How Much Should You Expect to Pay for Product Photography?
Creative & Design

How Much Should You Expect to Pay for Product Photography?

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Product photography is an inevitable requirement, especially if you are an e-commerce business owner.

With a 🔥 first photographic impression, you can do more than just impress potential customers. You can build trust and convince the customers that your services are better than your competitors. 

However, before you proceed with product photography, you need to comprehend how product photography pricing works. This way arranging the creative photoshoots becomes easy, and you stay away from spending more than you need in the process. 

Remember, product photography costs can vary from project to project due to different aspects. A rough estimation of the price can go a long way. 

How much does product photography cost?

Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this question. Why? Because product photography pricing varies significantly from photography project to project.

However, on average, you can expect to spend US$171 per hour to hire a professional product photographer. Again, this price can either go up or down based on the photographer’s skill level. 

Without beating around the bush, let’s comprehend the product photography pricing based on different categories and their quantity below. 

Types of product photography and their price?

Per image

As the name might suggest, this type of product photography charges you a certain amount for every image you wish to get clicked and edited. Depending upon how many images you want, the pricing can range anywhere between US$1 to $50. In most situations, the price stays below the US$10 mark. 

Now, based on how many images you have, you might request a flat discount. The more images, the higher the discount. However, before you proceed with this product photography pricing model, you might want to check the current image pricing. 

Per hour

Typically considered during wedding occasions, this type of product photography pricing model is when the independent photographer charges you based on every hour. You can end up spending anywhere between US$20 and US$500, based on the skill level of your chosen photographer. 

When choosing the per-hour pricing structure, it is best to fix the hours beforehand. This way, you can cut extra costs and specify the product photography’s total hours.  

Per product

If you have a lot of products that need to be photographed, you might want to go with per product photography pricing model. You can be charged anywhere between US$20 and US$100 by the service provider. 

The best thing about this pricing model is that the total project cost can go down as the product number increases. Thereby making per product pricing model the best option if you need a large number of photos per product. 

Per day

When hiring a photographer on per day basis, you can expect to pay anywhere between US$400 and US$1000. If any additional equipment is used, then you can expect to pay even more. Also, the full-service studio you wish to rent can also impact the final cost. 

Before you proceed with the per-day basis pricing structure, it is best to calculate the required days for the photoshoot. Or else you may end up spending more than you should on the entire project. 

Product pricing plans based on different categories 

Did you know there are different styles of photographs that also play a key role in deciding the final cost of your project? It is best to gain a basic understanding of the styles to ensure what you want. Listed below are some common categories of photographs –

Real-life product photography 

In this type of photography, the expert captures the real-life images of the product in question. These photos contain real people using or holding the product in an everyday setting. This means you will require to hire models and arrange a space to shoot this lifestyle product photography project. 

With the model hired, you might need to pay them on an hourly basis, which can be US$100 to US$300 per hour. Since the cost of hiring a model can vary from one agency to another, it is best to do some research and find models from agencies that charge reasonable rates. 

Amazon product photography 

In the commercial product photography industry, Amazon is the most popular category. In a place where basic product photography for eCommerce charges standard prices, Amazon product photography pricing might be a little extra. Why? Because extra equipment might be used for the project. 

For instance, proper lighting, pure white background, special photo editing tools, and editors might be required onsite. With these added factors, the additional cost of your white background photography can go up from $50 to $200

Amazon Product Photography
Amazon

Close-up product photography 

This type of product photography service deals with close-up shots of small-scale products such as electronics, beauty items, jewelry, and so on. 

Apart from the lens equipment and photographer cost, you might require a light box for better lighting, which might cost $40 to $150 based on its size and quality.  Evidently, close-up product photography is quite manageable for small-scale business owners.

Additional costs that might get included in your product photography cost

The cost of your product photography project may also get impacted due to other additional costs listed below – 

Model release 

When you photograph a model and wish to utilize the photographs on digital platforms, print media, and advertisements, ensure to have a model release first. 

It is a must for all types of commercial usage and not mandatory for non-commercial photograph usage. 

opel product photography pricing
Opel

Equipment used

Based on what type of product you wish to shoot, you will require lighting equipment, a camera, and different types of lenses.

So, while creating the budget for the photo shoot, it is imperative to calculate the cost of all the specialized equipment and props that may be required. You can either purchase the tool or rent it, whatever seems best to you. 

Post-production 

The post-production phase is when the editing and retouching of the photographs happen. This way, your professional product photos look clean, optimized, and ready to be uploaded on eCommerce platforms and other places.

If possible, choose a reliable photo editor to make the most out of your product photography project. 

Delivery time

Most photo full-service studios require you to make an advance booking. This way, they have ample time in hand to commit to your project. However, if you forget to do so or have a high-priority rush project, they might charge you an additional fee to accommodate your requirements.  

Shipping charges

If you are choosing a mail-order photography studio, your project may have the shipping cost included in it. Generally, the shipping charge should be 10% of the overall cost of the project. But, in case you have large or heavy items to be shot, the shipping charges can significantly increase, too. 

How to reduce your product photography costs

Outsourcing professional services like photography don’t mean you need to put a hole in your marketing budget. Being hypervigilant and creative with the resources can help free up a lot of money which can be used in other areas of the business. 

Listed below are some things you can do to optimize your product photography cost –

Combine projects 

When you have a big project, you always have the upper hand. There are many professional service providers, even product photographers, who offer discounts on larger projects. 

As a brand owner, you might have several products that need photography, right? Instead of ordering photography services frequently for smaller product batches, consider placing one large order. This way, you are bound to obtain huge discounts on whichever product photography pricing model you choose. 

Remember, professional product photographers, know how to create an entire portfolio using a few models. Even though it is best to diversify your selection of models, there is nothing wrong with maximizing the outcome with just a few models in the studio.

Using different sets, orientations, facial expressions, scenarios, clothing, etc., can help maximize the returns from one single photoshoot session. 

Order packages 

There are many independent photography agencies that provide packages when it comes to large projects. You can check whether your chosen photo studio has any photography packages that you can benefit from. 

Cross-check the cost of obtaining the services listed in the package individually Vs. the entire package. You are bound to find the best deal when choosing the package. 

Also, check whether or not the service provider could deduct unnecessary services from the package. There are many product photography service providers who offer such flexibility. If they can, you can save a few extra euros, too!

Send samples 

Chances are that you might require sending samples to your photographer. Before you ship these samples, ensure to carefully check whether these samples are in perfect shape. 

Rent – don’t buy

It is easy to get tempted looking at the impressive set-up a photographer has. But is it worth your investment? Everything from camera to lenses, flash, light box, reflectors, etc., costs money. Do you have enough budget to meet all these requirements? No? Perhaps it is best to stick with renting these items for now. 

When should you consider professional product photography?

Product photography is an investment. So naturally, people avoid hiring professionals. Instead, they rent equipment and put their best foot forward. However, this may not be the best decision if you –

Sell a one-of-a-kind product 

If you are an artist who sells handcrafted products, then all of your products are going to be unique. This means you certainly cannot use the same photographs more than once. Similarly, if you are a seller of antique items or perhaps heirlooms, as an auctioneer, you wouldn’t be able to reuse the photos. 

If the selling price of the product you sell is exceptionally higher than the product photography cost, then there isn’t anything wrong with hiring independent photographers. In fact, you will end up having a myriad of high-quality photos that will only entice your purchaser to invest. 

You are a reseller and not a manufacturer

Another time to consider a product photography professional is when you are a reseller of a particular brand or product. Unlike the unique items listed above, products that are easily available in different shops, like candles, mugs, etc., are not easy to sell. The chances of your inventory being stocked with unsold products are always high here. 

By choosing to professionally shoot these products, you can put them into the right limelight. Perhaps the creative product photographer would be able to capture the products so perfectly that even looking at the pictures would be enough for the customers to be enticed to buy them. 

Not just when you are a reseller, if you think that you are unable to source high-quality product images for your digital store or social media, you can consider hiring a professional. 

Also, if you are looking forward to creating a cohesive style across your product offerings, consider getting the photos clicked by the product photographer!

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