commercial photographyCommercial photography, in a sense, could be any kind of photography at all.

For as long as it is a photography assignment that you are paid to do or for as long as you are paid for the service that you provide, then that is technically considered as commercial photography. This can be a nerve wracking concept to get your head around at first but still something that is worth doing especially if you are focused on eventually making a living out of your photography passion. To some people, this can happen unplanned. It might happen to you to. So you’ve been practicing and you are getting better and posting your photos on social media. Your friends and family notice this and they start wondering if you can take photos for them for events that they might hold or any other reason in the photography spectrum and you start to consider it seriously. Here are a few things that you will need to consider before you technically say yes to a paid assignment.

Understand what the agenda is

First and foremost, as the expert in commercial photography, you will need to understand completely what and where the photos are to be used for. Will they be just for posterity’s sake or will they end up in some major national billboard? The reason why you need to know is because of the fact that the differences are huge and so is the pricing. Something that is to be used for ads and marketing should cost considerably more due to the fact that they may require more equipment and post shoot processing than usual. Factor all of these in and make your decisions on from there. Just really talk it out with your client and understand what they would like to do.

Draft out a contract

It is highly important that your clients know exactly what they will be getting in paper and in plain black and white. This is not something that you can afford to second guess. Both parties should know exactly what is in it for them and what should be expected. Arguments between clients and photographers is something as common as night and day but the truth of the matter is that it is something that should not even happen in the first place. If you have something on paper, there is nothing to worry about or argue about. You simply go back to the document that you both signed if there are any misconceptions and that should clear the air right then and there. Go through the motions of consulting a lawyer as well and let him proofread your draft. You need to make sure that you will be able to mitigate any risks if anything happens.

Practice the art of quoting

Price quoting is an extremely difficult balance. If you tip the scale to either side a little too much, it will mean disaster for your business. A price that is too high will turn your clients off. A price that is too low will attract clients but will end up with you not bringing in a margin of profit.


commercial photographyNever ever agree to get a job before you understand everything there is to find out about it.

Establish what their expectations are in the beginning. Commercial photography is all about making sure that everything has been set up well ahead of time. You need to know exactly what you are getting into first before you even agree to anything and everything. The reason why this step is so crucial or important is because of the fact that when it all comes down to it, managing the expectations of the clients who hired you. Take the time to sit down with the clients and really talk to them. You will need to list down all of the things that your clients want or expect from you out of the commercial photography agreement. Make sure that it is something that you are able to follow through with commitment that you can possibly muster up as much as possible. Go back and forth when it comes to discussing all of the items that are in the list. Tell them what particular items that you can work on giving them and come up with a compromise on some things that you cannot deliver.

You need to understand what the intended use is for the images.

You should also discuss with the clients what the use is for the images produced on that particular commercial photography project before you move on to the rest of the other aspects such as the pricing and all of the other details that come along with the composition of the commercial photography shoot. You need to know whether it is to be used for a magazine spread, for a print ad, for a major billboard, and so on and so forth when it all comes down to it. You will also need to find out who the intended or targeted client base is at some point or so. Is it intended for the local group of moms shopping for weekend vegetables or is it meant to really launch an entire nationwide campaign for a really interesting product that needs to be blasted out one way or the other. You will also be able to tell what kind of preparations you will need to make for this particular type of commercial photography shoot.

Commercial photography is all about making sure that you get to quote as realistically as you possibly can.

Quoting is a really tricky and delicate act to balance. However, when it all comes down to it, you will need to make sure that you are able to do it the right way. You need to consider all of your overhead costs, the number of hours that you are putting in, the amount of work that you will need to put in, the amount of gear or equipment that you will need to bring with you all throughout the commercial photography shoot, and so on and so forth. Anything too low and you will lose out on your margin of profit and anything too high and you will turn your clients off.