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This post was most recently updated on Feb 13th, 2022

Being a photographer is a truly fantastic job to have, especially if you are in high demand. It allows you to use your passion and skills to earn a living, whether that is your own business or as an employee.

If you are a photographer, whether that is professionally or at an amateur level, it is useful to know the type of photos that are popular and sell well. While the purpose of photography is not to earn money if it is your hobby, as a job, it is important that you are able to sell the photos you create.

In some instances, this is what people will rely on as a source of income. As a result, you will want to ensure your photos are able to sell. Commercial photography focuses on photos that are popular and will sell well, rather than the photos a photographer specifically enjoys taking — though the two can overlap.

In this article, we will be discussing what type of photos sell best commercially, to help you utilize your skills to earn a higher income. In addition to this, we will be talking you through the definition of commercial photography.

What Is Commercial Photography?

Commercial photography focuses on photography with the purpose of creating profit. Something that is commercial is essentially a business, and this type of photography is created to utilize this. Even so, there is a wide variety of different types of commercial photography.

In theory, any type of photography can be commercialized. If there is someone interested in the photos you take, and they are willing to purchase them, your photography is commercialized.

However, there are specific types of photography that typically do sell better, and it is worth educating yourself on this if you are looking to make a career in selling your work.

When thinking about the word “commercial” it means to sell or advertise something. Given this, the photographs you’re intending to sell need to either appear to a wider audience, or appeal to a specific niche of people that would find an interest in it.

There are two ways in which a person can earn money from commercial photography. As we have already discussed, a photographer can earn money from the photos they sell.

However, through selling and correctly advertising themselves, they will be able to increase their revenue over time as they become more popular and established within the industry.

What Type Of Photos Sell Best Commercially?

The types of photos that sell best commercially depend on a number of different factors, and the true answer is likely to change often, especially when you take into consideration different factors and trends over time. Even so, there are a number of different commercial photos that always tend to do well.

Here are some of the most popular types of commercial photos that tend to sell the best:

Product Photography

This type of photo is fairly self-explanatory, and it is easy to see why it does well. Clients and companies will often request for new products to be shot to be used for advertising campaigns. As a result of this, these photos will sell well commercially. They can help to bring in a regular income as the photographer becomes more well known, too.

There are many ways in which a photographer can sell product photography images, and they are always in constant demand given that there are always new products on sale.

The possibilities with product photography are endless because it can be so varied, from dog food, to expensive jewelry, companies are always looking to showcase items through campaigns, in magazines, and online.

Portrait Photography

Another popular type of commercial photography is portrait photography. In a similar way to product photography, portraits are always in high demand. This type of photography can be so varied, and as a result there are many different avenues a photographer can go down within this niche to earn money.

For example, the jobs a photographer accepts could be for a beauty brand, for individual people, or even as part of a larger campaign. As the focus is on people in particular, there is always a need for photographs like this.

When you think about websites and stock photos, these are important, and someone needs to set up and take these photos. A lot of commercial portrait photography involves these types of scenarios, and photos that can be used by a wide range of different people.

Food Photography

Food photography is another type of popular type of commercial photography. It is also in high demand as chefs and restaurants want to showcase their new dishes and different food options.

There is a lot of thought and detail that needs to go into food photography, and while it may look simple, it is a lot more complicated than many people realize. As a result the price point tends to be quite good, and companies tend to pay fairly well.

Even so, there are a lot of people within the food photography niche. If this is a route you want to go down, you really need to emphasize and showcase your skills so that your photos are chosen and purchased.

Fashion Photography

When it comes to fashion and the beauty industry, this is a popular route to choose, as there always needs to be photographers to take photos for fashion shoots and runways.

If you are looking into becoming a fashion photographer, you will need to have a good understanding of how to position models in the best way, to gain the most impressive and flattering photo. You need to have a good understanding of what poses work, and which ones do not.

It does certainly take time to perfect your photography skills to become a fashion photographer. However, it is a great commercial route to choose.

Nature Photography

Nature photography is another popular choice to consider, especially if you are looking to sell your own photographs. Photos of specific landmarks or of nature in general are popular, and if you have shot a breathtaking site, people will be more likely to purchase it.

Again, the competition can be tough in this scope, and we would encourage you to think outside of the box. Instead of just taking a photograph of the ocean or a sunset, try to make it interesting and unique so that more people are drawn to it.

In some instances, if there is a new building or a specific area of interest, a company may look for photographers for this purpose too.

Summary

We hope that you found this article useful. As you can see, there are a number of different types of commercial photography, and they are all great options to consider.

When it comes to what photographs sell the best, ultimately this is down to the photos that are the most interesting, appealing and eye-catching within a niche. To be successful, you will want to ensure that your photos stand out from the crowd, and are impressive to look at.

By carrying out the correct research, people will be more likely to hire you as a photographer, or purchase your photographs.