What is Editorial Photography & How to Take Editorial Images For Your Clothing Line

What is Editorial Photography & How to Take Editorial Images For Your Clothing Line

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Fashion editorial photography refers to photographs in a magazine that aren’t necessarily advertisements, but those that go along with the descriptive layout of the articles or on the covers of magazines. Editorial fashion spreads in magazines incorporate fashion and a story on a full page. There is a stark contrast between editorial and commercial photography. 

What is the difference between fashion editorial and commercial shoots?

Some photographers specialize in editorial work only, ensuring their prime focus is the descriptive layout of editorial photography. Others are okay bouncing between editorial and commercial layouts. 

Editorial photography covers a wide range of different styles and genres, but its preliminary focus is not to sell products in a simplistic form. Predominantly, the purpose of editorial images is to support the text of an article. On the other hand, commercial photography has a wide range of themes and styles, and its primary purpose is advertising or promoting products.

Why choose the editorial format for fashion photography?

Why choose the editorial format for fashion photography?

Fashion photography is a genre of photography devoted to displaying fashion clothing and accessories and is mainly conducted for fashion advertisements or magazines. Fashion editorial photography, in most cases, plays both an editorial and commercial role. In a fashion editorial layout, the fashion photographer or the product’s creative director creates images to sell a lifestyle they want the product to evoke. Fashion editorials are not always about the clothes, but rather about the mood or the situation in which the clothes are being worn. In editorials, the clothes are illustrative of a fashion story.

What you need to know for a successful fashion editorial shoot:

Numerous steps go into conceptualizing, planning, and executing a successful fashion editorial shoot. There is no fixed blueprint for having the best editorial photoshoot because the process is entirely creative. Also, as a brand owner, everyone’s approach to his/her products is entirely subjective. Listed here are a few rough steps:

-The key to a successful fashion editorial is the concept or the idea. 

The key to a successful fashion editorial is the concept or the idea

An editorial photoshoot can be defined as a series of photographs joined together by a common theme or a story. It emulates the process of telling a story with a theme that can be told visually through definitive elements. The story just needs to have a unifying theme that showcases the USP of the brand, like color blocking or neons or monochromes. The seasonal fashion trends must also be kept in mind so that the brand’s image works in cohesion with the editorial photoshoot. 

-To develop the concept, one needs to build a mood board.

A mood board expresses the visual elements of the shoot cohesively. It is like a blueprint of the visual elements of a shoot. Usually, it includes references to other people’s sketches, photographs or absolutely everything that can spell out the visual elements of the shoot. This means having references for the hairstyle, lighting, makeup, set design, and other elements that could communicate the idea. You can find these inspirations on Instagram, magazines, Pinterest, photo books or any random place. Keep in mind that all the subjects must fall into the visual equation to reinforce the concept that the brand is aiming for. A mood board does not necessarily mean a concrete design. It does not need to be formal or fancy, but just needs to effectively convey all the elements of the editorial shoot through its layout.

-Build a creative team.

Putting the right people into the creative team is crucial to executing a fashion editorial shoot. This would mean picking the right people for hair, makeup, modeling, light, and background for the photoshoot. The photographer’s job is primarily to ideate, and as a brand owner, one needs to find the perfect creative team that would help put across the idea of the brand effectively. No matter how experienced or skillful he or she is,  a photographer cannot do all the duties of a creative team by himself or herself. Therefore, it is critical to have the perfect ensemble of creative talents on board.

-The photographs should tell a story!

When a fashion editorial is being shot, the goal is to create a series of photographs that tell a visual story without being static, dull or repetitive. The photographer’s job for an editorial shoot is to read the line between cohesion and variety. As a brand owner, the job is to represent the brand and what it wants to communicate via a creative brief. Build a story around the clothing line and watch the editorial pictures bring it to life. When done correctly, editorial shots can change the entire ball game for the fashion brand.

-The devices matter!

Make sure that good-quality devices and gear go into the editorial shoot. The lighting should be adequate, and the picture quality crisp enough to enhance every stitch and detail of the apparel. These things need to be taken care of before the photoshoot. If the photographs are not satisfactory enough, having to redo the entire shoot would become too cumbersome, both for the photographer and the brand owner.

-Editing is the key.

Post-production is also something that the brand owner needs to look into. It is equally important to look into the editing of the photos as it is to look into the actual shooting process. Make sure that the editing does not bring too much variation to the color of the garment or its silhouette. The lighting should not distort the appeal of the garment. The editing process should reflect the clothes in their closest form to the target audience, without much variation or distortion. Based on these photographs, consumers would decide to purchase them.


One of the most significant steps to be followed before one proceeds to shoot an editorial layout for their clothing line is to realize if an editorial shoot is actually what they want in the first place. Sometimes, the best way to advertise clothing is through commercial photoshoots. But editorial photography is the go-to choice, if the goal is not just to advertise but instead build a story around the clothes that one makes. Choose a photographer adaptive to the ideas behind the making of the clothes and not just his/her idea about the shoot. The rest should fall into place to create a beautiful visual storyline featuring the clothes that the brand designs and produces. Reach out to Fashinza if you need help with sourcing clothes for an editorial shoot.


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