Editorial Wedding Photography: How to Know if its the Right Style for You

February 16, 2023

Editorial wedding photography – a topic that’s received quite a bit of traction as of late! With the risen popularity of this style, there have been conflicting definitions of what constitutes “editorial photography” in the wedding industry. In this article, I’ll be breaking down what my definition of the term really means, debunking some common misconceptions, and explaining our approach here at Kyla Jeanette!

Lauren in a wedding dress

What is editorial wedding photography?

Similar to most art forms, editorial wedding photography doesn’t necessarily fit into one restricted box. Each wedding photographer who documents in an editorial fashion will have their own artistic way of expression, while still remaining true and accurate to the style.  When you book this type of photographer, you’re trusting them to completely document your day in an authentic, conceptual, less-manicured manner. If that sounds like what you’re looking for, then you’re on the right track!

Of course, each creative might have a different definition of editorial wedding photography, and that’s completely okay. The one thing I would keep an eye out for is creatives who do give a boxed-in, set-in-stone approach to this type of photography. As I mentioned earlier, with the rise in popularity of this style, there are more trendy approaches that aren’t necessarily representative of its true nature! I’ll be going more in-depth on this later, but when looking for an editorial wedding photographer, pay closer attention to your personal opinion of their documentation style versus trying to determine if it fits one specific definition. 

I’ll leave you with this:  An editorial photograph is an image with a narrative or a creative concept. It doesn’t mean free of color, or modern and contemporary – which is how most of the industry describes it now so that’s become the popular perspective. The term can also mean maximalism, huge amounts of color, and juxtaposition. It can also mean a classical portrait that intentionally tells a story.  Editorial photography can literally mean anything – as long as an intentional and individualized narrative is being formed around it. 

Some common misconceptions about editorial wedding photography debunked

Now that you know what constitutes “editorial wedding photography” and what doesn’t, it’s time to have some fun! There are three very common misconceptions that I hear pretty often as a photographer, so those are the ones we’ll be debunking here next. Plus, you’ll get to see one of my favorite celebrity editorial wedding photographs in action!

Misconception No. 1: Editorial photography is only for the fashion industry

While yes, editorial is mainly geared towards magazines and publications, it is an artistic style and can be applied to more than one type of industry. Editorial photography has to do more with the artist (photographer), concept, and narrative than the specific industry that it’s applied to. I should know – I take tons of inspiration from the fashion world with my personal & professional approach to this style! With my history as a fashion photographer before entering the world of weddings, I incorporate that experience into my galleries and concepts. Although I tailor my approach to each wedding based on the individual couple, my core style stays consistent. I’m not quite completely hands-off, and I’m also not directing you the entire time.   But, that’s not to say that every photographer has to have the same approach in order to be considered editorial.  

Misconception No. 2: Neutrals and only neutrals

While I love a stylish, neutral wedding, I’m sorry to say that that color is not what makes or breaks an editorial wedding! Minimalism and neutrals are, again, a trend. Editorial photography does not mean the exclusive use of neutral tones or colors – quite the opposite, actually! For example, take a look at Diogo Appleton’s wedding in Portugal. He and his bride definitely did not shy away from color, incorporating brightly-colored tablescapes, vibrant florals, and a lively guest color palette. I would absolutely consider their wedding photos editorial – I’m still swooning over them to this day!

Misconception No. 3: You have to remain posed and emotionless

Let me tell you this right now: you do not have to look like you’re walking in Paris Fashion Week to be considered editorial! You don’t have to pretend you’re a model for your wedding photos. How about we leave that to the professionals? Your wedding day should be full of love, laughter, and emotions, regardless of the documentation style you choose. 

How to know if you’re truly an editorial wedding photography lover

Alright, checkpoint! You know what editorial wedding photography can be, what it usually isn’t, and some common misconceptions about it briefly explained. Now, you can accurately determine if this is the right style of photography for you!

