Commercial Photographer Enjoys Variety of Work
You go to the store and notice the candles in the home furnishings department. After looking a bit, you choose the one you just know will make your home smell warm and inviting. You know because you look at the label and see the picture of the vanilla beans.
Most of us never think about who took the photo that made you choose that product. Ron Baker does. As a commercial photographer it’s his job to show a product or a business and its personnel in the best light.
“I’ve always been a visual person,” Baker says. His interest in art began with drawing and art in high school, followed by the study of fine art and graphic design in college with a minor in photography. After working at a commercial photo lab in Cincinnati he went into retail management. “I always enjoyed photography, though, and came back to it and went into it professionally,” he says.
Since the late ‘90s, Baker knew he wanted to do studio and commercial photography. “I didn’t know where to go or how to get started, so I just began with the ‘A’ section of the Yellow Pages. The first business to call me back, Action Photography, did sports team photos, and I worked as an assistant there,” he explains.
He went on to assist another photographer in the area and working in the studio was a real eye opener. He says, “I realized I didn’t know much about photography. I watched the photographers and learned how they worked and picked up on it. It was a paid learning experience.”
He learned that commercial photographers can be quite specialized in their work, sometimes just taking photos of liquids being poured and using techniques to shape and give definition to the liquid to make it look more appealing.
Baker honed his craft by doing commercial and studio work and photographing weddings on weekends. He enjoys the diversity of his work. “I’m not into a niche. I like diversity,” he says. “I like working with a variety of people so it’s not the same thing every day. I might take a passport photo then go to a business and photograph a product, then photograph the people who work there.” His work finds its way into many advertisements for businesses and products in the area.
Baker will be speaking about his commercial photography business, the applications of commercial photography, the business aspect, how to find work, and types of clients. He also plans to discuss problem solving and preparation for unexpected situations. “I shoot with intent,” he explains. “I ask, ‘how am I going to use this image? I try to think about where it will go, if there will be text in the advertisement, and other aspects of the photo’.”