Pub­li­ca­tions in mag­a­zines, vic­to­ries in com­pe­ti­tions and par­tic­i­pa­tion in exhi­bi­tions are three pil­lars on which a pho­tog­ra­pher’s self-esteem stands. Glob­al­ly, all this is our path to world fame, and here and now is the oppor­tu­ni­ty to inform clients and spe­cial­ists from relat­ed shops (styl­ists, make­up artists, design­ers) that they are hap­py to work with you all over the world, which means they should catch their luck by the tail and Work­ing with you. Here I will tell you what to do to get your pho­tos print­ed in mag­a­zines.

If you made a strange pic­ture and you don’t know where to put it, go to the mag­a­zine! / Pho­to: Olga Yon­sh / IMI­RAGEmagazine – July 2021 – Issue 1029

Why does a pho­tog­ra­ph­er need to pub­lish in a mag­a­zine
What you need to pre­pare a fash­ion shoot
How to shoot pho­tos for a fash­ion mag­a­zine
How to get into Vogue — a week­ly chal­lenge from fash­ion mag­a­zines
Alter­na­tive way
How to choose a mag­a­zine for pub­lish­ing pho­tos
How mag­a­zines select pho­tos for pub­li­ca­tion
Num­ber and qual­i­ty of pho­tos
How much does it cost to pub­lish pho­tos in a mag­a­zine
What should not be for­got­ten
Pho­tog­ra­pher’s copy­right when pub­lished in a mag­a­zine

Why does a photographer need to publish in a magazine

First of all, you should under­stand that pub­lish­ing in mag­a­zines is not about mak­ing mon­ey. But you don’t have to pay any­one if you don’t want to. By sub­mit­ting your work to the mag­a­zine, you are par­tic­i­pat­ing in an equal exchange — you give the pub­li­ca­tion con­tent, and it will give you a piece of world fame. Anoth­er thing is if you enter into a cus­tomer-execu­tor rela­tion­ship, but I will not con­sid­er this pos­si­bil­i­ty in the arti­cle.

There are mag­a­zines in the world on any sub­ject, and what­ev­er you shoot about, these pho­tos can be in print. Mag­a­zines are:

  • world-class — Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Cos­mopoli­tan — I have no expe­ri­ence of work­ing with them yet;
  • local ones are mag­a­zines of your city, on their web­sites you can find con­tacts and send an email with your port­fo­lio and a short let­ter about your­self and your will­ing­ness to coop­er­ate;
  • online mag­a­zines — don’t wor­ry, these are still print­ed pub­li­ca­tions, you just won’t find them in the kiosk at the sta­tion. It is the eas­i­est way to get into them, there are many of them, of dif­fer­ent scale and sta­tus. Some of them are suit­able only to over­come their fears, pub­li­ca­tion in oth­ers can be a seri­ous rea­son for pride.

What you need to prepare a fashion shoot

If the plot of your shoot­ing is not too fash­ion­able, but you want to appear in a mag­a­zine, look for the­mat­ic pub­li­ca­tions. Pho­to: Olga Yon­sh / Face mag­a­zine: “THE ENTERTAINMÉNT ISSUE” – June, 2021

Fur­ther we will talk in detail about mag­a­zines from the fash­ion world. This is a huge field for the pho­tog­ra­pher’s self-expres­sion, where you can show just a beau­ti­ful pic­ture, or you can raise sen­si­tive top­ics, enter­ing into a dia­logue with the view­er.

But one in this field is not a war­rior. You’ll need a team—a mod­el, a make­up artist, hair and cloth­ing stylists—people who stand shoul­der to shoul­der with you and help tell the sto­ry.

To be beau­ti­ful in the frame, you need to be beau­ti­ful in real­i­ty. In order for the sto­ry to be tak­en into the mag­a­zine, you need to com­ply with mod­ern trends in pho­tog­ra­phy, cloth­ing and make­up.

Think about com­po­si­tion and light­ing, don’t dig into obscure con­cepts in prepa­ra­tion, and don’t be dis­tract­ed by folds of cloth­ing or a stray strand of hair in the process of shoot­ing — let the pro­fes­sion­als look after this with whom you will share the joy of pub­li­ca­tion.

