Commercial photography is basically any type of photography for which a photographer is paid, and it is really the only way for most photographers to make a living. Among the types of commercial photography are industrial photography, wedding photography, corporate event photography, crime scene photography, food photography, news photography, etc.
Although many photography students dream of exciting careers as famous fine art or glamor photographers, the reality is very few will ever achieve the status of an Ansel Adams or Herb Ritts. Thus, for new photographers to actually “make it” as professionals, their only choices are to specialize in one or more areas of commercial photography. If they are determined not to “sell out” they will inevitably fall victim to the “starving artist” stereotype.
When starting their own photography businesses, most new photographers will try to make a living shooting weddings, family portraits, graduation portraits, or freelancing. However, relatively few ever consider becoming professional product photographers or getting into corporate event photography. After all, who has ever heard of any famous product photographers?
Not that there are many family portrait, wedding, or corporate photographers who are exactly household names; but shooting photos of a two-liter bottle of Coke doesn’t seem nearly as interesting as shooting fashion models or even doing corporate event photography. The bottom line is anyone who hopes to make it as a professional photographer will probably end up doing some kind of commercial photography. Of course that isn’t a bad thing, for that just might be the plan for a lot of photographers right from the beginning.
Whether photography upstarts are interested in becoming industrial photographers, product advertising photographers, or corporate event photographers, there are a few tips that can give them a better chance at succeeding. Among the most important tips are to be prepared, have reliable transportation, tame your ego, work hard, and pay minute attention to detail.
These tips are especially crucial when you consider that 60% of photographers give up within one year, and an additionally 25% will call it quits after two years. The good news is the reason so many fail has more to do with them than the photography industry, in general. As long as you have the skills, work hard, and remain committed to your craft, you chances for success will improve exponentially.