Let’s break it down. Why are editorial images their own category? What distinguishes editorial photography is that recognizable people and locations in the photographs don’t come with model or property release forms. This means that the use of these photographs is limited to a specific purpose.

These images can only be used to illustrate a news-related story and used in media to illustrate certain events but not promote any product. They are used by newspapers and different media sparingly to illustrate stories. This is different from commercial photography which is used to promote products and ideas.

The mediascape is in constant need for photographs so editorial images are in high demand on microstock platforms. Keep in mind that if you don’t have release forms for a good reason, you can use those photographs and label them ‘Editorial’. This is especially true if you have great shots of a unique event or place.

We’ll be looking at the most popular editorial images in our library and why they’ve achieved their success.

1. Chicago theatre at night

Capturing night city life can be a little tricky even for professional photographers. This photograph beautifully captures night lights and showcases an iconic location. Due to the nature of the recognizable location, it can only be used for editorial purposes.


2. Social media

Social media will remain the buzzword of this decade and the decades to come. This photograph captures all the familiar apps we use on a daily bases and makes for a great image of the social media scape. It’s a versatile shot that can be a great illustration for a news story.


3. Porto City Hall

Editorial photography has it that you must have property release forms for recognizable and iconic cityscapes. This photograph of the Porto City Hall could be ideal for a news story. It’s a classic composition with a prominent accent on the architectural structure.


4. Streets of Boston

This casual view down one of the streets of Boston is a great representation of the quiet side of city life. The vivid colors and perfect composition makes it a compelling photograph to use in a related publication.


5. Sri Lankan fishermen

As you’ve guessed it, recognizable people in this photograph must have been hard to get model release forms from. This photograph goes to show that the successful images that you have without release forms can be used as editorial images and picked up by news agencies.


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