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What is Editorial Photography

Even though it is one of the most important subset of the creative field of photography, not many people know what editorial photography actually is. Continue reading....
Not many things out there can grab your attention like pictures do, and that's exactly why they say, pictures speak louder than words. Lucky are those people who can make their passion their profession, and photographers fall in this very category. After all, how many activities do we know which can be pursued as a hobby as well as a serious profession. At the end of the day, photography, like any other creative activity, is full of learning. There is so much to learn in this field full of diversities that it seems impossible to learn each and every aspect of the same. Editorial photography is one of the lesser known, but most interesting subsets of photography.

An Overview

Most of the time you come across a cover page of some renowned magazine or an editorial in the leading news daily, you are left amazed at the photograph which speaks in volumes about the subject. It may come as a surprise for many, but this is editorial photography - wherein pictures become story-tellers and give the reader a visual insight of the write-up. In simple words, it can be defined as capturing pictures and publishing it along with a write-up to support it. It is very difficult to explain a concept by means of a single line definition in any creative field, and the same rule prevails here. An apt example of this would be supporting an article about global warming with a picture of melting glacier. Photojournalism is considered to be a subset of editorial photography which may or may not have a write-up attached to it.

Career Opportunities

While the job of an editorial photographer promises job satisfaction as well as a decent pay, the fierce competition in the field only means that you need to have that X-factor in you to make it big. When it comes to creative fields, the talent you possess is more valuable than the degree you hold. While raw creativity comes naturally, you have to resort to photography courses and, if possible, workshops by famous photographers to get a good understanding of photography tips and techniques. There are too many average photographers out there, and therefore you need to be exceptional to go beyond that average category if you are to make it big in this world.

Some Tips and Tricks

One of the most important attribute of editorial photography is the cutline, and hence you will have to pay special attention to it. A cutline is ideally a single line description of the photograph, which answers simple questions like who, why, where and when. You should also take into consideration the life of the periodical, i.e. whether you want a picture for a monthly periodical or a weekly periodical. An event which took place two weeks ago may not have any relevance for the forthcoming issue of a weekly magazine, but it is important for the forthcoming issue of a monthly magazine. Similarly, it is of utmost importance to take the story into consideration. If possible, you should take many pictures, and finalize on a single picture after analyzing all of them. While image quality plays a crucial role, you shouldn't attempt to enhance it artificially. While using editing software such as Adobe photoshop to make minor changes is fine, make sure that you keep it minimal. Though these tips may sound simple, they do play a crucial role in helping you make a mark, and therefore you shouldn't avoid them.

Only people behind the lens are at a definite advantage of understanding the pleasure one derives from capturing those classic moments with your own camera. And when a third person acknowledges the efforts put into capturing those moments, one can see the photographer's shoulders widen and chest swell with that unexplainable feeling of success. That, however, is just one of those memorable moments that come your way, and the onus is on you as a photographer to move on and grab more of such moments in life.
By Abhijit Naik
Last Updated: 10/6/2011
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