What is Commercial Photography?

In a world where businesses are always looking for an edge, it's no wonder commercial photography is popular. From food to fashion, there's no end to the need for professional photos. 

So, if you want to learn more about what is commercial photography, and their craft, stay tuned!

What does commercial photography mean?

Answering the question of: “What is commercial photography?” is all about understanding the broadness of it. 

Commercial photography is a form of advertising used to promote and market products or services. This can cover a wide range of everything and anything businesses want to sell.

What do commercial photographers do?

Well, Photographers will take pictures of these products. Then, they provide those pictures to their client. 

What is a commercial advertising photographer?

What is Commercial Photography - Define Product Photography

As mentioned, commercial photographers are the ones capturing the advertising images. These individuals can do this work full or part-time, and make a decent living doing so. 

Though, given the nature of the service provided, it's not uncommon for clients to have a heavy hand.  At a typical shoot, the commercial photographer will need to work within brand guidelines and have an approved shot list.

In this way, commercial photography is fairly strict. But, it also provides an amazing symbiotic relationship between the business and the photographer.


What are examples of commercial photography?

Define Commercial Photography - Nikon Camera

Given that there are thousands of products to advertise, there are a wide range of commercial photography niches. However, some of the most popular include:

Food & Drink Photography

What is Commercial Photography - Product Photography - Krispy Kreme Donuts

Ever looked at a photo of food and thought, “Wow, I’m hungry now.” If so, commercial photographers are doing their job correctly!

Food businesses like restaurants often pay for tantalizing pictures of their food. In this case, photographers usually work with a food stylist so the food looks its best for the camera.

Fashion Photography

What is Commercial Photography Photographers - Fashion Photography Portrait

What photographer doesn't love taking pictures of models in fashionable clothing? This type of photography can be shot outdoors or in a studio, but either way the purpose is the same. It's all about selling the clothes. 

Knowing how to pose models (male model poses or female model poses) and make the clothing shine is crucial for this type of commercial photography.

Product Photography

What is Commercial Photography - Explain the Difference Between Commercial Photography and Advertising - Car Ad

Though the term "product" might seem obvious or redundant it's still worth mentioning. After all, this covers a huge swath of commercial photography. 

Products can range from cars to skin care, and basically anything in-between. If it's something companies are trying to sell, it's probably a product. Many of these shoots use backdrops, though some of the bigger products can be captured outdoors.

Environmental Portraits

What Does Commercial Photography Mean - Commercial Photo

Have you ever seen a photo of a construction worker building, or a doctor performing surgery? These would fall under the category of environmental portraits. Environmental portraits show the subject's workplace, and can be used for promotional purposes. 

Think of how good these portraits might show caring customer service, or qualified employees.

Architecture & Real Estate Photography

Commercial Photography Description - What is Commercial Photography

Last but not least, what would commercial photography be without architecture and real estate?

Typically, these photos are taken to sell properties, or display their impressive nature. Photographers in this niche of commercial photography need to know all about things like ambient lighting

Tools of the Trade

What is Commercial Photography Definition - Voyager Camera Backpack

To succeed in this line of work, commercial photography photographers need some important gear. Sure, you might know about cameras and lenses, but what about your camera bag?

Looking for the best camera backpack? For safety and security between shoots, we recommend The Voyager. This backpack packs a serious amount of gear for its size, fitting two DSLR camera bags, up to seven lenses, a laptop, a tablet, and other accessories. All this storage makes it easy to pack anything and everything you’ll need for your commercial photoshoot. 

Up Next: How to Start a Photography Business

Now that you know the answer to the question: “What is commercial photography?”, let us know in the comments which niche interested you the most.

And, if you want to learn more about how to turn your passion for photography into a business, check out our article on just that!

Up Next: How to Start a Photography Business →

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published