Photography is a very effective way of promoting products or
companies and is used to advertise these to potential buyers. It is seen on billboards, posters, inside papers and magazines and on the internet. The main
focus in advertising and promotional photographs is always the product in
question, for example a car, lighter or alcoholic drink.
Wide lenses are often used to get the whole product in the
frame, this can also allow a background to be seen, putting the product in its
natural setting or in other interesting situations that may make the product stand
out to the audience. For focusing on small details of a product or shooting smaller
things such as the Zippo lighter a long lens can be used, this allows a much
closer zoomed in image to be taken with greater detail.
Advertising and promotional photography is heavily controlled, often
with all aspects of the photograph being set up and planned. This allows the
perfect image of the product that the company has in mind to be portrayed in
Lots of artificial light is usually used in advertising and promotional
photography to allow the photographer to light the product up exactly as they
want. Correctly placed lights can illuminate the product in a way that makes it look
perfect, aesthetic and very attractive to an audience.
One photographer who specialises on advertising and promotional
photography is Jonathan Knowles. He is a London based photographer who has
won countless awards and has featured in the “200 best advertising
photographers” for the past 8 years in a row. His unique graphic style is widely
recognised in the advertising world and Knowles’ photographs have been
featured in the last four volumes of “100 best in photography”.
Fashion photography is often used in much the same way as
advertising and promotional, but to promote a specific clothing lone or label. They
often use very stylised and interesting photography to make their clothing and
brand look very desirable and of the moment.
Clearly, the clothing is always the main focus of the image, but
sometimes this is less obvious. Many photographers take on a style where they
photograph constructed and staged photographs designed to look very
interesting. Their aim is to set a certain mood or tell a story while also showing off
the clothing subtly. This method may use wide lenses to allow multiple models to
be in shot and the surroundings to also be included, creating visually exciting
More arty, minimalistic shots are sometimes also used with a close
up of small details of a product. These often include a detail on the piece of
clothing including the label logo and can also include another interesting aspect
such as a heavily tattooed hand holding a cigarette. A long angle lens can be
used to capture this detailed, up close shots.
Shoots are often highly controlled and take place in a studio with
lots of artificial light. This allows the subject to very easily be manipulated, models
often continuously having make-up re-done and costumes adjusted throughout
shoots. Lighting is controlled to give the desired look and illuminate the subject in
a certain way to make the photographs come out perfectly.
One London based fashion photographer is Tyrone Lebon, who was
born 1982. He got his first commission age 19 shooting for i-D magazine and has
since shot for Stussy, Dr. Martins, Nike and Casely Hayford.
Photojournalism is a form of journalism that uses visual images to
tell a particular story. It is widely used to accompany articles in
newspapers, magazines, blogs and other web pages. The main aim of these
images is to tell a story and put across a point, they can anchor the text they
accompany and really change the perceived meaning of a text or the view of a
reader on a certain issue. Because of this photojournalism is a very important and
powerful media form
Photojournalism is almost exclusively concerned with observational
shots. A photojournalist will go somewhere of interest that they feel needs
reporting such as a warzone or award ceremony and observe, taking photos of
events as they happen. This is good as it gives a true representation of what is
happening and people can see the true scene.
Because photojournalism is observational, often only natural light
can be used. This means that photojournalists must make the most of what light
is on offer Sometimes a flash gun is used but there are some photojournalists
such as war photographers who would rather not make an impact on the
environment and just observe, a flash may make them too noticeable and so is
not used very often. The paparazzi use them very often, this is to ensure they get
enough light on the celebrities they are trying to photograph.
A range of different lenses are used in photojournalism, if a
photojournalist is quite close to the action, they will use a wide lens that will allow
them to include the whole scene. Some shots that are required to be taken from a
distance when the photojournalist cannot get close, for example sports games, a
long lens will be used. This allows a zoomed close up shot top be taken so that
important details can be seen from a distance.
Eddie Adams (1933-1969) was an American photographer who took
some famous portraits of celebrities and politicians and took photos covering 13
wars. His work won him the Pulitzer Prize in 1969 and his photos are still well
renowned today with some of his most famous from the Vietnam war.
Portraiture is a form of photography widely used and it caters for a
number of different needs. Families sometimes pay for them to be done for
display in the home, they are often used for promotion or advertising by
celebrities and politicians and are even required by the royal family for their
official family portrait. You see portraiture in peoples homes, in high street
photographers, magazines, papers and on the internet so it is a hugely popular
form of photography.
Portraiture is largely controlled with shoots usually taking place in a
studio. This allows the photographer to control many aspects one of them being
the lighting. Artificial light can be used so the subjects can have the perfect
amount of light and the photographs have the desired look.
Sometimes environmental photography is used and this involves the
subject being photographed in a less staged, more natural environment. This
method is often shot with only natural lighting. Photojournalists also often only use
natural light if they decide to take a portrait of an individual or group they meet
while they are reporting, this type of shoot will also likely be done in a natural
setting such as the persons house.
