A few weeks ago I shared on social media that I had my second ever print feature (click here to see my first one) in the inaugural edition of the Tidewater and Tulle Journal. It was a hugely exciting day for me (and this amazing wedding blog!) and I was so proud to shout it from the rooftops. The reality, however, is a little different, so while I want you to share in the excitement of this moment, I also want to peel back the layers for a more behind-the-scenes look at what actually happens to get to a wedding feature.
I submit nearly every single wedding I photograph - some to national publications, some to local, and some to both...and honestly, the success is varied. I wrote about how often the features depend more on seasons and trends than the beauty of a wedding or its photography, and so it's somewhat rare to get featured on my first submission. For this particular wedding, I just knew I could find somewhere HUGE for it, so I submitted with great confidence and hope to a national wedding blog.
One week later, the Tidewater and Tulle Journal was announced. I was instantly torn between my desire to get a wedding published on this particular blog and my equally big desire to get published not only in print, but in a publication like this that I believe in, love, and would be completely honored if accepted.
To make a long story short, I was rejected by the national wedding blog. The moment this happened I excitedly submitted to The Journal and was thrilled to get approval just a few short days later. But publicly it's taboo to admit that I got rejected first. We don't talk about not being able to get into our first choice (although in this case I actually did in the end!) and we don't celebrate the 'no' emails.
For me, though, the 'no' email ended up being a blessing...and that's the thing we often miss. For every no there might be a better yes around the corner, and even if there's not it doesn't mean you have failed. Some weddings I am never able to get published, and some accomplishments I am never able to reach. Contentment is being satisfied with working my best and hardest and then accepting the results, whatever that may be. In this case, it was a PRINT feature. In other cases, it is 10 'no' emails in a row with no yes in sight. But either way, the 'embarrassment' of closed doors is not something to be ashamed of, but celebrated personally as an opportunity for a new yes, growth, or all of the above. And that is an honest behind-the-scenes at what often REALLY happens before a big, exciting announcement.