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Can someone please explain what exactly is an illustrative editorial image and how to submit one? I have done a topic search for this in the forum and nothing comes up. I have seen on other platforms that it is some sort of midway designation between editorial and commercial and can have logos and content that is otherwise not licensible but can nevertheless be used for certain commercial purposes. I have also read, again on another platform, that you have to write in the description that it is an illustrative editorial image. Can anyone explain? Thanks.

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Illustrative editorial images are editorial images that are staged in some way. Submit in exactly the same way as for documentary editorial images with the exception that you must include "illustrative editorial" in the keywords.
More details in this article,  and I've linked to the documentary one too so you can see the difference between them better:
https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/submitting-editorial-content-part-1-illustrative-editorial

https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/submitting-editorial-content-part-2-documentary-editorial

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