How to submit photos to wedding blogs: 6 secrets from a wedding blog editor to help YOUR photography get noticed

Photo by Andrew Callow
Photo by Andrew Callow

Our wedding blog Offbeat Bride gets a LOT of photo submissions from photographers, videographers, wedding planners, and other vendors. We love seeing them and our readers often find their vendors from within our featured weddings on Offbeat Bride, but due to the volume of submissions, we can't feature all of them. There are just too many!

If you're a wedding photographer looking to get your work featured on Offbeat Bride or any other wedding blog, here are some tips to give your submission the best chance of standing out and bubbling up to become a feature. [Note: if you're a couple interested in submitting your wedding, see this instead!]

Know your audience

Offbeat Bride readers run the gamut of diversity and we like to reflect that. Obviously, they're open to non-traditional weddings, but they also love low-budget weddings, niche-theme weddings (rock 'n' roll, holiday-themed, punk, goth, geeky, Renaissance, etc.), elopements and small weddings, older couples, LGBTQ, and more. Take advantage of that audience by sharing with us those weddings that traditional magazines and blogs might not publish. Get to know what kinds of weddings we choose by browsing our Real Weddings and Wedding Porn sections.

Make sure your couple wants to be featured

Once in a while we get an email from a very upset couple who didn't know their photographer was submitting their wedding would be made public on a wedding blog. Make sure you don't take your couples by surprise — always let them know when you're submitting their wedding photos to a blog. Even if you technically own the rights to the images, it's the respectful thing to do.

Don't submit to multiple blogs or magazines

Most blogs won't feature a wedding that has been featured elsewhere first. Make sure your couple or their other vendors haven't submitted elsewhere, too. Once you've submitted to one blog, give them some time to get back to you before submitting elsewhere. If you decide to submit to another blog, let us know so we don't step on their toes.

Include other vendors and their URLs for inclusion in the feature

We love giving credit to the other vendors (florists, officiants, planners, venues, etc.) who made the day possible. If you know them, please include them, or ask the couple to submit a list.

Know what style of shoots are accepted

The quickest way to get declined is to submit something we've explicitly said we're NOT accepting. We post very clear information about what kinds of shoots we don't publish. We're also placing a very high priority on diversity right now, and declining submissions that don't further that goal. The quickest way to get a decline is to ignore these guidelines. With any blog, do your research and read guidelines carefully.

Be prepared to wait a bit

We usually have a long queue of weddings waiting to be featured, so realize that it may be a couple months or more before you'll see the feature on the site. We'll give you a target post date, and if it's too long to wait, just let us know you'll be submitting elsewhere. Also, remember that the quickest way to get us to feature your work is to snag one of a sponsored post!

Image tips

  • Include a few landscape-aligned shots of the couple, and any details that really capture the theme or the more offbeat aspects of the wedding. If it's a geeky wedding, we want to see their geeky centerpieces and cake. If they have amazing hair and fashion, include full-length shots and close-ups of their details.
  • We much prefer shots that do not include a watermark, as they are often distracting and degrade the quality of the photos and their composition. Don't worry, we'll credit you at the top and bottom of the feature.
  • We prefer photos that aren't too processed (vintage process, sepia, vignetting, etc.) and love lots of colorful photos. You can include black and white photos, but make sure it's not the whole set.
  • Send only about 10-20 photos. We can't look at a full set of 500+ due to the volume of submissions. If we need more, we'll ask.

Inspired? Have something you'd like us to see?
 Submit your photos!

  1. Oh hell yeah, I was under the impression that only brides could submit!!!! Let me get a diverse, colorful, budget, LGBTQ, punk rock, something something going on! I love you Offbeat Empire! Fax me!

    12 agree
    • Yep, we've always accepted submissions from vendors… although as Superman addresses, we receive WAY more submissions than we could ever hope to publish (which is part of why we did this post — so that we could make sure photographers know how to make their submissions rise to the top!).

      All our submission info is listed at http://offbeatbride.com/submissions ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oh wow. I'm so glad the publication changed their perspective.

      For us, our "Love your work, but we have to decline" reasons are exactly the opposite. Our most frequently sent decline template is this: "Your photos of this wedding are absolutely gorgeous, but at this time we're only accepting editorial submissions from photographers who are featuring couples who are not white, or are otherwise diverse — for example LGBT, disabled, older, etc."

      I get so myopic on our focus on diversity that I forget sometimes why it's such an important priority. Thank you for linking a post to remind me!

      • Ariel,

        I understand your point of wanting to feature weddings that may not be featured elsewhere. But to be honest, I am a little offended that you might choose my wedding over someone else's to feature JUST because mine will have two brides. I would hope my submission would be picked because it had the best pictures, not just because we are gay. Or just because we are Jewish. We have way more in common with the majority of couples getting married. And only a few things that are different. I like being a bit offbeat. And I am damn proud to be getting GayJewmarried, but my wedding would be awesome even if I was getting StraightChristianmarried. Just saying ๐Ÿ™‚

        • But to be honest, I am a little offended that you might choose my wedding over someone else's to feature JUST because mine will have two brides.

          Yep, I totally hear you on this. That's always the risk with prioritizing diversity… when does it start to feel like gross tokenism? I've actually written about this issue here:

          Editorial diversity hacks: is tokenism ever ok?

  2. yea i tend to be *selective* on which ones i submit! i LOVE the diversity here….and definitely LOVE all the rules in place….it is so helpful when getting to know what to put where. I've learned so much from the awesome peeps at OBB!!!! annnnd the emmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmpiiiiiiiiiiiiiiireeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

  3. Note on the watermark issue:
    I completely agree they are kind of an eyesore and distract from the awesome pictures. I also completely understand why photogs use them (art theft sucks).

    Even though in this post, it says not to use them and that you would be credited underneath the feature, I'd advise putting your name on the actual photos, somewhere. If you put your name in a small font in the corner, I think that could be a nice compromise. Possible use a color that coordinates with the photo, so that it blends in when you aren't looking for it.

    I strongly urge this for every artist. Most people are good and aren't going to purposely steal your work, but they may save it on their computers (inspiration photos), and then later upload it to Pinterest (with no awesome empire credits to you). Then it could get shared and pinned, with no trace back to you. Someone may love it and want to hire you, because "omgitssoamazingandbeautiful", but have no idea who took the photo. It's the curse of viral sharing.

    I learned this lesson the hard way. I have found my artwork unattributed to me quite a few times. I've noticed that tumblr and Pinterest tend to be the main culprits.

    Sorry for the ramblings.

    9 agree
    • Much better than I could have phrased it! ๐Ÿ™‚ thisthisthis. So many websites that are heavily photo based and rely a LOT on pinterest have a lot of issues that are solved with watermarking.

      2 agree
    • It's really a shame this is still an issue, because the technology to solve it has been around for decades now. It's so easy to embed meta data along with images, but curiously enough no real standard has evolved with regards to internet sharing.

      As good as Pinterest and Tumblr can be for finding inspiration, few things are more frustrating than clicking an image and coming to a dead end with no more information about the color / item / recipe / whatever it is you so desperately needed in your life.

      2 agree
      • totally. Thank GAWD for Google Images Search By Image.

        2 agree

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