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What Is Advertising Photography?

Advertising photography is the art of using photography to create images with a focus on selling a service, product or brand. 

Sometimes you may have ad campaigns that aren’t necessarily there to sell but to raise awareness.

For example governments might commission ad campaigns to get certain information out into the public which might be beneficial to them. 

What Is The Difference Between Commercial and Advertising Photography?

Advertising photography can be classed as a subcategory of commercial photography. 

While commercial photography can cover a massive range of photography, advertising photography will usually have the following objective:

To sell.

This contrasts to some other commercial photography where the photos may be commissioned for a more informational reason.

For example product photography on a website or catalogue is more for the product to look as accurate as possible. 

But advertising products can have more of a surreal element as ads are designed to be more persuasive.

What Makes a Good Advertising Photographer?

A good advertising photographer will be able to use their photography to get the right message across and evoke the right feelings from the viewer.

You can accomplish the above in many ways and when it comes to advertising photographers there are many different approaches and styles.

For example for a drinks brand it can be that refreshing feeling you get when you have quenched your thirst.

On the other hand , for a travel brand it might be for you to feel the ‘fear of missing out’ on going to a dream destination. 

Whatever the message, a good advertising photographer will be effective at evoking the right feelings and getting across the right message in their images.

The top advertising photographers will be able to achieve this with ease. 

Sometimes there will be a team that decides the creative direction whereas other times the photographer themselves may take a more hands on approach.

What Types of Advertising Photography Are There? 

While there are countless situations where advertising photography can be useful here are some obvious examples:

  • Food and Drink (e.g. fast food chains, beer etc.)
  • Products (e.g. watches, perfume, technology, beauty etc.)
  • Automotive (e.g. cars , motorcycles etc.)
  • Fashion (e.g. high street brands, vogue)
  • Travel (e.g. tourism boards , holiday resorts etc.)
  • Architecture (e.g. architecture agencies, developers etc. )

The list of categories of advertising photography are endless since you can use it in pretty much any industry.

Since there is so much variety you will often find that some photographers will specialise in one or two industries.

By doing this they can become really good at certain styles and become sought after. 

This can be a good strategy as you become known for a certain thing and become the go to person for certain brands. 

But how your photos are displayed is also important.

How Is Photography Used In Advertising?

Since photography can be used in so many industries there is a large variety of ways that the images can be displayed.

A lot of the time this will be determined by the ad campaign itself. 

The main thing to consider is, which of the following the ad campaign will be:

  • Digital
  • Print 

If it was a solely digital ad campaign then you might see the photos being displayed only on social media apps, across the internet or on digital billboards. 

On the hand if it is a print ad campaign you might only see them in print publications like trade show flyers, industry magazines or printed billboards. 

Ad agencies and companies might use just one form of advertising or a mixture of different mediums.

The medium that is used is very important!

If you don’t consider how the photos will be displayed then the final images might not be fit to purpose and this is especially important for print campaigns for large size prints.

We hope this article helped you! As always, we appreciate your time for reading this. 

  • Photography Pursuits Team

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