Commercial, Editorial, Retail and Stock Photography

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.


commercial stock photography example
editorial stock photography example
stock photography example
retail stock photography example


The way a photographer becomes categorised 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 photographic terms listed on this page.


For further reading please check out Licensing