How to Get Engagement Shoots Published
Engagement shoots are an area of submissions that is often misunderstood. Some wedding pros, for example, see engagement shoots as an ‘easy option’. (This may be especially true when they are just starting out and don’t have a lot of other content.) Or perhaps they submit engagement shoots to smaller or local blogs, while saving their best work for larger publications. If this sounds like you, then you’ve probably had several declines, and you may wonder: just how DO you get an engagement shoot published?
First of all, let’s get this out of the way: engagement shoots are not an easy option for getting published. In fact, getting an e-session accepted for publication can be even more difficult than a real wedding or styled shoot. Why? Because fewer publications feature them, and even those that do are super selective. Engagement shoots tend to have much lower reader engagement because they feature fewer details, so you’re also competing with weddings and editorials for valuable blog ‘real estate’.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever submit e-shoots, but rather that you should always put your best foot forward. Submit only your very BEST engagement shoots. The ones that have that special wow-factor are the ones publishers are looking for.
“Submit only your very BEST engagement shoots. The ones that have that special wow-factor are the ones publishers are looking for.”
Here are a few of the ways that engagement shoots tend to stand out for editors:
You’ll often hear editors mention details when it comes to real weddings, and they’re no less important for engagements. But by details, we don’t necessarily mean props. Sometimes details can be as simple as highlighting natural elements with macro shots of plant life and other textures. Look for still life images that tell the story of the location. The couple’s outfits are another worthy detail – an incredible dress that photographs beautifully can really elevate a shoot, for example. Get up close and highlight details like accessories, hair style, and of course the engagement ring/s.
Engagements are, of course, all about two people in love. Sometimes a love story is too good not to be shared! In fact, some publishers (like Polka Dot Bride or Love Inc.) have a particular focus on stories over details. So if you have a couple who met in an unusual way or overcame obstacles to be together, submit to an editor who will showcase this.
Imaginative styling can also take an engagement shoot to the next level. At the most basic level, this means working with a cohesive palette (including the couple’s outfits). It can also extend to fabulous florals, themed details (especially if they relate to the couple’s story or personalities), and even larger scale editorial elements like a gorgeous table for two. Consider working with a professional stylist to create a mini styled shoot that will really get you on an editor’s radar.
Location can be another important aspect for editors. An extraordinary location will make a shoot stand out immediately, but you don’t have to climb a mountain or buy a ticket to Iceland to make location count! For example, a local blog focused on a particular destination will always be partial to e-sessions that showcase it in a romantic or imaginative way.
Some of the local blogs in our portfolio that currently accept engagements are:
Apple Brides, Coastal Bride, I Do Y’All, Lakeshore In Love, Nashville Bride Guide, Orange Blossom Bride, Polka Dot Bride, Marry Me Tampa Bay, Rocky Mountain Bride, Southern California Bride, SouthBound Bride, Tidewater & Tulle, United with Love
This one’s subjective, of course, but sometimes a simple engagement shoot makes a big impression just on the merit of the photography. If you have a piece of work that you’re particularly proud of, be sure to submit it to a blog that has a complementary focus on photography. For example, Coastal Bride loves to share organic, natural images, while Storyboard Weddings is more focused on dark and moody shots. You can specify your photography style and medium when submitting an engagement shoot through Matchology, making it easy to find the perfect match!
“Engagement shoots can be a valuable part of your overall submissions strategy.”
Ultimately, engagement shoots can be a valuable part of your overall submissions strategy. Plan ahead of time, get creative, carefully curate the images you submit, research to find the right publication partner (or let Matchology do it for you!) and you’ll soon be turning those ‘decline’s into ‘accepted’s!
LIKE THIS POST? PIN IT FOR LATER!