Wide lenses are used often for portrait photography. This is because
portraits are usually taken at quite a close distance to the subject and this suits a
wide lens. It also allows the whole scene to be captured in good detail.
Terry Richardson is an American portrait photographer who was
born August 14th 1965. He has shot for many high profile companies such as
Marc Jacobs, Supreme and Yves Saint Laurent and for magazines including
Vice, Vogue and Vanity Fair as well as portraits for some very famous people
including America’s current President Barack Obama.
High street photography is when a person employs a large franchise
such as Venture to take photographs for you. They can involve a few different
types of photography such as wedding and portrait photography. In recent years
with the rise of digital technology that is available to the public and high rent
prices for shops, the high street studio industry has struggled and the number of
studios is on the decline.
Photographs taken by these photographing companies are usually
seen in the houses of the customers featured in the photographs or their friends
and family. The photos are more of personal and sentimental value than for
promotional or advertising gain.
The studios are set up with lots of artificial lights often using
different colour lights to set a certain mood or to fit with the colour scheme of the
clients house. Photography taking place outside the studio can either make use of
the ambient light or of things such as flash guns to get the desired look.
Because of size restrictions in the studio wide lenses are usually
used, this allows the whole scene to be captured close up with a good degree of
detail. Long lenses may be used on occasion for example if a photographer is
employed to shoot a wedding but is quite far away from the alter and can’t get
Venture is an example of a high street photography studio. They
pioneer a high quality look and take slick, professional looking images for display
in the family home.
Studio work is any photography that takes place within a controlled
studio environment. This covers a huge range of photography styles from
advertising and promotional, to fashion and portraiture. Because of this you can
see studio work photography everywhere.
Depending on the style of photography that is taking place in the
studio photographers will use a number of different techniques and specific
equipment that fits that application.
Architectural photography is the shooting of architectural structures.
It can be done artistically for aesthetic pleasure or for practical needs such as
surveying. You may see architectural photographs in estate agents, their
magazines or websites as well as other photographers books, websites or
galleries if they have done some architectural photography.
Photographers use a wide range of different equipment and are
often skilled in specialised techniques and other equipment such as tilt shift
lenses. They can use both wide and long lenses depending on the look they are
aiming for or how close they are to the structure or detail they want to
photograph. Photos concerned with the exterior of a structure usually use ambient
light, but some photographs concentrating on architectural details within the
structure may have lost of artificial light to deliver the desired look on a
Timothy McGurr AKA 13thWitness born in New York is a
photographer who specialises in inner city street photography often focusing on
the architectural structures he comes across. He has run projects with Nike and
Nitro, a Hip-Hop group from Japan who are legends in the underground scene.
Medical photography is mainly used to document the things that
take place in the medical world. It is also sometimes used to display the
condition and appearance of wards and surgery rooms for example, to give
patients an idea of what they should expect. You see medical photography in
medical books, medical websites such as the NHS website and in
leaflets, posters and information booklets for patients. Some artists use
medical style photography featuring body parts or skulls etc.. for their
exhibition, this adopts the style of medical photography but is not technically
Lots of specialist photo imaging techniques and equipment are
used in medical photography such as thermal imaging, endoscopy and x-ray
imaging. This means that this type of photography is often very
expensive, the most common form of equipment used in this application is
just a digital camera. Photographers will use a digital camera sometimes with
a flash to take photographs of patients around the hospital and during
surgery, as well as photographing bodies in the post mortem room if this is
Illustration photography is often used alongside newspaper articles
or other texts to give the reader more information. Images can be cleverly used to
shape the readers opinion on a subject, a technique often used in newspapers.
The images vary hugely from photojournalistic images you may see in a
newspaper or magazine to detailed step-by-step images to give instruction in a
book or manual.
Equipment and techniques vary hugely depending on the nature of
the text the illustration photograph is to accompany. Some photos may feature a
war scene like the one on the front cover of “The Second World War In The
West”, this photojournalistic image will probably of been captured with a wide lens
camera and without the use of a flash. Other images in other styles will use the
equipment of their application.
Photographers will be commissioned to photograph by a
newspaper, magazine of book publishers to take photographs on a certain subject
be it birds of prey for a book on them, or documenting a riot for an article the
Fine art photography can cover a large number of different styles of
photography and many techniques, because of this a solid definition is hard to
find. This form of photography can feature anything and images can be colour or
black and white. Fine art is often seen in art and photography books, websites or
magazines and art galleries. Fine art is made for no other reason than to be
appreciated as an art form and be aesthetically pleasing to a viewer.
Because this type of photography covers such a large range of
styles the equipment and techniques depend largely on the type of image being
captured. The photographer will use equipment suitable for the type of image they
wish to take.