Liz's tips - How to submit to pin up magazines for publication!
Jan 29, 2019 | By: Liz Huckleby
I have some good news and I have some bad news. I'll start with the bad, which isn't that bad at all, but I am officially announcing that I no longer am able to promise publication assistance to every client. I did it for years and my photography was published in various magazines around the world well over 100 times, and while I am extremely proud of that, it was also extremely exhausting and took time away from other work obligations. And since the majority of magazines are independent and do not pay for publication, and are a bit tedious with forms to be filled out and info to be obtained from the model, it has become too much work for me to handle alone for multiple people every month. The good news is that most magazines accept submissions from models just as much as from photographers. In many cases there is a lot less back and forth if the model handles the submission because when I submit I am just playing middle man and having the client fill out forms or write a bio, so most of the time my participation in the submission process is unnecessary work that the model can handle directly. But I'm not leaving you in the dark! I'm going to walk you through how to submit and give you some tips I've learned in the past 5 years of being a published photographer.
Step 1 - Find the magazine you want to submit to, and find out what they want.
Submitting photos to a magazine is actually pretty easy. Usually you just figure out what magazine you want to submit to, and then locate their submission instructions and do what they say. The easiest way to figure out what a magazine is looking for is to look at their social media posts, they are usually very vocal about the type of submissions they are accepting. You can usually locate detailed submission instructions in a highlighted section on the magazine's Facebook page, or on their website there is often a submissions link. A quick search under the term "pinup magazine" on Facebook pulls up dozens to choose from. Just make sure when you find a magazine's Facebook page to verify that they have been making recent posts. There are a lot of out of business magazines that still have pages up on social media.
Step 2 - Follow the magazine's submission instructions exactly
Some magazines will only accept photos that haven't been posted online, some magazines are looking for images to fit a particular theme, some are happy with anything pin up related, and some want other things. Every magazine varies so if you want to have a better chance at having your photos published you need to follow the instructions exactly as listed, as some magazines will throw out submissions without even looking at them if their instructions have not been followed. Most magazines will want you to fill out their release form and include it with the submission. Some want a short bio about yourself submitted with your photos. Just read and do exactly what they say and you should be good! NOTE TO MY CLIENTS ON HIGH RESOLUTION FILES - I no longer provide high res files to clients unless they are specifically purchased, but if a set is accepted for publication I will be happy to forward the necessary photos to the magazine. Just submit with your watermarked files and note somewhere in your submission email that your photographer will forward high res files upon acceptance. If they accept you for publication, all you have to do is email me the magazine and which photos they need and I'll handle getting the photos to them for print.
Step 3 - Be patient and wait! Most of the independent pin up magazines are run by an individual as a hobby or side job, and sometimes it will take a bit to hear back from a magazine to confirm if they want to use your photos. And if they choose not to use your photos? That's just showbiz. Instead of worrying too much about why, just accept that your photos weren't a good fit for that particular magazine, and try submitting to another one.
- Decide if you want to be published under your own name or under a model name or alias. The magazine will want to know that information immediately so make sure you know before you submit.
- Take time to prepare your bio, don't send anything too short or too long. Most magazines are looking for something 3-5 sentences long that talks about who you are, where you are from, and what you do. They don't have room to print 4 paragraphs and they don't want to have to spend time editing what you send, so keep it short and sweet. And have someone else read it or use a spell/grammar checker to make sure it sounds well written and professional.
- Don't take shortcuts. If you want to be a model then take the submission process seriously. Read the instructions thoroughly and follow them. Magazines don't want to waste time having to contact you again asking for stuff that was outlined in their submission instructions.
- Keep in mind that in the pinup industry magazine publication is a fun opportunity but not very lucrative. Most published models do not receive payment for their publication. It is completely normal to have to buy the magazine you are published in if you want a copy.
- If you know you want to submit a set, don't post photos from it it on social media till you know the magazine you are submitting to is okay with that. Some magazines have very strict rules about being the first to showcase a set of photos and will check a model's social media to make sure it hasn't been shown before they agree to publish. So if you have submission in mind for a shoot, don't splash the photos all over social media as soon as you get the edits back. Many magazines ask that you wait till after the magazine comes out. Others don't care. Take the time to find out.
- If you do get published, make sure to let me know! I often like to buy a copy for myself, and I love to promote your publication on my social media, so don't be afraid to send me a selfie with your copy, or a photo off your tear sheet!
And to end, here is a random assortment of some past tear sheets from publications I have had: