Ask An Agent / Can I put Wedding photography and Commercial photography on the same website?
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Dear Ask an Agent,
I have been wedding photographer for a few years but would like to break into commercial photography and have managed to get the odd commission from a couple of people I know. Do you advise I have a completely different website for this or can I just have commercial and personal work as a separate category on my wedding photography website.
Thanks for contacting Ask an Agent. To answer your question, I would advise on having two separate websites as I see these as two quite different services and disciplines.
I think it’s acceptable to have some of your general work on your wedding website, if it fits - for example reportage moments- but I wouldn’t advise including any ‘commercial work’. By the same token the advertising world would most certainly prefer to see a commercial website with no wedding photography included. It’s not necessarily a case of snobbery and not wanting to commission a ‘wedding’ photographer (although I’m afraid it may put some off) it’s just not relevant subject matter for them. It might give the impression that you are unsure of your place in the photography world.
Not to complicate the matters even further, but do also be careful that the commercial work you show even on your commercial website is work that you are proud of and reflects your own style. I see so many photographers making the mistake of including commissioned work just because it has been commissioned.
When any client commissions a photographer they need to be as confident as possible that they are making the right choice and that expectations will be met. So for example an advertising agency will generally be looking for a strong visual style across different subject matter and themes, a style that will harness their brand values. Aside from this though, they will usually be looking for evidence you are the right person for the job on other levels aside from aesthetics- namely experience, knowledge and skillset.
Commercial photography involves different codes of practice, processes, price structures and contractural and legal obligations. It is also usually a collaboration process with another creative, within the perimeters of brand guidelines and a brief. So you see it’s not just the types of images you show but how clearly you can demonstrate where your experience lies that convinces a client to commission you.
Combining your commercial work and your wedding work on one website could well weaken and compromise both brands and risk not instilling confidence in potential clients. The most successful businesses are the ones that really spell out ‘what you see is what you get’. They exude a clear brand message, so that’s what you need to do.
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Lisa Pritchard, LPA and guest bloggers take no responsibility for any omissions or errors.
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