Generally speaking, within commercial photography different jobs will have different requirements — that much is a given. As a commercial photographer, your marketability is going to be determined by a large number of factors and it is the combination of these factors that will make employers want to hire you as opposed to the thousands of others who are vying for such jobs.
Needless to say, one of the most important factors when it comes to photography, is experience. Any experience that you’ve had in the past with commercial photography, particularly related to the industry that you wish to enter, is going to be extremely helpful. Let’s face it, you’re not going to land a job as a commercial photographer for a fashion magazine unless you have some experience with that.
Also it is worth bearing in mind that because commercial photography is such a big area, there are courses and qualifications that many companies will look for. If you majored in photography or something related to it then your chances of landing a steady job as a commercial photographer are much better than if it is just something you ‘picked up’ on your own.
More often than not however, it boils down to the strength of your portfolio. As a commercial photographer, your portfolio is the method by which you can showcase your talent and so you should use it to your advantage. An impressive portfolio could make all the difference when you’re applying for a job, but bear in mind that your portfolio should contain examples of previous commercial photography, and not just abstract art projects of yours.