Many people confuse editorial
What is Editorial
What is the Difference Between Editorial and Commercial
Both types of
This is probably the most similar genre to editorial
Editorial photographers have more leeway in their effort to produce a polished image. Documentary photographers strive to take more objective images, although they do have some leeway to change the scene, modify the lighting, and direct subjects–just not as much as the editorial photographer.
Photojournalism is the most objective of these genres. Photojournalists have virtually no leeway to change the scene or alter things like the lighting conditions. They are solely documenting what is happening–or what they are seeing–in images with no alterations.
To sum up the differences between these genres, the main differences lie in the freedom of the photographer to alter the scene, whether that is achieved by directing subjects or changing something like, for example, providing better lighting. On a scale from most objective to least objective, the line up would be as follows:
Like photojournalism and documentary
A Few Examples
It might help to illustrate the differences with a few examples:
Consider an event like a presidential visit to another country. Photojournalists would document each stage of the visit exactly as it occurred.
Documentary photographers might also document the visit exactly as it occurs, but their images might be used to accompany a story about the importance of presidential visits abroad to national security, and so they might ‘clean up’ the images to polish them for that story. Photojournalists would not alter their images in any way.
Meanwhile, editorial photographers might use images that are not even part of the presidential visit to illustrate a concept or idea related to the contents of their story.
For example, the President sits down with the Queen of England for tea in a meeting where reporters are not allowed. Photojournalists and documentary photographers might publish images of the Queen and the President walking into Buckingham Palace where they will have tea. Editorial photographers, on the other hand, might use an image of a teacup to illustrate the part of the story related to the prominence of afternoon tea in British culture.
Let’s take another example–consider a story about fashion. Whereas the editorial photographer might use models wearing a particular clothing line in scenes that are set up to illustrate the fashion element of the story, the documentary photographer would take images of real people wearing the clothes.
Both are photographing real clothing lines, but the editorial photographer has more leeway to set up the scene using models, good lighting, and props.
The documentary photographer would take images of real people wearing the clothing–possibly that he or she is directing or in a scene that is set up but not to the extent that happens with editorial
And, the photojournalist would simply take pictures to document the actual fashion show, without directing anyone or setting up any scenes. Or, the photojournalist might take pictures of real people wearing the clothing, but again, without any direction or scene modification.
You’ll notice that both examples above don’t discuss the role of the commercial photographer. But, editorial
The editorial photographer is doing it to illustrate a story about fashion, but the commercial photographer’s intent would be to sell the clothing line. The images may be identical, but the intent is what distinguishes commercial
And, that intent makes an important legal difference. If you’re using an image to promote a product or service, you must have signed release forms from any models used–whether these are professional models or simply people in your image–and you must have a signed property release form from the owners of any property that is visible within the image. The word property would signify the clothing in our example here.
Here are some examples of where you can and cannot use editorial use only images:
Editorial use only images can be used in the following contexts:
- Newspaper or magazine articles;
- In a blog or website for descriptive purposes;
- In non-commercial presentations;
- Essays and journal articles;
- News broadcasts;
- Editorial features;
- Stock photos.
Editorial use only images cannot be used in the following:
- Advertisements or promotional materials;
- Advertorial purposes where a third party pays for the placement of the image.
Both of the latter (advertisements and advertorial purposes) would constitute commercial
With that understanding, here are a few tips on taking good editorial photos:
- Have a Concept in Mind: Consider the subject and the backstory, and have a few concepts in mind for the photos you want to get.
- More than Pretty Photos: Images may be gritty or tell a story that isn’t particularly pretty, but that’s the realistic part of editorial
photography, and this lets you get really creative.
- The Pressure is On: You have to be ready to handle pressure. The timing may be short, the weather may be bad, and the subjects may be uncomfortable, but the best editorial photographers are versatile enough to roll with the flow.
- Get the Point: The most important part of editorial
photographyis that the images need to illustrate the main concept of the story.
- Connect with the Subjects: The best editorial photographers are the ones who can connect with their subjects and help them relax.
- Practice: Doing all of this takes practice–so, practice taking photos for stories you have in mind. That will help you develop these valuable skills.
One of the best things about editorial
It also allows you to have more versatility with your
Frequently Asked Questions:
What makes editorial
The creativity it gives you as a photographer. Photojournalists and documentary photographers are more objective, commercial photographers need to please the client, but you’re telling a story.
What are the main types of editorial
The main types of editorial
Each type demands a slightly different style and skill set, but you’re still telling a story with your images.
What is a magazine editorial?
A magazine editorial is an article written by the senior editorial staff or publisher of the magazine. It might express an opinion of the writer or the publication on a particular topic, but editorials frequently also address letters to the editor.
How much does an editorial photographer make?
The national average salary is $34,041 (as a base pay), but it depends on your area and the publication for which you work. Higher-end salaries pay up to $60,000 per year or more, and you can also make additional money by freelancing–for example, by producing stock photos.