How to assem­ble a team for a non-com­mer­cial project is a top­ic for a sep­a­rate large arti­cle, but your very inten­tion to col­lect a shoot for pub­li­ca­tion in a mag­a­zine can be the key to the hearts of spe­cial­ists and the begin­ning of great co-cre­ation.

How to shoot photos for a fashion magazine

So, at the start, you may have one of sev­er­al options:

  • one or more ready-made series of pho­tographs for which you are look­ing for a suit­able mag­a­zine;
  • a set of strong sin­gle shots for which you are look­ing for a suit­able mag­a­zine;
  • the desire to shoot some­thing new and send it to a mag­a­zine.

We will dis­cuss these options in detail below.

Pho­to: Olga Yon­sh / LE’COEUR Mag­a­zine: ISSUE NOVEMBER 2021 | PRINT

If you want to get into a par­tic­u­lar mag­a­zine, look at as many of the arti­cles pub­lished in it as you can and be inspired by them when cre­at­ing your series. Often, mag­a­zines post a mood­board for the next issue in the pub­lic domain — this is a direct guide to what type of series they want to see in your appli­ca­tions.

A par­tic­u­lar mag­a­zine prob­a­bly has a web­site with con­tacts and mail on it. The ones with the words edi­to­r­i­al or sub­mis­sion are suit­able for you.

Write a let­ter in Eng­lish or in the native lan­guage of the jour­nal, if you are flu­ent in it. A short greet­ing, if known — with the name of the edi­tor, a brief intro­duc­tion of you as a pho­tog­ra­ph­er, the name of your series, the names and links to the insta­gram of team mem­bers (mod­els, styl­ists, make­up artists). And a link to the cloud where you can watch your series and down­load it in one go. Most like­ly, you will write to a very busy per­son who will not down­load files one at a time or unpack a zip archive at ran­dom.

How to get into Vogue — a weekly challenge from fashion magazines

If you are men­tal­ly prepar­ing for your first pub­li­ca­tion in a mag­a­zine, you should not expect that your mas­ter­piece will imme­di­ate­ly be accept­ed into Ital­ian Vogue. Although, wait, it is in it that there is a chance to hit.

Every Mon­day from 8 am to 8 pm, you can upload two of your pho­tos (sin­gle, non-series) to photovogue.vogue.com and get their assess­ment from real live Vogue employ­ees. This does not mean that you will imme­di­ate­ly be print­ed next to Steven Meisel, this is “just” an oppor­tu­ni­ty to show your pho­tos to the mod­er­a­tors of the site of the world famous mag­a­zine. They answered your pho­tos with “yes” or “no”, it’s very easy to under­stand: if “yes”, they remained on your port­fo­lio page, “no”, they were delet­ed. There are sto­ries when pho­tog­ra­phers who col­lect­ed a port­fo­lio on this site received job offers in for­eign projects.

Pho­to: Olga Yosh, Octo­ber 2021

Sim­i­lar­ly, ICONIC mag­a­zine allows sub­mis­sions on Fri­days from noon to 3am.

It is worth not­ing that these resources can either accept a ran­dom pho­to of a grand­moth­er in the vil­lage or reject a stu­dio fash­ion that you have been work­ing on for three weeks. It is unlike­ly that a frankly weak work will be approved by the edi­tor of a well-known pub­li­ca­tion, but a strong work can eas­i­ly be reject­ed. The rea­son is sim­ple — the pic­ture does not fit the spir­it of this par­tic­u­lar mag­a­zine.

Alternative way

There are many excel­lent mag­a­zines in the world, which are much eas­i­er to get atten­tion. They are found on the kavyar.com aggre­ga­tor site, where any cre­ative spe­cial­ist can send their immor­tal mas­ter­piece to a mag­a­zine look­ing for con­tent. The site is in Eng­lish, but to work with it you will need the abil­i­ty to use a Google trans­la­tor.

There are two pos­si­bil­i­ties here:

  • use a free account and send up to ten appli­ca­tions per month;
  • upgrade to a paid ver­sion, send an unlim­it­ed num­ber of appli­ca­tions per month and see auto­mat­ic sort­ing by rat­ing (num­ber of social media fol­low­ers) of mag­a­zines.

