Asking “how much is product photography?” is like walking into a car dealership and asking “how much is a new car?“
There are a lot of variables to consider before the price can given.
In this article I’m going to walk you through some of these variables so you can have a better idea of what you want.
Communicating your exact needs to a product photographer is going to make the process much smoother. Even if you aren’t sure of your needs, a clear goal for the product photos will help them create a more accurate quote.
Why Take My Advice?
I am a proud member of the PPA, Professional Photographers of America. Being a member of the PPA not only showcases my commitment to the craft but also ensures that I adhere to the highest standards of professionalism and ethics in the industry.
I’ve helped clients just like you to achieve higher sales and greater visibility through my product photography services:
I’m so glad I found Tom for my product photos. He was incredibly easy to work with – from the initial phone call to making a mood board, to a quick turnaround time with all my edited images. The final images were exactly what I was looking for and he nailed the vibe of my brand. I will definitely be working with him in the future for more photos!
Founder, Miribel Naturals
I have used a number of commercial photographers over the years … While all of the photographers were competent, Tom Crowl takes his photography to a higher level than any previous photographers.
President, Oasis, Inc.
Check out more of our client testimonials here.
My work speaks for itself. From intricate jewelry shots to dynamic action images, my portfolio showcases my versatility and commitment to excellence. Dive into a curated collection of product photos and see the difference professional photography makes.
My work has been featured in Marika Magazine, Dreamy Magazine and Dominante French Magazine.
With the credentials done, let’s discuss why you are here … to find out, how much is product photography?
The Value of Professional Product Photography
Understanding the cost of product photography is essential, but recognizing its value is equally crucial.
High-quality product photos play a pivotal role in building trust and credibility with potential buyers.
They serve as silent salesmen, influencing purchase decisions by conveying brand authenticity and quality.
Moreover, consistent and professional imagery enhances a brand’s image and reputation.
With the rise of mobile shopping and the significance of social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, the need for optimized and diverse product photos has never been higher.
Investing in professional product photography offers long-term benefits in terms of sales and brand reputation.
To delve deeper into the importance of product photos and their impact on businesses, read my detailed article on the subject.
How important are product images to you?
Even with the best iPhone cameras, unless you’ve studied light, composition, photographic styling, advertising and marketing, your photos won’t compare when competing with a professional brand.
Your photos not only help sell your product, and build your brand, great looking images build trust, awareness, help drive traffic, and reduce returns.
Low quality images do just the opposite.
Importance guides your search for a photographer …
All types of people offer product photography.
Cheap Product Photography:
At the low end of the scale you have hobbyists, students and beginners. They usually promote their services through websites like Fiverr and Upwork.
Their photos may or may not be better than what you could take yourself. Professional quality will usually be lacking because as part-timers, they simply aren’t experienced in the genre.
How much is their product photography? If they charge by the hour, you will likely pay around $50 to $100 an hour. If you pay by the image, you are probably looking at $10 to $25 per photo.
While definitely cheap, they will also be far from professional.
In-Expensive Product Photography:
There are a lot of product photographers that work in other countries. India, China, Malaysia and the Philippines tend to dominate this category.
You generally deal with an intermediary who translates your needs to the photographer. This can make it difficult to get exactly what you need.
While it seems like a good deal at the start, it can also make shipping your product expensive and add to the turn around time.
These companies tend to charge between $30 – $100 per image, depending on how many you need and the preparation that goes into them.
Mid-Range Product Photographers:
Mid-range is a pretty wide open area. No two photographers are the same. They will have different levels of experience, equipment and shooting & editing styles.
Creativity, client service and demand also play a part in the pricing structure of a product photographer. The benefits are that you are usually dealing directly with the photographer. This makes the process much easier for you.
Some mid-range product photography companies also exist. They hire photographers to work in their warehouse and have a huge volume of product going through every day.
You would need to decide if you want to work with a boutique photographer who can create your brand style, or a major retailer that provides cookie cutter imagery.
Product photography pricing for mid range product photographers can range from $100 to several thousand dollars per image. Some provide a commercial license and others charge for theirs. Photrography packages usually help small businesses keep their investment reasonable for the return in increased sales.
High-End Product Photography:
These are the photographers that shoot for brands like Chanel, Porsche and major brands. Many high end commercial photographers work through advertising companies designing major campaigns. Far from inexpensive, their work makes so much revenue for these brands the investment is well worth it.
If the photos are important to helping your business make sales and grow, don’t skimp on the investment. Find a product photographer that is creative and will help your business to grow.
Factors Influencing Product Photography Pricing
When considering product photography for your brand, it’s essential to understand the various factors that can influence the pricing. As a marketing professional, knowing these can help you budget effectively and ensure you’re getting the best value for your investment.
Just as in any profession, experience often equates to expertise. A seasoned photographer might charge more, but they also bring a wealth of knowledge and a proven track record of delivering high-quality results.
Specialization and Expertise:
Some photographers specialize in specific niches, such as jewelry or apparel. Their specialized skills might come at a premium, but they’ll also know the tricks of the trade to make your products shine.
Reputation and Branding:
Established photographers or studios with a strong brand presence might have higher rates. However, their reputation can also assure a certain level of quality and professionalism.
Quality of Portfolio:
Always review a photographer’s portfolio. Those who consistently produce high-quality images will likely charge more, but the visual appeal of your products is paramount in marketing.
Type of Product:
Complex products that require intricate detailing or setups might be priced higher. For instance, capturing the sparkle of a diamond or the texture of gourmet food can be more challenging than standard shots.
Location and Setup:
If you require the photographer to shoot at a specific location or need elaborate setups, it might increase costs. Similarly, studio shoots might differ in price from outdoor ones.
The work doesn’t end after the shoot. Post-production, which includes editing, retouching, and formatting images for various platforms, can significantly influence the overall cost.
