There is a vast amount of styles found within the scope of photography. Commercial photography is one of the most dominant ones. Learn what it is and how to get started!
If you are keen on a career in photography, then chances are that you have brainstormed the style of photography that you would like to specialise in. Depending on your skills and interests, there are countless fields you can work in. However, finding the right one may be a difficult path.
Commercial photography is an extremely dynamic niche that orients around a company’s sales or the operations behind managing a business. However, this style of photography is more potent than the fundamental idea of what it consists of.
In this article, we will clarify what commercial photography is and share tips on how to get started — Enjoy!
What is Commercial Photography?
When thinking of commercial photography, we all have an image that comes to mind. Either from a photo we have seen in a magazine spread or from a billboard on the side of the road.
Whilst the term covers a wide array of imagery, the aim of this style is to promote or sell a product or service, or to help an organization make money.
Depending on what you are aiming to visualise, the styles associated with this type of photography can include product photography, fashion photography, or lifestyle photography. Nevertheless, depending on the client and what they are trying to sell, architectural and food photography could also be called upon.
When working as a commercial photographer it is not only important to embody the goal that the client wants to achieve through the images, but that you also understand the platform on which the campaign photos will be spread.
Commercial photography can be presented anywhere from social media platforms such as Instagram, to websites, or a magazine — amongst others.
Your underlying job as a commercial photographer is to fabricate images that situate the brand and their product in the minds of the targeted consumer. With this, you should understand that the key difference between commercial photography and advertising is the intent behind the image.
The intent of commercial photography is to capture the product in the best possible way. Whilst on the flip side, in advertising you are trying to convince the audience to purchase what you are showing.
Tips to Getting Started in Commercial Photography
If you are interested in becoming a commercial photographer, then we have some tips which will inspire you to get started.
While it is not always easy growing your profession in a new field, we have compiled three tips which could help you brave the next step and start working for commercial jobs.
#1 Grow your Portfolio
Similar to any other photography direction, if you want your work to be seen and in turn receive great jobs, then the first step is to build out your portfolio. It is okay that at the beginning you do not have a vast array of images to showcase. However, it is important that you keep including new photos over time.
Also, it is beneficial if you fill your portfolio with images that reflect the style of work that you are aspiring to shoot. The advantage that this has is that clients will quickly see if you are the right person for the job and have the right skillsets.
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#2 Work as an Assistant Photographer
If you are looking for a good way to get a lead in the field of commercial photography and gain some on-sight experience, then you should look into getting work experience as a photo assistant.
Assistant jobs are an excellent way to experience the day-to-day routes of a professional photographer and learn how to develop technical expertise. This can really help set yourself apart from other talented creatives.
Especially in the field of commercial photography, is it important to understand the impacts that lighting and setting have. As well as learning how the presentation of a product and the conceptualisation behind it add to the way the image will be perceived later on.
#3 Knowing What Projects to Tackle
The last tip that we have for you when starting off your career in commercial photography is that you need to learn what projects you should tackle and which jobs you should rather pass up.
The best way to establish a spectrum by which you can measure this is by determining what photography is best combined within your commercial work.
As discussed above, commercial photography can include various genres such as product photography, fashion photography, or even in some cases architectural photography.
Understanding which category you are the most passionate about will help you balance the work that lies ahead and help you differentiate between what brands you want to work for.
Now that you know what commercial photography is and have learned three tips you can incorporate when starting your career journey, it’s time to get started!