The photographs and images in Esquire for the most part only used as required or supplemental materials from my deductions. A majority of their cover photos are very posed, stock photo-esque, and the only thing that is unique about them is that the subjects featured on the covers are celebrities versus the ordinary model. But even this distinction does not separate them from their competition in terms of imagery display.
In most of their stories, they use large images to enhance the reading experience versus relying on overwhelming their readers with too many words per story. The get to the point approach is a large part of the Esquire motto.
Inside the publication the imagery is very staged still and probably the one thing that I did like creatively about their images was that they have this software that will convert their photographed images into illustrations. This is a technique they have been using for a few years now versus just relying on the normal staged studio photo to do all the work. I believe as a graphic and creative artist thoughts and creative ideas like this are what can separate your work from those around you.
Their most unique asset as it pertains to their use of imagery is actually their manipulation of their type, which has actually become one of their signature elements to the A1 or cover for the past few years now. They break the lines of gutters and grids to break the readers natural eye trained hierarchy of visual importance.