What is the difference between advertising photography and commercial photography?

Many photographers use these terms interchangeably. Advertising photography and commercial photography are two completely different styles and formulas. Both of them are only for professional and experienced photographers. It’s important that you, as an entrepreneur, marketing director or CEO, differentiate between these two styles when you want to book a photo shoot for your products.

Good advertising photography or commercial photography is needed to polish your marketing strategy. However, the tools, intent, purpose, photo ideas, goals and creations are completely different. What is the difference between these styles of business photography?

What is commercial photography?

Commercial photography is focused on the product, highlighting its advantages and special features to encourage potential customers to buy the product. Commercial photos can look a bit like typical commercial “stock photos”. Good light, proper, minimalistic background and product in the center of the photo which focuses attention of the audience.

Commercial photographer wouldn’t want to use dazzling light packages in a shoot because it would overwhelm the product. All of this is done to awaken the consumer’s desire to buy. Simple studio photo shoots, e-commerce photography or product grouping are perfect examples of commercial photography.

Commercial photographers take pictures of products, clothes, cosmetics, cars, buildings, apartments – absolutely anything you can rent or sell online in an online store. Well processed commercial photos will go on websites, catalogs, flyers, or billboards.

What is advertising photography?

Advertising photography does not have to focus only on sales, like commercial photography. Here the key is inspiration, unique idea, arousing some specific emotions and impressions of the viewers. Advertising photographers can interpret how products, services, lifestyles, and ideas can be presented photographically. Only these emotions and interpretations convince the client to buy or order something. In commercial photography there is more space for creativity and ingenuity of advertising photographers

Press covers, music album covers, book covers – these and many other products can be shown by advertising photography. A good advertising photographer can tell the story of the product and encourage thousands of viewers to buy it using stylized images, colors, lighting and framing.

Commercial photography vs. advertising photography – key differences

  1. Advertising photography must be consistent with the overall advertising campaign and marketing strategy of the brand. Commercial photography is more versatile and fits for example as e-commerce photography for any online store, retailers and wholesalers.
  1. Advertising photography tells a unique story. Commercial photography shows the product. And it’s both compelling, inspiring, and impactful.
  1. Commercial photography is more careful about framing. Nothing draws the viewer’s eye away from the product. Lighting, styling and backgrounds are generally somewhat neutral. Advertising photography is more daring, full of ideas and style. It is meant to evoke certain emotions in the viewer.
  1. Commercial photography is a very useful tool for working in the online world. Advertising photography can be a work of art, inspire and change the surrounding reality. And at the same time sell something.

Where to find commercial and advertising style photographers?

Congratulations! You’ve come to the right place. I am Bartosz Branka and I have done hundreds of commercial and advertising photo shoots all over the world. I know what to do in order to increase the sales of your products and develop your online business. Write to me and let’s work together to plan a photo shoot that will revolutionize your business.

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