As my prac­tice shows, out of ten thought­ful­ly sent appli­ca­tions, it is quite real­is­tic to get 5–6 approvals, and the num­ber of sub­scribers of the pub­li­ca­tions of inter­est can be viewed man­u­al­ly. The free account is quite viable.

How to choose a magazine for publishing photos

This is my first shoot for a mag­a­zine, and the item “two weeks to be afraid” was includ­ed in the prepa­ra­tion for it. Pho­to: Olga Yon­sh / SHUBA MAGAZINE #27 VOL. 6, 2019

Atten­tion, not all mag­a­zines are equal­ly use­ful. There is no dis­pute about tastes, but every­one has them. Check out the mag­a­zine’s Insta­gram before sub­mit­ting your work. Take a look at his cov­ers. Are you sure you want your work to be among these pic­tures? If yes, be bold. If not, there is a chance that, hav­ing received the pub­li­ca­tion, you will bash­ful­ly hide it in the table.

While you are look­ing for a mag­a­zine, mag­a­zines are look­ing for con­tent. Most of the mag­a­zines on the Caviara con­sist only of pho­tographs, from front cov­er to back cov­er. Among the works sent by pho­tog­ra­phers, a cou­ple of adver­tis­ing pub­li­ca­tions were hid­den — this is the income of the mag­a­zine. But no one will leaf through some­thing con­sist­ing of one adver­tise­ment, which means that the mag­a­zine needs you as much as you need it. And not all of them are so pop­u­lar to metic­u­lous­ly choose. On adja­cent pages, there may be a fairy tale, por­traits with rhine­stones on the nails, and a psy­cho­log­i­cal sto­ry with com­plex accent light­ing. Are you sure you want to add your work to this mess?

Pros — any genre has a chance to be in print. Cons — let’s assume that mag­a­zines exist not only to sat­is­fy the egos of authors. The audi­ence is also look­ing at it. Let the lovers of every genre enjoy the genre. Yes, and your­self — find your­self among like-mind­ed peo­ple.

Most mag­a­zines will reject you if you don’t fit the genre and sub­ject mat­ter. Some­times the edi­tors don’t just say no, they might write you a let­ter say­ing, dude, this is a super cool sto­ry, but it does­n’t fit our pub­li­ca­tion. But we have friends — anoth­er mag­a­zine, we sent them your work. Send them an appli­ca­tion, and I’m sure you’ll be wel­come there. It hap­pened to me.

If you want to go to a spe­cif­ic jour­nal, and could not find it on Cavyar, look for its web­site, on it — con­tacts, mail for receiv­ing sub­mis­sions (appli­ca­tions). Send a pho­to, series name, team cred­its (a list of team mem­bers), wardrobe cred­its (names of cloth­ing details and brands that released them). Done, you are amaz­ing!

How magazines select photos for publication

Let’s now look at what exact­ly mag­a­zine edi­tors are look­ing for when choos­ing pho­tos for the next issue.


It’s a fact that there has already been a series in the mag­a­zine at least once. Caviar takes care of this auto­mat­i­cal­ly and does not allow the same footage to be sent to anoth­er mag­a­zine that requires exclu­siv­i­ty. When you sub­mit your pho­tos to a mag­a­zine, choose the mag­a­zine thought­ful­ly. You can then send the same shots to anoth­er, but not any — as a rule, all the cool guys require exclu­siv­i­ty.

The name of this bow with­in the team is “no pants, but with a hat.” Pho­to: Olga Yon­sh / Top Posters Mag­a­zine: FASHION / August Issue, 2021

If a mag­a­zine claims pub­li­ca­tion exclu­siv­i­ty, it means that you and your team have promised not to post these pho­tos any­where before the agreed date (on the page with the appli­ca­tion there will be a line exclu­siv­i­ty ends with the date).

Nowhere is absolute­ly nowhere. If this agree­ment is not respect­ed, they threat­en not to pub­lish you, or even kick you out of the Cavyar plat­form. The like­li­hood that some­one will go to watch your sto­ries (espe­cial­ly before sub­mit­ting a series to a mag­a­zine), or that a for­eign mag­a­zine will check what you have on your VK wall, is min­i­mal, but you make such a promise by sub­mit­ting an appli­ca­tion.

