A very popular and common commercial photography assignment under taken by the professional photographers is wedding photography. Generally, this involves covering just the wedding day but other important rituals and functions preceding the wedding day.
In the pre-digital days, it was a daunting task to undertake a photography assignment. The limitations of olden camera equipment, heavy lenses and the fact that there was no room for error, led only the real photographers doing the best of the jobs. With advent of digital photography, the dynamics of the entire commercial photography underwent a paradigm shift.
The entire lineage of old studios with dark rooms, chemicals and staff were replaced with the digital darkroom software like Adobe Photo Shop, Apple Aperture etc. While these two remain the most popular editing software, there are plethoras of free editing software available online that many of the amateurs prefer due to the daunting costs of commercial editing software and flexibility to experiment and learn with minimum / least cost.
A commercial photographer today is equipped with: digital camera typically above 18 Mega Pixels, dedicated external strobe flash, light weight tripod, memory cards and sometime external flood lights. The most expensive set of equipment is generally not the camera, but the range of lenses required to cover an event or complete commercial assignments that require a wide range of subjects to be covered. The best example being, the industrial photography assignments in which the photographer is expected to capture the top-management photo-shoots as well as the industrial processes which may involve the making of parts, melting of steel, foundry photography.
Commercial photography, although challenging may not be that well paying, as many of the clients fail to understand the efforts involved in the actual photo-shoot followed by hours of post-product and editing done on the images to make them appealing to the target audience. The most common usage of the commercial images is magazine, brochure, product catalogues and the clients web site and presentations.
For each of the final platforms on which the photograph is going to be delivered the editing and post-processing requirement changes variedly. For example, if the final output platform is going to be website of the client there is no need of working on the print quality images, resized images which cover the entire project will suffice.
Commercial photography offers many practical and logistical challenges for the photographers. The industrial photographers are required to know the location, time and have to study the various angles at which the photograph can be captured. Sometimes, on location photography may be done in the night, when there is lot of external artificial lighting setup for giving the optimum effect.