How to Submit Images from a Photography Workshop for Publication

Workshops and group shoots have become very much a part of the photography landscape. For those just starting out especially, workshops are an opportunity not only to learn, but to be exposed to the work of top stylists and other wedding creatives and to build up their portfolio. However, workshops also present a unique challenge to wedding bloggers, especially around the question of exclusivity. As a result, publishers tend to have firm views and policies when it comes to workshops. So whether you’re hosting or attending one, it’s a good idea to be informed!

First Publication

Each workshop is different, but for many, the lead photographer will submit their own images for publication first. Often, especially if they are a high profile photographer, this means they may be featured on one of the exclusive international wedding blogs, and the shoot will be seen by many people on the blog and/or social media. Some of these shoots have gone viral on Pinterest especially, so the details become familiar to multiple readers. Attendees are sometimes asked not to submit their images to other publications, but in most cases, they are allowed (or even encouraged) to do so.

As we discussed in our recent feature on Exclusive Vs. Non-Exclusive Blogs, exclusive publications require the first rights of publication for their medium. For many bloggers, that first right extends not only to the images themselves, but to the details shown in the images.

“It’s important to note that if a publication requires exclusivity, that exclusivity should also be considered for the design itself. In terms of a group workshop shoot, if the same design is being submitted to multiple publications, albeit through different photographers, that is where the discrepancy comes in. A publication’s focus is typically on the design and details of a feature, and when it is perpetually being published, it takes away from each and every feature.” – Lauren of Every Last Detail

“The absolute most important thing is disclosure.”

Submitting to Exclusive Blogs

Based on the fact that they will not have true first publication rights, many exclusive blogs have established a policy that only the workshop host can submit to them.

“For Elizabeth Anne Designs, which is exclusive, I personally will only accept the photos from the workshop host, and only on the condition that the attendees wait to submit until I have published. Unless there is a reason for an exception to the rule, I don’t accept attendees’ work.” – Ami of Elizabeth Anne Designs

However, there are exceptions!

“If you have a partnership with a publication (i.e. are part of their vendor guide or member of their membership), they may bend their rules for you in order to provide you with exposure. I know I myself do this for my members, because it’s more important to me to get their work published.” – Lauren of Every Last Detail

Submitting to Non-Exclusive Blogs

The best submission option for workshop attendees is often a non-exclusive blog. Remember, just because a blog is non-exclusive doesn’t mean that their content is inferior or that they can offer less valuable exposure. Many non-exclusive blogs have a huge social following, excellent SEO, and a devoted readership. They simply take a different approach to their publishing policy. As a result, many non-exclusive blogs are happy to publish workshop submissions from attendees.

“As a non-exclusive blog I have no problem publishing work from an attendee or workshop host. I would however love to know that it is a workshop, who hosted it and whether any of it has been published elsewhere – purely because I don’t want to step on any exclusive blogs’ toes.” – Amy of Chic Vintage Brides

Disclosure is Key

When submitting a shoot you must first and foremost disclose that it was captured at a group workshop. This is true no matter if it is to an exclusive or non-exclusive publication. Make this disclosure as clear as possible, and always give as much information as you can. Include details such as the number of photographers at the workshop, and when and where the host’s images will be published.

“The absolute most important thing is disclosure. At the end of the day, it will all come down to the discretion of the editor, so being upfront and giving them all the information before allows them to make the publishing decision that is best for their publication. For example, the number of workshop attendees makes a big difference – a small five-photographer shoot where only a couple of them are submitting is different from a twenty-person workshop where all are submitting. The worst thing you can do is try to hide it and then the publisher sees the shoot featured in multiple other places, so build positive editor relationships by being honest and forthcoming.” – Megan of Glamour & Grace

How to Submit Workshop Shoots Using Matchology

For Matchology users, we would recommend that you include all disclosure information in the ‘introduction paragraph’ portion of the submission form, as well as answering yes to the question “Has this event been previously published?”. Remember, even if your photographs of the event have not been published, the EVENT itself has been. You will automatically be matched with non-exclusive blogs only, greatly increasing your chances of submission success!


Matchology Team

Matchology Team

Matchology is the fastest and most effective way of submitting your work to the world’s top wedding blogs. Created and run by the Aisle Society editors, Matchology uses built-in matching technology to pair your submissions with publications that are the perfect fit.

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