Who Hires Commercial Photographers

by | Commercial Photography 101, Starting up | 1 comment

agency art buyer

There are a wide variety of different types of companies and individuals who seek out and hire commercial photographers.

In short, they are:

• advertising agencies
• brands/companies
• design firms
• marketing and creative firms
• publishers and small businesses

There’s also a growing number of non-specific, one-stop-shop creative digital firms that provide a wide range of services to their clients, including photography.

Who will you hear from, and who should you contact in your marketing efforts?

Every company is different when it comes to the job titles of employees whose jobs involve sourcing photographers, and many companies get creative when it comes to titles. I’ve received shoot inquiries from individuals before whose job titles have left me scratching my head wondering what exactly they do for the company. But generally you’ll hear from roughly the same types of employees.

Here are the job titles you are most likely to hear from when receiving a commercial inquiry.

Ad agencies (‘agency’): art buyers, account managers, art producers, print producers, art directors, creative directors.

Generally if the agency is large, you’ll be communicating with one of their art buyers as opposed to a creative director or art director. Sometimes you’ll be communicating with an account manager, or other non-specific job title.

(Tip: When marketing to ad agencies, it’s best to target the art buyers, since those are your front-line agency contacts.)

Design firms: creative director, design director, creative manager, graphic designer, etc.

Company/brand (this is called ‘client-direct’): marketing directors, associate marketing directors, founders (small companies/businesses), owners (small companies/businesses), communication manager, graphic designer, art buyer, etc. (There are a wide range of different employee types you’ll encounter when doing ‘client-direct’ work).

Publishers: art researchers, art buyers, print producers, etc.

Freelance art buyers: these individuals are contracted by agencies and other firms to source photography talent.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully it gives you an idea of who you might be working with regularly.

Other articles you may like:

How to Know if You Are Ready to Do Commercial Photography

How to Calculate Commercial Photography Fees


Learn how to start booking more clients and making more money TODAY


the business of commercial advertising photography course product

1 Comment

  1. thanks a lot fo this article


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About The Image Crafters

image crafters icon The Image Crafters is an educational platform for commercial photographers with articles, an educational newsletter, and courses and contracts, all on commercial photography business topics like pricing, marketing and legal considerations.


‘Commercial photography information is hard to wrap your brain around and Jamie has put it all into a simple way to understand. I do not have to scour the internet anymore to find information.’ – Kimberly Buccheri


Subscribe to our newsletter and receive a promo code for 20% off the purchase of any of our courses*. (Check your spam folder if you don't see the email.)
    I agree to receive educational and promotional emails, and I agree with the website's terms and conditions