Commercial Photography

What is commercial photography?

Some people assume that commercial photography isn’t any different to the standard form. After all; it’s just about capturing a particular subject in a high-definition shot, right? The truth is; there’s more to commercial photography than meets the eye.

You will no doubt have seen previous examples of my work. But, you may still be a little unsure about what commercial photography entails. Today I’d like to take the opportunity to explain more about it.

In a nutshell, the intent of commercial photography is to make the client some money! It centres around taking images for commerce and business purposes. There is a clear distinction between commercial and non-profit photography, believe it or not!

The primary purpose of commercial photography is to help sell something. The object in question could be a product or a service. It might even be something like an office building or a vehicle. Clients look to commercial photographers like myself to help them capture their target audience.

Each shot that gets taken ends up getting used in a variety of different ways. Examples include branding, advertising, and product packaging. Here is a selection of ways that commercial photography gets used:

Product Marketing

One of the reasons firms hire commercial photographers is because they want to sell a product. To the untrained eye, one product might appear indifferent to another. It’s up to commercial photographers like me to capture the individuality of the product.

For instance, this could be the contours of a car or the thinness of a mobile phone. In essence, the task is to emphasise the main selling points of a product.

Commercial Properties

It’s fair to assume that most commercial real estate agents aren’t photographers. Their clients pay them to sell their properties for a particular price. But, how can they gain the most interest in them from potential buyers?

Commercial photographers seek to capture the unique style and features of each building. The use of different lenses and light settings draw focus to a building’s selling points. Other businesses may also hire commercial photographers as well.

Examples include hotels, business centres, gyms, sports centres, the list is endless! In those settings, photos get used as part of promotional material like brochures. They will often feature on each client’s website too.


Restaurants, pubs and cafes are just some types of clients that require food photography. The obvious reason is to use those images on menus and marketing material.

Commercial photographers ensure that images of food get taken in the best ways possible. They also check that each photo captures the vibrant colours used for each dish.


When a clothing firm launches new styles, they will be keen to share photos of their clothes with the media. Fashion is just one of many formats where the skills of a commercial photographer get put to good use.

The images taken will usually get sent out to fashion magazines and retailers. In some cases, retailers themselves request fashion photography. They do so because they want to use the images in advertising campaigns.

As you can see, commercial photographers cover a wide range of niches and industries.

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