Commercial photography involves taking pictures for commercial use: for example in adverts, merchandising, and product placement. Commercial photography is also used in corporate brochures and leaflets, menus in cafes and restaurants, and similar commercial uses where photographs enhance a text. Commercial photography is used to promote or sell a product or service. There are a number of ways that photographs can be used to better market products and corporations. For photographers who excel at commercial photography, it can be a very lucrative market, and the field of commercial photography is broad, with room for traditional and alternative photographs.
Selling a Product
Commercial photographs of product lines, or of individual products, can either focus upon the design of the product (for example the sleekness of a kettle, or the depth of carpet fibers), or upon the use of the product (for example, the functions on an iPhone, or playing games on the Wii). Product commercial photography reveals the detail and feel of a product to the customer, while advertising commercial photography is more likely to focus upon the status and attractions of the product.
Promoting a Business
Businesses may want to use commercial photography to promote themselves, or particular aspects of their work. There is a difference between commercial photography, which is often performed in a studio or isolated environment, and industrial photography, which often takes place on the site or factory floor. Most commercial photography professionals will not take on an industrial photographic shoot. A common method of promoting businesses is through architectural and building photography, where the business can be seen as a product.