Doing Business with Business: Working in the Commercial Market


If you’re a working photographer in any genre, you’ve probably had requests like these:

“I need a new head shot, how much is it?”

“I need some product photos for my Etsy shop, can I hire you?”

“My office wants photos for the new website. Can you send over a proposal today?”

“My restaurant needs photos of food for marketing. Can you do that?”

Doing Business with Business: Working in the Commercial Market

If you’re reading this far, you’re interested in taking jobs like the ones above, but may be wondering how it all works. For example, head shot pricing. Should you charge by the head or by the hour for head shot? What about the little details, like who pays for the makeup artist, the seamless background or rental lighting gear, you or the client? What, exactly, are they getting for their fee?And finally, is your bid professional and profitable?

Photos below by Doug Levy. See more at

Boston commercial photographer Doug Levy hosted a private group seminar last week, teaching photographers about working in the commercial market. Doug took their questions and answered them in a 90-minute session loaded with demos, resources, information and action items. And while only eight photographers got to sit in and ask their questions, the rest of you can learn from it, too: the seminar is going on sale this week exclusively for Pencil & Lens customers.

In this 90-minute video, Doug discusses his experience in the commercial market, covering these (and many more) topics:

  • How to reach (and book!) new markets for your photography – from the small mom-and-pop business on the corner to multi-national Fortune 100 companies.
  • How to price work commercial work accurately.
  • What are the software options for managing quotes and licensing for these types of clients?
  • Social media: do you need it, and what should you be posting?
  • Educating the client on the licensing they want and need.
  • Do you need a separate commercial website?
  • Working with non-U.S.-based clients.


  • A private link to download the 90-minute video seminar loaded with the information you need to grow a photography business in the commercial market. (Note: this seminar doesn’t cover lighting and shooting techniques, this is purely a discussion of the business side of commercial photography.)
  • The RESOURCE GUIDE FOR COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS, a PDF guide linking you to every commercial photography business resource Doug mentions in the video, as well as his list of recent favorite business books, tools and podcasts.
  • And, if you purchase this virtual “starter kit” for commercial photography between Tuesday 1/26 and Friday 1/29, you’ll also receive a download of two of Doug’s actual client bids, a local advertising job and a large head shot job.


This seminar has lots of strategies for growing and marketing yourself as a commercial photographer, which can apply to a new commercial photographer or someone seeking to expand their client base. But don’t take our word for it, hear what seminar attendee and experienced commercial photographer Hillary Block had to say about it!



Doing Business with Business: Working in the Commercial Market will go live in the Pencil & Lens shop at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 26 (EST), and will be available for the introductory price of $50 through Friday, January 29 at 8:30 a.m. (EST). After Friday, the price for the seminar and guide will be $75.

Can’t wait to get started? You can download Doug Levy’s commercial photography business resource guide for free by requesting it here!

Pencil & Lens

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