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A Comprehensive Guide to Commercial Photography

Commercial Photography

Table of Contents

5 Min Read

In today’s visually-driven world, commercial photography has become a powerful tool for businesses to captivate audiences, convey brand messages, and drive sales. However, its impact goes beyond aesthetics—it’s a strategic investment that yields tangible results. This blog delves into commercial product photography through a data-driven lens, uncovering key insights and trends that shape its effectiveness.

With the proliferation of digital platforms and online marketplaces, businesses must navigate a highly competitive landscape. High-quality photography has become essential for cutting through the noise and capturing consumers’ attention. In 2022, the market size of the photography industry stood at $12.9 billion. But what sets exceptional photography apart? How does it influence consumer behavior and purchasing decisions? Let us explore these questions in-depth, backed by compelling data and research.

We will explore the role of commercial product photography across various industries, including fashion, e-commerce, hospitality, and more. Discover how businesses leverage data-driven approaches to optimize their visual content strategies and elevate their market position. Whether you’re a business owner, marketer, or photographer, this blog is valuable for understanding its power and potential to drive business growth. Join us on this enlightening journey as we unravel the fascinating intersection of artistry, strategy, and data.


What is Commercial Photography?

Commercial photography is photographs taken for commercial purposes such as advertising, product promotion, and marketing. Images created or created for commercial use include advertisements, brochures, websites, and other commercial products. Commercial photographers work with businesses, companies, and advertising agencies to create images designed to sell products or services. They can take photos of objects, people, places, or events and often work with professionals to ensure the images meet the client’s needs. Being a professional photographer in the industry requires you to click pictures that sell or at least compel potential customers to take action in favor of your business.

Suppose you are a commercial product photographer considering a career in the product photography industry. In that case, you must know that it comes with great opportunities. Commercial product photography can test your skills, whether you get paid more or get more business opportunities. It can be gratifying as the pictures get added to your commercial photography portfolio.


Commercial Photography


So, the question is how one can master the art and deliver perfection under the strict deadlines of this eCommerce industry. Now one thing is sure before entering the industry and clicking commercial photos. If you want to make a commercial photography portfolio, you need to know at least how to use a camera and the technical skills, including setting up lights and post-processing.

If you want to be a successful commercial photographer and maintain that appeal in your photos that attract customers to your business, then there are some things you can do. Below is a comprehensive guide to this type of photography; follow this article to know more.


What are the Different Types of Commercial Photography?

Before discussing commercial photography ideas, let us briefly describe the types of photography usually required in the industry.


Commercial photoshoot


If you think about it, every photograph is commercial if you know where and how to sell your pictures. But sometimes, there’s a specific purpose and an organization that you work for. In such an environment, the photos expected from a photographer are more professional and message-oriented. So, if you are searching for commercial photography jobs, you must get familiar with different kinds that can help you better prepare for the career. Given below are different Types of photoshoots that are done for commercial purposes.

1. Product Photoshoot

Product Photography is one of the most demanding yet biggest industries right now. Brands who want to list their products on eCommerce websites often hire photographers, specifically those specialized in Amazon product photography, to help them show the best of their products. The rise of online marketplaces, such as Amazon, has created a massive need for high-quality product images that effectively showcase the features and benefits of sold items.



Commercial product photography is usually done in a studio in front of a white background, but the correct object placement around the subject can enhance the overall appeal. One must be familiar with the lighting and how to use it properly.

2. Fashion Photography

Then there’s commercial fashion photography. This type of commercial photography involves a model showcasing a product. The photographer’s job is to make the most out of the photo shoot as the stakes are high, and the models are usually on a payroll.

So, getting into such type of photography requires knowledge of Fashion photography and how to make a model pose.

3. Food Photography

Clicking food pictures for an Instagram post is fine, but have you ever tried getting paid? Well, commercial Food photography is all about that. Such a photo shoot involves clicking pictures ranging from food to restaurants. For this, one needs to learn the art of creative food photography.

