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I capture the unspoken — the glances, the silences — drawing from New York's pulse and the richness of global cultures. Every wedding is its own intricate narrative. Rooted in theatre and life's everyday rhythms, I document moments both transient and timeless. 

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What is editorial wedding photography?

In the world of shopping for a wedding photographer, a question often arises: what is editorial wedding photography?

This unique and artistically driven style transcends traditional wedding photos, turning each moment into a piece of visual storytelling.

In this blog post, I’ll delve into the heart of editorial wedding photography, exploring how it combines the spontaneity of the big day with the elegance and polish of magazine-style shoots. From the nuanced use of lighting and composition to the artful direction of poses, editorial photography is about crafting a narrative that not only commemorates the day but also elevates it into a realm of artistic expression.

Join me as I unravel the magic behind this captivating style, perfect for couples who dream of their wedding day being pictured like a page from a high-fashion editorial.

Two black and white photos of a bride and groom in front of a taxi cab captured during their wedding at Gotham Hall.

The Essence of Editorial Wedding Photography

Unlike traditional wedding photography, which often focuses on key moments and group shots, editorial photography takes a more artistic approach. It’s about creating images that could grace the pages of a wedding magazine, with a focus on aesthetics, mood, and composition. This style of photography doesn’t just document the day; it elevates the moments into art.

Key Elements of Editorial Wedding Photography

Styling and Themes

In editorial wedding photography, the styling and themes are meticulously planned to create a visually cohesive narrative. Unlike conventional wedding photos, where the focus is primarily on documenting the event, editorial photography is akin to storytelling through imagery.

The themes can range from vintage elegance to modern minimalism, depending on the couple’s personal story and aesthetic preferences. Styling involves every detail – from the attire of the couple and the bridal party to the choice of accessories, venue decorations, and color schemes. This careful curation ensures that each photograph looks like it belongs in a high-end fashion magazine.

A beach wedding, for instance, might feature a breezy, nautical theme with light fabrics and soft, pastel colors, while an urban wedding could lean towards sleek, sophisticated attire against the backdrop of city architecture. The goal is to create a series of images that are not only harmonious but also encapsulate the essence of the couple’s unique style.

A group of women posing in front of a neon sign at Gotham Hall for a wedding.

Lighting and Composition

Lighting and composition are critical elements in editorial wedding photography.

Photographers in this genre possess the skill to manipulate light to create mood and atmosphere, using shadows and highlights to add depth and drama to their images. Whether it’s the soft, diffused light of a romantic sunset or the dramatic contrast of a well-lit nighttime scene, the use of lighting is purposeful and artful.

Composition, too, is key to creating striking images. Editorial photographers often employ unconventional angles, creative framing, and thoughtful arrangement of elements within the shot to tell a story. They might choose a bird’s-eye view to capture the grandeur of a ceremony or a close-up to focus on a tender, intimate moment.

The composition in editorial photography is about more than just capturing subjects; it’s about conveying emotions and building a narrative through the lens.

A man and woman sitting on a bench at Gotham Hall with a blurred background.

Posing and Direction

Editorial wedding photography moves away from traditional, staged poses to a more natural and fluid style.

The aim is to capture candid moments that feel authentic and spontaneous, yet are thoughtfully composed. The photographer directs the couple and the guests in a way that feels relaxed and unforced, often capturing them in motion or in natural interactions.

This approach results in images that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also genuine reflections of the couple’s personalities and the day’s emotions.

Posing might involve guiding the couple through a series of natural movements or interactions, like walking hand in hand, sharing a laugh, or a quiet, reflective moment.

The skill of the photographer lies in their ability to make people feel at ease, allowing their genuine expressions and emotions to shine through, while still composing a shot that fits within the overarching artistic vision of the shoot.

A bride poses in front of a Gotham Hall taxi cab in New York City.

Planning for Editorial Wedding Photography

For couples drawn to the editorial style of wedding photography, the planning process transcends the logistics of the day’s schedule and delves into a collaborative journey with the photographer to create a visual narrative that truly reflects their relationship and aesthetic. This collaboration is a creative exploration, where the couple and photographer share ideas and inspirations to develop a cohesive vision and style for the photography.

