11 Editorial Photography Tips To Mesmerize The Viewers

Updated on April 23, 2022 in Photography by

11 Editorial Photography Tips To Mesmerize The Viewers

Editorial Photography is the kind of photography we’re most familiar with. It is a vital segment of fashion and journalism. You must’ve come across the fashion magazines that display amazing photographs alongside the text – That is editorial photography.

In this article, we will be discussing the Best Editorial Photography Tips to help you understand it better and get you featured in the magazines (Let’s hope!)

Editorial Photography tips

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Now, before we dive right into it, let us see the key points that you are going to learn in this article.

  • What is editorial photography? 
  • What is the difference between commercial photography and editorial photography
  • 10 best editorial photography tips
  • How do you become an editorial photographer? 

So, let’s begin with editorial photography.

What is Editorial Photography?

Editorial Photography

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

This style of photography mainly includes fashion photography and portrait photography that is later polished with some model photo editing techniques to enhance its look. Sometimes this photography niche is used to convey a message or a story on its own without the need to use any text around it.

What is the difference between Commercial and Editorial Photography?

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

On the other hand, editorial photography includes 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 commercial photography is always focused on selling the product by making it appealing. Whereas, editorial photography may not be with regards to selling, but would surely be related to sharing a message, a story, or an issue.

10 Best Editorial Photography Tips

1. 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 photography is the aim of telling a story through an image.

Hence before you start your shoot make sure that you know each and every aspect of the story that you are sharing. In addition, working on the projects that you too are interested in and invested in personally would help you know what exactly would you like to show the audience.

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

2. Communicate with the Model

Editorial photography

Communication is the key in any photography style, but with the important increase in the following niche when you need to make sure that your model is aware of the story or the message that you are trying to convey.

Pro-tip, meet your model, and try building a friendly relationship on the concept and the aim of the shoot. 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 in avoiding portrait photography mistakes, where the facial expression would play a key role in making your audience understand what photographers want to communicate.

3. Have a Liquid Concept

Editorial Photography

Let us be very 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 preparation of the shoot.

If the editor asks you to switch your concept, be ready, acceptable to their choice and demand. Not only would it give you a preference over other editorial photographers but 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

Editorial photography

Once your 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 in case, the shoot demands you step out in the outdoors, you would need to consider other factors too.

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

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

5. 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.

It is important that you aware of people invested in the shoot about the story or the message behind it, and what you are planning is. This allows each and every member to know what would work best for the shoot and understand what the result should look like.

6. Be open to Suggestions

Editorial Photography

While we are on the topic of working with the team, allow us to add a very important point here. You may not always be right 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 the reason due to which the idea couldn’t be carried out and how it can be used in different scenarios.

7. Experiment with your Props

Editorial Photography

Product Photography may restrict one from the use of props but fashion photography and portrait photography doesn’t. Rather if your prop can make it easy for the viewer to understand what you are trying to say, using the props can turn out to be really commendable.

In addition, if you are using props, you can even use them in unconventional manners in order to attract the viewer. In order to make sure 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

Editorial Photography

Composition techniques are one of the most crucial factors that can make or break your photography career. In order to scale it well, it is very important that you are aware of the best composition that you can try in the following shoot.

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

Editorial Photography

Editorial photography often demands quick concepts and photography styles in order to make sure that the story that you are sharing stays relevant and interesting for the audience. While you are trying to make sure that your message is clearly visible from the image, it is very important that you stay on your schedule.

The best way to learn and experiment would be during the preparation of the shoot or when you have a considerable quick shoot to carry out a new shoot. Also, note that if you are on a tight schedule and your editor wishes to get the editorial photography 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 end result may look like would also speed up your work schedule.

10. Understand Tonality

Editorial Photography

One of the most important factors while sharing a story is its tonality of it. Be it the tone of writing it or the tone of capturing the tone in photography. While you are setting up the light and the background, make sure that it is complementary to the story and the message that you are sharing 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, at last, makes the image look rich and cheerful.

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

11. Leverage the photo editing techniques

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 amazing 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 useful resource.

How do you become an Editorial Photographer?

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

Build your Portfolio

Editorial Photography
Source- adorama.com

If you are just starting your editorial photography career, the chances of people investing their time, trust, and money are comparatively very less. In order to convince them you need to show your previous work and the best way to do so is by having a portfolio.

Not just online, but also in a physical form to take it to the editors and show them your work. An online portfolio is good for awarding people about your work and an offline portfolio is to close a contract with a client.

Targeted Networking

Editorial Photography

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 to this, it will help you network with your targeted clients and understand more about the industry. Networking plays a crucial role, especially in a photography career where most of your clients are based on referrals.

Submitting to Image Publication

Editorial Photography

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, now you can do it directly from your home.

First, find the magazines that are accepting the submissions. Sort them on the basis of 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 if your work starts getting recognized, getting your work and clients would be much quicker and easy.

Focus on Building Relationships with the magazine

Editorial Photography

To make sure that you profit well from your pho6tograohy business, you need to make sure that you retain your older clients while building new relationships. Getting to work with a magazine is a huge opportunity for every photographer.

It is very important 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.

The reason why I am focusing so much on the editing work is that 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 completely flawless and the flaws left uncorrected are all intentional.

Editing is a skill that is rare. you are required to make sure that you edit the images while maintaining the image’s naturality, which isn’t an easy thing to achieve.

If you’re to work with a magazine, ensure that your photography as well as the editing – both stands out.


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