A Comprehensive Guide to Commercial Photography

4 Mins read

Commercial photography is a popular word on the streets these days, especially for freelance photographers in Dubai. But what comes to your mind when you hear about it? You probably thought it is all about large teams taking and processing images for big companies and other corporations. 

Well, the truth is not far off from there. In this post, we uncover what commercial photography is all about and provide you with tips that will get you started.

What is Commercial Photography?

Commercial photography is a blanket term for various photography niches. In simpler terms, it is the creation of pictures that will be used for commercial purposes (revenue generation). As a freelance commercial photographer in Dubai, you will be tasked with taking photos of a product or an individual that will be used to market a brand.

At times, pinning down the exact definition of commercial photography can be challenging. This is because some people would only associate it with advertising shots, while others would include e-commercial and catalog works. 

The main thing that sets aside a commercial photographer from other types of photographers is the intent behind the shots. It is always made for a particular business or campaign. Your main clients are also likely to be business brands, regardless of how big or small they are. 

Types of Commercial Photography

It is a fact that the majority of photography genres that have little competition are for commercial purposes. This industry is more likely to earn you more money than you would have made on other projects

This type of photography is one of the fastest-growing genres, thanks to the rise of various platforms one can use to get a wider reach. Some of the common types of commercial photography are:

1. Fashion photography

This is the one niche of photography that many people would consider ‘commercial photography.’ It can be done in studios or outdoors. Fashion photography can also involve paid models who are tasked to appear in front of the camera and market a product or service to be sold. 

For all the best freelance fashion photographers in Dubai, every shot must be unique. Directing people on how to pose, what props to be used, and deciding the perfect location for a shoot is a skill that comes in handy in this line of work. 

2. Product photography

Commercial product photography is one of the largest yet most demanding industries at the moment. In most cases, this genre of photography takes place in a studio with a clear background. The brands hire product photographers to help them show the best about their products. 

One of the most important skills needed for product photography is attention to detail. One has to ensure that they have captured every tiny aspect of the image to enable sales.

3. Real estate photography

Commercial real estate photography is all about capturing the architectural designs and structures of properties. They can be pictures of apartments, offices to let, or houses for sale. Just like in product photography, one needs to be able to capture every minor detail so that the potential client doesn’t need to be there physically to have a taste of the space. 

Technology has made it possible for the emergence of 360-degree photography in the real estate space. This is an emerging trend as every client would wish to have a 360-degree view of any property before they could take their time to visit the site. 

4. Commercial Headshots

Commercial headshots have always been there. It can either be a corporate headshot or a personal one to build their portfolio. In some cases, you will models or actors using this type of photography, which features a close-up of their bodies, especially from the shoulders up.

These types of photos are usually fast, but the photographer needs to connect well with the subject so that they can direct them accordingly. This is why one of the essential skills every freelance photographer in the UAE has is good people skills. While commercial headshot primarily focuses on the individuals, at other times, they can also feature a product that they are advertising.

5. Food photography

Taking pictures of food has always been the best way used by restaurants and companies to advertise their food, making them appear appealing to the public. However, before you get into this business, you will have to master all the secrets of food photography as it is not as straightforward as other genres. 

Prerequisites for Commercial Photography

Before you dive into the world of commercial photography, there are some factors that you ought to keep in mind. These are:

Curate your portfolio around the niche you wish to focus on

In many cases, clients who go looking for commercial photographers hardly go for a general one. Instead, they search for one that has built a brand name for themselves in that particular genre. Marketing yourself confined to a specific niche gives the clients a clear and better way to find you.

On that portfolio, you should also post pictures that you have taken. You should be in a position to convince your potential clients that you can take such commercial photos. You can use some of the products or people that you already have, or you can have them labelless. 

Approach the clients with ideas and not just photos

You should always be one step ahead of the game when approaching clients. Take ideas to them and not just the images. You can request the product, or get them off the market and apply your unique photography styles. If you have the appropriate equipment, you can always set up a home photography studio and take your time to come up with a compelling concept. 

While you may have a good portfolio that probably fits their requirements, you can imagine how many of such photos they receive. What will make your concept stand out? 

The best way around this is to approach the company with a few ideas for their campaigns. This not only shows that you can be creative but also indicates that you understand the company’s vision. Doing so positions you ahead of other competitors, and you might end up getting a deal.

Over to You

Commercial photography might seem out of reach if you think it is only meant for large corporations. It needs someone that is creative and ready to let their wild imaginations take the center stage of their images. 

Focus on building your portfolio first before you set out looking for clients. You can easily get a gig as a freelance commercial photographer in Dubai so long as you work towards perfecting the art.  

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