How to Shoot Killer Editorial Fashion Photography?

Editorial Fashion Photography

Editorial fashion photography is an effective medium to visually communicate with your clients. Publishing your works in a fashion editorial is a robust way for your clients to spot and asses your photography art.

But this method will reap benefits only if you capture professional and presentable fashion photography. Of course, shooting editorial fashion photography requires specialized craft and tactics to nail the job.

Worry not as we have curated all the essentials of shooting professional and splendid editorial fashion photography in this write-up for your benefit.  Let’s drill down to the editorial fashion photography —

Editorial Fashion Photography- A Snapshot

Editorial Fashion Photography- Snapshot

Editorial Fashion Photography is a collection of creative shots in a storytelling manner. It can be instrumental in shaping the mood or tone of fashion pieces like clothes and connecting audiences closely, adding depth to stories that words alone can’t express.

Fashion spreads without words can still narrate a robust story. Photographers, fashion editors, models, and stylists collaborate to produce visually fetching editorials that capture the individualism of the subject through their clothing choices.

Editorial Fashion Photography allows artists to present models or apparel in unique ways, letting their creativity show up without any restrictions from text-based narratives.

This photography genre will offer you the opportunity to polish your skills if you have a passion for creating enthralling images or crave to become a professional fashion photographer.

With fashion editorial photography, you can display a lifestyle beyond typical commercial photography. Instead of highlighting an individual piece of clothing as its focal point, this narrative stresses creating a majestic atmosphere by presenting clothes simply as one element to create that atmosphere.

All sorts of photoshoots are quite a challenge for participants. However, editorial fashion photography is even tougher as it requires using vibrant backgrounds instead of traditional white or neutral tones.

With this style of photography, you can display the natural beauty of a model by taking shots from different angles and putting them together in magazines and the likes of them.

Shooting stellar editorial fashion photography isn’t a cinch; rather, the lighting intricacy is making it increasingly complicated over time. Seven lights are typically used to create an optimal environment for the photography.

Certain seasoned photographers even build complex setups with more than this number – all targeting to perfect that desired atmosphere! So, there is no denying that lighting is essential in achieving intriguing shots.

Difference between Editorial Fashion Photography and Commercial One

Commercial Photography is a sturdy tool for businesses to strengthen their profile and boost sales. These images convey professionalism with a flawless style, seeking more than just storytelling, but actively focusing on generating revenue.

They are leveraged in various formats, including ads, business cards, brochures, and web pages – all designed with one purpose: generating success through commerce.

Commercial and Editorial Fashion Photography are two distinct disciplines, with the budget being one of the most obvious differences. Pre-production expenses for editorial projects are usually higher than post-production ones in a commercial shoot.

Further distinctions can be drawn between Commercial and Editorial Fashion Photography—

Goal: While editorial taps into a creative lens to motivate, captivate, and notify its viewers, commercial seeks to build strong bonds between brands and their intended audiences through visual cues.

Ownership: In editorial photography, photographers themselves are the exclusive owners of their work and sometimes they can share the ownership with publications through signing deals.

On the contrary, commercial compositions are purchased straightaway by businesses & brands after a particular photography project is done.

The Photographer’s Function: Editorial Fashion Photography allows for an imaginative and creative approach by an editorial photographer to illustrate stories whereas business photography aims to meet the client’s brief above all else.

Client: Editorial photography primarily works with publications like magazines and newspapers. Commercial Photography, however, serves various clients, from magazines to businesses and manufacturers.

Commercial shoots allow photographers to collaborate with their clients on-site for an ideal product shot or portrait that fulfills expectations. Editorial photography is all about utilizing talent & resources properly, and it doesn’t entail client collaboration.

Editorial Photography Tips: Start with an Original Idea to Maintain Consistency

Before hunting for models or making mood boards, you need to have a solid idea in mind. This can exist in the form of quotes, pictures, or even keywords that you find motivating.

For example, you can start with a simple keyword like ‘photography ‘. Jot down everything that crosses your mind when you think of that word.

You might think of things like cameras, plants, pools, and dresses. The camera can be your gear, plants can be props, a graceful swimming pool can be your location, and dresses can be your main wardrobe choice.

The sharper your idea, the better it is. Once you have a particular idea in mind, leverage it as a basis for a network of ideas. Google them strategically & smartly to get better angles of your idea. Look through magazines,  go through articles, and try to get as much relevant info as possible.

