Business Overview

Commercial photographers capture artistic photographs with an emphasis on marketing and selling products and services. Photographs can be used in advertisements, brochures, leaflets, and even restaurant menus. 

Who is this business right for?

The creative individual that is passionate about photography and inspiring others through their work is drawn to this profession. Those entering this specialized field often do so because of their passion and eye for both fashion and photography. The combination of these two art forms serves as a creative outlet. Successful photographers are often able to travel the world, earning an income that supports them, as they work to fulfill their dreams. 

What happens during a typical day at a commercial photography business?

While most professionals are drawn to this industry because of the creative aspect, managing and marketing the business are equally as important. Your website must be maintained and portfolio updated regularly. Additionally, you or a member of your team will perform administrative tasks, such as making travel arrangements, managing the books, and maintaining business contracts. 

Whether your photo shoot is local or takes you on the road, the groundwork should be laid well in advance. This helps ensure the process goes smoothly and that everything is ready when you arrive. Commercial photographers who spend much of their time on the road indicate a trip can last anywhere from 3 days to several weeks. 

In addition to planning, directing, and photographing a photo shoot, successful professionals continuously strive to learn and better themselves. Networking within the community, researching, and noting the latest trends are all effective ways to grow creatively and professionally. 

What is the target market?

Unlike most professions, you define your own target market based on your vision, passions, and strengths. Your role is to help clients reach their target demographic(s), leaving virtually every demographic in need of inspiring photographers. 

How does a commercial photography business make money?

Commercial photographers are generally paid a flat fee per shoot. Fees are determined ahead of time and are based on a number of factors, including scope of project, client budget, and the photographer’s experience. 

What is the growth potential for a commercial photography business?

Because each marketing campaign requires something different, there is great demand for commercial photographers of all different styles. This is great news for professionals of every skill level, as it offers the opportunity for growth and ensures the work always remains fresh and interesting. Growth opportunities include opening an agency or a marketing firm.