A commercial photographer taking picture

Besides Fashion Ads, What Does Commercial Photography Do?

Commercial photography is a flexible industry that serves many purposes. We’re diving into the different areas of commercial photography in this post, looking at how it’s key for marketing businesses, items, and services more effectively. Let’s talk about what it really is, how useful it can be for highlighting products, people or services and some pointers for those starting out in commercial photography including setting prices. Plus, we’ll zoom in on London’s commercial photography scene and shout out some top-notch photographers there. So, if you’re aiming to break into the commercial photography world or simply want to learn more, stick around!


What Does Commercial Photography Mean?

Commercial photography is all about creating top-notch pictures for business reasons. It covers snapping shots for commercial use, like showing off products, people, or services. These pictures often appear in ads, pamphlets, handouts, products for sale, and menus. Commercial photography branches out into different areas such as fashion shots, snapping product images, and food photography.

In the world of fashion photography, snappers capture images of models showing off clothing or accessories. Every single photoshoot stands out as its own thing. Having skills to position folks and direct them is important here. With product photography, you snap pictures of items either inside a studio or out in the wild. Photographers usually favour the studio because it gives them a plain background that’s perfect for online posts.

When you dive into this gig, you’ve got to get comfy with studio setups. It’s all about tweaking those studio lights to make your products look amazing. Then there’s food photography: taking delicious-looking snapshots of eats for businesses. For snaps that make mouths water, team up with a food stylist—they know how to prep a dish for its close-up. And don’t forget those editorial restaurant photos—that means setting up fast in eateries when they give you the green light.

How To Do Commercial Photography?

Commercial photography is all about capturing high-quality images for business use. If you’re thinking about a career in this field, here’s how you can kick things off:

  1. Create a solid portfolio: To get jobs in commercial photography, you need an impressive portfolio. Begin by taking pictures of what you love and fill your portfolio with images that represent the type of work you aspire to do.
  2. Learn to use studio gear: For those into product photography, it’s crucial to know how to work with studio lighting to make your products shine.
  3. Team up with a food stylist: In food photography, partnering with a food stylist is key to making dishes camera-ready and mouthwatering.
  4. Expert posing and directing: A big part of fashion photography is being able to direct models and choose the best poses.
  5. Fulfil the client’s request: Always stick to the client’s instructions and make sure you understand their vision.
  6. Begin at the bottom: It’s okay to start with small jobs. You’ll learn as you go, eventually tackling larger jobs.
  7. Have patience: Developing a career in commercial photography isn’t fast. Keep improving your skills and growing your portfolio—success will come with time. Similarly, having patience is important when starting a business.


Commercial Photography Can Be Used for Which Purposes

Commercial photography is a flexible industry that serves many functions. Here are some ways it’s used:

  1. Advertising: It’s common to use commercial photography in ads to show off products or services. We see these pictures in ads, brochures, flyers, promotional items, and restaurant menus.
  2. E-commerce: Online stores rely heavily on commercial photography. Good photos of items can boost sales and make customers happier.
  3. Editorial: Magazines and newspapers use commercial photography for articles. Photographers snap shots of various subjects for this kind of work.
  4. Fashion: A special area of commercial photography is fashion where models are photographed wearing various products. These images are then seen in fashion magazines, ads, and online shops.
  5. Food: In commercial photography, there’s also food photography which consists of taking pictures of dishes for marketing purposes. The resulting images pop up on menus, in ads, and cookbooks.
  6. Product: This involves capturing images of specific products either indoors or outside. These photos then appear in ads, on e-commerce sites, and in catalogues.
  7. Architecture: Within commercial photography is the niche of architectural photography—a job that entails photographing buildings and structures for promotional use. The photos end up in ads, pamphlets, and websites.
  8. Portrait: Taking portraits for commercial use is another aspect of the field. Such pictures may be featured in advertisements, magazines, or online profiles.
  9. Event: Lastly, we’ve got event photography under the commercial umbrella—it includes snapping pics at occasions like weddings, parties, and business events. You’ll find these images being utilized in advertising materials, pamphlets, and web pages

Product Photography

Product photography is about taking pictures of items that are up for sale. Its purpose is to catch the eye of potential buyers by showing off what the product looks like and what it can do.

Taking top-notch pictures of products isn’t easy. You’ve got to know how to arrange your products, get the lighting right, and blend different shots together. Sharp, professional-looking photos are key when you want to sell something. The ideal setup for snapping these pics includes controlled lighting and a neat background.

