The organization of an e-commerce business requires a beautiful presentation of your commodities to succeed. With stunning product photographs, businesses can easily compensate for the expenditures on online product photography. A professional photography studio can help you with it. What properties should you pay attention to when choosing the studio? How much do photographers charge for the service? You should consider all pros and cons of different services and determine a suitable product shoot price for your business.
It’s worth choosing high-quality photography services that contribute to the growth of your business. The price tags shouldn’t be too high and at the same time, they shouldn’t be cheap. Both extremes affect your enterprise negatively
Tips on how to avoid excessive and low fees
Though visual content inspires users to buy the product, this is not the cause to charge an excessive fee. Here are several points to remember:
- Every penny counts for business, therefore it’s better to find another alternative when the product photography rates are too high. Stay within your budget so as not to undermine your business.
- Don’t forget that the selection of companies and studios offering the same service is wide. It’s like throwing away your money when you overpay for the services.
- There is no place for loyalty in financial questions. If you apply to the same photo studio for several years, revise their prices regularly. Match rates of different photo studios and choose the best combination of quality and price. You should remember that every company ends up having a bit of money bleed.
- If the price per image is too high, it can create financial obstacles for new businesses and the ones going through difficult times. It prevents your future development.
The question of overpricing is clear but why should we exclude low-priced options? Why do experts recommend avoiding companies with incredibly low prices? Cheap product shots can make your products look cheap and unworthy. Such studios don’t offer high-quality content, as a rule.
Studying the prices, you should bear in mind that everything is relative. What is cheap in California, can be a medium price in Alabama. Explore the market in different states of the country to compare the product shoot rates. However, you shouldn’t focus on geographical factors as the range of prices is wide even within a state. We will throw some light on prices in the market for a better understanding of what to expect as you order product shots for major online marketplaces.
What factors to consider when you look for a professional photo studio
As it was stated above, the service should neither be expensive nor cheap. Instead of looking for low-priced options, focus on the different properties of a professional photo studio.
- When looking for the right photography studio, pay attention to such things as the style of photography you need. Also, such factors as the size of the order, the type of the product, and the time needed to perform the order are important.
- It should specialize in online product photography to be aware of all nuances allowing merchants to place photos successfully on popular e-commerce platforms.
- The service should also include post-production processing of visual materials to help your products look stunning to improve sales.
Though product shots are not cheap businesses pay for an excellent result, which is impossible to get without the following factors:
- huge expertise;
- professional equipment and gear;
- sufficient studio space;
- and, as stated above, professional skills to highlight the best features of your commodities.
Hiring highly professional specialists, merchants and businessmen contribute to the growth of the brand. Let us see why such expenditures are worth taking.
What is the price of online product photography in 2022?
If you need classical product photos or photos with a white background, the price varies from about 30 to 40 USD per item. However, much depends on your location. If you are looking for professional product photography California photo studios offer different price lists and different terms of cooperation. In general, it is considered that product photography Los Angeles photographers charge more than their colleagues in other states – their prices are 45% above the US national average.
Paying less for more
The price differs depending on the bunch you order. Product photography price is lower when the bunch includes more photos, for instance, 50 instead of 25. When hundreds of photos should be made, the photography studio grants even a larger discount. Usually, the individual terms are offered to such merchants.
There are even services that charge 7 USD per item if you order over 700 photos. But even these facilities charge 25 USD per photo if a starter pack includes 1- 5 photos. As you see, the number of options is huge.
Membership pricing policy
Many photography studios introduce membership plans when customers need to order a certain number of photos for the privilege to upgrade the plan, which is profitable for merchants with a huge assortment of products. Here is an example to understand how it works. The company has to buy 200 or 300 photos a year from one of the photography studios to climb to a more advanced plan that grants a larger discount on product photography. Just compare the prices of one studio that offers a free plan with 50 USD per image and the membership plan with a monthly fee of 40 USD granting a 20% discount for product photos. Along with it, the membership grants you a range of services with priority support, unlimited license, and retouching included. The more advanced Enterprise plan with a fee of 160 USD per month gives even a larger discount that reaches 30%. It means that the fee for product images is 35 USD per item, while retouching, 3 revisions, and an unlimited usage license are free. In the case of substantial orders, the Enterprise plan offered above can help you to economize.
