The azimuthal distributions of photons and charged particles with respect to the event plane are investigated as a function of centrality in 208Pb + 208Pb collisions at 158 · A GeV/c in the WA98 experiment at the CERN SPS. The anisotropy of the azimuthal distributions is characterized using a Fourier analysis. For both the photon and charged particle distributions the first two Fourier coefficients are observed to decrease with increasing centrality. The observed anisotropies of the photon distributions compare well with the expectations from the charged particle measurements for all centralities. © Springer-Verlag / Società di Fisica 2005.