I've written a lot about getting published over the years, but it seems like a good time to talk exclusively about magazine covers. How many times have you looked at a cover, at least within the photography sector and said, “My work is better.” Or maybe you said, “I could have shot that.” (Of course nobody says that with a Gregory Heisler cover!) Well, the point is you didn’t, but you also didn’t do anything to go after the cover and another photographer did!
I can’t speak for other magazines, but I can speak for my Rangefinder days and with both print and online publications, today there are more opportunities for cover shots. Here are some things to think about:
But the biggest point of all relates to just being patient and following through on the process. If you’ve never been published, then work to build a relationship with the magazine’s staff. Submit work that's relevant to the magazine and never submit anything but your very best work! Don’t attack the book looking for a cover shot. Instead, submit your work for editorial consideration, because it’s interesting, there’s a story behind the technology or there’s something newsworthy about the images and your style.
Being published with a cover shot is one of the highest honors any photographer can hope for. It’s a slow process, but so worth it when you finally catch that first break.
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