A Judge’s thoughts on “What makes a good commercial photographer?”
This year, we welcomed Catherine Delaloye of Production Paradise to our prestigious Judging panel. With her in-depth knowledge and vast experience as the Managing Director of this leading online directory of the world's top photographers and services in the commercial photo and film industries, we asked her to share her thoughts on what makes a good commercial photographer.
Catherine’s favourite image from 2023
Ahead of sharing her top tips, Catherine told us about her favourite image from the 2023 finalists of the Production Paradise Previously Published category. This category seeks images that have previously been published in books, newspapers, magazines, online features, advertisements or other promotional material. The subject matter can be anything relating to food.
Catherine’s favourite image is ‘Honeycomb’ by Jonathan Gregson.
“This image beautifully showcases the hexagonal pattern of the honeycomb, meticulously constructed by bees, resulting in a visually captivating and naturally complex texture. Complementing this, the glistening honey gracefully drips from the honeycomb, catching the light and bringing a sense of motion and vitality. This dynamic element adds depth and detail, inviting viewers to almost feel the viscosity of the honey itself and inspiring a desire for its taste. Moreover, the contrast between the uneven, textured surface of the honeycomb and the sleek, glossy texture of the dripping honey creates a visually striking juxtaposition that greatly enhances the overall appeal of the image.”
‘Honeycomb’ by Jonathan Gregson, Highly Commended, Production Paradise Previously Published, 2023
The most important attributes for a commercial photographer
Catherine says, “These qualities together contribute to the ability to create award-worthy images that resonate with viewers and have a lasting impact in the competitive world of commercial photography”.
- Unique Perspective and Emotion: A good commercial photographer possesses a creative vision that goes beyond the ordinary. They bring a fresh and unique outlook to their work, challenging conventions within the industry and aim to create images that connect with people emotionally. This includes the skilful use of angles, colour and composition to create photographs that convey multiple layers of meaning.
- Technical Skills and Attention to Detail: Technical expertise is essential for a commercial photographer. They must master the technical aspects of their craft, including lighting, composition, and post-production techniques. These technical elements are as important as the visual impact of the image itself. The photographer's aesthetic sense and meticulous arrangement of elements come together to create images that tell stories and possess essence.
- Communication and Personal Style: Communication is key in this field. They listen keenly to client requirements, understand project demands, and collaborate effectively with their team. Beyond technical skills, they should have a unique style that's easily recognisable. When viewers can identify an image as their creation due to a distinct signature and identity, it showcases a level of artistry that sets them apart.
The winner of this year’s Production Paradise Previously Published category will enjoy a special feature in the Production Paradise Spotlight Food & Drink Photography online magazine, along with a 12-image gallery of their work. This will accompany the trophy and of course, the possibility of becoming Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2024 and a £5,000GBP prize. Take a look at everything that’s in our incredible prize pool. It includes money, vouchers, features in magazines and much more!
Want some more inspiration for this category? Check out the archive of previous finalists of Production Paradise Previously Published
- How to stand out in the shortlist by Caroline Kenyon January 4, 2024
- Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year changed my life January 2, 2024
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