The choice of location is crucial in editorial wedding photography, as it sets the backdrop for the story the couple wishes to tell. Couples should consider spaces that align with their desired aesthetic and can add depth and character to the images. For instance, an urban chic theme might lead them to choose modern cityscapes, industrial lofts, or historic buildings with unique architectural elements. These settings provide a dynamic and contemporary backdrop that enhances the editorial feel. On the other hand, couples who prefer rustic elegance might opt for outdoor settings such as vineyards, barns, or countryside estates, where natural landscapes and rustic charm lend a romantic and timeless quality to the photos.

A bride and her mother, elegantly dressed in wedding attire, standing in front of a window at Lyndhurst Mansion.

The theme of the wedding also plays a significant role in achieving an editorial aesthetic. It’s about creating a style that flows through every aspect of the wedding – from the attire and décor to the finer details like invitations and table settings. Couples should consider how each element can contribute to the overall narrative and aesthetic. For example, a vintage-themed wedding might include elements like antique furniture for seating, classic cars for transport, and a color palette that reflects a bygone era. The photographer can use these elements to create images that feel like they’re telling a story from another time.

In essence, planning for editorial wedding photography is an immersive and creative process. It requires the couple to think beyond the traditional aspects of wedding planning and to view their day through a more artistic lens. The collaboration with the photographer is key, as it allows the couple’s vision to come to life in a way that is not only visually stunning but also deeply personal and reflective of their journey together.

A man and woman holding hands during their intimate portrait session at Cipriani for their wedding.

The Photographer’s Perspective

From the perspective of the photographer, editorial wedding photography is much more than a series of assignments – it’s an artistic endeavor and a creative journey. This style of photography pushes photographers to extend beyond conventional boundaries and employ their creativity to its fullest. It’s about seeing and capturing the day through an artistic lens, turning each moment into a visually compelling narrative.

The challenge for photographers in editorial wedding photography lies in their ability to observe and capture the beauty of the day in a distinctive manner. This requires a deep understanding of visual storytelling and an eye for detail that goes beyond the obvious. Photographers must be adept at recognizing and seizing upon the subtleties of each moment – the soft glance between the couple, the gentle touch of a hand, the fleeting expressions of joy and anticipation. These instances, though seemingly ordinary, are the essence of the day, and capturing them in an editorial style means elevating them to a level of extraordinary significance.

A destination wedding bride with her veil blowing in the wind in Ireland.

In this realm of photography, each image is more than just a record of the day; it is a piece of art. Photographers use their skills in composition, lighting, and color to create images that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also evoke emotion and tell a story. They may experiment with different angles, focus techniques, or lighting scenarios to add drama and depth to their photographs, turning standard scenes into striking and memorable images.

Moreover, editorial wedding photography allows photographers to be more than just observers; they become active storytellers. Their role is to weave together the threads of the day into a cohesive and captivating narrative. This involves a thoughtful approach to how the images will come together to tell the story of the day. It’s about creating a flow that captures the essence of the event, the personality of the couple, and the atmosphere of the celebration.

For photographers, this style of photography is not just about capturing what the day looked like but what it felt like. It’s about crafting a series of images that, when looked back upon, will transport the viewer back to those moments, evoking the same emotions and atmosphere as the actual day. This creative journey is what makes editorial wedding photography both a challenging and immensely rewarding field, as photographers get the opportunity to transform ordinary moments into extraordinary and timeless memories.

A destination wedding bride and groom standing in the water at sunset.

Editorial Photography in Different Wedding Settings

Editorial photography’s true strength lies in its remarkable adaptability, which allows it to flourish in any setting, each offering its unique narrative and aesthetic potential. Whether it’s the energetic pulse of a bustling city, the tranquil expanse of a serene beach, or the natural charm of the rustic countryside, editorial photography harnesses these diverse backdrops to enhance and tell a couple’s story in a visually captivating manner.

In the midst of a bustling city, editorial photography captures the vibrancy and dynamism of the urban environment. The city’s towering skyscrapers, busy streets, and eclectic architecture provide a dramatic and contemporary backdrop. Here, photographers can play with the contrasts between the intimate moments of the couple and the grandeur of the urban landscape. The cityscape becomes a canvas for creating striking images, where the love story is set against a backdrop of city lights, street scenes, and architectural details, reflecting the couple’s journey amidst the energy of the urban world.


