Commercial photography is an organized learning experience that includes theory, laboratory and study work, since each one relates to all phases of camera use, photographic processing and electronic photo editing. A commercial photographer takes photographs for organizations, corporations, non-profit organizations, small businesses, and government agencies. To apply for work, you must create a portfolio, which is often compiled within a degree program. Commercial photography students master color and black and white photography.
They learn to manipulate images in an electronic darkroom. Students explore lighting and studio illustration. Courses may include techniques for filming with large format cameras, and some schools still teach how to develop films, although now almost all photography is digital. Many schools teach students how to make multimedia presentations.
In a master's program, the student can take more elective courses and work on photography projects, allowing them to focus on commercial photography, if they wish. In short, commercial photographers usually need some form of formal education, whether it comes from an associate, bachelor's, or master's program. Commercial photographers must have an innate artistic eye for their craft, but they must also be educated about the technical aspects of operating camera equipment. In addition to technical knowledge of photography, a commercial photographer who works as a freelancer must be a good businessman.
While students are learning the basics of photography, courses focus on artistic or journalistic photography, not commercial photography. You can find commercial photography courses in associate degree and bachelor's degree programs in fine art or photography. You can also find master's programs in art and photography that offer advanced instruction and training in commercial photography. As a commercial photographer, your photos can be included in a variety of materials, such as annual reports, catalogs, magazines and websites.
Commercial photographers can photograph models for fashion magazines, industrial equipment for a company's annual report, or new buildings for a publication specializing in construction. Commercial photographers can increase their value to employers and keep their skills up to date by taking continuing education courses, participating in contests, and teaching courses. However, the BLS also selected commercial photographers and noted that there would be an ongoing demand for their services to develop engaging and effective advertisements.