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To find my live Editorial or Press Photographer archives, go to ‘View the Photo Archive’ in ‘Client Area’ above.
Click here, to find out more about what it is to be a Press or Editorial Photographer
All these terms can be rather confusing, even going further with different perceptions of each in different countries. Here in the UK, both areas of work have similarities. Both often appear in print and/or in articles online. The primary difference between the two is a press photographer has the task of capturing the news. Confusingly, an editorial photographer will often shoot in a similar style, and by the same hand press photography is a form of editorial photography, but the clear distinction here is the news.
Many of us specialise in multiple disciplines, taking advantage of the crossover of our skills. One week I could be working as a press photographer one day, an editorial photographer the next and a commercial photographer the day after that. There are some clear distinctions that separate these disciplines, and to be good (and indeed respected) in any of these areas, professionalism is required.
To give an idea of the sort of places we work, press photographers mainly work for regional and national newspapers (either on a freelance basis, like myself, or staff basis). Editorial photographers work for magazines and publications (this can be trade and consumer magazines, often freelance). Another term is photojournalists, who will often work on stories for greater periods of time, investing hours and sometimes months of work, eventually selling into magazines or newspapers.
As a press and editorial photographer of over ten years I’m very aware of different demands and requirements of publications.
The work is often very technically demanding and can be highly varied in subject. For this reason press and editorial is one of my favourite areas of photography. That, along with my commercial photography.
Over the years, I’ve worked for numerous clients. From the German newspaper, Bild, to The Times of London. I’ve worked on photo shoots for independent magazines, such as Hot Rum Cow (who offer adventures in the world of drinking!) as well as internal corporate magazines (such as for Yorkshire Water, Yorkshire Bank or The British and International Golf Greenkeepers’ Association! BIGGA).
To simplify, for me at least, there are often two parts to my work. There’s the press photographer side and then there’s editorial side. Each with their own set of photographic skill and expertise required. There is some cross-over, but for me work largely falls into one of these two categories.
As I’ve said, it’s all about capturing images that tell the story. Requiring very minimal retouching, portraying reality as accurately as possible, compassion, and an understanding of good storytelling. Plus the technical expertise to capture an image at a moment’s notice (sometimes less). This is to ensure the newspaper, magazine or press agency has a striking set of photographs to appropriately illustrate the story.
Over the years I’ve worked for The Press Association, The Sun, Barcroft Media, The Telegraph, The Times to name just a few (life as a freelancer does that to you!)
Learning from my extensive experience as a press photographer, for the commercial side, there are a few more considerations. One being, will the image show the client, product or publication in the best light. Will the client’s brand be captured appropriately. Often images are retouched more than is allowed with newspapers (the former only utilising basic ‘darkroom’ techniques, with no modification of content). This ensures that the client is pleased with a set of striking images presenting an image that they’d be happy to publicise.
Then there is the discussion of whether it is commercial or editorial. My recent work shot for Hot Rum Cow magazine was a food editorial. If I had shot it for the Northcote Hotel directly, then it would have been commercial. It’s often a matter of who is doing the commissioning, and for my speculative work, there can be some crossover as editorial / press images can have commercial value as a freelance photographer.
Of course all areas of editorial & press photography I approach with same level of care and attention. As the images on this page will hopefully demonstrate.