In 2021, the line between professional photographers and amateur photographers is gradually blurring: every second person has a DSLR, and almost all active Internet users have at least minimal photo processing skills. How do you become a truly successful commercial photographer in this world?
We are launching a new course for those who want not just to “shoot”, but to become a professional who is approached by the largest brands, glossy magazines and celebrities.
We asked the teachers of the course - Daniil Kudryavtsev and Sonya Petrova - to talk about how the crisis of 2020 affected the commercial photography market, how the work of a real specialist differs from the stereotypical image of a "Vogue photographer" and where, how and how much will graduates of their course earn.
The instructors of our course note that the commercial photography market is not in decline - despite the fact that in 2020 orders have really decreased, and shooting budgets (like almost all others) have been partially cut. When there were severe restrictions on events, some weddings were postponed. But this was partly offset by the fact that many brands were rethinking their assortment and releasing new products for which it was necessary to conduct a grocery shoot.
Organizational aspects have changed a bit: photographers have softened the conditions for refunds in case of cancellation of a photo session on the eve of events. After all, the risk cannot be excluded that the model will get sick before shooting or will be in contact with those who have confirmed COVID-19. Then the shooting will need to be rescheduled. Also, some clients ask photographers and makeup artists to wear a mask - but now it is reasonable for almost any job.
In general, brands continue to release new products and collections, artists and bloggers publish content, magazines are also published regularly - and therefore out of work in 2021 a good photographer won't stay.
Sonya Petrova: “As for the trends in commercial photography. Firstly, the last couple of years in individual shooting or when shooting content for social networks, naturalness is especially relevant. Photographers are gradually moving away from the conspicuous use of Photoshop. Although for standard ad formats (catalogs, lookbooks), a glossy “combed” image is still held in high esteem.
There is also a trend towards minimalism and naturalness - clients want the final images to look more vivid, “lifestyled”. Often, even expensive brands order shooting on a smartphone, so that the photos look more like blogging, rather than classic magazine content.
Finally, there is a trend to shoot short videos (10-30 seconds each) during a photo session - so it is useful for novice photographers to master this skill as well. ”
Big brands and showrooms like Lamoda and Wildberries have in-house photographers. They regularly shoot for catalogs, the work is on stream. But most of the photographers work on freelance - and rather not because they want to, but because of the specifics of the market.
Private clients usually need a one-time shooting for a specific occasion: a wedding, a New Year's celebration, a love story, a photo session for a future mother, an individual portrait “on an avatar”. Designers from small projects order photography two or three times a year, for the release of a new collection. Big brands turn to photographers more often - and are often ready to experiment. They want new views and interpretations, so they prefer to collaborate with different photographers.