A Guide to Commissioning Commercial Photography

The aim of this guide is to demystify photographic technology, answer some frequently asked questions, establish some ground rules for writing briefs and assessing quotes, and generally help clients feel more confident about commissioning and working with professional photographers. 

Gone are the days when photographers had big studios, assistants on staff, and banks of equipment in-house. The digital era has revolutionised the way business is done and the photography business is no exception.


As has long been the practice in film production, photographers today often rent specialised equipment, and source assistance and studios according to need. Photography today can involve producers, agents, and technical specialists who take projects to new post-production levels after photography and initial processing. But while movie studios are bigger than Ben Hur and growing bigger, in still photography, the march of technology and computers have led to downscaling and more flexible business practices.


Most AIPP photographers are sole practitioners with tertiary qualifications and the necessary all-round education and competence to take on a broad range of commercial and domestic assignments. Many of our members work in the photographic equivalent of general practice but there are also specialists who stick to one field (say architectural or fashion photography) and travel to wherever their skills are needed. 


This guide for clients is the latest in a long line of AIPP initiatives designed to improve professional standards within our industry.