What Businesses Want from Commercial Photographers

A list of handy tips for commercial photographers. This is what business want!

A commercial photographer thrives with professionalism at the front of their mind when shooting for brochures, websites, advertisements, products and much more. When a business chooses to take advantage of a commercial photographer and their skills, the hired freelancer benefits from the flexibility of their schedule to show off the work in which they specialize.

But what exactly is it that makes a business want to hire commercial photographers? Here’s everything you need to know about what businesses want when they hire photographers.

Proven Talent

commercial photography tips and resources

Portfolios are the best way to showcase freelance work. A commercial photographer should put together nothing but the best of their previous work into a portfolio to show potential employing businesses how they’ve been successful. Without proof of talent, skill and ability to fulfill the project at hand, a business won’t even consider hiring that photographer. There must be a mutually beneficial relationship between both parties. The business needs the photographer, and vice versa.

A business will seek nothing but top talent when it comes to the photographer they will hire. The photographer is primarily responsible for creating, shooting and delivering material that essentially will represent the business. The photographer needs to be able to adapt to requirements of the job.

Maybe the business has rules for what can be photographed. Maybe the business has a strict timeline and budget. A talented photographer will work as a professional to ensure the very best for the business.

Dedication to Meet Criteria

In order to create material that will represent a business, the business looks for freelance photographers that can meet their criteria. This can take dedication on the photographer’s part. When it comes down to it, a business has a goal they need to meet, and they are hiring someone that can help them get to that goal.

As a freelance photographer, you should answer honestly to yourself whether or not you can help a business achieve their goal. What are you skilled at? What types of businesses have you successfully worked with before? Because the business has a specific goal in mind, you need to make sure you’re the right fit. If they’re hiring someone to take pictures of their building, and you photograph portraits, then you might not be the right fit.

Meanwhile, if a business wants someone to take pictures of their new cupcake display and you specialize in photographing food, consider yourself the one for the job.

Brand Guidelines

brand guidelines for commercial photographers

The same goes for businesses when they’re in the process of looking for a photographer to hire. If a company is hiring someone to photograph personalized business cards for its employees, it’s going to need someone who specializes in head shots. There are essential questions the hiring manager of a business should ask in order to find the right photographer.

Choosing the right photographer can potentially make or break a business, especially if it’s a startup. Branding is what makes a business just that — a business. Branding is a way businesses establish themselves, their products and their media.

There are specific ways a business can ensure it’s not making any mistakes when it comes to its brand. Brand guidelines are something that can’t be overstepped when a commercial photographer comes in to do work. A visual style guide might be in place, and the photographer absolutely must be able to meet those guidelines for the business.

Quality to Reach Audience

advice for commercial photographers


The quality of images businesses look for are ones that will make an impact and reach their target audience. Then, a business’s target audience becomes the photographer’s target audience. Being able to capture images that reach the audience is exactly what the business needs from the photographer they are going to hire. A business wants to know that they are hiring someone who will bring in more customers, sales, awareness or whatever else it is that will improve their bottom line.

The quality of an image has been proven to affect sales. When businesses sell their products online, the image can make consumers want to buy the product. Online shoppers say that a picture really does say a thousand words, as 67% of consumers note the importance of image quality in showing them the product they’re purchasing.

A business wants a photographer that can give them images that provide results. Whether the image increases sales, boosts subscribers or does something else entirely, the images photographers create for businesses have to be of the highest quality.

Budget Check

Being able to afford a commercial photographer is a huge consideration for a business. Professional photographers may already have pricing set for the freelance work they do. On the other hand, businesses can sometimes have a budget that sometimes doesn’t line up with what the photographer would charge.

A business might have an offer for the photographer, which is up to the photographer to accept. Either way, it’s vital for the business to stay under budget.

Lasting Results

commercial photography checklist

The outcome of a photo shoot proves whether or not the professional relationship between a business and photographer was beneficial. If it was, it means that photographer produced images for the business that it will be able to use with successful results.

A professional collaboration between a commercial photographer and a business to create images and media that consumers want to see isn’t always a fast and easy thing. Businesses and commercial photographers must be able to work together for a successful and mutually beneficial outcome.

Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She constantly researches trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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