From the day of its official unveil to the public, Essence Magazine makes it a point to have photos mainly of African American women. Every once in awhile you’ll find an issue with a man (African-American) on the front and within an issue. These images are posed and styled photos of women (or men) and they are usually give off the aura of elegance.
Within the publication (as mentioned above), readers can find an array of posed photos that represent strength, elegance, and beauty. Essence likes to play around with layouts in their stories. Some articles will have collages of images like the photo above and others might be one full sized photo that can take up the entire page. All photography featured in the pages of Essence correspond with each article.
In general Essence’s photos are usually a medium shot most likely for reader visibility. Each photo has a great way of complimenting each other. The backgrounds are simple and usually blurred to draw emphasis on the subject. The outfits of choice also provide a nice contrast between the background and the subject.
Depending on the topic, sometimes Essence will decrease the size of the photo. I believe that for more sensitive or raise awareness topics, the publication reduces the size selected photos to put more emphasis on the words versus the image. From my observation I also noticed that Essence is more photography based versus illustration. I rarely see an illustration heavy issue with Essence.
Each publication of Essence has it’s own personality. Some issues I find more visually heavier than others. I think that’s what makes Essence unique. Every issue is a visual experience. You never know what exactly Essence is going to do next but, we know for sure that is going to send a message that black women are amazing.