Ever wonder if there’s a secret formula to getting your photos published in a magazine? There isn’t. But there are a few things that will push your work to the front of the pack. Here are three pieces of advice from our editors.

1) Go for color. Black-and-white photos are beautiful, but most magazines publish them sparingly. Your best bet is to use vibrant but natural-looking color—go easy on the saturation levels. Though there is such thing as too subtle: High-key, white-on-white images, striking as they are, will let whatever’s printed on the page behind show through. Conversely, images with a lot of black, brown, and gray often become muddy in the printing process.

2) Rotate your camera. Most photographers shoot horizontally, but magazines are printed vertically. Think you’ll get your photo splashed across a two-page spread? It’s a long shot. Single pages are much more common, and verticals fill them perfectly—just look at our monthly Picture Doctor and Backstory. So submitting verticals will instantly get you noticed.

3) Think four months ahead. The way fashion designers debut their spring lines in the fall, monthly magazines often work a season or two ahead. While it may be snowing outside, we’re already thinking of spring—send us your warm-weather shots now, and they’ll be timed perfectly for publication later in the year.
—Kathleen Davis
Assistant Editor