Now, imagine that you’re flicking through a fashion magazine. The magazine consists of lots of different articles, advertising images etc, and then you come across something that looks like a story in images. It might be 3, 4, 7 something pages of images that all belong together. You can clearly tell that one photographer shot a series of images – the model is the same, or the tone is the same, and more importantly it seems to be an event that appears: as if the images are telling a story. Perhaps it is a couple on a beach – in one shot walking across the sand, in another dipping their toes in the water, in yet another sitting down on rocks smiling at each other. Very likely, they’re not facing the camera in most of the images (although they might) – so it looks like something that actually happened. But you know that really, it didn’t. Just outside the frame on the left, you’ll probably find a gum – shewing assistant, holding up a fill in flash to recreate that amazing light falling across the couple’s faces. And the couple is carefully directed by the photographer, for him/her to be able to capture the correct expressions. It’s a story of images selling you an idea and putting you in to a certain mood. This is a fashion editorial. The creation of a story that draws the reader in and makes the reader want to be in that situation. Here is where the editorial wedding photography style was born. The main goal for an editorial wedding photographer, is not just to capture events as they happen. It is more about telling the story – weaving together elements, creating compositions and bringing out the beauty and look about you and your day.
Key elements for editorial wedding photography
An editorial photographer tends to always think creatively. A reportage style photographer can be more passive and just capture the shots as they appear. (Although good reportage style photographers are very aware and creative in their use of light and composition etc)
In editorial photography it doesn’t need to be about the one amazing image that tells a whole story on its own: While it is in the essence for reportage style photography to capture that one image that is outstanding, a capturing of a decisive moment – the editorial photographer might capture that moment with several images from different angles – a bit like a storyboard.
An editorial photographer might also look for themes throughout your wedding day: it can be themes in colours, spatial elements, etc, which will add to the atmosphere or story about your day.
An editorial photographer keeps very up to date with fashion magazines and editorials in wedding magazines to get inspiration for their photography.
An editorial photographer has to be a bit of a stylist and a photographer all in one:Seeing how to best use locations, how to best hang things and place things to get certain compositions, what sort of backdrops and expressions go best with a couple’s personality and style of wedding day, etc
An editorial photographer is more noticeable on your wedding day. An editorial photographer will not totally melt in to the background on your day as much as a reportage style photographer: An editorial photographer will very possibly suggest things: such as where the light is best in the room for your “getting ready images”, what time in the day is best for portraits, occasionally direct you in to poses, etc. So this is something to be aware of when booking your photographer. (Of course things are within reason! No photographer is going to interrupt a ceremony! At least I hope not…)
It is probably even more important for an editorial photographer to make pre- visits to your venues and communicate with you before your wedding day. The planning process is very important not only to see the lighting conditions, but also in order to see the themes and get an idea about how to capture the story about your day and make the images personal to you.
Editorial posed photography does not mean cheesy posed photography. There are many ways and styles for posing people. You can be posed without looking posed at all.
Editorial style photography can come in very varied styles since photographers find their inspiration from many different mediums: current trends in fashion photography, different styles of post production techniques, art photography, contemporary portrait photography, graphic design ideas, film – styles (cinematography) and from the particular theme/style/look of your wedding day. With so many different sources for influences, the styles between different photographers can vary quite a lot.
In photojournalist/reportage style photography the main focus is on capturing a moment as it happens. While an editorial image doesn’t have to have these boundaries: It can be a created/staged situation in the images. But both styles have as a goal to tell the story about your day – it just does it with different means and the images you keep from your day will look different.
“Reportage style” is similar to Photojournalism, but have the connotations of being even less creative and more strictly objective.
Thank you for stopping by and have a read! I just want to point out that the words in this article are my own, influenced from analyzing different photographer’s styles and different trends in wedding photography at the moment. The aim for this article is to work as a “translator” for brides and grooms planning their wedding day, to hopefully help them when picking the style of photography they want for their day!