Commercial Photography Online Portfolio

Interested in breaking into commercial photography but unsure how to start? We've got you covered with our guide to creating a commercial photograph portfolio.

Whether you're a hobby photographer who's looking to transition into professional photography, or you've been selling your photoshoots for years but want to change focus, this is the place for you to learn everything you need to know about creating a high quality photography website in mere minutes. In addition to breaking down the basics of commercial photography, what it consists of and how to get started, we've got online portfolio templates and examples of commercial photography portfolios to inspire you. Let's get started by taking a closer look at what commercial photography is all about.

What is Commercial Photography

In essence, commercial photography is all about photos that are used for business purposes. Your clients could be multi-level corporations or individual entrepreneurs, but what makes this type of photography commercial is that it's going to be used to attract clients to paid businesses.

There are endless ways in which photography work can be used for commercial purposes. Professional photographers can pretty much choose the type of photos they want to take, and then it's just about getting creative with brainstorming about who your future potential clients could be. Before we get into all of the different niches you can focus on as a commercial photographer, we'll start by discussing the two main types of commercial photography.

Different Types of Commercial Photography

While there are tons of different types of photography that can be used for commercial purposes, there are two main kinds of commercial photography in terms of the purpose behind the photos you are taking. A commercial photographer may create photos that fall into both of these categories at times, but it's important to understand the difference so that you can create a compelling image that serves the exact purpose that your clients are looking for.

  • Selling a product. A commercial photographer who is focused on selling a product with their photography work will want to emphasize the product and show it in its best light so that consumers will be inspired to make a purchase.

  • Selling a person or business. Commercial images that emphasize the person or business behind the products or services that they offer are going to work a little bit differently than product-based images. If your clients provide services, you may want to capture them working on these services to give viewers an idea of what it is that they do (and what they're paying for)

Getting Started in Shooting Commercial Photography

Now that you have a thorough understanding of commercial photography and the two categories of images you may be required to provide, it's time to get into the nitty-gritty of how to actually get started on building up your portfolio. Here are our 6 simple steps to creating a photography website that will make you stand out from the crowds and attract your dream photography clients.

Choose your niche.

From fashion to food, there are so many different kinds of photography that can be used commercially. You may not know right away which one you want to focus on, but a great way to stand out is by getting super specific about what kind of images you take. By choosing a niche, not only do you make marketing your photography services more straightforward, you also ensure that you're only taking on work that you actually enjoy doing. There's no point in trying to cater to every niche out there. Instead, figure out what you enjoy taking pictures of, and set up your photography website to reflect that.聽

Practice, practice, practice.

It may not be the most exciting advice, but the truth is that the only way to get good enough at what you do to work as a professional commercial photographer is to constantly work at improving your skills. Do some research into your niche to see industry standards, then get out there and start practicing! Make sure that you're putting your own unique spin on things, while still creating quality images that any commercial business would love to use for their marketing campaigns.

Build your online photography portfolio website.

These days, you definitely don't need to be knowledgeable about technology to create awesome photography websites that will have clients knocking down your door. Choose a website builder that allows users to fully customize their photography portfolios, so that you're able to express your unique style and point of view through your portfolio.

Reach out to your networks.

Now is the time to make use of all of your connections! Send out a friendly email letting them know that you've started a brand new photography business, and explaining what services you're offering. You can even make use of a friends and family discount or referral fees to encourage them to share your work with the people they know. Word of mouth is a great way to expand your client network, and happy clients are more likely to tell their friends about you.

Pitch to your ideal clients.

Let's say the niche that you've chosen is male fashion photography. Start brainstorming types of people and businesses who would need that kind of photography. If you've set up your portfolio to reflect your niche and personal style, then start reaching out to your ideal clients! While huge fashion magazines may be out of your reach at first, you can try contacting local boutiques or small publications to get your foot in the door.

Keep updating your portfolio regularly.

As you get more practice and paying jobs, you'll want to show off your progress on your portfolio. Include the names of the companies you've worked with, as potential clients will be impressed to see all of the businesses that are paying for your images.

How Commercial Photography Can Grow Your Business

Pretty much every type of business uses photographic images in some way, whether it's for marketing a product or service, an author photo at the back of a book, or food photography for a restaurant's menu. This means that the opportunities to get your images used for commercial purposes are endless! Here are some of the ways that becoming a professional commercial photographer can help you to grow your business, and your income.

Get your images seen by large audiences.

When you work with commercial clients, especially large companies using your images for their advertising campaigns, your work is going to get seen by way more people (and potential future clients) than when you're just doing one-off jobs for individuals.

Work with recognizable brands and build consumer trust.

As your client base grows and you start getting jobs from companies with an established audience and brand recognition, you'll be able to showcase those images online on your portfolio alongside the brand's name. Then clients who are looking at portfolio websites will see that you've already worked with some companies that they recognize, and be more likely to choose to hire you over your competitors.

Commercial businesses usually have a larger budget than individual clients.聽

Whereas individual clients may need to stick to strict budget, large scale companies usually have a lot more money to spend on their branding images

Commercial Photography Portfolio FAQs

Build a Commercial Photography Portfolio

Showcase Your Work in a Commercial Photography Portfolio

Commercial photography can be a busy career for photographers, especially when you could be working with numerous brands and companies.聽

Whether you鈥檙e shooting commercial products or portraits, a website builder can help you create a professional online portfolio easily and quickly. Format allows users to build and customize their site to match their content needs and in just one day. The platform is easy to use and you can quickly edit your site on-the-go with the iOS app. Personalizing the website is easy by adding special features like a photo proofing corner, a blog, and an online store to take your online portfolio to the next level.

Sign up for Format now and enjoy the first 14 days for free. Afterward, you can continue using Format for just $7 a month!

Get Started Today. Create My Portfolio.