I'm a full-time wedding photographer originally from the UK, currently residing in a small town near Byron Bay in Australia. I've been shooting weddings professionally for close to 10 years, having traveled all over the world doing what I love.
Occasionally I'll get paid to photograph families, events and even real estate, but weddings are my bread and butter.
I'm also the founder of Shotkit, having created it back in 2014 to peek inside the bags of my favourite photographers.
When I'm not reviewing the latest camera bag or testing out editing software, you can find me on some form of leg-powered two-wheeler, be it my gravel, road or mountain bike.
... although I am thinking about getting an e-mtb too :)
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To become a commercial photographer, you’re going to need the right camera equipment. But exactly what gear do commercial photographers use?
Good question. And here’s a way for you to find out.
Let’s take a detailed look inside the camera bags of some top professional photographers in the commercial photography world. You’ll not only find out what they use but when and, most importantly, why.
Learning about what other photographers use (and also what they can do without) is a great place to start. It gives you a better idea of what to invest in and also some inspiration on how to get into the career.
When we talk about commercial photography, we’re talking about any photography that’s used for marketing or advertising purposes.
In short, commercial photography projects are designed to sell something.
Your photos might be used online or in print; on billboards or album covers or catalogues or packaging.
Because commercial photography is such a wide and varied genre, the camera gear used varies greatly from photographer to photographer.
Someone who shoots, say, campaigns for car companies may have a vastly different kit to someone who takes architecture photos for luxury real estate, or fashion photos for a clothing brand.
And someone who works on a range of different projects will have quite an expansive kit that covers all the different scenarios.
One thing you’ll notice in common between professionals is a top-notch camera body with a high-resolution sensor (usually more than one).
As a commercial photographer, you’ll need to be able to deliver photos in high quality – for example, for print. A pro-grade camera body will have the sensor size to allow for this.
Other gear – like lenses and tripods and lighting – varies greatly, again, depending on the photographer’s personal style and the type of work they do.
Take a look at the featured photographers above whose work most appeals to you and dig into their kits for some insights and ideas.
As for developing your own style and brand, creativity is important in commercial photography. No client wants work that’s bland or unoriginal.
Do take the time to get inspired by others but also to gain experience and experiment with what works for you.
Be mindful also that you will need to compromise on your vision at times. Commercial photography is different to fine art photography in that you’re bound by your client’s needs and desires.
Another thing to pay attention to is editing and post-processing.
Hitting the shutter is just the beginning. When it comes to commercial photography, it’s important to have professional editing software and to know how to use it.
That way you can deliver a complete and high-quality final product that meets your client’s needs.
When it comes down to it, commercial photography is entirely different to photography as fine art – but it can give you incredible opportunities to work on interesting and unique projects and be creative in your own way, while also being paid for it.
Take a look inside the camera bags of some commercial photographers above. You’re sure to get some great ideas of how to build your own kit and grow your own career.