The introduction of Digital technology in both the hard and software of photography has brought about revolutionary changes in the world of photography. Beside the sophistication in equipment and the evolution of post photo processing the greatest impact is, probably in the cost factor. Both taking photographs and storing them without loss of quality over long periods of time has become fairly affordable to the common populace. This encouraged a large number of people to take to photography. Competition became severe and pushed quality upwards. Requirements for excellent photos increased leading to more stringent quality requirements and their realization. Another effect is diversification in the fields of photography itself leading to various specializations.
Catalogue photography, an off shoot of Fashion photography, is the result of such intense competition. Needless to say the two has quite a few similarities and fashion photographers switch over to catalogue photography easily or take up both. Catalogue photographers have to work in close coordination with models, designers, art directors and experts of other allied fields. He has to have clear idea about the target audience and the purpose of the catalogue. This needs close coordination with his client or magazine who commissioned him. Catalogs are generally aimed at retailers for the purpose of wholesale and can be in any form from high end ones, brochures or online ones. A single catalogue having high-impact images is all that is needed to make a lasting impression of your brand in the minds of the targeted audience.
A good catalogue photographer should be able to produce such photographs consistently. Generally catalogues concentrate on products of large consumption like clothing, shoes and/or accessories. Of course there are catalogues that concentrate on niche markets like high fashion clothes, jewelry, shoes and other accessories. Whatever be the field of his work, it is necessary for him to have good networking skills and to keep his network up-to-date. It may so happen that one may have to scout for location for the shoots. Knowledge of scenic places of rare beauty and rugged spots can come handy. He should create a distinct and visually striking style of his own as his signature.
A catalogue photographer should all the time be aware that the first impression is the best and long lasting. He should therefore employ all his knowledge and skills to produce a spectacular cover photo. He has considerable freedom to be really creative. Needless to say lighting is his forte and he needs to be versatile. Generally a simple white background is the choice as it will be easier for retailers to use repeatedly in their web site on print. The point is that the background should not overwhelm the product.
To be a great catalogue photographer needs no degree of any kind. The value of education should never be underestimated. There are many institutes giving higher education. Academic knowledge is one and that in no way undermines practical knowledge and skill acquired by a good grind under reputed masters.
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