A Portrait Tells a Story

Editorial portraiture captures culture
Photo: iStock

During the past year it has been challenging to photograph people, but that didn’t stop photographers from capturing amazing portraits. And there is nothing that adds to the depth of a story like an editorial portrait. 

5 Important Factors:

Make sure your subject is willing to be photographed. There is nothing like trying to get a good photo of someone who does not want to be photographed. As the story is developed make sure that he/she understands that they will need to allow for time to be photographed. Just as the writer needs time to develop the story the photographer also needs to time to capture it visually. 

Research and select a photographer. There are some great resources (see below) that allow you to search for a photographer based on expertise and location. When looking at their work select samples that capture the direction you need and share these with the photographer when you reach out to assign the shoot.

Review the assignment. Share the story, resource images, and insights with the photographer and share the essence of what you need to capture. Avoid getting into details that will restrict the photographer. By being too prescriptive in an assignment the photographer can be hindered from connecting with the subject and capturing the best shots. Ideally have a quick call so that you can get a sense of the photographer’s personality since they will be the one meeting with the subject.

Art direct, from afar. Don’t feel the need to attend the shoot, unless there is a public relations need for being onsight. It is important for the subject to be comfortable with the photographer, and the more people in attendance the more likely the person is to stiffen up.

Credit the photographer. Editorial portraiture is not as lucrative as advertising. But many times photographers will take on an editorial assignment for the creativity and exposure.