Pay: not well
Do it for: getting your name out there
Open a magazine, see that 8 page travel story? That’s the type of editorial photographs that doesn’t pay as much as you think it would. The photographer must work with the editor on the angle of the story, types of images needed. The editors have the final say on which images make the cut and best complements their story, sometimes these are not the same images preferred by the photographer. Although the pay is average and the photographer loses a degree of creative control, we do this because it helps to promote ourselves in the industry so we can get more commercial clients.
Pay: very nicely
Do it for: the money
Commercial work is the reason we do some or most of the editorial work. This is where the big bucks are made. Commercial work means taking images for clients to be used in advertising. The downside of commercial work is sometimes losing creative control to the client – or the client’s creative/marketing director.
Do it for: the sake of art
If we do commercial work to pay the bills and we do editorial work to get commercial gigs, then it’s no wonder why creatives love personal work: this is the work we do for our own vision, art for art sake so to speak. There is nothing more liberating and creatively enticing than working on personal photography projects. This is where we truly let our inner artists shine, in fact, the personal work section of your portfolio is one that most clients and editors look at first to determine your creative fit for their project.