The billboards or the ads on the internet, all have images to sell the product. Then what is the difference between the terms commercial photography and advertising photography?


PixelPhant blogs are all about answering all your questions, and today we are here to draw a clear line of difference between these two most widely used photography styles in advertising.

In this blog, we are going to dissect these photography styles, along with the tips and equipment you would need to master them.

If you are all set to learn all this, here’s the ultimate guide for you to clear all your doubts regarding commercial photography and advertising photography.

What is Commercial Photography?

Commercial photography is a niche of promotional photography, where your key focus is to showcase the product in its best possible look. It can include product photography, food photography, Lifestyle Product Photography, real estate photography, etc.


You could find examples of such photography in the banners, or the stock promotional photos where the key focus is just to make the product look attractive and appealing to purchase it.

Proper lighting and other equipment are used to bring out the epitome of the product. Moreover, the product in the frame is the center focus despite the other subjects that are captured alongside the product.

Tips & Equipment

  • The first and the most useful tip here would be to add minimum props in the frame. Even if you are using a model in commercial photography, make sure that the show stopper is the product itself, not the model itself.
  • Check out for lighting conditions and make it neutral using a grey card. The product must be well illuminated but in no manner, the color shall be manipulated.
  • If needed, keep the composition of framing to the most helpful and assured techniques such as the rule of thirds, leading lines, golden ratio, etc.
  • Lastly, start creating a set of equipment which includes, fast wide-angle lens, zoom lens, tripod, lighting filters, backdrops, grey, and obviously a decent DSLR camera which can work with all this equipment seamlessly.

Commercial photography may not need each of the equipment mentioned at every shoot, so no need to go broke. Instead, start with a DSLR and prime lens, go along the journey, and purchase what becomes the necessity.

What is Advertising Photography?

Advertising Photography is another popular promotional photography where the key focus is to represent the emotions or feelings that you would get out of the product. Mostly if the product is new and wishes to attract new customers by showing what to expect (in terms of emotion and satisfaction) then advertising photography is used.

You could find examples of such photography in images where instead of producing a story can be found. This could be about looking classy, trendy, young, or could be about feeling happy, motivated, satisfied, or even complete.


As a photographer, you have much more liberty to change the lighting, shooting from irregular angles, or experimenting with the way the product is usually seen. The goal here still stays to make people like the product, but for the emotional satisfaction, they can get from the product.

By Haadi