Micro four Thirds commercial photography is a professional field of photography where photographers capture high-quality images to use in marketing campaigns.
It’s a niche that casts a wide net because all types of businesses require professional-level photographs for marketing campaigns and promotional material.
For instance, a micro four-thirds commercial photographer may find themselves at a fashion shoot one week or capturing beautiful images of delicious pasta dishes for a restaurant the next.
What do Commercial Photographers Do?
You see examples of commercial photography every day. Most of us are exposed to hundreds, possibly thousands of commercial photographs every week.
Every billboard image, magazine photo, brochure, and online banner ad most likely have a commercial image as part of their design.
Commercial photography helps companies sell their products, advertise special deals, and promote their services. Images can convey different messages, depending on the type of campaign.
For example, a campaign for a new sports car may help capture the essence of speed and power by using images to highlight the smooth, streamlined curves of the vehicle.
Another campaign may use commercial photographs to educate prospects on how easy a product is to use.
Whenever a business needs to promote itself and increase its brand exposure, commercial photography helps it achieve its goals.
Modern printing techniques mean that images can be used anywhere, including coffee mugs, T-shirts, pens, and carry bags.
Restaurants might use a professional photographer to fill out their menu with attractive images of their dishes, so their customers get a visual idea of what they are ordering.
Actors use commercial photography for professional headshots to help promote themselves.
You may be thinking by now that you will need a lot of expensive equipment before you can start working on a commercial photography career.
While there is some investment required, the popularity of micro four-thirds means that you have more options than ever – especially if you decide to specialize and only need minimal equipment.
You may find that a commercial photography venture has one of the cheapest entry points than most other business ideas.
DSLR and, more recently, mirrorless full-frame cameras have ruled commercial photography, but many professionals are finding that micro four-thirds mirrorless cameras have a lot to offer their industry.
Let’s look at a few of the photography niches where the M43 format is starting to make inroads with professional photographers.
Fast autofocus and face detection AF means the professional photographer moving to M43 never loses time from checking every image for sharpness.
A fast AF and image stabilization are invaluable for photographers keeping a fast-moving model in-frame and sharply focused. In some micro four-thirds models, the AF is so good you can leave the tripod at home.
Other advantages provided by M43 cameras during a fashion shoot include the viewfinder making it easier to line up the frame while rapidly shooting shot after shot.
The viewfinder gives you a clear indication of the image you will get according to your settings, so there’s no time wasted reviewing images and possibly having to retake the photograph.
While the larger sensors of full-frame cameras offer a higher resolution for food photographers, the ability to capture images at a lower aperture setting while reducing the ISO compensates for the marginal sacrifice in image resolution.
High-end M43 cameras, such as the Panasonic G9, have 20.3MP sensors, which means the sacrifices in image detail are not as big a deal anymore.
The G9 also has a feature that captures and combines eight separate images into a single 80MP high res shot.
Architecture photography is deceptively tricky and requires highly developed skills and experience. DSLRs have traditionally ruled the roost, but micro four-thirds cameras are starting to find their place in the architectural photographer’s toolset.
A growing range of lenses – such as the superb Olympus M. Zuiko 7-14mm f2.8 PRO – as well as tilt-shift lens adapters allows M43 photographers to take to the streets and capture the full majesty of their larger subjects.
Product photography is a vast niche that can be done indoors or out. However, most professional micro four-thirds product photographers control their environment by shooting indoors.
A solid backdrop is popular for product shots to make the image more easily edited in image editing software.
An investment in a couple of controllable studio lights will be essential to get the most from your product photography shots.
Micro four-thirds models with IA mean you can get most of your shooting done without a tripod, which helps to reduce the time spent on a project.
Headshots and Portrait Shots
Micro four-thirds is an excellent format for taking great headshots and portraits.
When choosing the best lens for your M43 setup, keep in mind that the crop factor of M43 doubles the focal length relative to a full-frame sensor.
A 42.5mm short telephoto lens is equivalent to 85mm on a full-frame and is a wise choice for the classic head-and-shoulder shots, but it also makes for a capable full-body shot lens.
If you’ve considered commercial photography to be out of your reach because of your choice in sensor size, this article should have made you more aware of the options you have available.
The wide range of commercial photography niches means many entry levels.
New and advanced models of micro-four-thirds cameras are hitting the market with superb image stabilization, fast autofocus, higher resolution sensors, and lens choices in both prime and zoom.
Professional photographers are introducing an M43 into their range to increase their versatility. Many professionals have even been so impressed with the capabilities that they have decided to use the format exclusively.
Continued and growing support for the format opens new opportunities for those photographers wishing to take the next step and make a career out of their art form.
Photography clients are never concerned about what equipment is used to take the images they need for their campaigns.
The results matter most to them, and micro