What is Editorial Wedding Photography?

What is Editorial Wedding Photography?


In this week’s Dear Devlin, Lisa answers – What is Editorial Wedding Photography?

it feels like wedding photography styles are changing but for the first time in my career I don’t get what couples are after. I hear the word editorial thrown around all the time by photographers and although I’ve researched it, I still feel lost.

It feels like everyone describes their style that way which I find even more confusing. So I guess what makes someone’s work editorial? What does that mean going forward to stay relevant in the industry? And what do couples really want from their photos?

Everyone says ‘candid’ but we all know they often don’t mean that when it comes to the couple portraits! Please help I feel like I’m falling behind everyone else!

What is EDITORIAL wedding photography anyway?

I hear you, and you’re not alone in finding navigating the shifting tides of wedding photography challenging. So many people are feeling confused right now. In 2023, editorial wedding photography was like Taylor Swift – suddenly EVERYWHERE. And just like TS, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon so let’s try to help you get more of an understanding of ‘What Is Editorial Wedding Photography?’

There are quite a few styles of wedding photography and I believe that over a wedding day most of us switch between more than one of them. In recent times “editorial” has indeed become a buzzword, and its interpretation can vary widely. I first called myself this as I also work for magazines. To me, that defines what editorial means. But somewhere along the way, styled shoots have blurred into also being called editorials so now anyone who uses styled shoots in their portfolio seems to like using this term.

Let’s unravel this and explore what couples might truly seek in their wedding photos.


1 Magazine-Worthy

In an editorial approach, there’s a focus on creating images that could appear on the pages of a magazine. This means portrait in format and influenced by fashion editorials that we see in high-end magazines such as Vogue and Tatler.

2 Fashion-Focused

Editorial Photography highlights the fashion elements of weddings. Details are emphasised and outfits are shown at their best. Expect to see items grouped in flat-lays or photographed in isolation. For instance, a perfume bottle might be photographed as it might appear in an ad on a magazine page.

3 Minimal

Expect to see negative space and clutter-free frames. Magazines overlay images with text and need the space. The editorial look is fuss-free and minimal.

4 Artistic Direction

Editorial style often involves a heightened sense of artistic direction. This could include attention to composition, use of light, and a deliberate choice of angles to create visually compelling images


and notes about staying relevant

5 Posed

For some of the imagery, Photographers will give directions and posing instructions to couples that give results similar to poses used by fashion models.

6 Candid with Intent

Even in staged shots, the goal is to capture genuine emotions. This doesn’t mean candid moments are discarded; instead, they’re curated with a mindful approach to authenticity.


Understand Client Expectations

From the first point of contact – my enquiry form, I ask couples two key questions to help me gauge what they are looking for. One is asking them what the vibe of their wedding is and another is asking what drew them to my work. Their answers can reveal a lot about their expectations and then when we get into discussing their plans, I always ask how they feel about the photography at their wedding.

Blend Styles

While editorial styles are on the rise, you will likely approach different parts of the day in different ways. At points, you might be more of a documentary photographer for instance. My approach is to get what might be considered a ‘classic wedding photo’ for them and then take a more creative one for me. Chances are my ideal clients will like the creative one but I’ve also delivered a safe one.

Continuous Learning

It is worth staying updated with industry trends and continuously evolving your skill set. Attend workshops, follow influential photographers, and experiment with new techniques to keep your influences fresh and relevant. But also look outside of the industry for your inspiration sources. I am a big fan of taking myself to an exhibition or opening a photography book when I need a boost.

Authenticity is Key

Regardless of style, authenticity resonates with couples. Aim to capture emotions, whether they’re candid or curated.

What Couples Truly Want


1. Emotional Connection:

Couples desire images that evoke emotions. They want to look back and feel the joy, love, and excitement of their wedding day.

2. Timeless Quality:

While trends come and go, timeless quality endures. Couples often seek images that won’t feel dated in a few years but will remain cherished.

3. Personalisation:

Each couple is unique, and they want their photos to reflect that. Personalisation, whether through locations, themes, or candid moments, is highly valued. This means not imposing something onto them because you are seeking to emulate something in someone else’s portfolio.

4. Professional Guidance:

Couples may use terms like “candid,” but they also seek professional guidance. They want a photographer who can direct and capture them in the most flattering and authentic way.

Moving forward:

Take a deep breath; you’re not falling behind. The industry evolves, and adapting takes time. Embrace the change, learn continuously, and most importantly, stay true to yourself and your own unique style. The right clients for you will always find you.

Fashions and buzzwords come and go, but authenticity is always appreciated. So it’s worth being aware of what others do but ultimately looking inside more than you look outside.

I am reminded of this quote from Georgio Armani “The difference between style and fashion is quality”. Know what your style is before you jump on any trend.

If you need help figuring out your style, take our quiz.



Drop me a note with any industry issue that you might have and I will do my best to offer up some advice.

After a couple of decades as a wedding photographer, the chances are high that I will have some experience that might be relevant or have some insight into what your best course of action could be

The process is 100% anonymous, so feel free to share whatever is on your mind currently and know that this is a safe place.