Commercial, Editorial, Retail and Stock Photography Common Photography Terms


Commercial Photography

Involves the use of images in Advertising, Marketing and Promotional Activities.


Editorial Photography

Involves the use of images mainly for journalistic or educational purposes such as in print media or online including textbooks, magazines, educational blogs, newspapers, brochures, leaflets etc.Images normally containing recogniseable people without signed model releases will fall into this category along with certain properties which don’t have a property release


Retail Photography

Relates to commissioned work or photography carried out for a client’s personal use such as portrait or wedding photography whereby licensing rarely comes into question as the client more often than not has been granted reproduction rights which would be included in their fee.


Stock Photography 

Relates to images or photographs that have already been produced and available for purchase and licensed for specific uses. This fulfills the needs of creative assignments rather than hiring a photographer and for a much lower cost.


The way a photographer becomes categorized is dictated by the end use of their images or photographs.

For Example two different photographers can shoot the same project but one could be doing the commercial side shooting products to be advertised and another could be documenting the process which would be shooting editorial images.

The above images are practical examples of the photography terms listed on this page.


For further reading please check out Licensing