Preparing editorial photos

Many of the photos I take are editorial photos, which can be used for non-commercial purposes, such as for articles in magazines. The nice thing about editorial photos is that you don’t need a model release. I also have dreams of being a photojournalist, so this allows me to indulge that passion.

Some of my editorial photos are about events that happen around my hometown of Ann Arbor Michigan, such as car show photo that ended up in Fodor’s, much to my delight!

My photo in Fodor's

But sometimes I’ll take a shot of something I think might come up in articles, such as the Veteran’s hospital, which has ended up in some articles.

VA hospital photo in article
It took me a couple years to get that photo, to get just the right angle, on a nice sunny spring day for the blue sky background and with the flowers blooming….

The same rules of photography apply here, but you also have to be careful not to stage anything, and not to edit it in a way that changes the reality of what happened. Then you have to write a caption. I typically follow Shutterstock’s rules for editorial captions – they work for just about all the websites I’m on except iStockphotos, who don’t like the all capital letters.

Where do you put that caption? If you have a photo editing program you can access your photo’s information and put it in the description, along with your keywords, title, etc. That way all the information will load up automatically when you submit your photo into the stock photo website. But it that feels intimidating right now you can add it at the stock photo website after you upload your photo.


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