For a model, getting your images published in a magazine never gets old. It’s a goal you strive to for when you’re first starting out, and once you achieve your first publication it just fuels the fire to get more.
As exciting as getting booked for a publication may be, there are often many rules associated with it that many models aren’t aware of, especially if it’s their first time shooting for a magazine.
In this post, I’ll go over the main thing to be aware of when it comes to shooting for a publication to help models avoid making mistakes that could potentially cause issues with the client or agency.
When shooting for a magazine, it is often shot months in advance of when it will actually be released so that the publication has time to select and edit the photos, set the storylines and layout, and then send it all to print and distribution. Because of this, there are very detailed guidelines for models, photographers and other crew members to follow when on-set shooting for that publication.
With social media being pretty much second nature, many models and crew members will take BTS (behind the scenes) images and post without a second thought. On most publication sets, this is a huge no-no. A BTS shot or two may not seem like a big deal, but once posted on socials, you've pretty much exposed the whole concept of the shoot, even if you didn’t share images from the full set.
Not sure what the guidelines are or what you should or shouldn’t do? Ask! When you arrive on set and get the low-down on the day or while you’re in hair and makeup, ask the producer or photographer what is and isn’t OK to post. Some are ok with you posting your outfits or little sneak peeks from set, some will encourage you to take a lot of BTS content but only share after the publication has been released to the public, and others have a very strict no-phone period policy.
Before taking and especially before posting any images from set, make sure you ask and have a very clear understanding of what’s acceptable!
The same guidelines apply for instances where the photographer or producer sends you sneak peeks of the images from the actual shoot. Sometimes they may even send you a digital version of the publication ahead of time just so you can see it. While it's always really exciting to see the final images, do not share them to your socials or send them to your agents to add them to your portfolio until after the publication is released. This may mean waiting 6 or more months before you can let any of those images see the light of day, but that’s just how the publication process works.
Failing to comply with these guidelines could result in consequences as severe as getting your spread in that publication dropped entirely. What does that mean, exactly? The magazine can no longer consider it for publication because the concept that they were going to use was exposed to the public prior to them releasing it. Not only would having your feature dropped be a huge bummer for you, but it would be a big hit for the publication tot take. Their storylines are curated far in advance, and spreads for the entire year are set well before they ever start shooting and creating the content for them. If they have to drop one simply because you couldn’t help but share a selfie, you can guarantee that your agent will be calling you and you will never be asked to work for that publication again.
It also doesn't take long for word to circulate about a model who caused a concept to be pulled or had a submission disqualified for not following the guidelines. Even if the consequence is slim, it's not a good reflection on the model from a professional standpoint.
Not all magazines are super strict about their guidelines, but when you get booked for a publication photoshoot, make it a habit of following any rules, guidelines or instructions given when it comes to what you can and cannot post online prior to the publication release. And if you aren’t sure- ask!