How to Organize an Editorial Wedding Project

NOTE: We made a fancy PDF of this post for printing and viewing offline. Click here to download it for free.

Ludmila Borosova
Ludmila Borosova

Whether you’re an aspiring wedding photographer or you plan to specialize elsewhere, it’s always a good idea to have at least one or two editorials in your portfolio. If you’re a beginner, you can use it to your advantage and stand out from the saturated photography market. If you’re a pro and still don’t have one, you’re losing a big advantage. But let’s start from the beginning: what do we mean when we talk about wedding editorials?

Today, we’ll cover the following:

  • What are wedding editorials?
  • Why is it essential for your brand?
  • How to organize a successful wedding editorial

Photograph by Ľudmila Borošová

Recommended Reading: Want to expand your shooting skills and master photography? Grab our set of 65 beautifully designed and printable Action Cards that will give you over 200 photography assignments to help you take your photography to the next level. Check it out here.

Wedding Editorial

A wedding editorial is a styled photoshoot that showcases the best work from all parties involved in preparing a wedding. This can later be used to illustrate how a wedding can look. From the photographer’s perspective, it can be from the decoration aesthetics or from showcasing the attraction between the couple. Everything about the photoshoot is set up and is closely coordinated to create the best and most flattering outcome. All parties usually agree on a certain vibe or a mood that the editorial reflects (e.g., rustic, bohemian, modern, beach, or moody).

Photograph by Ľudmila Borošová

Show Off Your Work!

Doing a proper editorial puts your work into the next dimension. By collaborating with other professionals and ensuring that all external factors work to your advantage, you can create a synergy that allows you to create THE ideal wedding pictures. Why?

  • You’re in charge of the set – Do you want to attract your ideal clients that just love bohemian-styled photoshoots? Create the photoshoot as close to your dream work.
  • You have professional help – Your skills matter to some extent. Still, professional makeup, dresses, models, and decorations will make a huge difference that you couldn’t reach on your own.
  • Time is on your side – Even though you have photos from weddings you usually shoot (and they’re beautiful), it’s not the same with an editorial. Here, you have all the time in the world you need to create the best shot. At a wedding, everything goes by quickly, and you make lots of sacrifices.
  • You can mitigate risks – Compared to an actual wedding, your editorial can be postponed in case of bad weather or other external factors that are usually impossible to manage.

Photograph by Ľudmila Borošová

Needless to say, an editorial wedding photoshoot will be a dominant part of your portfolio and website, and you can use it for paid promotions or publish in wedding magazines. Your brand will benefit from having a well-put-together photoshoot, and clients will be blown away by the fairytale you just put together. It’s easier for them to trust you if your photos look like they’re from a magazine.

Follow These Steps!

To organize a wedding editorial, you should follow a plan. It may vary depending on your needs, but you can use these main eight steps as inspiration:

1. Think About the Purpose

How should the photoshoot benefit you? Your photography is a business, so ask yourself what you’re getting in return whenever you’re doing something for free. What is your goal with organizing an editorial? Do you want to attract your favorite clients? Network with vendors? Let your creative vision come true? Whatever it is, make it clear for yourself in the beginning. It will be much easier to make operative decisions on the way with a goal.

2. Choose a Theme

Depending on your goal, you must choose the central theme of the editorial. This is how you will ensure that all people working together have the same thing in mind, and it will not turn out as an uncertain mix of elements. You can choose the theme depending on your visual preference, aesthetics, or dream clients, or you can select your favorite stylist that will make the decision. Don’t worry, you can change the theme in the process, but it’s the most essential element that everyone should be aware of, so proper communication is the key!

You can choose the theme depending on your visual preference, aesthetics, or dream clients, or you can select your favorite stylist that will make the decision.

Photograph by Ľudmila Borošová

3. Write Down a List of All Vendors

Now that your vision is clear, it’s time to discuss who you’d like to work with. And the more, the merrier! This time, the model and stylist aren’t your only colleagues. There are many more people you can contact and benefit from. Thanks to reaching out to proper vendors, you can make your photoshoot more complete, and as a bonus, all of them will share it with their audience, too! You will need to contact the following:

  • Models
  • A wedding salon (for the dresses and suits)
  • A venue
  • A makeup artist
  • A hairstylist

And other optional collaborations include:

  • Videomakers
  • Florists (for bouquets)
  • Decorators (for creating the set)
  • Fashion stylists
  • Wedding rings
  • Wedding cakes
  • Stationary

4. Choose a Date of the Editorial

It’s good to organize your editorial some months (or at least a few weeks) in advance. Some vendors need time to develop a creative idea, order supplies, ship goods, or just make a space in their calendar. Respect that everyone has different timetables and propose a date that’s in the future. Not everyone you contacted has time, but choose one vendor or element that’s the most important and compromise with their calendar. Usually, it’s one of the setting stones like models, wedding salons, makeup artists, or venues. Whatever is most important to you!

