TBL’s Top FAQs on Getting Published

A couple of California transplants wed in Ontario, but chose a California in the Fall theme, Captured by Damion Rae Photography

Is your goal to get published in 2016, but you just don’t know where to begin? The process of submitting your work doesn’t have to be a daunting task! With Two Bright Lights you have the ability to manage all of your submissions in one place, making the whole process easy and pain-free! To get you started on the road to becoming a submission rockstar, we’ve compiled the top 10 questions from new submitters.


1. If I’m submitting something for publication, can I post some of the images from the shoot to instagram and facebook beforehand? What about my blog?

Most non-exclusive publications have no problem with you posting a few images on your social media platforms or personal blog. If you choose this route, we would suggest reserving a few of the show-stoppers for the publication to share.

However, your strategy should change if your target is an exclusive publication (both print and online). Once you’ve submitted an album to an exclusive publication, you are agreeing that the images have not and will not be featured elsewhere until the exclusivity period has ended (which can range from 1-6 months depending on the publication).


2. Is there a standard size photo to submit that is accepted by all publishers – or do I have to resize for each and every submission?

We suggest uploading high-resolution images with a minimum size of 2000 pixels wide. Some editors have lower size minimums, but 2000 pixels ensures that your images are large enough for all editors, who can then size down the images if needed.


3. Can I submit an event that happened several years ago? Or do my submissions need to be current?

It’s best to submit weddings that took place within the last 12 months. Trends change so quickly that what was amazing two years ago may have fallen flat by now. If the shoot is particularly timeless, you can probably stretch this to 18-24 months.


4. Does it decrease my chances of being published if I don’t tag any vendors?

In a word, yes. Editors want to give credit to everyone that participated in the event, so submissions with more vendors are more likely to get accepted. Adding vendors also broadens the reach of the published feature, driving traffic back to the publication and generating free publicity for your business.


5. What response time should I expect from the editors? And when is it appropriate to reach out to them?

Each publisher lists their estimated response time on their profile page. Certainly use this as a guide, but keep in mind that many of our editors receive hundreds of submissions on a monthly basis so there may be periods where the response time is slightly longer. And publications that only go to print once or twice a year may take quite some time to review submissions. But don’t hesitate to reach out directly to the editor with any questions about the status of your submission.


6. If a vendor is the one uploading or submitting the photos, do they need their own Two Bright Lights account?

Yes! Anyone who wants to submit their albums must have a premium paid account. This account allows you to upload up to 150 images, create albums and submit them to any of the hundreds of publications that we work with.


7. How many publications should I submit to at once?

When you are submitting to a non-exclusive publication the choice is ultimately up to you. You can submit one album to 10 publications at a time. However we suggest submitting one album to a maximum of 5 publications at a time. Editors can see where else a submission has been sent, so it can be discouraging to the editor if the submission has been sent to 50 different publications. Being selective can help in the long-run. Your approach will of course be different if you are targeting an exclusive publication – you only have the ability to submit to one exclusive publication at a time.


8. If I submit to multiple non-exclusives, what happens if multiple editors accept? Do I get to choose? Or is it first come first serve?

The great thing about non-exclusives is that it your images can be featured by multiple publications at the same time. But again, keep in mind that publications are less likely to accept something if you submit it to a lot of editors simultaneously. We recommend a maximum of 5 at a time.


9. How do I decide who to submit to?

The best way to decide which publications are the right fit for your album is to do your research.  Check out the publications, see what their past features are like, and learn as much as you can about the editor. Additionally, there are multiple ways to narrow down the list of publications in the last step of the submission process, like filtering by the category of content the editor accepts or their exclusivity. If you are looking for a specific publication, type the name in the search bar.


10. Can I go back and add vendors or update the album after a submission has been sent?

Absolutely – You can edit your album information at any time, even after it has been accepted. Just make sure all your necessary edits are included prior to publication. Simply click into the album from the Albums tab and click the blue Edit button. And don’t forget to click save when you’re done editing!


Only 40% of wedding professionals get published – join their elite ranks! Two Bright Lights makes it fast and easy to get published and costs less than $15/month. In just three quick steps, you can submit your work to more than 400 magazines, blogs and websites, including The Knot, POPSUGAR, Brit + Co, MunaLuchi Bride, Every Last Detail and more.
So what are you waiting for? Sign-up today at twobrightlights.com


Photo courtesy of Damion Rae Photography.

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