11 Editorial Photography Tips & ideas to Style Like Magazine

Updated on March 10, 2023 in Photography by

11 Editorial Photography Tips & ideas to Style Like Magazine

Editorial Photography is the kind of photography we’re most familiar with. It is a vital segment of fashion and journalism.

You must’ve seen the fashion magazines that display amazing photographs alongside the text – That is editorial style photography.

This article will discuss the Best Editorial Photography Tips to help you understand it better and get you featured in the magazines (Let’s hope!)

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What is Editorial Photography?

guide on what is Editorial Photography

Editorial photography is a style used in magazines and newspapers alongside text, stories, and messages to convey them more effectively.

This style of photography mainly includes fashion and portrait photography that is later polished with some editorial photo editing service to enhance its look.

Sometimes this photography niche is used to convey a message or a story without using any text around it.

Difference between Commercial and Editorial Photography

Commercial and Editorial Photography

Some of the most common forms of commercial photography are product and advertising photography. This niche is focused on selling products.

On the other hand, editorial photography ideas include styles like fashion photography and portrait photography.

It aims towards sharing a message, conveying a story, spreading awareness about a topic/issue, etc.

The difference between commercial photography and editorial photography is that it always focuses on selling the product by making it appealing.

Whereas editorial style photography may not be with regards to selling, but would undoubtedly be related to sharing a message, a story, or an issue.

11 Editorial Photography Tips & ideas to Style Like Magazine

1. Know The Story

Know The Story - Editorial Photography

Unlike Product photography, the following style requires an image to be self-explanatory and catchy.

Moreover, the core difference between fashion photography and editorial portrait photography is the aim of telling a story through an image.

Hence, before you start your shoot, make sure you know every aspect of the story you share.

In addition, working on the projects that you are also interested in and invested in personally would help you know what you would like to show the audience.

For example, if you are working on a story on woman empowerment, which resonates with you, too, the chance of you getting the job done in the best possible manner is exceptionally high.

2. Communicate with the Model

Communicate with the Model - Editorial photography

Communication is the key to any photography style. Still, with the critical increase in the following niche, you must ensure that your model knows the story or message you are trying to convey.

Pro-tip: meet your model and try building a professional relationship with them. Share the concept and the ideas that you are aiming for.

This would allow both you and the model to know what you are trying to project through the following shoot and how you are planning to move forward with the shoot.

This would also help you avoid portrait photography mistakes, where facial expression is crucial in making your audience understand what photographers want to communicate.

3. Have a Liquid Concept

Have a Liquid Concept - Editorial Photography

Let us be clear that knowing the story, having a concept, and sticking to it are all three different things.

There can be different objectives and ideas that may come up at any point during the shoot preparation.

If the editor asks you to switch your concept, be ready and acceptable to their choice and demand.

Not only would it give you a preference over other editorial photographers, but it would also make you a preferred choice for all future projects.

Editors like photographers who are quick on their feet and can get them the best work even with closet deadlines. This doesn’t mean that you need to drop off your pre-committed work.

If possible, postpone it or if not possible, inform your editor about the commitments and how it wouldn’t be possible to change the concept at the last moment.

4. Prepare your Location

Prepare your Location - Editorial photography

Once the concept and aim of your shoot are clear, it’s time for you to find the perfect location for your shoot.

If you are shooting indoors, setting up the lighting, playing with the shadows, and having sample shoots ready would be your preferred step here.

But if the shoot demands you step out outdoors, you would need to consider other factors too.

This includes the crowd, the location, the lighting of the site, the time of the shoot, the climate of the place, and the background.

If you are a beginner, we suggest you start indoors with studio photography where factors are in your control, learn editorial style photography and then gradually step outdoors.

5. Brief your Team

Brief your Team - Fashion Photography

You might need a team to carry forward the shoot successfully.

Unlike product photography, where just you can carry forward with the requirement, fashion photography and portrait photography for an editor would require you to brief your team.

You must be aware of people invested in the shoot about the story or the message behind it and what you are planning.

This allows every member to know what would work best for the shoot and understand what the result should look like.

6. Be open to Suggestions

Be open to Suggestions - Editorial Photography

While we are on the topic of working with the team, allow us to add an essential point here.

You may not always be correct, or sometimes your teammate may come up with a better idea than yours. 

Rather than putting it down, see if you can carry forward with it.

Even if you can’t, tell them why the idea couldn’t be carried out and how it can be used in different scenarios.

7. Experiment with your Props

Experiment with your Props - Editorial Photography

Product Photography may restrict one from using props, but fashion photography and portrait photography don’t.

Instead, if your prop can make it easy for the viewer to understand what you are trying to say, using the props can be commendable.

In addition, if you are using props, you can use them in unconventional ways to attract the viewer.