Finally, come up with a captivating title to reflect the feel of your editorial fashion photography shoot. You can use the title in your magazine submission for better representation of your photoshoots to editors.

Map out and specify necessary resources

Map out-specify necessary resources 

Once you’ve settled on a theme, it’s time to equip all the vital resources for the proper execution of your editorial. These features entail:

  • Theme, setting, and composition.
  • Lighting and filming.
  • Models, wardrobe, costumes, and the order of photography.
  • Post-processing to polish raw materials into a well-defined editorial.
  • Marketing and promotional strategies to make sure your material reaches and compels the target audience fruitfully.

This planning phase may require collaboration with multiple individuals. Create a detailed execution schedule for better execution of all the actions.

This schedule merged with a well-structured roadmap, ensures that everything progresses smoothly, on time, and as per your vision.

Find out a Fitting Location

Locations are one of the most pivotal parts of editorial fashion photography. You need to ensure that they are in line with your story and don’t look too distracting.

Many fashion editorials are atmosphere-based and elaborate. Discover at least two locations that you can easily move to during your photoshoot. This will make sure that your outcomes are diverse and that you don’t run out of ideas quickly.

Also, make sure the backdrop doesn’t deflect you from your models. Many in vogue fashion editorials were made in studios, on beaches, and in parks.

Additionally, gear up for unexpected weather changes. If you dwell in a place where it might begin raining any moment, you can shoot indoors with professional studio light.

If it’s the middle of winter, look for a secure place where you can shoot your model’s surroundings without freezing.

Recruit Creative Fashion Professionals to Produce Stellar Shoots

You can take charge of everything during a fashion editorial photoshoot, but you’ll find it less stressful to work with other people. Hunt for talented and seasoned make-up artists, stylists, and hairstylists whose styles go well with your theme.

You can find many creative professionals on websites like Model Mayhem or Facebook. If you’re a newbie, look for other newbie pros so that you can all collaborate to build your editorial fashion photography portfolios.

Bear in mind that an average editorial is composed of nearly 20 pictures. Each fashion look should have a minimum 4 photos.

A team of pro artists will save you time and elevate your ideas. Don’t be scared of guiding them throughout your photoshoot.

Even if you do not know make-up, you have an idea of what is in sync or out of sync with your theme. That’s worth sharing with all your team members.

Diversify your shots to turn them into artwork

Explore the endless possibilities for stunning creative Editorial Fashion Photography by experimenting with different stances and framing options. Don’t restrict yourself to portraits – your shots could be anything from abstract angles, multi-dimensional perspectives, or unorthodox crops that display your unique vision in a way never seen before.

By the time a magazine is published, fashion trends in the shoot will have already shifted. To stay up-to-date and ahead of industry standards for your next photoshoot, you must start planning with public relations firms that know about imminent fashions to make waves soon after an issue goes live.

Start developing tactics now by getting connected with PR agencies so that you can deliver accurately what editors expect when publication deadlines come around.

Put focus on the subject

Put focus on the subject

Snapping the perfect photograph needs more than technical know-how; it demands an appreciation of your subject and its unique style. Focusing on establishing a mutually creative relationship among the photographer, wardrobe stylist, and model allows for fabulous shots that capture beauty in all forms.

Be heedful of the scenery in the photos

The setting, alongside the costumes, takes the spotlight in a fashion editorial. This is where close attention to detail is salient. Make sure that the chosen setting matches with the editorial’s theme and the inspirations behind your collection.

The purpose of the editorial is to consistently weave all these references together. Factors like location, lighting, and weather conditions impact the choice of your photo shoot location bang. Be wary of these elements as they play a significant role in the overall outcome of your editorial.

Create a List of Magazines for Your Editorial Fashion Photography Submission

List of Magazines for Editorial Fashion Photography

Thousands of fashion magazines exist, both online and offline, that are open for submissions. Build a long list of magazines that you idolize. You can kick off with ONE, Peppermint, and Lucy’s.

All of them have identical requirements when it comes to image size, image amount, etc. You have to credit your team, the brands you leveraged, and so forth. Some magazines have a particular look they want to incorporate in their issue.

Generally, fashion magazines want to ensure that you’re not randomly submitting photos to their website. To boost your chances of getting featured, watchfully look through their website to grasp their aesthetic.

