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Advertising Vs. Editorial

Lesson 26 from: Environmental Portrait Photography

Dan Brouillette

Advertising Vs. Editorial

Lesson 26 from: Environmental Portrait Photography

Dan Brouillette

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Lesson Info

26. Advertising Vs. Editorial

Editorial work and advertising work have several distinct characteristics. Learn the difference between the two and how to please both types of clients.


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Introduction to The Environmental Portrait


Environmental Portrait Purpose


Personal Work


Find Your Process




Purpose For Action Editorial


Prepare for Shoot


Lesson Info

Advertising Vs. Editorial

Advertising verse editorial. So this has nothing to do with the retouching. It has nothing to do with a lot of the stuff we talked about, but I just wanna kinda lighten it up and go on a different topic to end this chapter before we move on to another shoot and I know it has to do a lot with the questions I get. So for one, for those of you asking, editorial would be the magazines and the subject, this is how I compare what I'm shooting, as far as environmental portraits. I meant to address this earlier, but when I'm shooting for magazines or even personal work, it's more subject-oriented meaning I let the person kind of tell the story. I'm more focused on who I'm dealing with because if it's a real, I mean we're all real people, but if you're shooting the owner of a business, that's not a model, that's a real person. So I let them tell the narrative or kind of supplement the story or even drive the story because I want to capture them in their environment, I want them to be comfortabl...

e. I want all those elements to feel authentic and if you let them kind of drive and not be real pushy, you'll get the shots you want and you'll be a lot happier with the results because they'll look real, where on the other hand, with advertising, those images are used to sell a service or a product or whatever. Advertising images sell things. So I'm not so concerned with having the person drive the story. It might be more product driven. It might be, what's the story of this, whatever the product, service, or mood they're trying to sell, so it's more of a way of how do I direct the subject to get that vibe more so than let the model take control. So, for instance, I was doing a shoot last week for a company that sells wine. And it was kind of environmental portraits with the beach and it was actual models, it wasn't so much people who work, who enjoy the wine or who make the wine, so we needed to get the models in the right frame of mind to tell that story. So it's almost coming up with fake scenarios of, oh you're with your friends and your boyfriend's walking up the beach and, you know, it's not that they're actually living this moment. They have to act it out so they're almost acting more as actors than models, but we're creating an environmental portrait that's almost based on a false narrative to get an authentic look and you really have to strive to get there and convince people that it's real whereas the man standing in the butcher shop with the meat, I don't have to tell him what a butcher does, he knows, he's been doing it for 50 years. So that story tells itself where some of these other ones with advertising, to get an authentic look, it takes a little extra level of production and convincing and planning to try and get, it's like if these people don't know how to do the task that's done in, let's say you were doing an ad for a lawn mowing company and you had someone out raking leaves and they had never raked leaves before. Well, there's some really wrong ways to hold a rake and other people will look at that image and be like, that is not real. So it's getting in there and convincing people to think it's real even if it's not a real scenario, but also having the smarts to be able to research it and I said the same thing earlier with the fly fishing. It's important for you as the photographer to know how to rake leaves or how to fly fish. If you're gonna photograph that person because if they're doing it wrong, it's not right and I actually just saw an ad on the airplane out here in a magazine and it's someone golfing. And I love golf, so I know how to swing a golf club and how it should be swung. And it's an ad of someone swinging a golf club and they're in the stance to swing, clearly the photographer nor the model was a golfer because I'm looking at this and I'm like, that's gonna be the worst golf shot ever, like they have no idea. But I wasn't thinking from that, the terms of this talk, I was just thinking in terms of flipping through the pages, I was like, that guy is brutal at golf, why is he in this ad? But it's because I like to be familiar, even if I have no idea what the content that's being pitched for an ad or for a shoot, I want to go research the heck out of it so that way no one looks at my photo and is like, wow, this guy has no idea about fly fishing or golfing or raking leaves. I want it all to make sense whether it's sports or sewing or who knows what. I want to know the terms so then I can talk about it one-on-one with the subject whether it's, again, a real person or a model so we can come up with the real, authentic-looking photo that kinda, it ties together that entire environmental portrait scene, whether it's editorial or advertising. And again, these have different goals, they have collaborative differences like I said, how you're working with the model, and they have a different approach but they all come together and that's why I think having personal work that is authentic will help you get hired, but when you are trying to get hired, be prepared to know how to recreate those moments without the authenticity because people are gonna wanna see that in the image.

Ratings and Reviews

Julie V

I had the chance to sit in the audience for this class and absolutely loved it. Watching Dan create amazing images from start to finish in front of us was so inspiring. I've learned so much from this class. It actually gave me the confidence to start playing with lights in my studio. It was really useful to see how he sets his lights and how he can easily mix ambient light with artificial. I also love how he focuses on getting the image right in the camera to only do light edits after. I recommend this class to anyone wanting to learn more about lighting, shooting tethered and editing efficiently!

a Creativelive Student

I love this guy! I so appreciate his honesty while he is explaining his thought process, admitting that his “shoulda/coulda/woulda’s” - which I experience ALL the time. I am now going to dust off my light meter and start using it on location as I’m convinced that it works now that I’ve seen Dan’s class. I enjoyed the detailed way he sets up each light individually, checking to make sure it adds the amount and quality of light he wants. Definitely recommend this class - especially for those people who have experience using studio lights and want to see how they can be used to get specific results. Dan’s clear, simple explanations, his unabashed humility, and his sense of humor made this a truly enjoyable way to spend my time learning his methods.

a Creativelive Student

Dan is an excellent instructor! He's completely transparent with his thought processes, from technical to creative. He doesn't waste time horsing around or getting off topic, but is structured and sticks to his outline. Every minute watched is on topic, and is understandable. He's sincere and likable. The course is great for anyone interested in this genre!

Student Work