We’re living in a golden age of commercial photography. Practically every business, from the smallest local company to the largest corporation, has embraced the power of the picture for connecting with consumers. As a result, advertising photos are everywhere. This hasn’t always been the case, though. Commercial photography has only been around for a little over a century, and in that time, it has evolved at a near unbelievable pace. 

Advertising Photography

The first functional camera—the daguerreotype—was developed in 1837. But, producing photos with it was slow, complicated, and prohibitively expensive, so it remained firmly in the purview of affluent hobbyists. As camera technology improved, however, people began to take notice of its commercial potential. 

Things really started to pick up in the world of photography around the turn of the century, when the Eastman Kodak Company came out with a camera that was portable and affordable. From a business perspective, photography was looking less frivolous and more useful every day. Around 1911, photographer Edward Steichen started taking photos of fashion models for magazines. Using photos rather than illustrations proved to be a successful marketing strategy, and soon the idea of advertising photography was firmly planted in the public consciousness. 

Commercial Photographer Evolution Studebaker

Commercial photography gained prevalence slowly but surely for the next decade, then exploded in popularity in the 1920s. We were in the midst of an industrial boom, and a lot of companies were facing more competition than they ever had before. Advertising was suddenly a top priority, as it was the most surefire way to beat out business rivals. At the same time, cameras were getting better, cheaper, and easier to use every day. Thanks to the confluence of these conditions, commercial photography flourished. 

Commercial Photography Evolution Chesterfield

As the decades passed, commercial photography became more and more ingrained in our culture—no longer a novelty, but the norm. In the late 1980s, digital technology began to take off and we found ourselves on a new photography frontier. Shooting, editing, and manipulating photos was now easier than ever, which opened up all kinds of commercial possibilities. 

Ladainian Tomlinson Soup Sponsors of NFL

In the years since, photo technology has become incredibly advanced. We’ve reached a point where the only true limit to what can be achieved with photography is one’s imagination. 

Are you looking to create an ad campaign for the ages? Contact Michael Grecco today. Grecco is an award winning commercial photographer based out of Los Angeles and New York. Call (310) 452-4461 or send an email to info@grecco.com and he’ll help you make your vision a reality through the power of photography.