What is Commercial Photography?
Being a professional photographer in the industry requires you to click pictures that sell, or at least compel the potential customers to take action in favour of your business.
Now, if you are a photographer thinking of making a career in the product photography or commercial photography industry then you must know that it comes with great opportunities. Whether it’s getting paid more or getting more business opportunities, commercial photography can really put your skills to test and can be very rewarding as the pictures get added to your commercial photography portfolio.
So, the question is how can one master the art and deliver perfection under strict deadlines of this eCommerce industry?
Now one thing is sure that before stepping into the industry and start clicking commercial photos, you need to at least know how to use a camera along with the technical skills including setting up lights and post-processing if you want to be an advertising photographer.
So, 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. Given below is a comprehensive guide to doing commercial photography, follow this article to know more.
What are the Different Types of Commercial Photography?
Before talking about the tips to improve your commercial photography, let us tell you in brief about different types of commercial photography that are usually required in the industry.
If you think about it then every photography 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 kinds of photos that are expected from a photographer are more professional and message-oriented. So, if you are doing commercial photography, you must get familiar with different kinds of it that can help you prepare better for the job. 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 the eCommerce websites often hire photographers who can help them in showing the best of their products.
Commercial product photography is usually done in a studio in front of white background but right object placement around the subject can simply enhance the overall appeal. For this, one needs to 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 photoshoot as the stakes are high and the models are usually on a payroll.
3. Food Photography
Clicking food pictures for an Instagram post is fine but have you ever tried getting paid for doing it? Well, commercial food photography is all about that. Such kind of photoshoot involves one to click pictures ranging from food to restaurant. 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 one to capture a place in so much detail so that the client doesn’t need to look around the property to get the idea.
Recently, the trend of 360 degree photography is emerging in the real estate business as the clients want to see a 360-degree view of the property to be sure. It’s also good for business as you are already showing everything that a customer needs in order to make choice.
5. Commercial Headshots
The demand for headshots has always been there. Whether it is a corporate headshot or a headshot for acting portfolio, customers pay to look good on camera and get photos that they can use to fulfil their required purposes.
While doing commercial photography for headshots, you must focus on making your subject pose as well as click pictures that make them look good.
6. Advertising Photography
This genre of photography usually revolves around promoting products or services provided by a particular company. This form of commercial photography is usually done for editorials like 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 very essential for automobile companies and dealerships for their marketing and branding purposes.
They use Automobile Photography to promote their new, existing and even upcoming vehicles.
8. Jewellery Photography
It is essential for a jewellery brand to get Jewellery Photography as most of their sales come from the marketing of these images.
With this, the brand can easily emphasis on promoting all the new and attractive line of products.
These images play a major role in persuading viewers to buy jewellery.
9. eCommerce Photography
As more and more people now prefer to shop online, eCommerce portals have become a great place for business to sell their products. And this is where eCommerce Photography comes in.
This style of commercial photography is pretty straight forward. 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 do before-hand to run your photoshoot as smoothly as possible. From preparing the studio to analyzing the product and taking clients’ expectations into consideration, there’s a bit of prep you can undertake.
1. Start by Talking to the Client
The first and foremost thing to do is talking with the client and knowing about the expectations. See what the client expects from you and what kind of service the client will be needed. This includes the number of photos you will be delivered, the purpose of those pictures, the deadline for delivery and finally 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 occurring due to additional expectations.
If the client wants you to go out of the way to do the photoshoot and it requires resources that will cost you your own money. To avoid that, you must ask the client to pay to get additional services.
Another part of the client communication process is discussing the purpose of photographs as it may affect your charges and may 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 something that is fulfilling their personal needs. In case of that, inform them prior to the charges.
2. Gather the Required Equipment
Another most important thing to do is to gather the equipment that you will need for the photo shoot. Make a list of things that you will require to execute the photoshoot smoothly. Assuming you already have a camera, make sure you have other things such as a tripod, lighting, softbox, wide-angle lens and a studio.
3 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 have to have some lighting to illuminate the subject and getting rid of the shadows.
You can use three-point lighting as a way to set up lights for commercial product photography. While photographing real-estate, you can choose the golden hour to click the most mystical pictures.
2. Prepare the Subject
Another most important thing to improve your commercial photography is by preparing the subject for the photoshoot. A commercial advertising photographer knows 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.
3. Focus on the Details
There are tons of pictures you can find on the internet that don’t show enough details or show an overview of a product and how it looks like. But if you are doing photography for commercial purposes then it is very crucial to focus more on details along with showing the bigger picture.
In order 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 essential elements of your picture.
4. Go Hard on Post Processing
Once you are done with commercial photography, bring those pictures to the editing table. Whether the purpose is advertising or the purpose is selling through an eCommerce website, a photo will always need a little enhancement and retouching. So, make sure that you are doing that to improve the quality of your pictures. On top of that, try not to overdo it. Editing also helps in manipulating the image according to the requirements of the client.
What all equipment you need for commercial photography?
If you are someone who is new to the concept of commercial photography, then here is a list of all the equipment that you should have for a Commercial Shoot:
A Good Camera
As you already know, for commercial photography it is always prefered if you use a professional camera. A professional camera is the once that has a full-frame sensor.
Commercial Photography is all about testing the lighting and environment until you get the best shot for the product. And it is not possible for a photographer to hold the camera for such prolonged periods of time. Hence you always need to carry a tripod around so that you can place your camera at a stationary position while making changes to the rest of the setup.
Most of the commercial shoots are done indoor so that the photographer is in complete control of the aspects of a photo shoot. And when you have a shoot indoor, you also have to set up lighting so that it could make up for the absence of natural light.
What most people don't realise is that lenses are as important as cameras. And you have to get the best of lenses for the commercial shoot. The lens is a crucial aspect of the shoot as the light enters through the lens before it reaches the camera sensor. Hence the quality of the photo is also dependent upon the lens.
Most of the time, commercial photography is done with a white background. And this is due to the fact that 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 images will get depth, which will make them more lifelike.
Mentioned above are some of the basic tips for doing commercial photography. You can follow the guide to improve your skills as well as know the important things that are needed for a typical commercial photoshoot. Keep in mind that commercial photos are meant to profit the client, so keep that in mind while doing the photoshoot.
Also, You can - Book Your Commercial PhotoShoot for Ecommerce with SPYNE