Tips for the Best Editorial Photoshoot Setup in Studio

Let’s unpack it together in this photography tutorial.

Video tutorial for setting up editorial photoshoots in studio

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Tips for the Best Editorial Photoshoot Setup

How to take amazing editorial photos on set

For this in depth tutorial, Becki and Chris show you how to create the best editorial photoshoot setup on a budget and with limited space!

Check out their tips for setting up and shooting for editorials.


Tips to shoot editorial photography in studio

What is editorial photography?

Editorial photos are generally the images that go alongside an article or publication, but can also be used for anything you will be marketing or advertising.

These can be great marketing materials for large companies to small businesses.

Examples of where editorial photos are used are such as photos for your website, the youtube header photo, a video thumbnail picture, any instagram content, and more!

For example, Becki and Chris are doing a shoot for their home renovation project that they are going to market on social media and do an article piece on their website.

Tips for the Best Editorial Photoshoot Setup

Tip 1: Preparation is key! Plan out the vision first

Draw or sketch out your shoot ideas first to get your plan out on paper and give yourself a visual to work with before just throwing things together.

This will ensure you will be able to capture what you need and not waste time re-shooting later.

Start with the background of your photoshoot to set the theme and give a representation of what you are advertising or trying to accomplish with the shoot.

For example, in Becki and Chris’ tutorial, they‘ be sketched out the set and the different photos they want to try to get out of using just one setup:

Get the best editorial photoshoot setup by planning and drawing it out first


Tip 2: Thinking through Aspect Ratios

What is an aspect ratio? Aspect ratio is the width vs height of the photo.

Thinking through the different aspect ratio’s you need for your product from your shoot is really important, because you might want a different photo style for different uses.

For example, a youtube header is super wide and not very tall, and a website or a youtube thumbnail (small picture to represent a video) will use a 16:9 landscape ratio (short and wide). 

Instagram stories will have the vertical or portrait orientation (thin and tall).

Aspect ratios for editorial photoshoots are important to consider


Tip 3: Save time by using one set for all the ratios you need

Think about whether you can get all of these different aspect ratio photos with the one setup to save yourself a lot of time. If you really want or need to change the set for every different shot, you can.

Consider setting one scene with a blank, one color back drop in the middle so you can capitalize on perspective.

Have the subject stand further back from the camera, then shoot zoomed out wide with high resolution.

This way later in editing you have enough photo to play with. You’ll be able to crop in, get the super wide of a youtube header and also the vertical format for Instagram.

The high resolution means you can do this without losing subject focus or image clarity. 

Using one set for all aspect ratios will save time


Tip 3 For the best editorial photoshoot setup: Be intentional when laying out your Set

The space, materials, lighting and other elements you have to work with are going to dictate the framing of your scene.

Things to keep in mind for your editorial shot:

  1. The photo is going to tell a story – so the set needs to bring in the story elements
  2. It’s going to be used to advertise – so it needs to have a clear message you are trying to convey
  3. The image will go along with a written article – so it needs to tie into the subject of the article content

When using one scene to capture several different aspect ratios, you will need to move the lighting around the set for different shots.

It’s recommended to use a dramatic or strong light so you’ll need to use a soft box (light shades) close to the subject, which will need to be moved out of the frame for those wider shots.

In Becki and Chris’ example, they’re shooting in a cluttered garage space but it tells the story and conveys the message of the house under construction.

Best editorial photoshoot setup using all the elements


Tip 4: Lighting 

Shoot with off-camera flash to minimise the contribution from ambient (natural) light. This gets your shots with full flash effect for the best lighting in the studio setting.

In the tutorial, Becki and Chris are using AlienBees B1600 and B800 studio flash monolights. The B1600 is used as the key light, or the primary light source for the scene. 

This mononlight from Godox is very similar and would work well in the same studio setting.

Other light sources then supplement or fill out the scene to eliminate unwanted shading/shadowing.

The Sony A7R4 camera being used has a sync port, this allows you to set up a ‘sync cord’. It’s an electrical cable which connects a camera directly to a flash unit to allow the use of flash synchronisation.

A signal is sent from the camera to the flash unit via the sync chord when the shutter button is pressed so the flash is timed perfectly.

You will need to take some test shots to make sure your shutter is time correctly with your flash, and that the flash isn’t too strong.

Lighting setup for editorial photoshoot


Tip 5 for the best editorial photoshoot setup: Always Answer this!

Whatever you do in your editorial photoshoot, make sure you ask and answer these essential questions:

What’s the story you are trying to tell?

What is the purpose of this shot?

Will you need any space for text to be added into your image?

Answering these questions will set you up and give the full vision for the project, from planning to set up to post shoot editing!

Also, if there is something in the scene or lighting try not to say “oh we can just edit that out later..”. Just make the change now! It will save you so much time later not having to fix things if you can do it during the shoot.

Telling the story and message with the best editorial photoshoot setup

Now you can create the best editorial photoshoot setup in studio!

Use these set, lighting and storytelling tips to take the best editorial photos!

Improve your photography overall with this comprehensive guide!

Which of these tips will you use in your next photoshoot or editorial project?

Comment below!

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