4. Real Estate Photography

This type of photography is about capturing the architecture and structure of a property so that it can be sold. Real estate photography requires capturing a place in so much detail that the client doesn’t need to look around the property to get the idea. This type of photography extensively uses commercial drone photography for its advertisements.

Recently, 360-degree photography is emerging in the real estate business as clients want to see a 360-degree view of the property. It’s also good for business as you already show everything a customer needs to choose.

5. Commercial Headshots

The demand for headshots has always been there. Whether it is a Corporate headshot or a headshot for an acting portfolio, customers pay to look good on camera and get photos that they can use to fulfill their required purposes. While doing commercial photography for headshots, you must focus on making your subject pose and click pictures that make them look good.

6. Advertising Photography

Advertising product photography is a genre that usually promotes products or services a particular company provides. This form of photography is generally done for editorials in magazines and newspapers. But it is not just limited to print media; you can also see advertising photography all over the internet and even in your mobile apps.

7. Automobile Photography

Automobile Photography is essential for automobile companies and dealerships for their marketing and branding purposes. They use Automobile Photography to promote their new, existing, and upcoming vehicles. Commercial photography pricing can be expensive for automobiles.

8. Jewellery Photography

A jewelry brand needs to get Jewellery Photography as most of their sales come from marketing these images. With this, the brand can easily emphasize promoting all the new and attractive lines of products. These images play a significant role in persuading viewers to buy jewelry.

9. E-Commerce Photography

As more and more people prefer to shop online, eCommerce portals have become excellent places for businesses to sell their products. And this is where eCommerce Photography comes in.

This style of commercial photography is pretty straightforward. Here, most of the time, the product is shot with a white background according to the guidelines of the targeted portal.



Prerequisites for Commercial Photography

Before diving into the commercial photoshoot, there are some preparations you can make beforehand to run your photoshoot as smoothly as possible. You can start by seeking a bachelor’s degree in photography from an esteemed school. Then you can move towards preparing the commercial photography studio, analyzing the product, and considering clients’ expectations when working under an experienced and professional photographer. There’s a bit of prep you can undertake when you gain some experience in the field.

1. Start by Talking to the Client

The first and foremost thing to do is to talk with the client and know about the expectations. See what the client expects from you and what kind of service the client will need. This includes the number of photos you will be delivering, the purpose of those pictures, the deadline for delivery, and the budget. The communication with the client should be crystal clear as it paves the way for successful commercial photography.

As we mentioned, you need to discuss the budget, including the additional cost due to different expectations.

If the client wants you to go out of the way to do the photoshoot, it requires resources that will cost you money. To avoid that, you must ask the client to pay for additional commercial photography services.

Another part of the client communication process is discussing the purpose of photographs, as it may affect your charges and put you in a position where you get paid less for doing more. So, ask for the purpose and see if your work is helping them gain profit or if it’s fulfilling their personal needs. In case of that, inform them before the charges.

2. Gather the Required Equipment

Another vital thing to do is gather the equipment for the photo shoot. Make a list of things you will require to execute the photoshoot smoothly. Assuming you already have a camera, ensure you have other things such as a tripod, lighting, a softbox, a wide-angle lens, and a studio.


Most Important Steps for Commercial Photography

1. Start with the Lighting

The first thing to do while starting with commercial photography of a product or service is to set up the lighting. This comes from the decision of you having a photoshoot indoors or outdoors. Either way, you must have some lighting to illuminate the subject and eliminate the shadows.

You can use three-point lighting to set up lights for commercial product photography. During photographing real estate, you can choose the golden hour to click the most mystical pictures.



commercial photography


2. Prepare the Subject

Another critical thing to improve your commercial photography is to prepare the subject for the photo shoot. A commercial advertising photographer knows types of advertising photography that preparing the subject is as important as preparing a studio or experimenting with different angles. So, make sure that you clean up your subject so that it looks the best.



commercial photos


3. Focus on the Details

There are tons of pictures you can find on the internet that don’t show enough details or an overview of a product and its appearance. But if you are doing photography for commercial purposes, it is crucial to focus more on details and show the bigger picture.

