Product, Glamour, and Environmental: Knowing the Different Types of Commercial Photography

December 20, 2017

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When you first step into the world of commercial photography, you generally think that things are as simple as getting behind the lens and shooting. But that really isn’t the case. Not only is there a whole world of equipment that you never knew existed, but there are also numerous things to learn about lighting, setup, technique, and editing. Once you’ve settled into working your camera and getting some decent shots, you may think things are finally all plain sailing. Sure, point and shoot practice will see you improve. But it’s always worth expanding your knowledge, as this can only ever result in better quality pictures and at the end of the day, we all want to hone our craft. So, for now, let’s keep our minds where money can be made and take a look at three of the most common types of commercial photography!
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Commercial Photography
Let’s start out by brushing up on some terminology. What exactly is “commercial photography”? Well, commercial photography involves taking photographs for commercial use. In short, your images will be purchased by companies to be used in campaigns, advertising, or catalogues to make money. This is where you can start earning some serious cash from your talent. So, what will be in front of your camera? More often than not, commercial photographers will be asked to operate in the following areas: product, glamour, and environmental photography.
Product Photography
The clue to product photography lies in the name. You, as a professional photographer, will take images of someone else’s goods. They will then use these images to list their goods for sale online, to show them off on social media feeds, to form part of a catalogue, or as part of their advertising. You may think that this will be extremely simple. Surely anybody can take a snapshot of a static object. But for high-quality images that stand out from the crowd, you need skill and an eye for angles.
Glamour Photography
White Chocolate Photography is perhaps the best example of glamour photography at its finest. Glamour photography seeks to produce images of (more often than not feminine) beauty in its purest form. Images can often be sexually suggestive, or might merely focus on the form of individual bodies. Contrary to popular belief, glamour photographs don’t need to entail nudity or topless shots.
Environmental Photography
Most people think that environmental photography features landscapes. But this isn’t true! In fact, environmental portraits are images of people taken in their natural environment. This may be within the home, an educational setting, or the workplace. Most commercial projects in this sector will generally be based on people in the workplace: chefs in kitchens, professors lecturing, sports coaches overseeing practice. You know the kind of images we’re talking about! They’re often used in prospectuses, on company websites, or on advertisements. They help potential customers to feel more connected to a company by recognising their workers as real people invested in their role.
Now that you know some of the most common types of commercial photography, you can look out for examples in real life. The more you’re exposed to them, the more you can try out the techniques and styles yourself!
*This is a contributed post

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