jason ulsrud of photillustrator featured on the cover of richardson living magazine in dallas tx

4 Principles to Getting Your Composites Published

Have you ever thought, “How do I take my Composite Photography to the Next Level and get my work published?”

Whether you’re looking to market your photography, be recognized for all your hard work, or like me, just want more eyeballs to see your crazy Composited Portraits, one thing is for sure…

Getting your work published will accomplish all three and much more.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone into Barnes & Noble and flipped through the photography magazines wondering, “I’m just as good as these photographers, so how in the hell do I get in here?”

Going through every magazine I can find, writing down who the editors are and their emails, who the art directors are and their contact info, the address of the magazine, and any other director, creative, or chief something-or-other just to see if I could get my work published.

art magazines at barnes and noble

Admittedly, not much has changed for me since then except for the fact that I’ve actually had my Composites published.

Setting the Stage to get Published

I’m going to just say it because if you’re anything like me, you just expect amazing SH!T to happen because you’re awesome.

Unfortunately, it takes a lot more than being awesome for SH!T to just happen.

photo composite of davis street tattoo in dallas texas

BTW… This is the Composite I created for Davis Street Tattoo here in Dallas, TX, which I did for no money and brought me one paid family portrait and the cover of Richardson Living magazine.

Not a bad deal, huh?

For the average mortal, however, it takes being awesome several days, weeks, months, and maybe even years in a row to get SH!T to happen.

I say “average mortal” because there are those lucky photographers who seem to just hit the jackpot and shoot right to the top very quickly.

If you’re like 99.9% of us photographers who don’t experience such luck, “Setting the Stage” to get your work seen and publish simply takes consistent hard work over time.

I know, I know…

You thought creating a couple of cool Composites would be enough to get you published somewhere, right?

Yeah, so did I and that’s the very reason I’m not going to blow a bunch of smoke up your daisy dukes, or kilt’s if you’re fortunate enough to be from Ireland. (I’ve never been, but Ireland looks so damn amazing. How could you ever create an ugly Composite in Ireland?)

Ok, here’s the truth about getting your work published.

The Core Principles of Getting Published

When it comes to Photillustrator and the uniquely different family portraits I create, I have always lived by 1 Core Principle, which is to just Make Awesome Pictures.

jason ulsrud of photillustrator featured on the cover of richardson living magazine in dallas tx

jason ulsrud of photillustrator featured on the cover of richardson living magazine in richardson tx

This Core Principle is the secret sauce behind getting my work and your work published in a magazine.

Core Principle #1: Make Awesome Pictures

For the most part, crappy Composites don’t get published, so the first step to getting your work published is to simply Make Awesome Pictures.

Whether you’re a senior portrait photographer, a wedding photographer, a portrait photographer, a commercial photographer, a fashion photographer, a landscape photographer, a photographer of nudes \m/, or a crazy family portrait photographer like me, the bottom line is you have to Make Awesome Pictures.

Awesome gets noticed.

Core Principle #2: Keep Making Awesome Pictures

If you’ve done more than a couple of Photo Composites, then you’ll also know it’s super easy to get frustrated, burnt out, and down on your work. And when I say down, I mean really down, to the point where all you want to do is regular photography.

Can you imagine doing “regular” photography again?

Every single time I’ve ever gotten burnt out or down about my work, or get burnt out and down about my work today, I just keep telling myself “Keep Making Awesome Pictures!”

Getting through these “Burn Outs” and “Down” times is absolutely required if you ever want to get your work published.

Core Principle #3: Consistently Make Awesome Pictures

Imagine if GnR only played 4 gigs when they were starting out, or if Justin Bieber were to have only released 6 YouTube videos when he started singing.

Do you think I would have ever caught the rose Axl threw into the audience at their concert in 1992 with Metallica, or that my son Niko would be sporting the Bieber cut hairstyle today?

Hell No!

The reason Guns and Roses is one of the greatest bands to ever walk the planet earth and Justin Bieber is one of the most annoying singers to ever grace the planet is because they Consistently Produced.

If you ever want to be recognized and published for the Composites you create, you’ve got to Consistently Make Awesome Pictures.

Core Principle #4: Consistently Make Awesome Pictures for a Long Time

It’s one thing to be good, but it’s an entirely NEXT LEVEL thing to be great at what you do.

Make 1 Awesome Picture = Nice Start
Make 2 Awesome Pictures = Coolness
Make 3 Awesome Pictures = Great
Make 4 Awesome Pictures = I’ve seen that before
Make 5 Awesome Pictures = You’ve got a style
Make Many Awesome Pictures = Get Noticed
Make Many Awesome Pictures for a Long Time = Get recognition and published

If your goal is to get your work published then you have to create enough Awesome Pictures to make publishers and editors take notice.

Every single Awesome Picture you put out into the world speaks for you, and the more you have out there, the better your chances are of getting noticed and offered a place in the magazine.

And hopefully, that place will be the cover.

Now, Make Some Awesome Pictures

In theory, these 4 Core Principles of getting your Composites Published are all nice and fluffy but put into practice, these Core Principles are Game Changers.

How many photographers have ever given you the advice to just Keep Making Awesome Pictures?

Want to get better at Composite Photography? Keep Making Awesome Pictures! Want to make a living at Composite Photography? Keep Making Awesome Pictures! Want to travel the world doing photography? Keep Making Awesome Pictures! Want to get your work published? Keep Making Awesome Pictures!

Now, leave a comment below and share your first step to Making Awesome Pictures.

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