If you are just starting out in the photography market and want to know how to get started, going to the big name magazines will not work. There is a book out there for photographers called Photographers Market. This book is a invaluable tool for the starting out photographer, it is a good tool for the veteran is well. This book will give you contacts to get started and continue in the market for years to come. It also has lots of tips on how to run your business and templates for paper work you may need.
If you are just starting out go through this book and find some contacts that are related to the interest you are going for. In here it will tell you if the company is willing to work with someone just starting out. Get you a list of about 10 or so and follow there submission guidelines. You will either need to phone, mail, or email them in. You should do this at least a couple of times a week. Keep track of submissions you have out and any samples they may have.
While your submissions are out continue to go out and shoot more photographs. Keep building up your portfolio and strengthening it with high quality images. If you need to make an income while doing this you can sign up with a stock agency and market through them. The stock industry takes time to break into also, but it is a good supplemental income for a freelance photographer. You may be offered samples of your work for payment from some of the magazine companies, this will help you in the long run. If the tear sheets were done in a fashionable way then this will strengthen your portfolio more than photographs alone. Having previously published work in your portfolio shows editors that you have delivered in the past and can in the future. If the previous editor did a bad job with your work leave it out this will only ruin you not help.
Continue to learn and practice you will never be to good for practice. Rent or purchase lots of books, if you find a photographer that you like there work buy there books and learn from them. Read lots of magazines and pay attention to photographs you like. You don’t want to copy these pictures, but they will give you an idea of what you would like to do. Sign up for conferences and take classes at your local college. It does not hurt to keep yourself out there learning new techniques. After you have been published a few times and have gotten yourself some decent tear sheets for your portfolio you can start submitting to a step higher of clients. If you did a good job for previous clients expect to hear from them in the future when they need something along your lines. It is good to build relationships like this it can become a continues income for you.
It also helps to have the best and latest photography gear. Check out a selection of webshops below and strike yourself a deal that will help you break into the photography market more easily.