For those photographers wondering where to feature their photos, from glamour or boudoir to nude ones, tired of strickt social media “nude” policy, there is one option – called submission.
In the photographic industry currently exists more more than 100 online or printed magazines, even instagram “magazines” nowadays (yep, it’s a thing) , accepting submissions. Some of them, the online magazines are free (both submission or download) – created voluntarily by photographers who are passionate about photography, mostly shared in their community (by special theme, city they live in etc. ).
Then there are paid printed or online magazines. Cost to purchase one varies, from symbolic amount to mildly expensive.
The web submission on the other hand is similar, with one small difference – its basically confirmed you will get paid for that- if you create some exciting content, mostly sectioned as “soft erotica” (or classic erotica stuff).
There is so many options. How to choose the right one?
Web submission & Magazine submission – pros & cons
Think about this – magazines are like a collection of particularly themed photos, focused for a diffenent sections – for art nude fans, glamour or boudoir photographes, outdoor nude photoshoot etc. Its entertaining, exciting to see new photos or your favourite models, exploring new creative ideas for posing.
All magazines have own rules for submitting. There is a summary of my research:
- Firstly, you should set a theme you shoot – you might have an idea for a sexy steam punk photoshoot without any nudity, or some nice nude shapes and fine art nude shoot on the rocks, all depends on your creativity. It can be photos you have stored from last year, or it can be new planned photoshoot.
- Some extra work is to find out which magazine submit which theme – some of them are just nude magazines (even though a bit rare), some glamour, some steam punk, some focused on studio shoots. (see the list below). Have a look and check their past issues to get inspiration and ideas about what they are looking for – your chances will be much higher if you know what they are after.
- Photos should be exclusive & unpublished.
- You might submit around 6-30 photos, and there is a deadline for each issue and theme.
- Check their allowed sizes for a photos – most likely: portrait: 8.5 × 11 in, 300 dpi (2550 × 3300 px), Landscape: 17 × 11 in, 300 dpi (5100 × 3300 px) – images may be larger (them might be cropped)
- You must wait for magazines decision if you will try to submit elsewhere (some 3 days, some week.). Some magazines offering an option to get some “priority upgrade” – so you will get faster reply, usually up to 24 hours – paid, of course (varies, $5-$20).
- Some magazines would even agree to accept your photos, also happy to put some on the cover – if you paid for that either. I found magazines asking from $200 up to $1000 for that. Unless you are building a brand, this is complete waste of money.
Now check this:
“Once an image is accepted to be published, it grants us the permission to use your work in any of our publications, websites, videos, marketing pieces, advertisements, and any other mediums or formats used in the creation, dissemination, and monetisation of XXX Magazine.”
By agreeing with most of submissions you are loosing all rights to your photos. This is important especially if those magazines wants you to pay them for submission or featuring – the free magazines usually dont do that. (Yay.) Think about if it is worth it – what are the benefits you might get by being featured, but loosing all your photos.
Basically can be said that there is plenty of magazines happy to accept your photos – and the free or local magazines are most likely the best choice if you are hobby photographer, taking steps towards some bigger stuff or passionate photographer who wants to showcase some nice work done, or just for your personal portfolio. Not so strict rules about submitting, bigger creativity for photographer
+ Nice add to your portfolio
+ Option for a feedback
+ Different purpose why to grab a camera again if you are creatively exhausted
-You are not paid
-You will not get much publicity – people somehow think to get published & share it on social media will give them a lot of new followers. Nope, you might get really few new people following you, and after 5 minutes will be all forgotten.
– You are loosing rights to your photos
– Have to wait some certain time for response from the magazines before submitting to another one
Web submissions are not much about creativity – all you need is to follow their rules for a set of photos. You will need signed model release with proof of age and most likely their own release where you arwe giving them all rights for a photos (or videos.) Again, photos should be exclusive & unpublished.
- 90% of all submissions are “soft erotica” – this is what they sells, as not many people would buy a set of photos with fully dressed model
- you might submit around 40-120, depends on website (nicely or naturally edited) set of photos
- Set usually start with a model fully clothed and ending fully nude, on one place with same outfit or theme and setting
- You should use interesting location, to create a narrative. Websites has enough photos of model taking off her clothes on plain bed, thats why they are seeking something interesting and fresh. Thats also why they don’t accept any studio shoots (as the background is plain, and sort of boring.)
- Find the websites (or see the list below) which are accepting those submission – check some work published and read carefully their guidelines for submitting a set. And even though you might follow every single step, there still can be a rejection for any weird reason (like model is not smiling; model is too smily; the window in the background is weird or her lingerie does not match the outfit etc etc.)
- Some of the websites wants you to include a video, or at least the backstage video from the shoot
+ Once your photos are submitted, you get paid ($100-$500) – depends on level of photos
+ If the website likes your sets, you might collaborate with them on regular basis
+ Once your photos would be accepted, there is a chance you can become their official photographer
– Strict rules for submitting photos, not much creativity
– Loosing all rights to photos or videos definitely if submitted
– Websites might be looking for new faces so even though everything will be perfect, the model itself would not fit/ was published before etc. There can be a lot of obstacles.
You can find a suitable model, and can try to shoot more sets if the time allows. You can submit as many sets as you wish. Just don’t forget – every set of photos must be different.
Small list of magazine accepting free submission:
Kavyar.com – website where you can explore many international magazines
IoN Magazine (beauty and fine art nude)
Séduire Magazine (lingerie, boudoir, implied, denude and art nude)
Website & info
XPression Magazine (Fashion up to art nude)
Website & info
ModelSociety Magazine (full spectrum of human beauty and features the best figurative fine art in the world)
MiniMags, Audacious Magazine, Australian Model Swimsuit Magazine
By John Dobbin
Small list of websites accepting submissions:
“SuicideGirls” (adult lifestyle brand; pin up girls, girls with tattoos)
“MetArt” (Adult website)
“SteamGirls” (Neo-victorian erotica)
Website & info
They need to be 45-50 pics and full edited (but can be unedited for submission)
We accept all themes from fantasy to kawaii to fetish. So long as it’s stylized, interesting and the outfit makes sense with the location/background.
Do get naked by the 25th pic but feel free to leave on any accessories or socks and boots etc to keep it stylized. Do keep poses really creative.
Feel free to shoot in soft natural lighting (ie by a window or outside in shade) if the photographer isn’t sure of how to light the set.
Model retains the co-rights to her fav 8 pics to use as she pleases except for submitting to other websites or posting more than 1 on her patreon.
Photographer retains the co-rights to their fav 4 (must be 4 from the same choice as model) to use for portfolio use only and cannot remove the steamgirl/stylorotica watermark.
Once the set is accepted, I’ll send you both a release form to sign and a watermark to add to the photos.
For more info you can contact them via email: