People often assume product photographers are all the same, so they shop by price. The truth is, you get what you pay for. There are different styles of product photography and different types of product photographers. The photographer that will give you the best results will depend on the style(s) of product photos you need.
First, let’s understand what product photography isn’t.
You have a product, whatever it is. You put the product in front of something, take a picture and then edit it with a filter so it looks good.
An amateur may do it that way since they don’t understand what goes into a high quality ecommerce image that will convert.
It can actually take hours and even days to shoot certain styles of product photos. There is a lot that goes into it before the photographer even turns on their camera.
So let’s talk styles …
Production Product Photography
When you see off-shore, overseas sites that offer product photography, they usually are a production house. These studios have photo bays with the lighting set in position, the camera is set and someone is there to focus and snap the photo.
Nothing changes between products. The backdrop stays the same, the camera angle is the same, all that happens is one product is exchanged for another.
If you are looking for inexpensive & simple e-commerce photography on a white background, a production studio may be right for you.
Table Top Product Photography
These items are small enough to fit on a table and can usually be handled by one or two people. (In some cases photographer & stylist or chef.)
Table top product photography is a skill that requires a lot of creativity. Although you are photographing in a small space, backgrounds and props can teleport the viewer to different locations.
The product may be a simple on white shot at the perfect height and angle. It may be underwater, by the edge of a pool or in a fast moving stream. From classy backgrounds and marble counters to wooden bars, flying products and other types of specialty product photos, all of these are the domain of the table top photographer.
Large Product Photography
Is your product large? If so, you will need a product photographer with access to a large studio and appropriate lighting. Sets may need to be built to highlight your product. These can be pretty intense and expensive shoots that a production house or a table top product photographer can’t provide. (Although you won’t know if you don’t ask.)
Location Product Photography
Have a product you want photographed in a particular location or setting? You will need a photographer that can travel and is accustom to working in different and sometimes difficult environments.
This style of product photography takes planning, equipment, crews, and travel expenses possibly including airfare, lodging, groundtravel and meals.
Low End Product Photography
Just need some quick photos? A low end product photographer may be your solution. They may not offer many choices, editing and may shoot in a style that doesn’t match your brand. But they can provide some good photos quick and cheap.
High End Product Photography
On the opposite end is the high end product photographer. If you sold Rolex watches, you’d want to make certain that watch is properly lit, in the right environment, at the correct angle and edited to match the brand.
The planning takes time, there are mood boards and discussions to be had. Lighting can take hours, you want to highlight the product so it looks incredible and people take notice.
If you are selling high end quality, you need a high end product photographer to meet your needs. Your clientele expect a certain level from your brand. If the images don’t reflect that quality, it can damage your reputation and hurt sales.
Everyday Product Photography
This is the cross between low end and high end. The images are high quality, well designed and match your brand. Lighting, settings, angles and editing are quality work.
These photographers understand you want something better than a cheap picture, and you can’t afford the high end costs of a Rolex or Merecedes Benz shoot. This is their specialty, helping small businesses & ecommerce retailers build their brand and client base.
These are the styles of product photography you should think about when selecting a product photographer. The right photographer combined with the right style will provide you with the results that can increase your conversions.
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