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Applications of Advertising Photography - Introduction

photographs studios photographers studio

Rochester Institute of Technology


Advertising photography describes the type of professional photography focusing on the creation of photographs to be used to publicly introduce, praise, or otherwise promote the sale of a product or services. Before the photomechanical reproduction process was invented, photographs had to be converted to line drawings by an artist to be reproduced in newspapers and other publications. This restricted their direct use in advertising since the viewing of the original photograph was limited to a small number of people. Even after the invention of practical color films for photography, reproducing color photographs using the photomechanical processes for mass distribution was complex. Thus, the demand for advertising photographs increased as the processes for reproducing the photographs in print improved and the cost of mass distribution decreased. Today, it is impossible to escape the bombardment of photographic reproductions used for advertising in newspapers, magazines, fliers, catalogs, posters, billboards, and Internet promotions.

The enormous demand for advertising photographs is being met by a large number of professional photographers around world. Advertising photographers range from a single-person studio to large multi-photographer organizations. Studios might specialize in one subject, such as automotive, fashion, food, still life, location, people, or illustrative photography. There are also generalist studios that accept virtually any type of assignment. (For discussions about studios, the studio essay in the Contemporary issues sections does a complete job of describing the various types of studios.) Advertising photographers are just one link in the chain of people and organizations involved in the production of print advertisements. Advertising photographers must initially produce photographs that satisfy the client and/or advertising followed by those who are responsible for reproducing the photographs for mass distribution in print and on the Web.

Various paths are possible to becoming an advertising photographer, including formal education in a college or trade-school photography program, working in an advertising studio to obtain on-the-job training and, as is commonly done, obtaining a formal education in photography and then working for a limited period of time as an assistant to an established advertising photographer.

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almost 7 years ago

Hi! I'm so happy to find this info! I'm writing a research report for high school homework, and I need some info. And my brother goes to Rochester Institute of Technology too! COOOL!Well thanks! :)