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.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.