Keep in mind that this is most definitely not an exhaustive list, and you could be none of these things and still be a lover of the style. This list is to be interpreted simply as a guideline for couples who don’t know where to start in choosing the perfect style of wedding photography for their big day:

  • You’re a lover of the arts & have a deep appreciation for artistic expression
  • You’re in a creative field like design, marketing, or the arts and crave creative documentation of your wedding day 
  • You’re a laid-back, go-with-the-flow couple who doesn’t want the pressure of being overly directed throughout the day
  • You want a non-traditional wedding day filled only with the things you and your partner enjoy and aren’t taking opinions from traditional parties too seriously 
  • You value having photos that feel true to your day instead of trying to make your wedding something else based on trends or what’s popular

What to look for when booking an editorial wedding photographer

Now that you’ve most likely decided if editorial wedding photography is the right style for you or not, let’s talk about how to choose a photographer! It’s important to browse through their website to get a feel of their approach. Learn about why they call themselves an editorial wedding photographer. Take a look at their portfolio & blog posts to determine whether or not you resonate with their editing style. One thing to understand is that when you’re hiring an editorial wedding photographer, you’re fully trusting in their creative perspective. It can be discouraging when couples try to take the lead and won’t let their photographer express their artistic vision with certain photos. Putting complete faith and trust into the person you hire is one of the most important things you can do! 

If you want an example of a couple who fully trusted my documentation of their day, check out Jacqueline and Jason’s Scottsdale, AZ Wedding.

Last, but not least, confirm that they have experience photographing different skin tones, body types, lighting situations, and locations. Photographers who don’t have experience with harsh or unfavorable lighting conditions may be more of a risk. Although we try to guide you into the best lighting situations, we have to always be prepared for anything! 

Our approach at Kyla Jeanette 

Here at Kyla Jeanette, we like to mix it up with different styles and concepts for our sessions, weddings, and creative work. I consider us an editorial wedding photography team because the style of photography we deliver is elevated photojournalism and conceptual art. Our style is most appealing to couples who admire fashion, individuality, and romance. We approach every wedding day with a unique perspective based on what we have gotten to know about each couple throughout the planning process! 

You’ll never have to worry about your photos looking the same as all the other weddings you see on Instagram. Or, honestly, even similar to our very own wedding galleries. We like to approach your day as photojournalists and capture your narrative in a mostly raw, unmanicured way. Don’t worry, though, we still like to get the necessary traditional shots that are still somewhat expected in your wedding gallery.  

What type of images should you expect to receive from an editorial wedding photographer?

Going further, what type of images should you expect to receive once your wedding gallery is delivered? You’ll never have to worry about your photos looking the same as all the other weddings you see on Instagram, or even similar to our very own wedding galleries. We like to approach your day as photojournalists and capture your narrative in a mostly raw, unmanicured way. 

You should expect to receive photos that are non-traditional, juxtaposed, creative, and full of life. No stuffy, overly-directed shots – at least, not here at Kyla Jeanette! Don’t worry, though, we still like to get in a few traditional shots that are still somewhat expected in your wedding gallery. We work with you to ensure that all the necessary photos are taken, mainly for the purpose of sharing with family members who would appreciate those photos. Alas, that type of documentation will not be the only focus. When you get your photos back, you should be able to view your day in a raw, unmanicured lens that feels just as authentic as the moments themselves. 

 A rundown of different photography terms explained 

Here is a quick crash course of additional photography terms explained, so that you’re as informed as can be when choosing your wedding photographer: 

  • Photojournalistic:  Documenting the day from the lens of a fly on the wall. Someone that is solely looking for emotions and moments without directing anything. Think of a newspaper photographer.
  • Fine art: When it comes to weddings, the definition of fine art differs from the general term “fine-art.” Fine art photography for weddings is more directed and hands-on with perfecting the shot. It can typically be found with photographers that edit lighter. It’s an impactful style, and is a bit more traditional, and still loved by many.
  • Documentary: Typically a synonym for “photojournalistic”  

Let us document your day

If you’re looking for an editorial wedding photography team to document your day, we would love to learn more about your vision. To get in touch with us, you can fill out the contact form and I’ll be in touch soon! In the meantime, check out our Pinterest profile to get a broader view of our portfolio and start gaining inspiration for your own wedding.