I have sat down to write this post a number of times, but have never finished it because I want to be absolutely open and authentic, which I've come to hold dear as a hallmark of my brand and my voice. 'Getting published' is one of the things I knew nothing about when I first started in the wedding industry and when I heard of it, I honestly thought it was completely unattainable for me. I just knew that my photos were not good enough to get published, so why even try?
I was terrified to submit my first session, but it was amazingly accepted my Boundary Stone Baby - and immediately, I was hooked! It was fun to celebrate a little milestone, so I started submitting my sessions and weddings on a more regular basis to different blogs. Reality hit when I got my first rejection notice, and since then I have looked more into what it means to get published and why I should even try. So, for any new photographers or any brides-to-be, here's why I try to have every wedding published on a blog! There are two reasons I do it to benefit my business, and two reasons that directly benefit brides and couples.
1) Builds brand recognition: the more people see that weddings I shoot are getting published, the more brand recognition I will build outside of my regular circles. This is especially true for blogs that aren't in my home state of Virginia, where I otherwise may never get my name out there.
2) Builds good SEO: this is why I love blogs like Tidewater and Tulle. SEO, or search engine optimization for those who don't know, allows my website to be found more easily online. A huge component of SEO is high-quality links. When a wedding or session is published on a blog, they will link back to my website, which basically tells Google that my work is interesting and should be shown to more people.
3) It's a challenge: my primary focus on a wedding day will never be to get published. It's always to serve the bride, her family, and her guests. But as I'm photographing the details, portraits, and all the moments in between, I'm constantly challenging myself to improve. I challenge myself to get better for the bride who hired me, and also for any publications that might love the wedding. Keeping this at the forefront of my mind forces me to take better pictures, pay attention to background distractions, and a whole litany of other things. All of this ultimately ends in better pictures for my clients - which is my goal in the first place!
4) It's exciting for the bride: I LOVE it when I get to send my brides an email or text to let them know their wedding is published! Each time, there is so much excitement because it makes you feel special to be recognized outside of your normal circles. It's absolutely not possible for every wedding and session to be published, and it's dependent on everything from colors to the season to the trends at the time, but when I can show a bride that even MORE people think her wedding is beautiful, I'll do it!
As I mentioned, every wedding and session is not going to be published. Sometimes, blogs are looking for a certain kind of wedding, and that might not be your wedding. That's why my primary goal is to take the best pictures I possibly can for the bride, not for a publication. Getting published is just icing on the wedding cake, but it's a personal and professional goal to at least try every single time.
And with that, here are just a few weddings and sessions I am thankful to have had published! (You can see more feature and publications by clicking here.)
Hattie & Daniel - The Knot
Patriotic Inspiration Shoot - MunaLuchi Bride
Nicole & Sam - Borrowed and Blue
Crystal & Kinan - Tidewater and Tulle
Hattie & Daniel - Melissa Hearts Weddings
Dani & Ryan - Boundary Stone Baby