The Interior Design Business and Social Media Marketing Podcast: Wingnut Social

How the Heck Do You Get Featured in Magazines with Vanessa Helmick

April 17, 2019

Getting your work published in magazines can really set your interior design career on a steep trajectory. But how do you do it? And what work do you need to put in before submitting? Designer and recent cover girl Vanessa Helmick has you covered.

Vanessa Helmick is the owner and principal designer of Fiore Interiors in Portland, Maine. She was born and raised in California, but moved to the Northeast 10 years ago where she has established her firm as one of the best in the region. Her work has been featured in numerous magazines, and was recently on the cover of Maine Home + Design.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [2:15] A great story about Vanessa
  • [5:53] A big slo-mo hug for Vanessa
  • [8:03] A little about Vanessa
  • [9:36] How Vanessa has been featured in magazines
  • [16:03] Vanessa’s magazine debut
  • [18:30] Can you put a project on your website if it’s going in a magazine?
  • [22:52] Restaging an old project
  • [25:54] How Vanessa builds relationships with magazines
  • [29:54] How to style your shots when it’s difficult to photograph
  • [33:28] Whut up, Wingnut?

Connect with Vanessa Helmick

Resources & People Mentioned

Goodbye pay-to-play

Vanessa has had such great success getting features in various publications, most recently in Maine Home + Design, landing the cover. And one of the things she says that has helped her is the fact that design magazines are beginning to transition away from pay-to-play, which means the playing field is levelling.

But one of the key reasons she was able to get on the cover is because she had top-notch photos at the ready. She paid a lot of money to a photographer on a day rate, and got amazing photos of recent projects. And so when it was time to submit to Maine Home + Design’s design issue, she had the photos ready to send. And, it turned out, it wasn’t even the big, major project they selected. So it goes to show that if you want to land in a magazine, you have to have great shots of a diversity of projects.

You have to be just as choosy as a magazine

Vanessa told Darla and Natalie a really illuminating story about one of her first features in a magazine. It did not go as well as she had hoped, because the magazine sent a portrait photographer who didn’t have much experience with shooting interiors, and the photos didn’t come out that great and didn’t show her work in the best light. And so then when the magazine asked her again, she declined.

Declining to be covered by the magazine got the editor’s attention, and Vanessa explained that the last time they featured her the photos were unflattering to her work. So they then sent her an amazing photographer and she’s eagerly awaiting the release of that feature. And what’s interesting about that is that she picked a project from five years ago. So don’t just think about what you’ve done in the past few months. Think about your entire portfolio when it’s time to submit work to a publication.

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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