On the other hand, a beach setting offers a serene and dreamy backdrop for editorial photography. The open skies, gentle waves, and soft sands create a tranquil and romantic atmosphere. Photographers take advantage of the natural light, the vastness of the ocean, and the horizon to compose breathtaking shots. Beach weddings provide an opportunity for more candid, free-spirited shots, where the natural beauty of the setting complements the emotional and joyous moments. The gentle hues of the sunset, the reflection of the water, and the play of light and shadows contribute to creating a serene and enchanting narrative.

Similarly, in a rustic countryside setting, editorial photography taps into the charm and simplicity of the natural world. The rolling hills, rustic barns, and verdant fields offer a timeless and idyllic setting. Photographers leverage the organic textures, natural colors, and soft, diffused lighting to craft images that are warm and inviting. The countryside setting allows for a blend of elegance and simplicity, where the natural surroundings are intertwined with the moments of the day. Photographers capture the interactions between the couple and the natural world, creating a harmonious blend of romance and pastoral beauty.

A bride and groom walking down the grand staircase at the Plaza Hotel for their elegant wedding ceremony.

In each of these settings, editorial photography transcends mere documentation. It uses the environment to tell a story, to add layers of meaning and emotion to each image. This versatility ensures that regardless of where a wedding takes place, editorial photography can encapsulate the essence of the location and the couple’s story within it, resulting in a collection of images that are as unique and beautiful as the wedding itself.

A black and white photo capturing a graceful wedding first dance with two grooms.

The Impact of Editorial Photography on Wedding Trends

Editorial wedding photography, with its roots deeply embedded in the world of fashion and bolstered by the expansive reach of social media, has become a significant force in shaping contemporary wedding trends. This style of photography, known for its artistic and avant-garde approach, is changing the way couples envision and plan their wedding day visuals.

In the sphere of modern weddings, where individuality and personal branding are increasingly valued, editorial wedding photography offers a way for couples to express their unique style and story. Influenced by the aesthetic standards of fashion photography – which often involves high-concept styling, dramatic compositions, and a keen eye for detail – editorial wedding photography encourages couples to think of their wedding as a personalized fashion statement. This perspective has led to more creative and themed weddings, with couples more actively involved in the conceptualization of their wedding’s visual narrative.

fitler club

Social media platforms, especially visually-driven ones like Instagram and Pinterest, play a pivotal role in this trend. They not only provide a wealth of inspiration but also a platform for sharing these stylized wedding photographs. As couples see and share these editorial-style images, they become more inclined to seek out this level of artistry for their own weddings. The result is an increasing demand for photographers who can deliver this cinematic and magazine-quality imagery.

Furthermore, editorial wedding photography is pushing the boundaries of traditional wedding photography by challenging the norms of what wedding photos should look like. Gone are the days when wedding photos were merely posed and formulaic. Now, there is a growing preference for images that are not only visually stunning but also tell a story and evoke emotion. Couples are now more open to unconventional settings, bold fashion choices, and unique themes, all in the pursuit of photos that are as distinctive as their love story.

Two brides sharing their first look on their wedding day, standing next to each other in a park.

This style of photography is also influencing other aspects of weddings, from the choice of venues to the styling of décor, attire, and even food presentation. Couples are increasingly seeking cohesive, styled experiences that will translate beautifully through the lens of editorial photography, leading to a more holistic and design-centric approach to wedding planning.

In essence, editorial wedding photography is not just capturing moments; it’s about creating a visual feast that reflects the couple’s personality and the zeitgeist. It’s a celebration of love through a fashion-forward, artistic lens, inspiring couples to dream bigger and bolder about their wedding day visuals, thereby continuously shaping and redefining modern wedding trends.

An engagement session featuring a black and white photo of a couple in central park.


Editorial wedding photography offers a unique blend of art and storytelling, capturing the essence of a wedding day in a way that is both timeless and avant-garde. For couples looking to immortalize their wedding day as a piece of art, this style of photography is an unparalleled choice.

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