Out­side of the Caviar plat­form, the terms and agree­ments on exclu­siv­i­ty will have to be checked and observed inde­pen­dent­ly.

Expe­ri­ence shows that the plea­sure of show­ing the world a pub­lished work with a mag­a­zine logo is worth the wait for the vouch­ers and the end of exclu­siv­i­ty. The wait can take from a cou­ple of weeks to sev­er­al months, warn the team.

Number and quality of photos

Mag­a­zines take a series of 4–8 frames on aver­age. Some­times it hap­pens from 2 right up to 28. If the series is accept­ed, you need to under­stand that most like­ly not all frames will be pub­lished, but a selec­tion of the best ones, accord­ing to the edi­tor. Give him plen­ty to choose from, but send only the best.

Most mag­a­zines ask for JPG for­mat, sRGB col­or pro­file, aspect ratio 8.5x11 for ver­ti­cal frames (300 dpi, 3300px long side) and 17x11 (300 dpi, 5100px long side) for hor­i­zon­tal. The spe­cif­ic require­ments of a giv­en jour­nal, if any, are always indi­cat­ed in the call for work descrip­tion.

To shoot in the swamp, the whole team must be ready to feed mos­qui­toes all day long.Photo: Olga Yon­sh / ELEGANT Mag­a­zine: ELEGANT (Octo­ber) 2021

If your work is very cool, and you are a lazy per­son, pho­tos will be accept­ed in any pro­por­tions, as long as the size is right. But then the lay­out design­er will have to cut your mas­ter­piece to the desired pro­por­tions at his dis­cre­tion, and he should have time for this. Time, it would seem, is non­sense, but you have one series, and the lay­out design­er has a full mag­a­zine. Respect the work of oth­ers and increase your chances of get­ting pub­lished by doing what you are asked to do.

Mag­a­zines love it when a series has both hor­i­zon­tal and ver­ti­cal frames. When the fram­ing in the series has both a large and medi­um, and a gen­er­al plan, and details.


Almost every­one demands that the mod­els change make­up, bows (from look — look, this is what the mod­el is wear­ing) and — this is impor­tant — that dif­fer­ent brands appear in the descrip­tion of clothes. If there is only one brand, it will be tak­en for an adver­tise­ment and reject­ed, if the bow is one in six frames — we are still talk­ing about fash­ion here — some (but not all!) Mag­a­zines may reject your appli­ca­tion for this rea­son.

And let the onion parts be from dif­fer­ent brands. If you are work­ing with a cloth­ing design­er, call an acces­so­ry design­er as well, or add a cou­ple of non-design­er details. You can write some­thing like “mom­my’s chest, grand­ma’s clos­et, styl­ist prop­er­ty” in the descrip­tion of cloth­ing items if you do not know or for some rea­son do not want to men­tion the brand in the pub­li­ca­tion.

How­ev­er, there may be excep­tions to these rules. I had a series sent to me by Imi­rage Mag­a­zine about one mod­el, in one look, with the same make-up and in 2:3 frame pro­por­tions, because I’m lazy. The appli­ca­tion was accept­ed, and not just accept­ed, but giv­en a cov­er! Do what makes your eyes burn, don’t get hung up on tech­ni­cal para­me­ters, don’t com­pli­cate for the sake of com­pli­cat­ing, and try, try new things!

The frame, which even­tu­al­ly became the cov­er, was sug­gest­ed by the make­up artist, I did not want to shoot it in advance. Pho­to: Olga Yon­sh / IMI­RAGEmagazine – July 2021 – Issue 1029

How much does it cost to publish photos in a magazine

Pub­li­ca­tion in many pub­li­ca­tions, includ­ing very cool ones, is free. How­ev­er, there are ful­ly paid edi­tions, guar­an­teed paid pub­li­ca­tions (with more pho­tos per upload), pay for pub­li­ca­tion on the cov­er, speed­ing up the pub­li­ca­tion of your work in a mag­a­zine, and oth­er options, in each par­tic­u­lar pub­li­ca­tion.

And in some cas­es, you may be refused in these options (by return­ing the mon­ey), read care­ful­ly what you agree to. I have no expe­ri­ence in using paid ser­vices on Cavyar, so I can’t give spe­cif­ic advice.

