One thing that I get asked a lot at networking events and by friends is what exactly it is that I do. In a nutshell, the brunt of my work can be described as ‘commercial or corporate portrait photography’. I do also photograph weddings and gigs, however, first and foremost I am a commercial photographer. Now ‘commercial or corporate photography’ is a bit of a mouthful and doesn’t really have meaning to many people, so I thought I would explain exactly what it is that I mean by this.
Taken on a recent shoot for dent removal company Dent-Technique, this image shows one of their technicians at work removing a car dent.
Within every business exists one of or both of two kinds of transaction: B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer). The clues are in the names with these phrases; B2B involves businesses working with other businesses (e.g. staff headshots, product photography) whereas B2C involves working with consumers (think weddings, family photoshoots). Commercial Photography is practically any form of photography that involves creating images that are designed to sell something – just like an advert, or commercial, on TV. This means that commercial photography involves B2B transactions only. Commercial Photography can be broken down into various categories, which I will discuss below.
An image taken as a part of an advertising campaign for Tesco.
Portrait photography is my main area of business and simply refers to any kind of image that includes people within it. So this could refer to a candid photo of a staff member working or a posed headshot taken in a studio. Portrait photography can get rather complex when you start getting involved in set design, unusual lighting set ups and multiple subjects. Something which is becoming more frequent is that of candid portrait photography; photos showing staff members working or photos of people doing things. This is because an image of somebody doing something has more context and usually is more interesting to look at then just a bog standard headshot.
An image taken for Laura Darrington Design, a card design company.
Product photography tends to exist in 2 forms – either that of a simple image capturing the product as is or a more posed and stylised photo (such as the above shot). Product photography is not usually the most creative form of photography for me personally, however has a great advantage in that it is normally flexible. Usually I take delivery of product and can have anywhere up to a month to deliver the photographs, allowing me to fit these kinds of jobs around more time sensitive work.
A photograph taken for pre prepared meal company, Prep Perfect
Food Photography is an area of commercial photography that stands in it’s own right as a complex and creative form of photography. Food photography is rarely simple and requires knowledge on how best to style and light the dishes in order to make them appear most appetising. On higher end food photography shoots a stylist will generally be hired who will come armed with an array of backdrops and props to best style the dish.
Rock chick fashion with local model Courtney Askey.
Another form of commercial photography is that of fashion photography. Fashion photography is probably the most well known form of commercial photography and covers both catalogue and editorial imagery. Catalogue imagery would be photos showing off the detail of clothing, similar to what you might see in a Next magazine, with editorial fashion photography focusing more on using the clothes in interesting and unusual ways. Much like food photography, fashion photography is vastly complex with many photographers choosing to specialise purely in fashion photography.
Click to view my commercial portfolio.