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Commercial photographers shoot models, buildings, merchandise, and landscapes that are used for promotional purposes in print and online. Commercial photography is typically used for advertising in the retail and wholesale sectors, with photoshoots devoted to product visibility. Consider a commonly seen stock photo from an image search for a particular product. That is a prime example of a commercial photo as it embodies product exposure.

The intent of advertising photography is to capture a mood or emotion that the product can elicit in viewers. However the photography is framed, the overall effect should be to evoke a sale. Advertising photographers view themselves as artists whose job is to tell a captivating story through the use of stylised images, colours, lighting, and framing.

The principal difference between commercial and advertising photography is the intent. For the former, it is to capture the essence of the product, whereas in the latter it is to coax the viewer into wanting the product in their home.

Commercial photography is typically framed in a way that does not detract the viewers’ gaze from the product. As a result, the lighting, styling, and background are often neutral. While in advertising photography, the framing tends to be more bold, inventive, and stylised to elicit a specific emotion.

Another difference is in the respective techniques. For example, commercial photographers would not choose light packages that could overwhelm the product. This is not the case for advertising photographers, who are given more creative freedom. By contrast, bold colours, multifaceted lighting, and sharp contrasts are all tools in the advertising photographers wide arsenal.

Generally speaking, commercial photographers take photos that are used in retail business or strictly for promotional purposes. Alternatively, companies seeking to sell products or find new audiences typically take on advertising photographers.

An in-house photographic studio can be a cost effective way to create and capture high-end, engaging content for clients. Eliminating expensive studio and equipment rental, travelling and outsourcing crew members. Combined with expertise in retouching and brand photography, it’s possible to plan, shoot, retouch and deliver photography straight to the client without having to rely on third-party services or locations.

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