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2.1 What Is Commercial Photography?

What exactly is “commercial photography”? Even among photographers, there's some misunderstanding of what commercial work is. In this lesson, we’ll take a closer look at what types of images are considered “commercial”, and the services the commercial photography industry provides for customers.

2.1 What Is Commercial Photography?

So what exactly is commercial photography? Even among photographers, this is often confused. First, it's easier to define what isn't commercial photography versus what is. So let's go over some of the types of photography that are not commercial. The first is personal usage or B2C type of business. B2C stands for business to customer. That's where you as the photographer, the business, are creating something that goes directly to the customer without anything in between. This includes weddings, families and senior portraits. If you have that type of business, that's great. That's not what we're going to be covering in this course. Next is editorial. Editorial tells, commercial sells. If you do editorials, then your images are probably showing up in magazines or newspapers. And they're telling more of the story versus trying to sell anything specific, whether that's a person or a product. So, if you're doing editorial work, the fee structures are drastically different than sometimes significantly lower than commercial and that's still an okay business model, but it's not what we're going to be talking about in this course. What we're talking about in this course is commercial photography. Commercial photography is a service. You as the photographer are creating a B2B type of service which means business to business. When it comes to style, commercial clients could be looking for anything whether its clean and natural, stylized and polished, or raw and gritty. Style is really determined by that companies brand, and how they intend to use the photo. Remember commercial photography is persuasive. The clients hiring you to create a mood that sells their product. Their product could be a physical actual item, or it could be just a company image. Or it could even be a person such as if you're doing actor's head shots or promo work. If you're a wedding photographer and you sell an image like this to a company for their advertising. Whether it's a venue, florist, or even a web hosting company that caters to other wedding industry professionals. Just because that you're selling a commercial usage for that image doesn't mean that the entirety of your business is a commercial photography business. While some consumer photography work blurs the lines of turning into commercial photography, I still wanna focus in this course about just building a commercial photography business that is selling to other businesses. So now you know what defines commercial photography. In the next lesson we're going to be taking a look at your role in the commercial photography industry and the other types of people that you're going to work with.

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