What exactly is editorial photography?

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by cassarilda, May 8, 2004.

  1. What exactly is editorial photography? Is it closer to
    photojournalism or studio? or is it a bit of both?

    just wondering... :)
  2. gnerally it is considered to bne what gets published in the magazines as part of a
    yfeature, seperate from "hard news" photojournalism & documentary work, but as an
    ill defined genre crosses those lines. Some editorial work is portraiture: Gregory
    Heisler's and Timothy Greenfield=Sanders's work for example, which is sometimes
    done in a studio or on location. and some is pure studio illustration. Mostly editorial
    Photogrphy illuminates a story just as is the case with most NAtional Geographic
    magazine stories: it shows what words cannot communicate.
  3. Ellis is correct, but kind of the long way around. Editorial photography can be simply said to be photography the supports the printed word. That may be either news or advertising.

    The term also applies to television in the sense that the photograph (but in the case of TV more likely video) there supports the spoken word. Again, either news or advertising - as opposed to entertainment.
  4. Are you asking in the sense that "editorial" usage doesn't require a release? Which would be different than the idea that it might support advertising and other written word.
  5. Editorial photography is the photography that appears in newspapers and magazines
    that is NOT advertising photography. It is financed by the newspaper/magazine, not
    by their advertisers. It can be in any genre (photojournalism, fashion, portrait,
    sports, landscape etc.)
  6. Elliot N , may 09, 2004; 10:27 a.m.
    Editorial photography is the photography that appears in newspapers and magazines that is NOT advertising photography. It is financed by the newspaper/magazine, not by their advertisers.

    Editorial or advertising???

    This is a crossover use in some ways that muddy the water between the terms ... in particular with the Sunday supplements crowd... models are often engaged for an "editorial" shoot so their agents can get them published and accumulate tear sheets. So the girl or guy does a set of photos such as "street wear for the summer" - for which she or he is paid "editorial" rates (or even works for free). The clothes supplier(s) and the make-up supplier(s) and the accesories supplier(s), and the rest, are all mentioned in the margins of the layout, usually with the prices of the clothes, ect, and contact information for where they can be purchased. There may even be NO actually textual story - just photos under the headline. The placement in the publication is often paid for by the suppliers of the products.

    Is it editorial? or is it advertising (by stealth)?

    The publishers will say it is "editorial" and so will the model's agent.... the supplier(s) however treat it as advertising. But what is it really?
  7. There is no absolute definition of "editorial photography", because the answer depends on factors such as where are the person asking the question located (jurisdiction); from what perspective is the question asked and so on.

    Generally speaking, in the US, editorial images are images, not used in advertisements, in newspapers, magazines and the insides of books.

    If the question isn't asked from a legal point of view but rather a philosophical one, the answer becomes a tad more hard to pin down. In a nutshell though - as an earlier poster has pointed out - editorial images are used to illustrate an article, story, text, or to inform/educate as standalone.

    Can editorial photography be made in the studio? You bet. Can it be photojournalism? Ansolutely. Can it be me standing on my head snapping pics using a Holga using my big toe to click the shutter? Yep. It's the usage of the images rather than the method used to make them that is a determining factor, at least from a legal perspective.

    Hope that didn't come across as too confusing.
  8. Take a look at the Editorial Photographers organisation website -

    Their definition (in the FAQ's section): " 'Editorial' refers to the market where the images will be used -- primarily books, magazines, and newspapers -- and, to a lesser extent, to the style of photography that appears in these venues. We use the term editorial to distinguish it from other markets like corporate, advertising, general commercial, or fine art."

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