There are plenty of genres and types of photography and assignments. Commercial and editorial photography are terms that often confused, especially if you’re new to the craft. But there are significant differences between the two, and in this video, Scott Choucino will guide you through them.
The video is short and sweet, yet packed with information, which I really like. Scott discusses the differences between editorial and commercial photography, and these are the six major ones:
- Use: Editorial is usually a photographic story that is going to print (or to an online magazine), whereas commercial is an ad campaign: it may go to print but also be used in other ways such as social media.
- Story: Editorial is almost always a multi-image story, something like a photo essay that tells a story through photos. Commercial could be a sequence of photos, but it doesn’t necessarily tell a story.
- Budget: Editorial shoots normally have small budgets and are not paid much. Commercial shoots have larger budgets, but also bigger teams, more prep work, and they’re paid better.
- Duration: Editorial doesn’t have a long “shelf life,” as Scott puts it, while a commercial campaign might be used for years.
- Creativity: Editorial shoot is usually more creative and allows you to express yourself more. On the other hand, a commercial shoot is stricter in its requirements.
- Portfolio material: In relation to the previous point, photos shot as a part of an editorial will usually end up in your portfolio. Commercial photos, on the other hand, often don’t.
Scott notes that there’s also a merge between commercial and editorial photography: a paid advertorial. It’s an ad for a product but given in a form of an editorial article. Photos taken as a part of an advertorial fall within both categories: editorial and commercial.
Since I don’t shoot professionally, I have never done a serious editorial or commercial shoot. but if I had to choose, I’d rather go with an editorial: more creativity even with smaller pay is what I normally prefer. What about you? Do you shoot both types and which do you prefer?