Commercial photography is a specific type of photography that remains alive and well in the modern era. Even as photojournalism and wedding photography continue their steady decline, commercial photographers are as busy as ever. They are creating all sorts of content for clients more than willing to pay for it.
The main goal of commercial photography is marketing. Whether you are talking a studio, sports, or event photographer, captured images are intended to sell things. They are marketing tools aimed at reaching an audience with the message to buy a particular product or service. Sometimes, commercial photography sells people as well.
To give you a better idea of what commercial photography is all about, here are five types of content produced by the pros, compliments of Salt Lake City’s Vargo Photography:
1. Promotional Headshots
Firms like Vargo Photography offer studio headshots for promotional purposes. These are professional photographs taken of business executives, politicians, local celebrities and athletes, and so forth. They are meant to introduce their subjects to an intended audience.
A company might contact a commercial photographer looking for headshots of all senior management. The photos would go on the company’s website. In order to present the most professional image possible, the company wants the photos taken in a studio by an accomplished commercial photographer. They will not be happy with iPhone shots taken by the secretary.
2. Product Shots
Commercial photographers are often called on to produce product images. Along those lines, a photographer can shoot anything from a pair of sneakers to an electric guitar. Most of the product images you see online are produced by professional photographers with an eye for digital marketing. They are not taken by amateurs.
3. Food Shots
Believe it or not, photographing food is one of the most difficult aspects of commercial photography. An experienced food photographer knows how to make what you’re looking at so appealing that your mouth waters at first glance. Take it from the pros: it is not easy.
4. Brand Photography
A subset of commercial photography focuses on brand imaging. For example, one of the shots on the Vargo Photography website shows a race car at full speed. The car and the track in the background are merely a canvas for the real subject: the brand of the car’s primary sponsor. You can clearly see the company’s logo on the side of the car. Displaying the logo on the side of a speeding race car gets the message across quite clearly.
Incidentally, a lot of sports photography is really just brand photography. An organization or athlete is selling a particular brand related to a team, an endorsed product, etc.
5. Stock Images
Finally, not all commercial photographs are taken with a single client in mind. There are photographers who make a nice living producing stock photos for commercial catalogs. They go out and shoot whatever strikes their fancy on that particular day. The best of what they shoot is added to paid catalogs consisting of thousands of images.
Stock photos are used regularly by news organizations, digital marketers, traditional ad agencies, web developers, and so forth. The advantage of this sort of photography is being able to choose your own subjects. Still, you have to know what sells to make a good living.
Commercial photographers are unique breed that know how to capture images in a way that makes them ideal for marketing purposes. It is an interesting skill that not every accomplished photographer possesses. As demonstrated by the types of content described in this post, commercial photography requires a keen understanding of marketing.