The sole purpose of commercial photography is to sell a product, service or idea. It is mostly a collaborated effort of a number of people in the commercial world ranging from the art director to the account executive, from the stylist to the photographic assistant and the like. The only exception is still-life photography
where the photographer may work independently with only his or her assistants. In fact commercial photography consists of table top, product, advertising, candid, lifestyle and fashion photography.
In commercial photography, a photographer takes pictures of merchandise, exteriors and interiors, machinery both indoors and outdoors to be used in advertising and selling. Commercial photographers are also required to take pictures for company brochures and annual reports. These reports have pictures of the interiors of the factory, products etc.
This branch involves photographing for several commercial segments such as merchandise, exteriors and interiors, machinery and fashions to be used in advertising and selling. A great variety of cameras, lights, and props are used in commercial photography. Most commercial photographers are assigned by an advertising agency. People say that commercial photography is devoid of art. But that is not true. Many fine-art photographers and editorial photographers have done some of their best work for commercial accounts while often the constraint of representing the product literally has been an obstacle to creativity. On the other hand commercial photography is also a great way to earn good income in a short time, but of course one needs to be good in his or her work and art of photography. Commercial and fine arts photographers must be imaginative and original. Commercial photography has, for over twenty years, created extraordinary photography for technology and industry.
Advertising photography requires good technique and sophistication. Advertising photographers are given certain instructions before a shoot and they have to keep these in mind when they are deciding on angles and effects. Originality within the bounds of instructions is the hallmark of a good advertising photographer. Advertising shoots are organized by the creative departments of advertising agencies which may be employing full time photographers or hiring them from studios or taking on freelancers. This is the best-paid and most competitive branch; success depends entirely on ability, efficiency and the right personality.
In advertising, the challenge is in striking a balance between creativity and the client`s demands for conveying the desired message. The job offers tremendous scope for experimentation and creative skills.