So let’s look at how to choose the right commercial photographer?


First let us explain ‘What is commercial photography’. Probably the best definition of Commercial Photography is the use of images to represent a brand or product although this type of photography is also a reflection of life, our everyday surroundings, the times we live in, the environment we create as well as our lifestyles.Commercial Photography for  Advertising and marketing is more about telling a story and educating consumers by using pictures to create the illusion of that certain product or service. Unlike Wedding Photography or Pet Photography for example where what you see is what you get type pictures, Commercial Photography has to help conjure up a thought process in the viewer to allow the imagination to understand the concept of the product or service and generate an emotion.

What we advise you look for in a commercial photographer

Considering you might invest money in hiring a Commercial Photographer then he or she should at least be available for an initial face to face meeting to discuss your brief, project, ideas and requirements.

Speaking with them over the phone and then booking a meeting either at your place of work or in their studio is probably the best as it will give you a great opportunity to iron out exactly what you want and witness first hand how that photographer responds to your needs.

A good photographer photographer should ask to view your product or ask for a guided tour of the location you wish to shoot at so that they can assess what equipment or any lighting adjustments will be required at the shoot.

On the day of the shoot it will be your responsibility to ensure that everything the photographer needs as far as products, people and location are in tip-top condition, available for the time of the shoot and spotlessly clean. Small details can often make or break a picture so plan ahead and discuss these important issues. At Marked Perception we partner a number of modelling agencies, hair stylists and makeup artists tat work alongside us on many shoots, so we are able to select models in advance or organise additional stylist required.It sounds obvious but we would recommend you or your marketer tries to be available on the shoot or at least someone who is very familiar with your requirements to assist the photographer with direction. If not then the very least you can do is to have your phone handy to take the photographer’s call during the time of the shoot.

Studio or location Photography?

The majority of people think of a photographic studio as a place where Fashion Photography or Model Portfolios take place but a studio is a great place to control lighting and the photo shoot conditions when shooting a product.

Probably the final decision on where to do the shoot will be best suggested by the photographer as he will be able to advise on which will offer the better lighting conditions to enhance the key elements of the product or subject.

Lighting is the essential element in Commercial Photography that gives food its delicious fresh mouth watering effect, that beautiful morning sunshine glow to that fitted kitchen or that sensual warm snuggly effect to the bedroom or duvet set.

Location shoots are sometimes essential but to get great results can sometimes involve extra work and time to control the surroundings and lighting. In all cases a good Commercial Photographer will have a range of extra lighting with soft boxes or diffusers as well as a few additional props to produce a stunning set of pictures.

Copyright and intellectual property Ownership.

So who actually does own the rights to those photographs you’ve commissioned a photographer to do? Well the legal answer is that the photographer always retains the copyright of the pictures and agrees to grant you a license to use them only for certain things which should have been discussed prior to the shoot taking place.

Future uses of the pictures outside of the negotiated terms will often require additional fees so be prepared to discuss this at your initial meeting with your Commercial Photographer.

What are the costs of hiring a commercial photographer?

Just like any other supplier or contractor to your business the Commercial Photographer is no different except that he or she is someone you are not used to hiring. We would advise you to contact a few Commercial Photographers to get them to give you a quote or price list and then see what they are prepared to offer for those prices. The most expensive is not always the best and cheapest doesn’t always mean poor quality too.

Some photographers work on an hourly rate whereas others like us like to charge a rate per day/ half day but nearly all will base their pricing depending upon the following:

• The length of time the shoot will take
• The amount of digital editing work that will be required after the shoot
• The location the vast majority of the shoot will take place at
• What the pictures will be used for afterwards e.g. Web Sites, Print, Packaging, TV etc

If you have a limited budget then, be up front with your photographer to discuss what can be achieved for the funds available. Sometimes you can get more for your money if a good working-relationship can be struck up with the photographer especially, if there is a possibility of repeat work being placed at a later date or further in the campaign.
The meeting will also give you the ideal opportunity to see for yourself some of their work that they’ve done for other clients and get a feeling for their style.

To learn more why not give Mark Womersley a call on +44 (0) 113 394 4522 contact us via our quick enquiry form or view samples of our work.





You may wish to read our page on the use of photography in your business  where we explains why it is so important and what you need to know.