Product Photography Pricing: How Much Does It Cost?

Your new product is fresh off the production line and you're ready to start selling. To start marketing your product, you need to get professional photographs.

These images are vital to increasing online sales. If your product is featured, you'll also have images ready to send in.

But how much will all this cost?

Keep reading to learn about the elements that make up product photography pricing.

The Product

The product itself can change the price of photographs. Weight, size, material, colour and post processing all play a factor. Check out the following sections to get a better idea of what might influence the price.

Product Size & Material

The larger the product, the harder it is for the photographer to work with. Not only is a large product more difficult to move, but it also requires a larger shooting space. The backdrop or shooting space will need to be larger and more lights might be needed. The photographer may need to go our on location for such items. For example large safes are not the type of product you can easily bring into the studio.  Even on location these items need to move with a forklift. This is a delicate process in a studio environment.

On the other hand a small diamond ring poses other challenges requiring special lighting, camera lenses and delicate placements. It usually requires composite photography where multiple images (up to 24) are stacked into one and edited to look like the picture on the right.

Untitled photo

Product Translucency or Reflectiveness

Have you ever tried to take a picture of a mirror without getting yourself in it? It's tricky!

If your product is translucent or reflective, it requires more precise shooting to showcase the product. It also needs more of an advanced lighting setup and set organisation.

Product Color Options

If your product comes in more than one colour, lighting may have to be setup specifically for each colour. Or additional time may be required in post-processing to ensure colour accuracy.

Product Posing and Assembly

Can the product stand alone, or does it need a model? Take a pair of earrings for example. While a stand-alone photograph is necessary, it's also helpful to shoot them on a model so that potential buyers can see their size.

Or does it need to be stylised? For example a product can be photographed in-situ or with other products.

Sometimes a product requires assembly. For example, shooting industrial door handles (below) need to be removed from their packaging, assembled and cleaned before photographing. 

Editing Process

There are many ways to edit a product depending on the way it will be used. For example an image can be shot on a white background (which translates to grey) or can be deep etched to achieve pure white, which is quite popular. Here's an example of a white background (grey) and deep etched to pure white...

It's always a good idea to inform the photographer the number of final images (not products) and type of image file that will be required.

Number of Images and File Format

This one is straightforward. The more images you'd like, the lower the overall unit cost.

There are two (most popular) different file formats that can be purchased: PNG and JPG.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages to these file formats.

Pros of PNG

Lossless compression

Contains a wider variety of colours

Transparent background option

Cons of PNG

Not ideal for printing

Larger file size might not allow uploading to certain websites

Photos with lots of detail will carry an extra-large file size

Pros of JPG

Most common image format

Ideal for photographs with details

Smaller file size

Cons of JPG

Transparency not supported

Have an idea of what platform you'll be using your images on. For example, Shopify has different image size restrictions than Wix.

If you're going to use the images on Instagram, keep in mind that vertical photographs do better than horizontal ones although horizontal can often be cropped to square. These are all things that you want to communicate to your photographer.

Deep Etching

Deep etching is the process of using photo editing software to pull a specific part of the image (such as the product) from the background. While many photo editing programs can do this automatically, products with a wide range of colours or details mean that the photographer must do it by hand.

A benefit of this process is that once deep etched, you can place the product on any background. You can also turn it into a PNG file with a transparent background.

The process of deep etching can take a large amount of time and thus, will cause a price increase.

Drop Shadow

A drop shadow is an effect done in software that makes it look as if the product is creating a shadow. This is a technique that requires skill and precision in editing software.

Ask the Photographer About Product Photography Pricing

The best way to get an estimate on the price of product photography is to provide the photographer with all the above information. Send the photographer smartphone images of your product. This will help them better visualise the shoot and provide a lot of the above information in a single image.

When you send images to the photographer, be sure to put an item in the photo to determine size. Place rulers next to small items and for larger objects, a person in the photo will give a good reference size.

Another way to convey your desired type of image is to send images of your competitors' photos. Let your photographer know what you like and dislike about these photos. You may also use references from the wide range of images here.

Now that you know how product photography pricing works, get in touch for a personalised quote.

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