Consider the demands of your company when choosing the right pricing policy and plan. As you explore the market, you can see that many photographers prefer not to publish price lists, asking potential customers to apply to them directly. Though it doesn’t seem convenient, it’s understandable. The product design can be rather expensive, especially when it is performed for creative advertising.
The complexity of product photo
How much do product photographers charge if product photography is used for advertising? We should understand the difference between commercial and advertising photography. These are two specialized types of photography that can be easily confused since both involve marketing.
Popular e-commerce brands pay tons of money for product photos when it is essential to transfer their insights into the images. It raises the value of product photography. As a result, the product photo can vary from 15 cents to 250 USD per photo depending on the goals set.
The photo can be created from scratch. Alternatively, it is possible to create a collage from outsourced and in-house product photos. Sometimes merchants need to have product shots with live models. The expenditures surely increase in this case. Much depends on the complexity of the image.
Premium product photography that helps to launch the e-commerce brand requires even larger investments. It is irrational to save on it if it determines the success of the company.
Let’s explore the case of one jewelry brand that pays much attention to product photography. It actually determines the marketing strategy of the company. Showcasing the product, it delivers a detailed visual description of jewelry items to online customers. The company regularly invites a local photographer to the office. He takes photos and videos of new items at a rate of 100 USD per hour. The photographer captures about 5 products per hour. In this way, it’s easy to calculate that the brand invests 20 USD per photo. The whole photoshoot takes up to 6 hours. So the company gets approximately 30 shots for 600 USD. However, single photographers are not so productive. When more photos were required, a photographer had to invite an assistant to help with the work that required additional expenses. Still, it couldn’t speed up the process significantly.
A problem of this kind wouldn’t arise be it in a photo studio. Photo studio guarantees a more efficient workflow for staging product photography. Though a photographer is the most expensive resource at the studio, other aspects of the process have a significant impact on the result. Organized, fast workers considerably contribute to product production.
Another case of the apparel company also proves that using the photography studio has more benefits for a company with serious marketing efforts. The company invites an amateur photographer for apparel photography paying 80 USD per hour for this service. Also, the invitation of a model to a photoshoot increases the expenditures. Since the photoshoot lasted 2 hours and a half, the expenditures reached almost 240 USD. Though over a hundred shots were taken for product listings during the photoshoot, their quality was still inferior to the quality delivered by the photography studio. Photos created in the studio space feature better quality thus bringing better sales. At this, the studio can offer consistency, which is not available for single photographers. A high level of quality remains even when the enterprise orders a huge package. This is unachievable for a single person. Also, the right organization of processes helps to minimize time on post-production work. It is also worth mentioning that photo studios have expensive equipment at their disposal that helps to attain the professional level. In this way, the combination of well-defined processes, and perfectly-coordinated work of several experienced specialists work ideally to achieve excellent performance.
Popular strategies to save on product photography
- Buy photos in bunches to take advantage of wholesale prices.
- Consider buying a membership to economize on product photography.
- Sometimes companies take a hybrid approach to product photography when they invest in product photos but, additionally, order videography of best-selling products. Product photography cost is higher when 360-degree shots are taken, therefore less popular products are just skipped. The company orders simple photos for these items. It can outsource shots of less popular products to make product photography more affordable.
What affects the prices of products photography
Though the law of supply and demand determines the prices on the market, there are other factors as well raising prices to a certain level. It can be helpful to understand how much it takes to be a photographer to see why photography studios charge so much for their services.
Quality photography equipment is rather expensive. The expenditures can also include the help of an assistant who takes care of them. The professional gear requires regular cleaning and the right storage conditions. Don’t forget to add the expenses on professional editing software to the list of business costs. The photographer’s fees are set on the basis of all these things.
Photography equipment includes professional cameras, lenses, and lighting. The most expensive items are camera bodies that cost up to 5,500 USD. Even if we look for the less expensive alternative, the professional camera body starts from 3,000 USD, which is a pretty hefty investment. It is also worth adding that professional cameras don’t include lenses, which are also very expensive.
