© Emilien Camus – Spéos

Omnipresent in our consumer society, images are now the preferred medium for brands’ communication strategies. By means of the internet and ever-increasing distribution channels, advertising photography has become very prominent within our daily lives.

So as to help brands stand out in the face of growing competition, advertising photographers need to have developed a dual skill set.

As image professionals, their know-how and technical mastery of light, style and framing allow them to conceive high quality images in different formats (posters, flyers, web banners). Their sense of composition and aesthetics allows them to always find the best way to highlight the product or service offered.

As advertising image specialists, they bring their expertise to the communication agency teams they work with, so as to develop a creative brief that aims to deliver the advertising message most efficiently, while strictly respecting the requirements of the client request. This also applies when working directly with clients.

The added value of the advertising photographer lies in their ability to produce images in line with a commercial approach that will keep the attention of the target audience.

Qualities required to become an Advertising Photographer

The qualities required to become an advertising photographer are varifold.

The professional photographer who plans to make a career in advertising, marketing and communication must have perfect knowledge of all codes within advertising. Nowadays, companies have at their disposal various channels allowing them to communicate on their products. However, an image will not be perceived in the same way on a billboard as on an Instagram post. Advertising photographers know that the same product will not be photographed in the same way depending on the medium for which it is intended. They then design their shoot in adequacy with each medium in order to best convey the company’s message.

Whether working indoors or outdoors, whether taking pictures of an object, a dish or a place, the objective of the advertising photographer is always the same: to sublimate the product. To do this, they must be meticulous and pay great attention to detail. When they create a pack-shot or a product plan for a catalog or an online sales site, they are particularly careful regarding framing and lighting. When working on a set-up to enhance the product, they are rigorous and attentive to the different elements brought as part of the composition.

Advertising culture, sense of aesthetics, creativity, rigor, attention to detail, organization, versatility, originality, adaptation: these are the qualities expected of an advertising photographer.

© Marie MOUILLERON – Spéos

Become an Advertising Photographer with Spéos

The training at Spéos provides students with all the skills necessary to become professional photographers. Advanced training in the field of advertising can be done in both the 1- or 2-year program with a Studio specialization.

1-year programs:
> Professional Photography – Studio specialization
> The Entrepreneurial Photographer in 1 year (RNCP level 6 – certification RNCP36195 registered on 25/02/2022, delivered by Spéos) – Studio specialization

2-year programs:
> Professional Photography – Studio specialization
> The Entrepreneurial Photographer in 2 years (RNCP level 6 – certification RNCP36195 registered on 25/02/2022, delivered by Spéos) – Studio specialization

3-year programs:
> Professional Photography + Video/3D – Studio specialization
> The Entrepreneurial Photographer + video/3D (RNCP level 6 – certification RNCP36195 registered on 25/02/2022, delivered by Spéos) – Studio specialization

The training at Spéos covers all the stages – from conception to realization – of an advertising image:

  • Defining or redefining the client’s request: being able to analyze and quickly understand the client’s visual communication needs, considering the technical and material constraints necessary for the shoot, so as to establish the quote.
  • The conception of the “creative brief”: definition and structure of the project by the photographer and/or the creative team of the advertising or communication agency. Presentation of the creative proposal and adaptation of its artistic angle to the client’s requirements.
  • Production management: location scouting, set design, lighting and framing checks, coordination and exchange with the artistic direction to determine the images to be sent for post-production.
  • Post-production: identification of the most promising images based on the specific order (editing). Image processing and retouching using one or more professional imaging software (Photoshop, Lightroom etc.) for the final rendering.

The photo courses at Spéos allow students to master professional photography and to further specialize in becoming advertising photographers. The training provided allows them to acquire all the essential technical skills for both outdoor and studio photography. In addition, they acquire in-depth knowledge of post-production: the mastery of image organization and retouching software. Spéos also provides its students with the tools to enter the professional world: portfolio development, image distribution techniques, intellectual property rights.

An essential point of the pedagogical method at Spéos is that the students have access to several spacious studios, all equipped with high quality photo gear. In their practical work, they take photos of a wide variety of products and adapt to the light and surface constraints inherent to these. In this way, they define their projects as if they were working in real professional situations. The goal: to train by practicing as closely as possible based on the demands and actors of the current market.

Opportunities, Careers and Prospects

© Suji Frankel – Spéos

The vast majority of advertising photographers today work as freelancers. They cater to the image needs of communication agencies or the advertisers themselves.

Although this growing business sector attracts a large number of professional photographers, it is also very competitive. It may thus take up to two years before they are known by communication and marketing managers, so as to successfully develop their activity. To succeed in this field requires in-depth knowledge of the advertising world, good client relationships as well as personal flexibility to cater to their clients’ needs.

Enrollment and Contact

Registrations are open all year round and subject to availability.
Feel free to contact Spéos if you have any questions about this program.
At any time you are most welcome to come and visit the school, just make an appointment!

How to get to Spéos Paris

Come by visit Spéos (preferably on appointment)!