What Does Editorial Wedding Photography Mean?

If you’re planning your wedding at the moment, you may have heard a lot of people use the word ‘editorial’ when describing their work, particularly wedding photographers. Hi, I’m Jo a Geelong and Melbourne Wedding Photographer and I’m here to clear up any confusion about what you’re really signing up for when you hire your editorial photographer.

As a magazine girl from way back, replicating magazine work is kind of my bread and butter, and now my wedding clients go crazy for it! There is quite an art to editorial shooting, rather than just capturing what is happening in front of you, although that certainly forms part of a wedding day too.

In relation to imagery, the word ‘editorial’ means as it relates to print, magazine or books. When wedding photographers use the word, they generally mean images that look like they are from a magazine. However, that still doesn’t clear it up. What kind of magazine and what kind of images? The most obvious example is Vogue. The elements of images that make it editorial in a Vogue sense are images that set the scene, are fashion forward and bring a polished look. You can see this gallery I recently shot from an editorial style bridal shoot that it is directed by me (the photographer) to achieve the final outcome.

Telling the Whole Story

Editorial in relation to print, always means telling a story. Telling a story is the most important part of editorial wedding photography and what really sets it apart from just photographing what is in front of you. Telling a story means incorporating smaller elements that set the scene so the viewer can absorb the images while getting a sense of the emotion, movement and occasion. When I arrive at a new scene on a wedding day, I’m always sure to take images of smaller things that set your venue and your day apart. I call these ‘establishing shots” because they really establish the basis of your story. These are the images that look killer in a magazine shoot (and your album). Here are some gallery snapshots to explain what I mean.

In the gallery above, you can see how the chandeliers and the florals really tell the story of this luxe wedding. Pastels, purple’s and the green background are all photographed carefully to show the viewer what it was like at the wedding and will be used in the album also. These smaller images lead the viewer on a journey where they keep wanting to see more.

The Smaller Things

Editorial means nothing goes unnoticed. From a close up of your dress bow, to your earrings and images showing motion and beauty. Its all part of the editorial wedding photography experience. You can see in this image below that a wide image of the bride and groom interspersed with the close up shot of the table setting, really adds to the overall feel of this story.

Does Editorial Mean Posed?

Editorial can mean directed or candid, but never stiff or cheesy. A stiff image would not belong in a magazine as it doesn’t draw the viewer in and instead is distracting in its lower quality. Editorial from my point of view, always means natural looking, whether or not its directed or even heavily posed. If I work with a couple who like traditional posing, I am still looking for awkward elements like a hand that doesn’t look natural. Here is a gallery snapshot below that is directed, but its done in my signature style which doesn’t look forced or unnatural and makes my couple feel comfortable.


Nothing tells a story like true emotion, so an editorial wedding photographer will be looking for emotion to capture. Small smiles, in between moments, vignettes and private moments all add to the story and make it a rich and immersive experience to look back on.

So that is it! An editorial wedding photographer will be looking to do the following:

  • Tell the Story
  • Capture Emotion
  • Capture images in a natural way that still looks gorgeous
  • Capture images that will tell your story in an album
  • Make you feel comfortable so you never feel stiff and weird.

If this style of imagery is something you’d like to incorporate in your wedding day, drop me a bell on my contact form here

Thanks for reading!