Every year brides ask us what it takes to get their wedding published. Magazines are looking for very specific photos because….. other brides are looking for ideas for their weddings, and that’s what sells their magazine. Unless you’re a mega superstar, power house couple, the magazines are only interested in a few details about you personally; they are more interested in the details you put into your wedding. I received a list from “The Knot” magazine of 20 things they are looking for in submissions, so I thought I would pass it on to you. As I go through this year’s weddings, these are the things I will be looking for in a wedding to submit for publication.
(Text from “The Knot” is Italicized)
1. The Stationery Suite – We love programs, save-the-dates, reply cards, and all the in-betweens of paper choices. We love it even more when we get to see them all together in one shot. (As the photographer we rarely get to see anything but the program on the wedding day.)
2. The Cake – Insider’s secret: A great cake can make or break a real wedding editorial. It’s a strong and important element in our editors’ eyes and truly a work of art.
3. The Kids (or Pets)! We’re suckers for these cutie pies!
4. The Environmental Portrait – Think of this not as a portrait of a couple, but as a beautiful scenic shot with newlyweds in it.
5. The Shoes – We all love shoes, especially with a creative, stylistic background behind them that matches the rest of the wedding’s overall style and palette.
6. The Venue – After all the painstaking planning, it’s worthy of proper documentation. An overall shot of the ceremony and reception setup before the guests arrive is a must–have on the shot list.
7. The Bridesmaids – Truly the bride with her inner circle here! Sharing sweet moments of besties prior to the ceremony is great, but we take this as an opportunity to show off the bridesmaids overall style.
8. The Reception Table – One of the first things we check out in reviewing real weddings is the table. It’s where we can show your overall style with one shot.
9. The Silly Shot – We don’t always have to be so serious with our photo selections! Photographers can nail some seriously fun shots, and we enjoy them too.
10. An Editorial Shot – Let’s face it, we as editors are notorious for chopping heads! We won’t deny it. These faceless shots become more iconic, and help us to editorially drive our topics without identifying actual subjects. (Okay, I put one face in here, but isn’t she the cutest little redhead ever?!)
11. The Aisle Marker – Aisle markers hint at wedding style to unveil throughout the day. Compositionally, they tend to already be perfectly styled too.
12. The Bridal Bouquet – Our all-time winner of a signature real wedding shot might arguably be the cropped bridal bouquet at waist. And we also love a composed shot with a pretty background environment.
13. The Boutonniere – This gives us a nod at the gent’s look and style, while still keeping the vibe of pretty and feminine.
14. The Recessional – Probably the happiest, most genuine photo that will be captured on the wedding day. Nothing is contrived about this moment.
15. The Escort Cards – We love showing creative ways to identify your guests to their seats, but also the graphic nature of this composition. Huge tip: make sure this is photographed before the guests come and take their name away. Missing escort cards from the setup is a deal-breaker!
16. The Reception Candid – Not just another grip and grin smile, you as newlyweds at the reception, beaming in the glow of your evening.
17. The Favors – Often overlooked or forgotten until the end of the night, so the takeaway here is getting the shot before they’re all gone!
18. The Signature Cocktails – Brides love getting ideas of new ways to serve their guests with wow-worthy sips. So pretty, garnished drinks go miles in our eyes. (At this wedding the couple was serving home brewed beer. The entire theme of the wedding was hops, which had been shipped in from Oregon)
19. The Centerpieces – A no-brainer here, but well-composed centerpieces can be a difficult shot. We love to see the blooms with proper exposure and minimal clutter around it.
20. The Getaway – It’s the last moment of the wedding day, so this shot anchors the wedding’s end with a final applause from your appreciative guests.
So, that my friends is what the publishers are looking for in the way of wedding photography. Details, details and more details. Our goal is to photograph anything and everything you’ve added to your wedding day after all – we love to be published too!