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Photography Q&A: Real Questions. Real Answers. by Zack Arias

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Difference between the genres.

Q: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHER, AN EDITORIAL PHOTOGRAPHER, AND AN ADVERTISING PHOTOGRAPHER? I SEE THESE TERMS GET THROWN AROUND TOGETHER A LOT—SOMETIMES TWO TOGETHER, SOMETIMES ONE, AND SOMETIMES ALL THREE. ARE THEY ALL SIMILAR OR ARE THERE VAST DIFFERENCES?

A: The easy way to differentiate advertising and commercial photography from editorial photography is this: Advertising and commercial are selling something. Editorial is telling something. Let’s break it down a bit and add a few more to the mix. Knowing the difference between the genres can help you define what you do as you head out into the world and market your work.

This image isn’t of a person or a particular product. It’s ...

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