Photograph by Ľudmila Borošová

5. Before the Photoshoot

You’re the group manager, so making sure that everyone feels comfortable on the spot is your job. Make sure that you communicate the timetable of the day (count for extra time), transport options, and have the budget talk before you start. While time is the main investment for photographers in this type of project, some other vendors need to pay for it (e.g., the florist). There isn’t the best solution to this, but sometimes other vendors don’t mind splitting all costs together. You should communicate with the venue and ask if there is a place for private parking, a room where you can do makeup or a kitchen where you can put refreshments. Ensure that there are no awkward time slots in the timetable (e.g., a makeup artist should arrive earlier than a hairstylist).

6. On the Day of the Photoshoot

Photograph by Ľudmila Borošová

Everything’s organized! You and the venue manager should be the first to arrive at the venue. As other creatives will arrive, you should ensure they know where to go to set up the things they need to work with. It depends on the group’s preference. Still, if the photoshoot takes a few hours, it’s good to bring beverages and food for everyone with you.

Photograph by Ľudmila Borošová

When photographing the editorial, you can unleash your creativity. But beware: everyone who contributed to the photoshoot should have pictures that they need in their portfolio. Don’t just shoot models, do details of the wedding rings, the bouquet, or the dresses and decorations. If you can, specifically ask for preferences!

Photograph by Ľudmila Borošová

7. Delivering the Images

When delivering the images, make sure that the pictures you took for each vendor will be in the selection. You can take your time, but always make sure to follow a deadline if set. When sending the pictures, create a document that mentions everyone working on the project and their social media. This will make it a lot easier for everyone to tag others!

Recommended Reading: Want to expand your shooting skills and master photography? Grab our set of 65 beautifully designed and printable Action Cards that will give you over 200 photography assignments to help you take your photography to the next level. Check it out here.

8. Publishing the Images

So now that the hard work is done, you should share it online! If you don’t know where to start, do your social media accounts such as Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok first. After that, update the portfolio on your website. This will add so much energy to the wedding section of your page! Another optional thing is to submit your work to some of the international fashion or wedding magazines.

So now that the hard work is done, you should share it online! If you don't know where to start, do your social media accounts such as Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok first.

This is good if you want to get featured internationally! If you’re looking to gain local leads, send your work to all wedding blogs and wedding prints in your country. Beware that this service may be paid! My last “free” advice is to post your editorial in local Facebook groups that specify weddings for the current or next season.

Photograph by Ľudmila Borošová

Whatever your reason for creating an editorial, it’s a lot of fun, and you should do it at least once! If you enjoy organizing events and similar activities, this should be a dream for you. Don’t get discouraged when something’s not going your way or if vendors aren’t keen on working with you. It’s always good to find people on the same level of work (aesthetically and with schedule). You can always aim high, but you’re more likely to find someone who doesn’t do this often and would love to give it a try. And trust me… you will feel like you’re on a movie set! Go ahead and create your first editorial and your first organizing experience, and enhance your portfolio with unique photos!

Photograph by Ľudmila Borošová

Photograph by Ľudmila Borošová

Self-Check Quiz:

  1. What is a wedding editorial?
  2. Why is it better than an actual wedding?
  3. How do you set the purpose of the photoshoot?
  4. How do you set a theme for the photoshoot?
  5. Who are some of the people that you can collaborate with?
  6. How do you compromise the date of the photoshoot?
  7. Should you talk about budgets in advance?
  8. Which pictures are essential?
  9. What kind of a document should you attach when sending out the edited files?
  10. Where can you feature or share your photographs?

Assignment:

  • Find at least five wedding editorials online that you find stunning. Why did you choose them? How did the photographer accomplish everything you enjoyed?
  • Imagine that you’re working on an editorial. Set the purpose and the theme of the photoshoot and find vendors in your area that could make your dream come true.
  • Decide if you would like to try this type of photoshoot. If the answer is no, write down why you think it’s not good now and when would you prefer to ask yourself again. If the answer is yes, write down all necessary steps towards your dream editorial. Good luck, you can do it!

Share with your friends:

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Posted in:

About the author:

Hey there!

Snap Cards™

44 beautifully designed, printable photography cheat sheets that you can take with you anywhere!
Learn more →

FREE Photography eBooks

Free access to our library of 250+ downloadable (pdf) tutorials on everything you can imagine.
Learn more →

What is Your #1 Photography Killer?

Take this 30 second quiz to find out the #1 thing holding your photography back.
Take quiz →

Action Cards™

65 beautifully designed & printable project cheat sheets that will give you over 200 photography assignments.
Learn more →

Great! Click below to get Your ebook:

free today!
Download the fancy PDF version of this post: