You’ve got questions:
Should I hire a photographer for my business? Is hiring a photographer worth it? What should I ask a photographer? How do I hire the right business photographer? How much is product photography pricing?
I’ve got answers:
Yes. Yes. See below and see further below. And at the end of this article, use the link above to check out pricing information.
Should I hire a photographer for my business?
Photos are a must for any business. No matter if you sell products or services, are e-commerce or “brick & mortar”, and are business to business or business to consumer.
Images allow prospects to get to know you, your products and your brand. They also reflect on your business. Quality images build trust and confidence in what you are selling. Poor images reflect negatively no matter how good your product or service.
Since photographs are an important part of marketing and advertising success, hiring a professional photographer makes sense. Their skills can help take your brand to the next level.
Is hiring a photographer worth it?
That will depend on the photographer you hire. Just because someone owns a camera doesn’t mean they are a photographer.
Think of it this way, when you go to get your hair cut, chances are you use the same barber or stylist. Why? Because you’ve had bad haircuts. Your current barber knows how to cut your hair and make you look good.
The same is true of hiring a photographer. You need one who understands what you want and knows how to make you look great every time. You want a product photographer who provides value for your investment.
The information I am about to share will help you to avoid hiring the wrong photographer if you follow it.
And when you hire the right photographer – it is definitely worth it!
What should I ask a business photographer?
Before you ask them anything, check out the photographer’s portfolio.
Do they take the kind of images you are looking for? Do you like the look of their photos? Chances are, if you can see your products looking like that, then you will be happy with the results. Otherwise, move on to another photographer.
If you like their style but don’t see the type of images you want, ask them. Portfolios can’t contain every image a photographer takes. They may have examples of exactly the type of photos you are looking for. If not, don’t count them out. You may still be able to work together, just have an honest conversation.
If you like their portfolio, the next step is to have a consultation call. These are generally free to see if you would work well together and help the photographer to know the scope of your needs.
The most often asked question is, how much do you charge? There is a lot to discuss before you get to that question though. For more information on how much is product photography, read this article.
1. What is your process?
Every photographer has a process that they go through to create a client’s images. From the consultation call to questionnaires, shot lists, mood boards, the preparation, the shoot, image selections, editing and delivery.
Knowing their process gives you an idea of how detail oriented and organized they are. Those are definitely qualities you want in someone who will help you define your image and brand.
2. What is your usual turn-around time?
Find out how long the process will take from the time they start your project until the time you will get your deliverables. If you are in a hurry, ask if they can offer a rush order. While that is usually a higher fee, it may be worth the added expense to help you meet a deadline.
3. What would you need from me?
A photographer doesn’t just take photos. There is a lot of planning that goes into the process before they ever touch a camera. As the client, a good amount of the information will be up to you to provide.
I usually start with how many images you need and how you intend to use them. Then we’ll go through your brand, your ideal customer, and what you want them to think or feel when they see your photos. We will discuss your competition, your likes, dislikes and finally your goals for the project.
There should be a good number of questions from a photographer during this conversation and leading up to your photoshoot. The first time you work together, they will ask the questions that help them create images you will love.
Once you have a photographer you like and work well with, they will understand your brand and needs. That definitely has benefits!
4. How can the photos be used?
In commercial photography, rights are extremely important to understand. By law, the person who takes or creates a photo owns the rights to it. They then license the business to use the image.
There are different types of licenses and I’ve written an article about photography licenses here.
You’ll definitely want to know how you will be able to use the images and if there are any limitations or additional fees. The type of license you need may reflect on the image pricing.
5. What is your policy for reshoots?
Depending on the complexity of your project, reshoots may or may not be offered without an additional charge. If you have product stylists, models, hair and makeup, location shoots, etc., chances are you will be charged for a reshoot.
Knowing the policy in advance is important for your budget.
6. Can I be of help?
This is a great question! Some photographers appreciate help, others find it gets in the way of their production flow. But here are some ways you might be able to save on your shoot!
You could write out the shot list to save them time.
Help prep your products, making sure they are ready to go, clean and dust free.
Provide props and accessories for the photoshoot.
Arrange models from your staff or family.
Secure the location of the photoshoot and any permits required.
These are just a few of the ways you can help and reduce strains on your budget too.
The next few questions are a test to see how knowledgeable your photographer is. You may not know anything about photography, but listening to their answers, you should get a sense if they know what they are talking about. Plus, you could learn something!
7. What type of equipment do you use?
They should be able to tell you about camera, lenses, lights, if they use modifiers, diffusion, etc.
8. What mode do they shoot in and what format?
(Should be manual and RAW – if not, you aren’t getting the best quality.)
9. How do they handle low light situations?
10. How do they edit photos?
Again, if they hem or haw or sound like they don’t know what they are talking about, they may not be the photographer for you. A pro can describe their process so you can understand things.
How do I hire the right business photographer?
If you have studied the photographer’s portfolio and had a product photography consultation call with them, chances are you either feel comfortable or not. If not, keep looking. If you were comfortable, you may still want to ask if they can put you in touch with a past client. This way you can hear how they found the experience of working with the photographer, along with if they were satisfied with the results.
This was a long way to go to answer: Should I hire a photographer for my business? But yes, if you do your homework, you should – and you will be thrilled that you did!
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