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What is Commercial Photography? Everything You Need to Know


What is commercial photography?  Find out what it is and the importance of commercial photography for all types of businesses.


How many times have you seen a photo of a meal that made you want to devour it? Or how many times have you impulsively wanted to buy athletic shoes because you saw an ad with your favorite athlete wearing them? This is proof positive of how a strong image has the power to sell products.


Visual communication is pretty important. In fact, 80 percent of people remember what they see, as opposed to 20 percent of what they read and 10 percent of what they hear. That's why choosing to invest in commercial photography is such a valuable tool.


If you're ready to explore what is commercial photography, we've got some great examples below.


What is Commercial Photography?


Commercial photography is the practice of taking photos to promote a business or a brand. A few examples of ways commercial photography are:

  • Products in advertisements
  • Marketing materials for a business
  • Sales campaigns
  • Editorial work for magazines
  • Catalogs
  • Business promotion

Commercial photographers are instrumental in helping businesses sell their product with their ability to create an appealing photograph.


Types of Commercial Photography


Commercial photographers also promote brands and products with high-quality photos. Take a look at the many types of commercial photography below:



Aerial Photography

When it comes to science, aerial photography is a valuable form of commercial photography. Often used to create maps, commercial photography is also essential for environmental studies, land-use planning, archaeological research, and geography. Photographs are taken from the air, by plane or drone, and can be helpful in urban development projects.



Advertising Photography

How many times have you seen a gorgeous photo of Hawaii and felt inspired to go there on your next vacation? Admit it - it was the dreamy image more than anything that caused you to fantasize about being there. "And that's why there's no better partnership in the business world than photography and advertising.

If done right, a beautiful photo has the ability to draw an emotional response from a consumer or potential client. In turn, this helps sell the product or business. These images can appear anywhere, from magazine covers to billboards to a full-page ad in a fashion magazine.



Architectural and Interior Design Photography

Architectural photography is used to help promote a variety of businesses involved in architecture. Interior designers, architects, and business owners frequently need commercial photographers to highlight their work.

Whether that means photographing a new skyscraper for a business sale, capturing the latest renovation of a public space, or an interior designer's latest project, the photos are an important part of promoting the end result.



Event Photography

Commercial photographers are often needed for a variety of events such as a corporate-sponsored party, charity event, concert, or theater production. Often times, these images are used to promote business culture or a philanthropic project.



Fashion Photography

Fashion photography is one of the most popular forms of commercial photography. While creativity can play a larger role in the promotion of a brand or look, it is the photographer's role to be a creative force in the creation of these images. Fashion photographers often work with a team of professionals such as art directors, stylists, and makeup artists to complete the entire look.



Food Photography

Although it's a daily occurrence for amateur foodies to be taking pics for their Instagram accounts at every restaurant in town, there's a reason why. There's something magical about a photo of a juicy T-bone steak or crispy Belgian waffle that makes our mouths water.

Food photography is another form of commercial photography that helps promote a restaurant, brand, or product in order to help boost sales. A stunning food photo has the power to make a person get in their car and drive to the nearest ice cream shop to get that yummy mocha almond fudge ice cream cone they saw in an ad.



Portraiture Photography

If you work for an organization in the public eye, chances are you will need a professional portrait taken. Corporate businesses, nonprofits, media organizations, or anyone who needs a commercial photo taken are often the subjects for portraiture photography. Headshots are often taken in a studio environment, with professional lighting, but are sometimes taken outside in natural light too.



Product Photography

Make no mistake about it, professional photos sell products fast. Sometimes it's a shiny, well-lit soda can that appeals to the masses. Other times it's a mobile phone, a lipstick, or a Phillips screwdriver.

That's why it's so important to hire a product photographer for the job. No matter how big or small the product is, if there is a great photo of it, it will sell that product like hotcakes.



Real Estate Photography

Real estate photography is a booming market, especially with the recent uptick of home staging. Not only can commercial photography boost the look of a home or business for sale, it also helps potential buyers imagine what living in the house might look like.

Commercial photos are often used in MLS listings and on a real estate agent's website. Examples of photos taken by a professional might be interior shots of each of the rooms, as well as the exterior of the home.



Sports Photography

Sports photography is used for a variety of sporting events such as NBA games, little league championships, and the Indy 500. Celebrity athletes are a frequent subject matter for advertising campaigns, as well as sports and fitness magazine layouts. The images can be candid, posed, or stylized to evoke a certain mood.



It's Time to Hire a Pro!

We hope our guide to what is commercial photography helped you have a better understanding of the many types of commercial photographers. Before you choose the best professional for the job, make sure you do as much research as possible.

And when you're ready to hire the best product photographers for the job, contact us and let us know how we can help!

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