The survey of professional product photographers revealed that over 60% of them use cameras that cost from 3 to 5,5K USD without lenses included. Besides, many professionals have 2 cameras at their disposal. Though a backup camera can be a bit cheaper, it should also be of professional quality. The cameras are expensive due to the higher durability of the materials employed for their production. Their properties excel the properties of non-professional cameras. Having been built with dual memory card slots and better autofocus, they are also equipped with larger buffers and higher burst rates. Pro-level cameras are weather-sealed to let photographers work under any weather conditions. You can also find WiFi and GPS technologies in pro camera bodies.
Professional cameras are compatible with diverse high-grade lenses. The cost of lenses can be much higher than that of the camera body. The highest price tag can reach 20,000 USD. There are so many options for lenses in the market. The price determines the quality here as well. The most affordable lenses cost 1,500 USD. The expenses for the collection of professional lenses vary from 5,000 to 12,000 USD or even higher.
Why do photographers spend so much on professional lenses? Just because the quality of photos is considerably higher with a pack of features in premium lenses such as fast, constant aperture that delivers high quality even in low-light conditions. The product photos accurately showcase the natural color of the products. The glass of supreme quality is used for professionally-graded lenses. The procedure of testing and the stage of inspection is more rigorous in this case. These lenses can boast faster autofocus, better sensors, and subject isolation. They are also weather-resistant.
Though props are quite affordable, as a rule, photographers should have versatile stuff to make the product photography interesting. The variety of prices is huge in this group. Photographers can spend about 1,000 USD on the collection of props to have them at hand during photo shoots.
As for lighting gear, it is the most expensive item on the list of photography accessories. It is not sufficient to have a good flash if you want to attain an excellent result. Photographers use reflectors, boom arms, stands, light meters, balancer cards, grips, and other items that together can make 15,000 USD and even more than that.
Photographers also need filters, a shutter remote, cleaning supplies, spare batteries, camera bag, which also turn into a hefty financial investment when accumulated together. However, this is not all as photographers have to pay salaries to employees and rent to have enough studio space for quality results. The photography studio fees can vary from 500 to 800 USD a day.
Paying for product shots we don’t pay photographers only. Usually, this fee covers the expenditures of joint teamwork standing behind the process that involves the work of an assistant, model, stylist, etc.
The approximate manpower costs include 15 USD per hour for an assistant, 50 USD per hour for a model, and 50 USD for a hair and makeup stylist on shooting days only. Along with this, it is necessary to pay a bookkeeper and administrator.
Other business expenses
Business expenses also include marketing, computers, insurance, and business registration expenditures that are estimated from 3,000 USD to 3,700 USD, on average. However, the amount can be twice or even more times higher. We should also include expenses for post-production work. The price of a photo editing subscription is about 700 USD per year. Photographers mainly use Adobe Photoshop, Capture One, or Lightroom. Many product photographers outsource photo processing as it is a time-consuming task.
Summing it up, it becomes clear why photographers charge from 100 USD per hour, 500 USD per day, and 25 USD per photo. The services that require such expensive equipment can’t be cheap. Besides, it is not sufficient to have all this to deliver a perfect result. It requires plenty of experience to make use of all this stuff. The photographer also needs resources to grow the business.
You should select the photography studio depending on the needs of your company. It shouldn’t be a facility with the most affordable prices. Product photography is very responsible work that can determine the future of your business. Photographers producing high-end commercial work should have all the necessary resources for photoshoots.
We have developed our price policy to satisfy the demands of small and middle-sized businesses applying a flexible and responsible approach to this issue. We highly appreciate price transparency so our customers don’t have to worry about sneaky additional charges.
The base rate covers the pre-shoot prep, hours spent behind the camera, and digital files. Customers can choose additional services from a list of product offerings that are not included in the primary rate. It helps our clients not to overpay for the services they don’t need. You can also considerably reduce the price per photo if you purchase product photos in bulk. Our team has optimized the post-production processes to enable that.
Feel free to inform us if it still seems to you that the quote is too high. Though our offer is reasonably priced we always look for the alternative to satisfy both parties. Apply directly to the studio to inquire about the rates.