Nanowires are ideal building blocks for next-generation solar cell applications. Nanowires grown with the selective area (SA) approach, in particular, have demonstrated very high material quality, thanks to high growth temperature, defect-free crystalline structure, and absence of external catalysts, especially in the InP material system. A comprehensive study on the influence of growth conditions and device processing on optical emission is still necessary though. This article presents an investigation of the nanowire optical properties, performed in order to optimize the internal radiative efficiency. In an initial preamble, the motivation for this study is discussed, as well as the morphology and crystallinity of the nanowires. The effect on the nanowire photoluminescence of several intrinsic and extrinsic parameters and factors are then presented in three sections: first, the influence of basic growth conditions such as the temperature and the precursor ratio is studied. Subsequently, the effects of varying dopant molar flows are explored, keeping in mind the intended solar cell application. Third, the manner in which the processing and the passivation affect the nanowire optical emission is discussed. Precise control of the growth conditions allows maximizing the nanowire internal radiative efficiency and thus their performance in solar cells and other optoelectronic devices.