A go-to technique in this field is snapping pictures of the product by itself from the front. These are typical for online shop listings on websites like Amazon or Etsy, often against a plain white backdrop to keep it simple. These no-frills photos focus on the product’s size, shape, and colour, helping shoppers spot what they need online.

When it comes to lifestyle images, it’s all about using real people and natural light to show off products out and about.

If you’re keen to dive deeper into product photography, Adobe has put together a detailed guide. It walks you through everything from snapping straightforward product-only shots to crafting complex scenes with the product in use. Plus, it gives you tips on setting up your lights, tweaking your camera settings, editing your shots, and advice from pros in the biz.

Business Headshot

Professional headshots are pictures used for things like business cards, websites, and social media. They should look professional and show that you’re skilled.

Keep these in mind for a business headshot:

  • Clothing: Dress in a way that suits your job and the impression you want to give.
  • Facial expression: You’ll seem friendlier with a smile.
  • Setting: Your photo’s background should match your job.
  • Lighting: Good lighting is key for a clear photo.

If you need a business headshot, many photographers specialize in it. For example, Business Headshots UK offers high-end business photos and other professional images.

Food and drink photography

Food and drink photography for ads is all about taking pictures of food and drinks that will be used to sell those items. It aims to make the product look appealing, highlighting what makes it stand out to attract buyers.

Creating top-notch food and drink pictures for ads means you need to know how to make the food and drinks look their best, set up the right lighting, and put together different shots. Clear, high-quality images are key for marketers selling any kind of edible or quaffable goods. The ideal setup for this type of photography is somewhere you can control everything, especially the lighting, along with a neat backdrop.

A big part of ad photography for food and drinks is taking pictures that just show the product from the front. These photos often use a plain white background so that nothing will take your focus away from the item. This kind of image lays out every detail for shoppers—how big it is, its shape, and its colour—making it easier for them when they’re buying stuff online.


Commercial Photography London

Commercial photography is a wide-ranging field dedicated to creating high-quality images for business use. London boasts many skilled commercial photographers, each with their expertise. Here are some of the top commercial photographers in London:

  1. Tony H Photo: Tony H Photo is an expert in taking pictures of food, interior spaces, and portraits. Based in London, he’s been in the business for more than two decades.
  2. RGB Digital: RGB Digital stands as one of the most triumphant and long-standing photo studios in the UK. They possess a massive 7000 sq. ft studio space right in the heart of London and are leaders in commercial and ad photography.
  3. Commercial Photography London: This company provides top-notch photography and video production services in London. Professional to the core, they offer everything you might need related to commercial photography.
  4. Tony Brown Photography: Calling London home, this commercial photography business is your go-to for creative lifestyle, portrait, and building shots. With over 21 years of experience, they’ve got the chops in this industry.
  5. Sidharth Photography: If you’re looking for outstanding commercial photography in London, Sidharth Photography is your place. They’ve spent over 8 years working with various clients, won numerous awards, and earned plenty of praise.


Commercial Photography Pricing

Commercial photography prices aren’t the same across the board. They can change based on how skilled the photographer is, what kind of work you’re asking for, and where you need them to go. On average, according to Fash, hiring a commercial photographer will set you back about $150 every hour. But keep in mind, this cost can swing wildly from one area to another, and even different places within the same zip code might have different rates.

Setting rates as a commercial photographer isn’t easy. You can’t just pick a price that works for everybody; it’s more complicated than that. Quite a few photographers scratch their heads over how much to charge for their pictures. If you want a leg up in commercial photography, make sure you show off your best work, know your way around a photo studio, and consider teaming up with someone who styles food, if that’s your area of interest.

How is it different from other types of photography?

Commercial photography is a branch of professional photo-taking aimed at promoting products or services. In contrast to other styles, it’s made to boost sales by showing off what’s being sold, providing value for the photos taken.

In comparison, fine art, documentary, and editorial pictures aren’t snapped to fill pockets. Art photos end up in galleries for their beauty, not bucks. Documentary snaps capture life events with a narrative in mind. Lastly, magazines and papers use editorial shots to enhance their written content.


Commercial photography is a flexible industry that serves many purposes. This blog post delves into the different areas of commercial photography and their role in promoting businesses, products, and services. We’ve covered what commercial photography involves, its applications, and how it can highlight a particular product, person, or service. Tips on getting your foot in the door with commercial photography and setting prices for your work have also been provided. Plus, we zoned in on London’s commercial photography scene and shone a spotlight on some top-notch photographers there. Whether you’re aiming to be a commercial photographer or just want to learn more, we hope this post has shed some light on the topic for you.