Commercial Photography Explained

It’s possible that you’ve heard the term “commercial photography” before, but that doesn’t mean you know exactly what it is. Just as its name implies, this type of photography is intended for commercial use. That means that photos may be used in advertisements, product placements or on merchandise. Corporations and restaurants heavily rely on this type of photography, too.

Photography That Promotes a Business

Many businesses use commercial photography to promote either the company as a whole or a specific aspect of the business, like a new product or an individual service. Professionals prefer this type of photography over industrial photography, which takes place at the actual business location or even at the company’s factory. Industrial photography just isn’t professional-looking enough for certain businesses. Instead, photo sessions are carried out in an isolated environment or a professional studio. After all, wouldn’t you rather see a photo of a gorgeous model than of a factory worker?

Photography That Sells a Product

Photographers are often hired to shoot individual products or entire product lines. The photographer may focus either on the product’s design or how the product is used, depending on what the business wants. Some products have obvious uses and the photographer will choose to showcase design instead of functionality. For example, you already know the purpose of a carpet, right? In this case, the photographer may show the individual fibers of the carpet to prove how lush it is. On the other hand, many people don’t know how to use the latest smartphone on the market and the photographer will have to show some of its functions. This way, you’ll learn about a feature of your phone just by checking out the photo!

Food Photography

Restaurants, hotels and other businesses in the hospitality industry rely on photography to promote menu items. Food photography is used in a variety of publications, from the menus themselves to culinary sections of newspapers and magazines. Photographers often take pictures of a restaurant or bar to convey a certain emotion and atmosphere. Then, when you look at the photo, you can tell what your experience will be before you even get there. This type of photography is usually performed on-site, which means the photographer has to come prepared with portable backgrounds and lighting equipment.

Many food photographers have experience with still life photography. Also, in order to photograph well, food has to be arranged in a certain way. A regular dish that’s served at a restaurant won’t come out well in a photo if it’s not styled first. Imagine taking a picture of your burger from McDonald’s and then putting it on a poster! Photographers may bring along food stylists or style the food themselves.

Fashion Photography

All you models, listen up! One of the best known types of commercial photography is fashion photography. These photos often end up in advertisements and magazine editorials. A variety of techniques are used for fashion photography, depending on what the shots will be used for. For example, photos for clothing catalogs must show minor details of the clothing. Editorial photographs, on the other hand, aren’t as focused on specific details but instead try to use the clothing in unique and dramatic ways.

Chris Olens writes for Bumblejax, a Seattle company that specializes in transforming any digital image into gallery quality acrylic mounted prints.

Photo credits by Orphicpixel

About Mars Cureg

Socially and physically awkward, lack of social skills, struggles to communicate with anything that doesn't have a keyboard.

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