to locate a photographer/model to work with. BUT PLEASE FOLLOW GROUP GUIDELINES and BE SAFE. (we will write more on that another time).
Editorials do not want to publish cell phone selfies or cell phone edited images. 1. They will not print nicely. 2. They are not ‘professionally’ creative images. We have seen our fair share of, yes… duck lips, mirror selfies, Myspace angles, you name it. We appreciate the effort, but please, don’t send them. We are also very familiar with photo editing apps and often the images are received the photo app name in the file name. OOPS. We see you.
Blurry, Out of focus, Noise, Over saturated
As repeated a few times above, if images are blurry, out of focus, contain too much “noise” or over saturated with color, they will not look so pleasant in print. To hold ourselves accountable, we often refuse these as we do not want the submitee to be disappointed when they purchase a print.
Framing, Cropping, Borders
DON’T CROP YOUR IMAGES. When Instagram users share their images, they will crop images using apps to add borders, frames, etc. so it ‘fits’ on their feeds. Do not use that same image to submit. Use the original, unless that is how a photographer provides it to you. This isn’t a common practice for a photographer to crop an image to a “square” dimension. Although, photographers can “crop” during a photoshoot as a part of the imaging technique. If sent to an editorial with a square dimension, that results in the editor having to stretch it out to fit the page, or having to fill the white space on a page with more detail. This would be okay for featured stories, interviews, and so on. But we would prefer the image to be left as is.
Watermarks, Date/Time stamp, Copyrights
Any additional markings can conflict with the overall image an editorial is trying to portray. It can also ruin the composition and is distracting when viewers are trying to admire your work. If you are working with a reputable editorial, they SHOULD list all credits to drive other creatives to your source of work. If they don’t credit the work they receive, don’t submit to them. (that includes on their social media platforms as well. #redflag)
Be sure to READ the editorials submission guidelines. ALWAYS. Sometimes requirements may change. Editorials have guidelines so everything flows smoothly.
If they provide you with a form for entry, complete that. Most magazines do this to ensure all information is received and goes to one location, which often includes a signed release form. Do not email submissions unless they state otherwise. Pending on the popularity of the magazine you are submitting to, emails can be overwhelming and information can often get lost in the shuffle.
Note the magazines deadlines! Don’t submit after closing date. Mark deadlines in your phone, personal calendar and follow the editorials social links for updates. Stay even more up to date by subscribing to their emails.
Be sure that you have your credits prepared and all spelling is correct. Confirm with all parties involved to ensure accuracy. Your creative team will thank you!
For editorials that accept emailed submissions, be sure to follow their email etiquette on how to properly attach images and what information to include:
Credits: Model, Photographer, MUA, Set Design, Stylist, etc.
Social Links/Websites/Email Addresses
Do they accept Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud? Don’t assume! They may not be able to access these.
Note, if your emailed images are accepted, the editorial will most likely have you complete a release form. Be sure to complete it ASAP. Magazine’s will NOT publish without signed consent. If they do… well, let’s just say they can get into some trouble down the road.
If you are new to the photography/modeling world, guidelines make the magazine editing process run smoother and helps everyone in the end. Please feel free to leave your questions and comments.
We would love your feedback!
The Myssfit Creative Team