What is commercial photography?

Put simply, commercial photography means taking photos for business use. It’s about creating images to help promote and sell products and services. These images can be featured in adverts, brochures, leaflets, merchandising and menus, to name just a few of their uses. A commercial photographer understands how things sell. They have the skills to create images that inspire emotions and encourage purchases. Commercial photographs should align closely to the overall branding strategy for a product or service, speaking directly to the target audience. This type of photography is all about producing a rich reserve of cohesive images that create a consistent visual identity, helping demonstrate a business’ core values. Good commercial photography is a powerful marketing tool that can have a positive impact on awareness and sales. 

Commercial photography is an umbrella for various types of photography, the most popular of which we will explore in more detail below … 

Product photography 

A huge and complex area of photography in itself, product photography is a key strand of commercial photography. Product photos can be used on ecommerce sites, in printed catalogues and across social media channels. They are a key driver of engagement, conversion and retention, both on- and offline.  

commercial photography from Spencer Cobby Photography for Newey and Bloomer website

Product photos provide important information to potential customers, making up for a lack of physical interaction. Formal cut-out shots portray products from a variety of angles, highlighting key features. They help shoppers make informed buying decisions and can increase customer satisfaction by catering to consumers’ needs for strong visuals. Another way in which product photography can lead to commercial success is by creating a sense of desire. Commercial lifestyle photos that show products and services being used or employed in their natural environment give consumers something to aspire to. Furthermore, the quality and style of product photos can convey the spirit of a brand, acting as ambassadors for a business. 

To find out more about the vital role product photography plays in marketing, check out our blog post

Business headshots 

Another type of commercial photography to consider is the business headshot. Professional staff portraits are a highly versatile and often-underestimated marketing tool. They help present a business in a professional manner, whilst providing a personal touch. Whether they’re placed on a website or in printed marketing collateral, business headshots enable consumers to see the faces behind a business. They help foster stronger connections with customers, ultimately facilitating positive relationships for sales. 

Take a look at our handy guide for professional staff portraits to find out what it takes to capture the best headshots. 

Food and drink photography

food and drink photography image by Spencer Cobby Photography for The Flat Restaurant Exeter 

How many times has a delectable food photo persuaded you to visit a restaurant or choose a particular dish from a menu? Commercial food and drink photography is a great example of how well-executed images can help sell a product or service. They say a picture tells a thousand words, and this is particularly true when it comes to food and drink photography. It can be difficult to describe just how tasty a meal is with copy alone. You should be using your photos to show people all the drool-worthy dishes your menu has to offer. High-quality culinary snaps will leave the audience craving more. Plus, a set of professional, consistently-styled, well-lit, realistic food and drink images will convey your business as a reputable establishment with a passion for excellence and commitment to detail. 

We’ve shared some tactics for creating truly mouth-watering food and drink photography over on our blog – why not check them out!  

Commercial architectural photography  

Architectural photography involves photographing a space for commercial purposes. A commercial photographer can provide their services to architects, estate agents and property owners who are looking to promote, sell or let a property. The finished images need to be striking – ready to grab attention in a matter of seconds. However, it’s important that they provide an accurate representation of the space being photographed.   

Think about the window of an estate agency, dominated with photos. Images certainly do the talking here, working as the key tool to generate initial interest. These are photos that not only need to attract potential tenants and buyers by being visually appealing, but must represent properties in a realistic way. Commercial architectural photographers will have the skills and expertise to achieve this delicate balance.  

Our commercial photography services 

Hopefully this has given you a clear idea of what commercial photography is all about. There’s no doubting that it can be an extremely powerful tool for businesses. Strong commercial photography can help represent your business in a clear, imaginative, consistent and professional manner – all the things that potential customers are on the lookout for when making their buying decisions. For some more information on how commercial photography can raise brand awareness, head over to our blog.  

We provide commercial photography services for a diverse range of businesses, from large corporate clients to much smaller start-ups. To find out more about the commercial photography services we offer, and to see some examples of some recent projects, take a look on our website. And if you’ve got any questions about how commercial photography can help your business, please do get in touch