Using creative conceptual ideas to present their unique vision, commercial photographers create photographic work to promote products or services. Commercial photographers can be successful in many categories of photography including photographs taking for use in advertising, marketing, and fashion. There is a strong worldwide market in wedding and portrait photography.
Nearly half of all commercial photographers are freelance/self-employed while the other commercial photographers work for many different types of agencies in the photographic industry including:
Commercial photography studios
Magazines such as fashion, interior design, travel, and food
Public relations agencies
What skills does a commercial photographer need?
Communication skills are essential. Photographers must understand what both
photographers and clients want and need.
- • Commercial photographers require technical skills and
knowledge of lenses and filters, knowledge of lighting
techniques for use in studio and on-location photography and
have developed skills in the use of computers,
photo-quality printers and digital imaging software.
• Commercial photographer should possess an artistic or conceptual vision. Creativity and style differentiate each photographer from the competition and a unique style and the ability to convey ideas is critical.
• Freelance commercial photographers must possess essential business skills to submit bids, write contracts, keep financial records, market their work, license and price photographs,
Great career options:
• Advertising Photography- Advertising photography creates the right environment to illustrate a service or product. Photographers work with design firms that brief them on concepts required to obtain the specific results or create the ideas and visuals themselves.
• Editorial Photography- Editorial photography illustrates a story or idea within the context of a magazine. Often working as a freelance photographer, a magazine usually assigns these photographic assignments.
• Event Photography- Event photography is primarily candid and mostly takes place on location. Many of these images are used for various PR purposes. An example of event photography is wedding photography. Wedding photographers work on site at the wedding location. They may take photos only during the wedding ceremony, but many wedding photographers offer packages that offer engagement photo sessions as well as photos taken during the wedding ceremony and reception.
• Portrait Photography- Portrait photographers often work for a studio or on location. They specialize in individual and family portraits including school and sports photography.
Commercial Photography at College of the Canyons
College of the Canyons offers a Certificate of Achievement in Commercial Photography. The program is designed to prepare students for an entry-level position in commercial photography by teaching the camera, lighting, and computer skills. Classes are offered in both digital and analog photography.
Commercial Photography Curriculum
Course Title Units
PHOTO 150 Cameras and Composition 3
PHOTO 155 Photography 3
GMD 105 Digital Imaging 3
PHOTO 190 Studio Photography 3
PHOTO 195 Color Photography 3
PHOTO 205 Advanced Digital Photography 3
PHOTO 295 Professional Practices and Portfolio 3
Total Units 21
Recommended elective courses but not required
PHOTO 200 Portraiture 3
PHOTO 201 Independent Projects in Photography 1
PHOTO 210 Wedding Photography 3
PHOTO 285 Concept Development 3
Curriculum changes as technology and industry standards transform. Please refer to the counseling website as requirements may have changed since this webpage was developed, www.canyons.edu/counseling/certificate.asp .
How do I
get more information about wages for this program?
For national and state data, enter “Commercial Photography” in the Occupation Quick Search
For California wages, enter “Photography” in the “Keyword Search”
For more information about the Commercial Photography Department to https://sites.google.com/site/cocphoto/ .
Contact Wendy Brill, Department Chair
Wendy.firstname.lastname@example.org or 661-362-3318