Are you here because you’ve heard the term “commercial photo” tossed around like confetti at a New Year’s party?

Probably not.

But there is a good chance you are looking for information about commercial photography. And that’s here.


When I first searched for commercial photos, Google offered me sites like Unsplash where you can grab free photos for commercial use.

If you are a business, before you jump on the free train, consider whether a generic image will do justice to your brand.

Spoiler alert: it won’t.   (Look at the boat image above – that was a free stock image – impressive right?)


So this article was created to help answer your questions.


But first, what is a commercial photo and what does that term actually mean?

And why should you, oh seeker of knowledge, care?



What is a Commercial Photo?


A commercial photo is any image used to sell, promote, or advertise a product, service, or idea. Simple, right?


What Counts as a Commercial Use Photo?


Commercial use is any use that’s commercial.

Think advertisements, brochures, websites, and social media.

If you’re planning to make money from it, it’s commercial.

Sounds fair, right?


Commercial Photography vs. Personal Photography


Personal photos are personal memories, homemade, unique, and impossible moments to replicate.

Commercial photos, on the other hand, are created with a target audience in mind.

They are meant for wide distribution with the goal to make money.


Professional headshot for website
Professional headshots are one form of commercial photography.

Why Free Stock Photos Are Not Your Friends


Anyone can slap a free stock image on their website.

You could probably teach your dog to do it, given enough treats and patience.

Yeah, and my cat writes these articles, but only because I am busy running a small commercial photography studio

The thing is, there is a catch: when everybody uses free stock photos, nobody stands out.

Think about it.

Do you want your brand to blend into the wallpaper?

Or do you want it to be the show-stopping, jaw-dropping centerpiece of the room?


Benefits of Custom Commercial Photography for Your Business


Brand Authenticity:

Custom photos capture the essence of your brand, making you easily recognizable.


Consumer Trust:

Original imagery lends credibility and helps build trust with your audience.



Yep, custom photos can even be optimized for search engines! Bet you didn’t see that one coming.


Food photography - Wild Maine Blueberry Jam on bread
Food photography is another type of commercial photography.

Types of Commercial Photos: A Quick Rundown


There are types? If you thought that, you didn’t read the photo captions did you?

Here’s the 411:


Product Photography:


Think Amazon listings and eCommerce. It’s all about making your products look like the next best thing since sliced bread.


Fashion Photography:


Not just for Vogue; great for boutiques, designers, and anyone who thinks clothes are more than just fabric.


Food Photography:


Makes you drool over menus and Instagram feeds. Yes, your avocado toast can be a commercial photo!


Environmental Portraits:


These are your “people at work” shots. They show you or your staff in action and lend authenticity to your brand.




Primarily used for professional profiles, websites, and dating apps—just kidding, mostly.


Architectural Photography:


Great for real estate listings and architectural firms.


Advertising and Marketing Photography:


These are the heavy hitters designed to persuade, inform, and delight.


macro product photography


Finding the Right Commercial Photographer


Do your homework.

Research photographers, look at their portfolios, it will give you an idea of the results you will receive.

Oh, and read the testimonials!

Then talk with them, you’ll get a feel for how they work and be able to decide if you would enjoy collaborating with them.


Let’s Get Down to Business!


Here’s the real talk:


If you’re serious about elevating your brand, you need more than free stock images.

You need custom commercial photos that tell your unique story and represent your brand.


There You Go!


Are you still going to be using free stock images, or are you ready to be the star of your industry?

The choice is yours, but choose wisely.


And Don’t Wait!


Reach out to my studio using the form below to discuss your commercial photo needs and see how I might be of help.

I pride myself on high quality images and fast turn around.

As a result, I limit the number of clients I work with each month so each one gets my personal attention.

If you need commercial photos, the longer you wait, the longer it could take to get them!

Talk soon,


Discover How Professional Photography Can Elevate Your Brand

Get a Custom Quote Tailored to Your Specific Needs

Hand clicking on a'Submit' button for a free consultation on commercial photography

Take a minute to fill out the form below. Doing so will help me understand your product photography needs. Once I receive your information, I'll reach out to you personally to discuss the project in more detail and create a customized quote for you.

You may also text me at: 410-596-4127 or E-mail me at: