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All About Commercial Advertising Photography
The first thing you discover about commercial advertising photography is the product, and how unbelievable it looks. Successful and efficient commercial advertising photographers will be able to create an image which stands out for all the precise reasons, grabs the eye of the target market and communicates the proper message nearly instantly.
But whilst it's straightforward to admire the look of the product and the skill of the photographer, in most cases commercial advertising pictures shouldn't be about what you see, but about what you don't see. You may think that while you look at an advertising image what you're seeing is what the photographer noticed, but that is invariably not the case.
After all, all of us know that there are tricks of the trade and many individuals will instantly assume that any image will have been doctored using a graphics device resembling Adobe's Photoshop, and whilst this will be the case, there's far more going on than meets the eye. One of many first things to understand in commercial advertising is that what you see is nearly definitely not quite what you'll see should you have been looking on the product yourself in a shop.
Lighting, the surroundings and lots of little known tricks of the trade all come into play, helping to create an illusion which would not just look real, it actually looks more real in some cases than it would in real life. For example, should you have been looking at a television in a shop you then'd probably either see a complete lot of distracting reflections in the screen, or the television can be on and you would be watching a picture. In a product image though you're either going to see a screen that does not have any distracting reflections in it, or it will look as if it's switched on and displaying a picture.
The difficulty is that should you take a photograph of a television, either switched on or off, neither end result will look very realistic. So how do product photographers make their images look like so realistic, whilst still being entirely totally different to how a traditional photograph of a television would look?
With a view to take a photograph of a television switched off commercial advertising photographers will either have a studio which includes a 360 degree backfabric to remove any potentially distracting reflections, or they will edit the image afterwards, changing the screen with a shaded black rectangle which looks realistic, but which doesn't even exist as part of the screen in real life. But how about taking a photograph of a television that's switched on?
When you've ever tried this you'll know that the outcome will look terrible- very fuzzy and half missing. This is because the camera lens sees what your eyes and brain cannot see - the truth that the image on the screen is only an illusion created by quickly flickering lights. So professional photographers will usually take a screen seize from a pc and then superimpose that onto the photograph of the screen to improve the quality. The ultimate image will look just as you expect it to, despite the fact that you know that that's not how it would really look should you took a photograph of it.
Effective commercial advertising photography allows us to be fooled, even when we know that what we're looking at can't be real, despite looking very real. The art of illusion and of fooling the eye is a subtle one, because consumers will not be taken with a picture which has been clearly doctored, yet will be enticed by an image which they know can't be utterly real. For those who're unsure learn how to achieve the best balance then it's far safer to go away it within the hands of the experts.
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