To do that, you can use a shallow depth of field, as it will allow you to focus on details while blurring out the not-so-important parts of an image. But shallow DOP with caution as it can also ruin your photograph by blurring out the vital elements of your picture.


commercial photos


4. Go Hard on Post Processing

Once commercial photography is complete, bring those pictures to the editing table. Whether the purpose is advertising or selling through an eCommerce website, a photo will need a minor enhancement and retouching. So, ensure you are doing that to improve your pictures.

What Equipment you Need for Commercial Photography?

If you are new to the concept of commercial photography, then here is a list of all the equipment that you should have for a Commercial Shoot:

1. Good Camera

As you know, commercial product photography is always preferred if you use a professional camera. A professional camera has a full-frame sensor.

2. Tripod

Photography is all about testing the lighting and environment until you get the best shot for the product. And a photographer can’t hold the camera for such prolonged periods. Hence, you must carry a tripod around to place your camera stationary while changing the rest of the setup.

3. Lighting

Most commercial shoots happen indoors so that the photographer is in complete control of the aspects of a photo shoot. And when you have a shoot indoors, you also have to set up lighting so that it can make up for the absence of natural light.

4. Lenses

Most people don’t realize that lenses are as important as cameras. And you have to get the best lenses for the commercial shoot. The lens is a crucial aspect of the shoot as the light enters the lens before reaching the camera sensor. Hence the quality of the photo is also dependent upon the lens.

5. Backdrop

Most of the time, photography is done with a white background. And this is because it is easy to distinguish between the product and the background if the backdrop is white. And not just that, a white backdrop also makes the subject pop. Here is an extra tip: Add a little shadow to the images, and your pictures will get depth, making them more lifelike.

6. Filter

A camera filter is an optical accessory that can be attached to the lens of a camera to modify or enhance the captured image. It acts as a physical barrier between the subject and the camera sensor, allowing photographers to manipulate and control the light entering the lens.

7. Camera straps

Camera straps are essential accessories that provide support and security for photographers while carrying their cameras. Durable materials, such as nylon or leather, are vital for making them and feature adjustable straps that somebody can wear around the neck, shoulder, or across the body.

8. Color correction card

A color correction card, also known as a color reference card or color chart, is used in photography and videography to ensure accurate color reproduction in the captured images or footage. It typically consists of a card or chart with a series of color swatches that represent known and standardized colors.

9. Flash

A camera flash is an external or built-in accessory that emits intense light to illuminate a scene during photography. It provides additional light when the available ambient light is insufficient, allowing photographers to capture well-exposed and adequately lit images.

10. Reflectors

A reflector is a versatile tool used to manipulate and control light during a photoshoot. It consists of a large, flexible panel typically covered with a reflective material, such as silver, gold, white, or translucent fabric.



Mentioned above are some of the essential tips for doing commercial photography. You can follow the guide to improve your skills and know the crucial things needed for a typical commercial photoshoot. Remember that commercial photos generate profits for clients, so keep that in mind while doing the photoshoot.



  • What is the difference between photography and commercial photography?

    Photography is the art of capturing images using a camera, while commercial photography is a type of photography used for commercial purposes such as advertising or promoting a product or service.

    Commercial photography often requires a team of professionals, such as art directors, stylists, and marketing professionals, who create unique images that convey the user’s message.

    In contrast, photography can be pure art that captures personal images or expressive art, with or without commercial purpose. However, photography can also be used for commercial purposes, such as magazine or newspaper photography.

  • Is commercial photography good money?

    Specialist commercial photographer salary can be expected to be around $100,000 per year, which includes both their salary and license fees for the right to use their photos, making it one of the highest-paying photography jobs.

  • What are the two main goals of commercial photography?

    The two main goals of commercial photography are to showcase and promote a product, service, or brand and to create images that will attract and engage customers or clients.

  • How do I break into the commercial photography industry?

    Getting into the commercial photography industry can be tough, but there are a few steps you can take to increase your chances of success:

    • Build your skills and portfolio
    • Networking and Relationship Building
    • Sell Yourself Effectively
    • Focus on a Niche
    • Keep up to date with industry trends and technology

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