I don't use my background as ad/editorial photographer as a selling point for my work, I let my work do that. I do agree with Bill when he says that you can't do both and expect to succeed because they both require a huge commitment, this is why I closed my studio 4 years ago and only focus on my personal work.
Originally Posted by billschwab
I can't speak for others but my background as a commercial photographer has given me experience, technique and methodology far beyond just business skills. There is a professional attitude that comes with that background. When you shoot for art directors who also worked with Penn, Avedon, etc, photographers whom you may have also assisted in your youth, you do get instilled with a certain commitment to quality. Also working with top notch art directors, creative directors and graphic designers is also a great way to further your own knowledge of design, color theory and composition. Granted you don't have to have that kind of experience to do high quality work, but it sure helps.