Remember that once a magazine accepts your submission, you won’t be able to submit the same imagery to any other magazine.

Provide Crisp and Detailed Instructions during the Photoshoot

Fashion editorials ask for plenty of attention. As a photographer, you have to spearhead lighting, storytelling, visual aesthetics, and so forth. Owing to this, it’s key to share your input and instructions as clearly as possible.

This doesn’t imply you have to micromanage or boss around everyone. Your core job is to make sure that every part of your fashion photography shoot complements your compositions. Consider yourself as an ambitious director working on a big-budget film!

Sometimes, this means asking your make-up artist to alter a specific look or differing with your stylist’s opinion. Other times, it means hearkening to your team’s thoughts and letting them do the work for you.

This will help you maintain a healthy rapport with everyone you work with. Most importantly, it will help you take the best possible fashion editorial photoshoots.

Don’t be Afraid to Go beyond the Rules

As you test with different angles and poses, don’t hesitate to think outside the box. Fashion editorials have certain rules. But be bold enough to break general photography rules. The reason is simple. It’s to develop your style.

For instance, try shooting from a very low or very high angle. Test with different photo rotations. Try a new color-correcting method. Invest in a few lens filters to refine your photos even more.

As you experiment, you’ll find out new tactics that might come in handy in future photoshoots. And if something doesn’t end up well, at least you tried.

Post Process your Editorial Photographs

Never think of handing raw photography files over to a client at the end of a shoot as raw photography is likely to have issues related to lighting, exposure, angles, etc.

Clients will be expecting to have well-composed, perfectly processed images for their publications, and won’t be satisfied if you don’t make necessary edits or tweaks to the raw images. You must take fashion photo editing services for this purpose.

Leverage photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom to ensure the photos are at their best and display your unique perspective as a shooter. You can also tap into free online editing software to enhance your unprocessed and shoddy collection of photos.

Editorial Fashion Photography: A wide variety of uses

Photography brings editorial content to life – from emotive captures of models in action during a fashion event to majestic portraits showing the faces that drive our culture.

Examples of Editorial Fashion Photography incorporate:

  • Textbooks & Essays
  • Editorial features
  • Documentaries
  • Newspaper or magazine articles

Through Editorial Fashion Photography, arresting visuals can be captured. To make sure your publication complies with trademark law, restrict the use of featured photographs online to predetermined durations.

By doing so, you can save yourself from the expensive implications that come along with copyright violation. 

What’s the motive of a fashion editorial?

Fashion editorials serve two primary purposes: communication and sales. Details are given below:


In the arena of communication, a fashion editorial plays a crucial role in explicating the creative elements leveraged in the development of a collection.

This transparency not only enhances a brand’s identity but also establishes a coherent visual concept.   As an important part of the marketing strategy, it amplifies product visibility and outreach in the digital media landscape to a great extent.


Once consumers make out the references embedded in the creative process of a collection, selling the product easily gets more straightforward.

On top of that, this understanding bolsters and consolidates the editorial’s status as vital promotional material.

Fashion Editorial: Prominent Examples

A fashion editorial serves as a canvas for exploring various themes, and this creative freedom can sometimes lead to uncertainty about which theme to go for.

During such moments, it’s useful to remember the editorial’s primary goal, which is to convey the concept of a collection.

From there, the creative process gets more straightforward. There are noteworthy fashion editorials that have made history by seizing attention and leaving a lasting impression on the world of fashion advertising.

Here are some of the most iconic ones: 

  • Paper Magazine (2017) – Rihanna
  • Vanity Fair (2015) – Caitlyn Jenner
  • Calvin Klein (2015) – Justin Bieber
  • Dazed (2014) – Lupita Nyong’o
  • Versace (2014) – Madonna
  • Yves Saint Laurent (1966) – Pop Art. 

It’s a Wrap!

To get your fashion photography published in magazines, a strong portfolio is a must. What plays a crucial role in this case is honing your editorial fashion photography skills.

Right from mastering the photography gear to staying in control of the location, every aspect of your photoshoots demands specialization.

The write-up provided you the necessary meat to ace your editorial fashion photography and grab the attention of magazines as well as other fashion editorials to have your works show up there. So, master the art right away and let your artistic creativity ooze out!

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