The Album Basics You Need to Know When Getting Published

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Whether you’re you’re just getting started on Two Bright Lights or you’re a seasoned pro, it’s great to review some album basics to kick off the year. Take a look at these tips that cover everything you need to know when getting published. We’ve got you covered with the nitty-gritty basics and some strategic pro tricks (Hello, Open Gallery!). After reading this, we’re confident that you’ll kick off 2019 as a submission rockstar!

The Nitty-Gritty

Uploading Your Photos

  • Upload your photos straight from your desktop, or use one of our compatible storage platforms: Dropbox, ShootProof, SmugMug and Zenfolio.
  • Images should be uploaded as high-resolution JPEG files, 5 MB in size.
  • We suggest uploading images that are a minimum size of 2000 pixels wide. Some publications will request different sizes, but uploading images that are 2000 pixels wide will allow editors to size them down as desired.
  • Albums should contain a minimum of 100 pictures for wedding submissions and at least 75 for portrait and lifestyle submissions.
  • Tag your album as accurately as possible! This is especially important for our Publication Matching Tool, since the algorithm will suggest publications for you based on the album tags you choose.

Photographer Permission 

To protect the creative rights of photographers, we require that all vendors get photographer permission when uploading their albums. (Friendly reminder that photographers do not need a paid account to approve requests, and sometimes the email ends up in their spam folder, so remind them of this!) You can find detailed instructions on how to request photographer permission as a vendor here, and how to give permission as a photographer here.

Tagging Vendors 

We are dedicated to giving credit where credit is due, so as a submitter you are required to tag vendors when uploading albums. Include all of the vendors that were involved in the shoot so that everyone gets credit for their work! Plus, the more vendors involved in the album, the further your reach is when it gets published. (Think of all the sharing on social!) Read more about how to tag vendors here.

How to Opt-in to Open Gallery

To opt your albums into Open Gallery (get ready for the technical details!), click the “Albums” tab. Under the tabs, you will find a button that says “Edit Open Gallery Albums.” From there, you can manage your albums by clicking the check boxes in the top right corner. You can control whether or not your albums are automatically opted-in by hovering over your avatar in the top right corner, and selecting “My Account” from the dropdown. Once you are on your account page, select the “Settings” tab, then the “Preferences” subcategory, where you will be able to change the toggle. To get started on Open Gallery if you’re already on TBL, click here! If you’re interested in joining, click here.

The Strategy

Provide a Thoughtful Album Story

The album story is essential to the writing process for editors, as it establishes the backstory of the feature. Be sure to provide relevant details about the event, subjects and the location, while enhancing the experience of the event or shoot taking place. Have the clients contribute to the album story by sending them the Client Questionnaire, which provides editors with the personal detail that will make your submission stand out!

Curate your Album

Carefully select and arrange your images in chronological order and include a variety of shots so that editors can get a good sense of the day. The editor should be able to get a quick feel of the day just by scanning through to photos in the submission.

Don’t Skimp on the Detail!

When curating your album, include plenty of detail shots, ranging from the venue, the cake, stationery, and anything else that makes it unique. While it’s important to highlight the people at the center of the shoot, the details are just as important. Reason being, publications are typically looking to feature work that is inspirational for their readers!


Now that you know everything about the album creation process, it’s time to get uploading on Two Bright Lights! You can always refer to our user guides for step-by-step instructions, available for Photographers and Vendors. Remember, the TBL team is here as a resource to help you get published! If you have any questions or suggestions about the album creation process, you can always reach us at support@twobrightlights.com.

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