"Your first 1,000 photographs are your worst." -Henri Cartier-Bresson
Worldwide acclaim, greatness, and success do not come about by chance; they are the result of hard work and determination in a specific sector.
What do Muhammad Ali, Katharine Hepburn, and Pablo Picasso have in common? They all spent years honing their craft, accepting criticism, and suffering failure to eventually taste greatness.
Achieving greatness in a world plagued by social, political, and economic issues is a shining beacon of hope.
Triumph in a specific art form such as painting, sculpting, or photography can be observed and admired by countless individuals worldwide. In recent years photography has become the interest of many millennials.
Is it because a picture is worth a thousand words?
Photography is a broad subject with many distinct sub-genres such as fashion, wildlife, wedding, sports, and advertising. Specialising in one of the previously mentioned genres ensures a fulfilling career for those who want to tell stories with their images.
What about advertising photography?
Advertising photography involves taking pictures of the products and services offered by other individuals; it is a specialised branch of commercial photography. Advertising photographers can make a lot of money depending on their clients and find their images featured in magazines, books, calendars, and websites.
Therefore, to pique the curiosity of those considering a career in advertising or lifestyle photography, Superprof has the goal of examining essential details of this branch of photography; get your cameras ready!
Starting a Career in Advertising and Lifestyle Photography
There are various steps that need to be followed to have a successful career in any private or public sector. Also, it is essential to mention that since there is so much competition in the current workforce, honing your skills to become the best is not an option, it is a must.
But how do I commence a career in commercial or advertising photography?
Advertising photography is very competitive since many working photographers realise that it is an alluring sector with many big-name companies offering regular work with attractive paychecks. Also, advertising photographers often find themselves working with famous people behind and in front of the camera; how exciting!
It's also worth mentioning that advertising or commercial photographers may find themselves on shoots in exotic locations such as Fiji, Paris, Morocco, and Tokyo!
Nevertheless, before we become too distracted, it is worth mentioning that the following are necessary steps to become a reputable sports and advertising photographer with plenty of clients in the UK and around the world:
- Build a Strong Portfolio: while it may take years to decide which photography is worth specialising in after you have chosen your calling work hard to create a robust portfolio. Feature your best shots that adequately represent the type of work you want to make a career out of in the big world.
- Go the Extra Mile: to stand out as better than all the rest it is essential to put in the extra time and effort required to be one of the greats. This means longer hours, scooting and shooting in unique locations, and being more creative than the rest.
- Study and Imitate: look at the work of already successful advertising photographers and reflect their success. Observe the creativity and individuality they bring to each shot and try to emulate it. Also, contacting other advertising photographers is a brilliant way to receive tips to become more professional.
- Become Familiar With Marketing: advertising photography is a minimal area of marketing; therefore, it would be wise to know more about marketing to focus on the overall vision of a company and what they are searching for rather than only supplying pictures that look good.
By following the previously mentioned steps, a successful career as a commercial photographer is just around the corner!
Advertising Photography: Necessary Equipment
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase." -Percy W. Harris
Becoming one of the best advertising photographers in the business takes time and effort. Testing out new cameras, trying different angles, adjusting the lighting, and playing with professional lenses is all part of the practice that makes perfect.
Learn more about fashion photography.
In the beginning, as an amateur, many ugly photographs are taken. Nevertheless, there is no need to fret, improvement and adjustments are achieved through failure.
Remember Andy Warhol didn't become ANDY FREAKING WARHOL overnight!
Skills and essential techniques can be acquired over time. Therefore, it is not necessary to buy the most expensive equipment to get the best jobs as an advertising or commercial photographer since many employers prefer raw talent over fancy gear.
Consequently, the most experienced photographers are familiar with their equipment and know what to bring and pack in their camera bag for every shoot. The following are some of the most indispensable pieces of gear needed for advertising photography:
- The Camera: unlike fashion, wildlife, or wedding photography, advertising photographers stay in the same spot while shooting and remain still. Therefore, DSLR cameras are highly recommended; they are reliable and familiar to seasoned photographers for their video capabilities and different types of lenses offered. Recommended DSLR models include the Nikon D5, the Nikon D800E, and the Canon 5D Mark II.
- Lenses: without a lens, a camera cannot shoot breathtaking images. But what are some of the best lenses for commercial or advertising photography? Many professionals recommend the Tamron 24-70mm since it is well made to handle long days of shooting both still images and live-action videos. Consult with other professionals about other favourite lenses used to shoot advertising images.
- Flashes: the perfect lighting is essential to create a magnificent photograph. If there is a well-placed lighting setup with the right equipment, a busy shoot or a nighttime portrait can be done flawlessly. Many photographers use professional flashes such as the Olympus FL -900R. Also, for those who want to be ready to face any lighting situation, a battery-powered studio light is necessary.
- Camera Bag: to transport the costly equipment such as the camera, the distinct lenses, the lighting gear, and the tripod, if needed, a high-quality camera bag is a necessity. A camera bag that fits all the equipment and allows for quick success helps advertising photographers remain efficient and professional.
As you can observe from the previously mentioned list, only a few necessary items are needed to work as a professional advertising photographer. While it is true that cameras, lenses, and flashes can be very pricy, it is not necessary to continuously buy the newest models and versions.
Before concluding this section, it's important to remember that gear is not everything; the talent behind the camera is worth much more than the camera itself.
Invaluable Tips to Become a Bigshot Photographer
With every new generation, there are unique characteristics that are different from the past and adjustment is needed. For example, babyboomers significantly differ from millennials in the workplace.
Babyboomers give their all and work hard for a company in exchange for long-term investment. On the other hand, millennials know that most things, including jobs, are temporary and they only dedicate a part of themselves to hard work; they want to find a job that goes in line with their training and do something purposeful.
For the above-mentioned reasons, it's been said that millennials prefer to invent jobs than actually fill a position at a reputable company.
Consequently, millennials prefer to have jobs that permit them to travel and not be tied down frequently; that is why photography has been on the rise for the past few years. Therefore, everybody wants to know a little something about photography to launch the laid-back and creative career of their dreams.
Without further delay, the following are some essential tips or steps to become a working and professional photographer:
- Shoot Daily: in the beginning, amateur photographers should not go one day without shooting. Photography requires regular practice to gain skills, increase creativity, and hone technical abilities. Many experts suggest having the camera around your neck for at least 30 minutes a day to not miss out on unexpected opportunities.
- Study Makes You Strong: photographers, whether experienced or amateur, love to look at different pictures from colleagues that inspire them. Do not stop doing this! However, we recommend that when observing outstanding images, they should be dissected and carefully analysed. By deconstructing the lighting, mood, and composition, beginners begin to understand the internal logic that made all elements flow together; a truly fulfilling experience!
Find out all about analysing beautiful portraits here.
- Try to Shoot With Film: the best way to understand the fundamentals of technique is to work with film. Since there are fewer shots to work with than in digital, amateurs spend more time observing their subject and surroundings before shooting.
- Get Comfortable With Your Camera: while it is true that raw talent beats out fancy gadgets, knowing how to use your gear is a fundamental truth. When in action, you should know how to use your lens, camera, and flash like the back of your hand. If you spend more time trying to figure out your camera on a photoshoot than actually taking pictures, there's a severe problem. Therefore, to avoid embarrassment and disengaged subjects, read your manuals religiously before playing with your new toy.
Becoming a bigshot advertising or commercial photographer may be difficult, but it is possible. In conclusion, working at a job you adore entirely is worth all the sacrifices made. Therefore, don't listen to the haters, continue to snap your shots and tell stories with your camera!
Find out about becoming a photographer and analysing different photos here.