To ensure you get the best use of the props, we suggest you experiment with them and get sample shots to show to the editor.

8. Learn Compositions

Learn Compositions - Editorial Photography

Composition techniques are one of the most crucial factors that can make or break your photography career.

To scale it well, you must know the best composition you can try in the following shoot.

In editorial photography, you need to make sure that the story is outspoken and doesn’t need any external text to speak for it.

To do it conventionally and effectively, the best practice would be to know various competition techniques.

To start with, here are the 24 best composition techniques that you must learn.

9. Have a Schedule

Have a Schedule - Editorial Photography

Editorial photography often demands quick concepts and styles to ensure that the story you share stays relevant and exciting for the audience.

While trying to ensure your message is visible from the image, you must stay on your schedule.

The best way to learn and experiment would be during the preparation of the shoot or when you are running test shoots before the actual day of the shoot.

Also, note that if you are on a tight schedule and your editor wishes to get the editorial photography ideas done as soon as possible, have the composition, the tone, the background, and other factors pre-decided.

In addition, having an inspirational lookbook where you could get ideas and discuss with the editor what the result may look like would also speed up your work schedule.

10. Understand Tonality

Understand Tonality - Editorial Photography

One of the essential factors while sharing a story is its tonality. Be it the tone of writing it or the style of capturing the tone in photography.

While setting up the light and the background, ensure they complement the story and the message you share with the audience.

For example, a Red tone might not be commonly seen, but it is a tone of warmth and energy.

It can be used to convey our strength or danger. Similarly, Green tonality gives a sense of freshness, Violet’s tone makes the people feel more authentic, and Yellow finally makes the image look rich and cheerful.

Understanding and using the tone wisely can make your editorial photography career skyrocket.

11. Enhance with Photo Editing

Editorial photography is all about high-quality photos that convey class, professionalism, and high-end skill.

The images you see in the magazines are all captured with good digital camera brands and are polished using excellent model photo editing techniques.

You can either edit your editorial photography by yourself, or you may also choose to outsource the work to image editing services.

Services like PixelPhant have professionals who can edit thousands of images within a few hours.

When you outsource your work, you get expert assistance, save time, and invest in a helpful resource.

How do you become an Editorial Photographer?

If you have read the article here, we are sure you will soon become one of the best editorial photographers. But here are three key takeaways you must follow to become a recognizable editorial photographer in your niche.

Build your Portfolio

Steps to become an editorial photographer - Build your Portfolio
Source- adorama.com

If you are just starting your editorial portrait photography career, the chances of people investing their time, trust, and money are comparatively few.

To convince them, you need to show your previous work; the best way to do so is by having a portfolio.

Not just online but also in a physical form, take it to the editors and show them your work.

An online portfolio is suitable for awarding people about your work, and an offline portfolio is to close a contract with a client.

Targeted Networking

Steps to becoming an editorial photographer - Targeted Networking

Whom would you like to work with as your client? Knowing this will allow you to take steps toward your goal and help you work in the following manner.

In addition, it will help you network with your targeted clients and understand more about the industry.

Networking is crucial, especially in a photography career where most clients are based on referrals.

Submitting to Image Publication

Steps to become an editorial photographer - Submitting to Image Publication

If you are just at the start of your editorial photography career, waiting for work to come to you will have made an effort to reach out.

Thanks to the internet, you can now do it directly from home.

First, find the magazines that are accepting the submissions. Sort them based on your preferences and the style of photography that aligns with you. Now pitch them your idea and your portfolio, and wait for their response.

This is the cold email technique, but getting your job and clients would be much quicker and easier if your work starts getting recognized.

Building Relationships with the magazine

Steps to become an editorial photographer - Building Relationships with the magazine

To make sure that you profit well from your photography business, you must retain your older clients while building new relationships. Getting to work with a magazine is a massive opportunity for every photographer.

It is essential that when you are working with a magazine, you display your best clicks to leave a good impression. Fashion image editing is a great way to enhance your editorial photography.

I am focusing so much on the editing work because if you don’t choose to do it, the other professionals already are. When it comes to editorial photography, you’d see that the images are flawless, and the flaws left uncorrected are all intentional.

Editing is a rare skill. You must ensure that you edit the images while maintaining the image’s naturality, which isn’t easy to achieve.

If you’ve to work with a magazine, ensure that your photography and editing stand out.

Bottom Line

Getting started with the best editorial photography tips and ideas seems to be a straight path. You tweak your mindset, add new pictures and capture some fantastic editorial portrait photography for magazines and newspapers.

With the above editorial style photography guide, all you need to do now is think of a concept, follow these steps and get ready to publish them.

Do you know how to read them? By making sure all the imperfections are removed, the color aligns with your vision, and the focus is on your main subject.

To help you do that, you can outsource your editorial style photography to PixelPhant.

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