It’s always a good idea to get a sense of the prevailing market rates. This ensures you’re not overpaying and helps in negotiations.
Are you looking for a one-off shoot or an ongoing collaboration? Bulk projects or long-term collaborations might offer opportunities for discounts or package deals.
Just as with other services, there might be peak seasons for product photography, especially if tied to holiday campaigns or new product launches.
Desired Profit Margin:
Remember, the investment in quality photography directly impacts how your product is perceived. It’s essential to factor in the potential return on investment and the value these images bring to your marketing campaigns.
When budgeting for product photography, it’s crucial to strike a balance between cost and quality.
As a marketing professional, your goal is to present your product in the best light, literally and figuratively. Investing in quality photography can significantly enhance your marketing campaigns, leading to better engagement and higher sales.
What type of product photos do you need?
In addition to asking questions of your photographer, they will need you to answer some of their own to create your quote. How much product photos are will depend on what type of photos you want. There are:
Ecommerce Product Photos – usually taken on a pure white background for online sales. These are often found on marketplace sites like Amazon. In these settings, your images need to stand out to generate clicks and sales.
Ecommerce product photo pricing is fairly straight forward. It may depend on how many images you want, how many products you have and how large they are.
Lifestyle Product Photos – which show your product in a specific setting. These images involve sets and other props to draw attention to your product. Consumers can then associate the product with a particular lifestyle, helping them to imagine using it.
Lifestyle images may also require the hiring of hand models, models, location fees and travel expenses.
360º Product Photos – let’s give your product a spin to see all sides of it. There are simple spins using gif files or video. Interactive spins allow the user to control the rotation, allowing consumers to interact with your product and increasing time on your listing.
360º product spins will vary depending on the photographer but the pricing is generally fixed and easy to quote.
Macro Images – need jewelry close ups? Detail shots? Macro images can show the quality of your product the way no other image can. These can be shot in coordination with ecommerce or life-style images. The setting and number of shots will affect the pricing.
Specialty Product Photos – want your product to be sitting in a rainstorm? Floating in the air or on or underwater? On top of burning coals or surrounded by fire?
These specialty type photos are time intensive in planning, execution and editing. They also create eye catching imagery that makes folks do a double take.
It is best to communicate your idea with your photographer to generate a custom quote.
How do you want to use your product photos?
How you intend to use the images will play a big part in how your photographer takes the photographs. Are they for online sales? Social media? Your website? Print advertising? Posters? Tradeshow displays? Bill boards?
Talking this over with your photographer allows them to make sure your images are the proper quality for your use. Each of these details may affect the pricing.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Why is professional product photography important for my business?
Professional product photography ensures that your products are presented in the best possible light, literally and figuratively. High-quality images can enhance your brand’s credibility, increase customer trust, and boost sales by providing a clear and accurate representation of your products.
For a more detailed explanation, read my article: Top 10 Reasons Your Business Needs Professional Photography.
2. How does product photography impact online sales?
Visual representation plays a pivotal role in online shopping. Clear, high-resolution images allow customers to closely inspect products, leading to informed purchasing decisions and reduced return rates. Quality images can also enhance the overall user experience, encouraging longer site visits and higher conversion rates.
For a more detailed explanation, read my article: Product Photography For E-Commerce – How Important Is It?
3. What types of product photography are there?
There are several types, including Ecommerce (white background shots), Lifestyle (products in real-life settings), 360º (rotatable views), Macro (close-ups), and Specialty (unique setups or requirements).
4. How do I choose the right product photographer?
Consider their portfolio, experience, reviews, and expertise in your specific industry or product type. It’s also essential to discuss your brand’s vision and ensure they align with it.
For more tips on choosing the right product photographer, read my article:
5. How much should I budget for product photography?
Costs can vary based on the photographer’s experience, the complexity of the shoot, the number of products, and post-production needs. It’s essential to view it as an investment; high-quality images can significantly impact sales and brand perception.
To see actual package rates from product photographers, read my article: Product Photography Pricing
6. Can I use my smartphone for product photography?
While smartphones have advanced cameras, professional product photography often requires specialized equipment, lighting, and expertise to achieve the desired quality and consistency.
7. How can I ensure consistency in product images across my website?
Hiring a professional ensures consistency in terms of lighting, angles, and editing. It’s also beneficial to create a style guide that outlines specific requirements and standards for all product images.
For more details on product photography consistency, read me article:
8. How often should I update product photos on my website?
Whenever there’s a significant change to the product, packaging, or branding. Regular updates also keep your website looking fresh and can be aligned with seasonal promotions or marketing campaigns.
9. Are there SEO benefits to optimized product photos?
Yes, optimized images with appropriate alt text, file names, and sizes can improve website load times and search engine rankings. They can also appear in image search results, driving additional traffic to your site.
For more information, read my article: How To Optimize Product Photography For Search Engine Success
10. How do I prepare my products for a photography session?
Ensure products are clean and in perfect condition. If clothing, they should be ironed and presented on mannequins or models. For other products, consider props or settings that highlight their features and uses.
For more information, read my article: How to Prepare Your Products for a Successful Photoshoot – publishing soon!
When a product photographer generates a quote for you, understand exactly what you are getting. Things like an included commercial license, editing, product styling, prop shopping, backgrounds and reshoots are all valuable additions.
Paying for those things separately can result in thousands of addition expense. So realize the value if they are offered. If they aren’t, understand what is provided and what these additions cost.
So “how much is product photography?” Great question, do you want a clunker that may get you there? A reliable car or a sporty Lamborghini?
The first part to getting a quote that will cover all your needs is talking to a product photographer who’s style you like. The conversation and quote are free. All you have to do is fill out the form below or text me to set up a time to talk!
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