How to Get Published in a Magazine as a Model
From modeling agencies to how clients find new faces, the industry has learned to grow and adapt to the times. This includes magazines.
Getting published in a magazine as a model is one of the most coveted goals, as it should be. In the past it was much more challenging to figure out how to get into a magazine, especially for female and male models not represented by an agency and/or didn't meet the physical requirements (aka "the height factor") to be considered for modeling jobs in the fashion category.
But that has now all changed thanks to technology and the Internet. There are more magazines out there than you can shake a stick at and that means even more opportunities to get published, both in hard copy and digitally. That being said, where do you begin your journey towards appearing in a magazine?
Facebook - If you do a search on Facebook for "Fashion Magazines," the search results will turn up a score of magazine titles/profiles. The first category that will come up in the search results is "Pages" for those magazines.
Visit each one and "Like" the page. The next step is to go through the FB page of each publication to learn more about them, what they represent, the type of photography/models they look for and what their website is to really dive into what they're all about.
Instagram - If you do a search on IG for "Fashion Magazines" or "Magazine," the profiles of various publications will also pop up for you to explore. Follow, comment and "Like" the posts of the publications you are interested in potentially appearing in.
Like FB Pages, on IG you want to see if they list their website link and visit that in addition to whatever activity you do on their Instagram profile. Because IG is visual, the magazine may not have a ton of info listed, such as how to submit your photos for publication, which is why locating the website is important.
FIND OUT WHAT THEY WANT
Do not--I repeat DO NOT--contact magazine publications and ask how to be a model for them! This is a big no-no. Why? Because they specifically put submission information/instructions/guidelines on their websites and social media pages that literally tell you how to submit.
If you've read enough of my blog posts, you already know that I'm going to say the following: good models follow directions.
It doesn't matter if you think you're going to be the next supermodel or even if you have tons of experience. Follow the rules like everyone else because magazines aren't going to chase anybody who isn't a bona fide celebrity status individual. They have plenty of people submitting to them so they're not going to go out of their way to hold your hand and explain to you what can easily be found on their site(s).
Being lazy or thinking everything will come to you is a surefire way to not get results.
The website will list in detail exactly what you need to give them, how they want the photos formatted, etc. If you don't follow it to a tee, your submission will be rejected.
PLAN IT OUT
The thing to know about magazines is that each issue has its own theme. It is very important that you pay attention to submission guidelines when it comes to what they're looking for. If one publication is planning on an issue focused on bridal fashion, you shouldn't send them photos that are haute couture, goth or some other theme. There's nothing they can do with those images so they won't be published anytime soon, if at all.
If you have a specific look you want to shoot and are committed to that, then look specifically for publications that are either actively looking for the theme you want to shoot for or that tend to be based soley on that theme (i.e. bridal magazines tend to focus only on bridal looks or variations of it).
Once you know what the publications are looking for, that will make it much easier to plan the next step, which is to...
PUT YOUR TEAM TOGETHER
The easiest way to get into a magazine is to have a photographer reach out to you with an offer to work together to get a submission to submit to a publication and go from there.
Don't have an offer on the table and are starting from square one? Then you'll want to start looking for the following people:
2) Makeup Artist
3) Hair Stylist
4) Wardrobe Stylist/Designer
Because magazines take themselves very seriously, you have to step up your game when it comes to the team you plan on working with for the submission. The odds of getting published will be high if you're working with professionals who have shot for magazines before or that do high quality work, which will be evident upon reviewing their portfolios.
This is where knowing how to network will come into play. If you have modeling experience already and have done a couple of shoots, you'll likely have a couple of people in mind to reach out to so do it. Let them know you want to submit to magazines, let them know which ones specifically and briefly tell them what you have in mind for the look/theme. Then go from there and make it happen.
Are you a complete newbie who doesn't have any kind of network established and aren't represented by an agency? Then you're going to need to step back just a bit and start doing test shoots with photographers in order to start gaining that on camera experience, build a solid portfolio and connect with people who will want to work with you on such a project since they've worked with you before. While not impossible, it will be harder to be taken seriously when you reach out to professionals if you have zero experience and no work to share for reference (duck-face selfies on IG do not count!).
What if you have an agency already? Well, chances are they're doing what they can behind the scenes to get you those opportunities. But it doesn't hurt to take things into your own hands and put together your own team to submit to publications if that's a goal you have. Your agent likely won't feel that you doing so is a threat to anything they're doing so let them know what you have planned and go for it. Chances are, they'll be cool with it and tell you to update them if you get chosen for publication.
PICK YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER WISELY
In most instances--not all--it is the photographer who will end up submitting the photos to the magazine. They're the ones who retouch the selected photos and will format everything according to the stated guidelines established by the publication. Having the photographer take care of that part of the process will be much less stressful for you as a model, especially if you're not tech savvy or good at that kind of thing.
As long as you're working with someone who is professional, does quality work, has a good reputation and has submitted to magazines (or had their work published), the fruit of your labors will be in good hands and will reach the powers that be at the publication with no issues.
NOW WHAT HAPPENS?
You wait. And wait. And wait. Hopefully, not for too long. Do NOT email/call or post on the magazine's profiles to ask if they got your submission, if they liked it, when will they make a decision, etc.
You did the hard work and now the harder part is seeing if they'll chose it for their upcoming issue. If it does get picked, believe me, you will be notified.
FOLLOW THE RULES ALL THE WAY THROUGH
Just as it's crucial to put the submission together according to what the magazine is looking for, it's just as important to follow through with what happens after the photos have been sent. I blogged previously about how vital it is to not share any photos from the shoot, including selfies and BTS flicks because if you do, magazines will consider it "published" and will automatically reject your submission.
If you're required to sign a contract or agreement of some type from the magazine if your submission gets chosen for publication, honor everything you're signing to--especially not posting images related to the shoot itself. It's okay to share that you'll be appearing in a magazine and what month the issue will come out but leave the visual aspect of photos out of it.
Keep a lid on things and be patient. The wait will be well worth the reward of then being able to share not only your selfies and BTS pictures but the actual images from the magazine itself.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Regardless of whether you have modeling experience or not, are repped by a modeling agent or not, if you want to be in a magazine, there are certain steps that need to be followed and if you do what you're supposed to, your submission will be on its way to hopefully getting selected for publication.
Because each magazine has its own set of guidelines for submission, I made sure to talk in more generalized terms for common situations. That's why you need to do your research and pick the magazine's you're interested in wisely.
FYI: magazines don't pay models to shoot for their publication. The tearsheets that you'll receive as a result are the compensation. Additionally, the team you work with to put together the submission will also be donating their time and expertise so don't get ahead of yourself and expect a photographer to pay you to be a part of the submission (there may be some cases where there is pay but not usually so don't expect it).
Submitting to magazines are labors of love and everyone has to be on the same page in knowing that by investing their time and efforts, they are working towards an end result everyone will be proud of and benefit from greatly.
And while I'm on the subject, support the publication by purchasing a hard copy of the magazine. You may get a free copy or free digital version to download and that's great for use in an online portfolio for digital tearsheets but don't demand that the magazine gives you a free hard copy (or several) if it isn't offered as part of the deal.
Encourage friends and family to buy the hard copies, too, if they want to show support. A magazine can only thrive if it has the money to keep things running. Put your money where your mouth is and contribute to the folks responsible for giving you the opportunity to be published.