Difference between editorial and commercial photography

Editorial VS Commercial photography


Commercial and editorial photography is two of the most popular photography genres. However, many people have misconceptions about these two types of photography. You might not be aware of this but these two photography types were existing in front of you for a long time. There are some core differences between these two photography types. In today’s blog article, I will try to figure out the definition, uses, needs, and types of commercial and editorial photography. Let’s get into the business and dive into detail.

Commercial Image Definition

If you are a commercial photographer you will have to shoot photos of products and individuals working for promotional activities. Moreover, you may have to shoot photos of models of fashion weeks. Your work may well go with taking photos of things that will be used for advertising, business websites, or any literary matter. Well, it is kind of a tough job to define exactly what commercial photography is as it is a huge genre of photography.

In spite of that, I am here trying to tell you in detail what it is. A question may arise that if it is limited to taking photos of commercial goods, or photos intended for advertisements. Well, that’s not the whole case. But it is partially true. The fact is, a commercial photographer is appointed by a brand or a corporation to take photos that will promote their products and services. The most noticeable fact about commercial photographers that keeps them different from other photographers is not what they do. But the intention behind this. When a photo is not fully connected to products or services, but somehow someone will use these photos to promote his products and services that will also become a commercial photograph.

Why Do We Need This?

Commercial photography has numerous uses for which we need commercial photography desperately. Some of the most important uses are listed below.

  • Printing and digital media advertising. Perhaps this is the most common use of commercial photography.
  • When we want to promote our products and services we need commercial photography to execute promotional and marketing activities properly.
  • People who work in a corporate office need commercial photos. They have to make a presentation using this type of photo.
  • Commercial photos are used in brochures as well. To make a brochure more appealing and practical commercial photos work well.
  • If you have a commercial website, then you must need this. To update your products, display the best products, you need commercial photos.
  • Products that we buy have packaging. That contains little pictures on the surface. That picture is also a commercial photo.
  • The use of commercial photos stretches to the film and television industry as well. The photos of models, products are examples of this.
  • Books and book covers are also ordained with commercial photos.

Editorial Photography Definition

When a photographer takes photos of real-life events, show current issues, and stories that inspire people. In editorial photography, the photographer has to be authentic in nature. There should be nothing like an exaggeration. The editorial photos are used as a superb tool to make newspaper information strong and valid. Editorial pictures support the magazine, or newspaper articles’ authenticity by providing a visual context. The main focus of editorial photos is to give relevance to any written content or giving a real meaning to it. The pictures are supposed to engage people. As it illustrates content like traveling, politics, culture, sports, business, and entertainment. The editorial images are not for promoting any product or services.

Why We Need This

Though there is no commercial purpose behind editorial images, they also have multiple uses. That’s why we need this type of photo as well. Here are some of the most important uses of editorial photography.

  • Mostly newspaper and magazine write-ups need this type of photo to assist the written document by displaying a relevant and true picture of it.
  • In the editorial features of any magazine or newspaper, the editor will need editorial photos.
  • Blogs or websites need editorial photographs for reference purposes.
  • News broadcasts show what is happening in real-life through the use of editorial photos.
  • Documentaries also use a lot of editorial pictures
  • Textbooks are full of editorial pictures to support the context of the lesson so that the reader finds it easy to understand.
  • Essays and journals have a dire need to collect lots of editorial pictures.

What Are the Difference

Well, from the above discussion I hope you already have a clear idea about these two types of photography. Now it’s time to figure out the difference between these two.

A. Commercial

  • Signed model release
  • Staged portrait
  • Commercial concept


  • No people released
  • Candid and impulsive moment
  • Iconic and real cultural event

How to Get Commercial Photography Work

Here are some effective tips to get commercial work as a photographer.

  1. Search for companies looking for product photographers.
  2. Create a strong network with other commercial photographers.
  3. Submit your portfolio to different company emails.
  4. Create your own website and upload your works there.
  5. Implement SEO for your website.
  6. Keep patience and be passionate about your works.
  7. Try to find out the creativity in your commercial works as well.

Research the best photographers’ career to know how they got work.

How to Get Editorial Photograph

Editorial work as a photographer is a challenging one for anyone who is just a newbie here. However, if you have the passion to continue, you can certainly get editorial works. There are two kinds of editorial works in photography. One is completely writing based and another is image editing-related. For the writing part, you have to generate ideas through brainstorming. Then you have to continue writing. On the other hand, the image editing task is all about being able to run the software you need to edit an image. You have to master Photoshop, Lightroom, Canva, and many other image editing tools. However, for both the works, you have to get your portfolio ready.


In the end, I would say that commercial and editorial photography are two different kinds of photography. They need different levels of expertise to execute the job. If you can differentiate these two, then it will be easy to implement your skills in this field. Then you need to focus on the ways to get work. Best of luck.

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