Whether you’re promoting your products or trying to establish your brand identity, photography is a crucial component of your marketing strategy. There are various types of photography that can help to promote your goods in different places, and it can be difficult to know which one is right for you, and which one will help you to get the most out of your increasingly restricted budgets.
Some types of terminology in marketing photography that can get interchanged and occasionally mixed up are commercial photography and advertising photography, so we have written a useful article to help you to understand the differences between the two.
Before we dive into the differences between commercial and advertising photography, let’s define what each of these terms means. They both have very similar uses, in that they are both used for promotional purposes, and are intended to help sell your products. However, where they differ in the biggest way is what they are intended to achieve.
Commercial photography is a type of photography that is used to put a focus on a product. This may be standard product photography which shows a specific item in a studio or location setting. The resulting photographs may be used as part of product description pages on a website, in a brochure, or shared on social media.
Or, it may be captured in lifestyle photography, which shows people using or interacting with a product in a natural setting, such as a kitchen or gym. This type of photography is great for helping the viewer to visualise themselves using the product and may be used on social media, in catalogues, or on the website.
Advertising photography, on the other hand, is a type of photography that is specifically created for advertising purposes. This could include print ads, billboards, or online ads. Advertising photography is designed to be eye-catching and attention-grabbing and is often more stylised and dramatic than commercial photography.
While commercial and advertising photography are similar in many ways, there are some key differences between the two. The main difference is their purpose; commercial photography is used to show the essence of the product, showing it up close and personal in the best possible light so that there are no secrets between the seller and the buyer. It puts total focus on the product, what it is and what it is good for.
Advertising photography is created specifically to sell that product by encouraging an emotional response from the viewer, that in turn drives them to want to purchase, own and use the product.
Another difference is the stylistic composition of the photography. Commercial photography is often more natural and understated, while advertising photography is often more stylised and dramatic.
This is because advertising photography needs to stand out and grab the viewer’s attention, while commercial photography is meant to showcase the product or service in a more natural setting.
The target audience for each type of photography is different too; commercial photography is often used to reach a broad audience at various stages of their customer journey (Awareness, Consideration, and Decision), while advertising photography is designed to appeal to a specific demographic or target market, and therefore the photography is captured with that demographic or market in mind.
For example, if you have a brand-new range of health foods and want a series of well-lit professional shots for use in the Shop pages of your e-commerce site, then you would be in the market for a commercial product photography expert. However, if you wanted a series of ultra-stylish, on-brand visuals that appeal to female fitness fanatics in their 30s, with a need to ensure there was enough negative space for a strapline and logo, then you would be looking for advertising photography.
Luckily, here at Picture Perfect Photography, we are seasoned professionals in all of this and more.
One of the main benefits of commercial photography is that it can help establish your brand identity. By using consistent, high-quality images across all of your marketing materials, you can create a strong visual brand identity that resonates with your target audience.
Commercial photography can also help increase sales and conversions. High-quality product photography, for example, can help showcase your products in a way that makes them more appealing to potential customers. In fact, studies have shown that high-quality product photography can increase sales by up to 30%.
Finally, commercial photography can help build trust with your customers. By using high-quality images that showcase your products or services in the best possible light, you can help establish yourself as a trustworthy and reliable business that places a great deal of importance on the professionalism of their digital assets.
While commercial photography is important for establishing your brand identity, advertising photography is crucial for reaching your target audience and converting more visitors into buyers. Eye-catching, attention-grabbing images can help your ads get noticed and drive more clicks, conversions, leads, phone calls, or whatever business objective you set with your ad campaigns.
By creating images that appeal to a specific audience, you can increase the effectiveness of your advertising efforts and drive more conversions. By creating visually stunning ads that showcase your products or services in a unique and compelling way, you can help establish yourself as a leader in your field.
Whether you choose commercial or advertising photography, it’s important to work with a professional photographer who understands your brand and your target audience. A professional photographer will be able to create high-quality images that showcase your products or services in the best possible light.
A professional photographer will have the necessary equipment and technical expertise to create images that are visually appealing and effective. This is especially important for advertising photography, which needs to be eye-catching and attention-grabbing.
It might be tempting to set up your own in-house photography department, but do bear in mind the cost implications. In the current climate, many brands are tightening their belts, and invariably the marketing budget is the first to be hit. Great commercial and advertising photography isn’t a case of simply finding an empty space and cracking out the iPhone 14.
Of course, smartphones are growing more and more advanced with each release, and we aren’t going to suggest they can’t do an effective job. However, the true cost of creating a photography studio will run into tens of thousands of pounds, which could be much better spent working with a professional who has spent many years honing their craft, buying the most up to date equipment, and who has the studio space already at their disposal.
If you’re ready to take your marketing efforts to the next level, you should really be looking at incorporating commercial or advertising photography into your strategy. With the right visuals and a strong brand identity, you will absolutely stand out in a crowded marketplace. Regardless of which type of photography you choose, it’s important to work with a professional photographer who understands your brand and your target audience.
With over twenty years of commercial and advertising photography experience, Picture Perfect Photography has worked with countless professional brands to help them sell their products via high end, creative photography. Whether health and fitness, manufacturing and industrial, or food and drink, we have a proven track record at presenting products in their best possible light.
We have garnered many rave reviews for our attention to detail and ability to follow a brief to the letter, although we are equally comfortable working alongside our clients to provide creative suggestions for getting the nest out of the photography sessions.
We have a fantastic studio here in Haigh, in the heart of South Yorkshire, and would welcome any brand managers to visit us, view the facilities we have at our disposal, and to discuss your business objectives. Alternatively, why not just get in touch via the form below and book in a discovery call with the team.