Louis Daguerre of Paris, France can be said to be the Father of Commercial Photography. His daguerreotype of processing an image captured from then “advanced-technology” camera obscura was the pivotal development in the history of photography.
Although his first photograph with a human person in 1838 was an “accidental shot” which took more than 10 minutes of exposure in order for the image to be captured into his camera, it paved the way to the commercialization of photography. It created a demand for photographic portraiture in the middle classes which could not be sufficiently served by then current and expensive method of oil painting.
Commerce and industry opened its doors to photography. From its initial commercial visage of portraiture, photography evolved into other mercantile forms and vehicles, where it picked up payment for the “images” depicted rather than attach value to the photographs as “works of art”. Among the many forms and industry uses of photography, the following are mainstream applications:
Advertising photography that visually promotes products and services.
Fashion and glamour, usually employing models that enhance the products.
Crime scene photography as tools that offer clues and proofs to theories that help solve crimes and mysteries.
Still life photography depicting wonders that only photographs can convey.
Food photography, an area where food palatability is scrumptiously enhanced.
Editorial photography and photojournalism that successfully enhance and sensationalize news and stories.
Portrait and wedding photography that renders romanticism and sentimentality.
Landscape photography that serves to invigorate the tired soul.
Wildlife photography bringing realism to flora and fauna in their natural environments.
Paparazzi photography of freelance practitioners preying on usually “unsanctioned and unsolicited” personal photographs of celebrities, politicians, the prominent and wealthy that make juicy gossip items in prestigious publications.
Aside from the top-class line of photography professions enumerated above, other businesses allied or related to photography have been an industry backbone that has contributed much to the economy of many countries, coming in different forms and modes:
Manufacture of equipment, accessories, consumables, parts and tools.
Sales and servicing of equipment, accessories and tools.
Photography and videography studios and services.
Image and photo printing and reproduction.
Printing media manufacture, sales and distribution.
Archiving and storage of document and photo images.
There is also an opportunity area for photographs of national heritage import and/or phenomenal works of art such as 99 Cent II Diptychon, dubbed as “the most expensive photograph in the world” when it was auctioned for US$3.34 million at Sotheby’s on February 7, 2007.
Entrepreneurial photography. Are you up to it?
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