Commercial Photography – Don’t Blag Your Portfolio
Commercial Photography Portfolios! I may be about to open a whole can of worms and approach a controversial subject matter, but it’s something that has been on my agenda for a while. I’m purposely opening up the comments tab on this post because I’d genuinely be interested to see what people’s opinions are surrounding some of the whole ethical side of this blog.
From my perspective, I run a commercial photography business. It’s called Blanc Creative and whatever way you choose to look at it, it falls into the bracket of Commercial Photography.
I class myself as Commercial Photographer. I don’t run a wedding / portrait / party / model site all rolled into one, but I do own a Commercial Photography company providing high quality imagery to businesses of all size, to professional marketing agencies and Press Agencies. Our images are produced solely for a commercial photography purpose. Granted, I’m guilty of having a handful of galleries that reflect the ‘creative’ side of Blanc Creative such as the Travel Photography Portfolio. These are online to promote the fact that in 2013, I received The SWPP Travel Photographer of the Year Award in London. Blanc Creative have sold imagery to clients across the world and work is displayed in the Conference Room of Bay Cranes in New York, so I therefore feel that from a business perspective, the images fit the whole commercial criteria.
In my own mind, Commercial Photography has intent of either ‘Making our clients money through use of photography’ or ‘to create compelling visual images that reach the target audience of that brief that our clients have requested. Most of our commercial photography ends up being used for editorial business articles, press releases or advertising. CErtain genres of the Blanc Creative Brand, such a Music Photography or Celebrity Photography are assignments undertaken to make passive, longterm income, long after the initial payment.
Just because a client pays for images, I don’t consider this as commercial photography. If that were the case, every family portrait shoot or wedding would fall under this genre. I suppose, technically speaking, you could argue that portrait and wedding photographers fall into this category, but with products that are only intended for a private end user, I don’t believe that these sort of shots fit the criteria.
The Great Untruth
The main issue for myself as a commercial photographer is ‘The Great Untruth’ that some photographers try to get away with in the industry when they palm themselves off as Commercial Photographers purely to give themselves an additional title when in reality, many have never pitched for a commercial project and would not know how to work in the commercial industry. Just because you have a home studio, a six light setup and can shoot a nice shot of a well known brand of whiskey, the latest smart phone or a celebrity from the crowd of an intimate event, doesn’t mean you are a Commercial Photographer. To fall in this category, a business needs to have commissioned you to undertake the assignment on their behalf. It’s as simple as that, but all too often we see site after site of international brands and household products being blatantly flaunted as commercial photography, which would never ever see the light of day as part of any advertising campaign in a million years.
There are thousands of absolutely amazing photographers out there showcasing the most stunning of work but it doesn’t make you a commercial photographer. It’s about Commercial photographers helping people to promote their business.
Good commercial photography helps clients achieve their visions.
Commercial Photography for Bernard Matthews Big Green Plan
VW Commercial Vehicle Press Release for Amorak Off Road Vehicle
Vauxhall Adam Editorial Shoot with Binky Alexander Felstead from TV’s Made in Chelsea
Badly Drawn Boy Concert Review Press coverage – The Guardian Newspaper
La Tasca Restaurant Chain Interior Photography