What should not be forgotten

When fill­ing out the appli­ca­tion, you will enter data about the entire team under each frame. Here you need to be care­ful — do not for­get any­one, do not seal any­where. It is bet­ter to ask the team in advance how to write their names in Latin let­ters cor­rect­ly and how they want to be signed in the pub­li­ca­tion. If you make a mis­take and want to cor­rect this infor­ma­tion lat­er, this is a paid ser­vice in all mag­a­zines.

They usu­al­ly write Sur­name Name, a sep­a­rate line — an account on Insta­gram. All the fields that need to be filled in on Caviara are signed, much is auto­mat­ed, it is dif­fi­cult to make a mis­take, but a mis­take will cost mon­ey or an apol­o­gy to the team mem­ber whose last name you have dis­tort­ed.

Photographer’s copyright when published in a magazine

Mod­els’ eyes are watch­ing your copy­rights. Pho­to: Olga Yon­sh / Bril­liant Mag­a­zine: JULY 2021

It is impor­tant to clar­i­fy here that the author of the arti­cle is inter­est­ed in copy­right in a min­i­mal amount. In order to send pho­tographs to a mag­a­zine, receive loose-leaf sheets and rejoice in the recog­ni­tion of your work by some­one oth­er than your moth­er, deep knowl­edge of this issue is not required. If you are afraid of pit­falls, dis­cuss this issue with a spe­cial­ist before sub­mit­ting an appli­ca­tion.

The author of the arti­cle is pub­lished in mag­a­zines, par­tic­i­pates in exhi­bi­tions and exists on the Inter­net under a fic­ti­tious cre­ative pseu­do­nym, which is not legal­ly fixed in any way and is not asso­ci­at­ed with a pass­port name. And it does not have any dis­ad­van­tages for itself.

If you need pub­li­ca­tions for a unique tal­ent visa or oth­er activ­i­ties that require a clear con­nec­tion between you and your achieve­ments, you may need to go the oth­er way, and con­sult­ing with a copy­right lawyer is def­i­nite­ly nec­es­sary here.

Since the cre­ation of a pho­to­graph, the pho­tog­ra­ph­er is con­sid­ered its author. The copy­right hold­er too. In order to sub­mit pho­tographs to the mag­a­zine through Caviar, you will have to check the box in front of the phrase “I am the copy­right hold­er of the works in this sub­mis­sion”. That is, a pho­tog­ra­ph­er can send pho­tos to a mag­a­zine, but you don’t need to ask a make-up artist, retouch­er or styl­ist about it, although they can also cre­ate a port­fo­lio on this site and pub­lished pub­li­ca­tions will be dis­played on their pages.

Do I need a mod­el release in order to pub­lish pho­tographs of peo­ple in a mag­a­zine? Mag­a­zines and Caviar do not require it. Sub­mit­ting pho­tos to a mag­a­zine is for non-com­mer­cial use. Do you under­stand why you need it and love papers? Sign up.

By sub­mit­ting pho­tos to the mag­a­zine, you give the mag­a­zine the right to pub­lish pho­tos in its social net­works, on the web­site and print in cir­cu­la­tion. This does not affect your right to be an author in any way, it does not make the jour­nal the exclu­sive copy­right hold­er.


Now, where we filmed it, there is a wardrobe for jack­ets. Pho­to: Olga Yon­sh / AGAR ! MO Mag­a­zine: FEBRUARY 2021

Now you know much more about how to get into mag­a­zines than I did at the time of the first approved appli­ca­tion. Go ahead. See what oth­er teams are doing, get inspired, act bold! And remem­ber, in extreme cas­es, strangers will tell you “No.” This is not a rea­son to stop doing what you are doing. One mag­a­zine will refuse, anoth­er will agree.

By the way, no one for­bade send­ing your series to sev­er­al mag­a­zines at the same time or send­ing what was filmed a year, two, three years ago, just remem­ber about exclu­siv­i­ty.

And nev­er give in to the lack of tech­ni­cal means, equip­ment, mon­ey, the best moment. This series accept­ed in the Span­ish AGAR ! MO Mag­a­zine, filmed in the hall­way of the make­up artist’s apart­ment with the light from a phone flash­light through a glass of water, a lava lamp and cling film.