If you’ve been around the photography space for a while, you’ve probably noticed that there’s no shortage of incredible wedding photography publications. As a photographer, getting your photos published in a magazine, whether in print or online, can have so many benefits. It’s no wonder that photography submissions are often a part of a photographer’s workflow. But what if you’re a family photographer who doesn’t photograph weddings at all? You still want to get your photos published, whether for the industry connections, social proof, backlinks, or just to prove to yourself that you can do it. So…
How do family photographers get published?
Finding the right place for your family photography submissions is all about finding the perfect fit and researching it extremely well. It might feel overwhelming, but doing your research on the back end will ensure that you don’t waste your time or editor’s time by submitting your work to publications that aren’t the right fit. So, how do family photographers get published?
- Find publications accepting family work (check out the list below!)
- Read as many back issues as you can and make note of their style and story preferences: which ones seem like a good fit for your work? Consider photography style, the stories they tell, and the content.
- Engage in their community: support the artists they’ve published, comment and share their posts, and connect with their community. This will help you learn if this publication is truly the right fit for you.
- Review the submission guidelines and follow them exactly.
- Curate your submission. Only submit your very best.
- Tell a story. What makes this session unique? Is the family open to sharing a personal story about why they chose to have photos done now, by you?
- Include any collaborators. This could mean where the wardrobe is from, your print lab if you’re shooting film, the preset you used to edit the photos, where any props (like blankets) are from, hair and makeup artists the family used, or the location if it’s a special venue. Photography publications love to include these types of details.
Why submit your family photography to publications?
Just like potential clients may use reviews to decide whether you’re the right photographer for them, they may also use your publications. Being published in a journal of professional photography shows that you’re serious about your craft and have been vetted by other professionals in your field.
Since you’ll likely choose a publication based on your niche or style of work, publishing in a particular journal can lead to creating connections with other people who create or have been published in the same photography journal. We can all use more photographer friends, right? And you never know, those connections might lead to other opportunities like relevant workshops or exciting collaborations!
If you want your website to be seen, Google has to know that it’s relevant. What better way that with a leading family photography magazine linking to your website? That’s called a backlink, and it tells Google that you’re engaged in your field and good at what you do! Publications are just one part of an effective SEO strategy, but they’re a rewarding and effective part.
The Best Magazines Accepting Family Photography Submissions in 2022
- The Motherhood Anthology (check out my feature with them here!)
- The Kindred Path (I adore The Kindred Path: I’ve been featured with them here and here)
- Fount Collective
- White Wren
- Two Bright Lights (a service that will submit your work to multiple publications)
- La Vie Est Belle
- La Peche
- Beyond the Wanderlust
- Click (the magazine for Click Pro) (Read about how I became a Click Pro here)
- Belle Lumiere
- Inspired Magazine & the NAPCP: National Association of Professional Child Photographers blog (I’m thrilled to be a member of this incredible educational community)
Journals that are no longer accepting family photography submissions, but are an excellent inspiration
This short-lived but incredibly beautiful collection is worth the hop over to Instagram to see its features of film-inspired motherhood and family photography.
In the 2010s, Lemonade and Lenses was THE publication for family photography. Unfortunately, they stopped publishing and their website is no longer, but you can still view some amazing work on their Instagram account.
If documentary family photography is your jam, Sham of the Perfect was an incredible publication. As of 2019, they’re no longer accepting family photography submissions, but their website is still available to browse through and be inspired.
This blog featured sessions as well as educational articles for photographers. Still a fun read, but it looks like they stopped posting in 2019.
Not quite ready to tackle family photography submissions? Try these Instagram feature accounts for Family Photographers instead!
It can be daunting to curate a gallery from a single session for submission, or to write an article to go along with the photos. If you’re just hoping to dip your toe into the waters with publications, Instagram is a great option. Most of the journals mentioned above have hashtags they’ll pull from to feature on their IG accounts. Along with that, there are some IG accounts that are solely feature accounts. This means you can use their hashtag and potentially be featured on their account. Here are a few of my favorite Instagram feature accounts for family photography:
Did I miss a publication accepting family photography submissions?
Let me know by using the contact form! I’m always on the lookout for new family photography publications and am happy to update my list!
For more photography business tips, check out my post on how to start a client closet here. If you’re looking for inspiration or Portland family photos, check out some of my favorite family photo sessions on the blog or on my website!
PS, in my tour of favorite photography blogs this week, I landed on my friend Colleen’s guide to matching family pajamas for the holiday season and I’m just in love! I love getting my kids matching PJs to wear Christmas morning, and her guide is so helpful in comparing all the options this year!