Product photography is an excellent investment as it can help improve sales, enhance brand presence, and impress prospective customers. Most businesses spend thousands of dollars on professional-quality images and enjoy great returns on their investment. However, it is easy to overspend on such a project if you’re not familiar with the industry. Here’s a look at why and how you should discuss product photography pricing with your chosen studio:
Costs Can Vary
The average cost of professional product photography is around $500 to $5,000 per day. This depends on factors like studio location, photographer reputation, overhead costs, type of photography, etc. Most studios offer a free quote and consultation so consider sending a request for an estimate to a few establishments in your area. Stick with local studios because the cost of shipping items to establishments in nearby towns can exceed your budget.
You can compare the estimates to see which studio offers better product photography pricing. It is easy to find pricing information online to check whether you’re getting a fair deal.
Different Studios Have Different Pricing Models
Different studios have different pricing strategies. That can make things confusing for clients and force them to settle for a deal that doesn’t offer the best value. Here’s a look at some of the most common product photography pricing strategies used:
- Per Hour/Per Day –Many studios charge on an hourly or daily basis. For example, some may charge $50 an hour and $400 per day. A single day comprises eight working hours for most studios.
- Per Product – A photographer may also charge a fixed amount per product. For example, if you want to take five photographs of a product, they may charge you $500 or more especially if the shoot involves models, props, or outdoor locations.
- Per Image –Some studios charge for every finished image provided to the client. That may seem like an expensive option at first, but it can save you a lot of money and trouble later.Per image strategy is ideal for clients that don’t have a large number of products to photograph.
The cost of every photograph can vary based on its style. For example, product on white photographs is the most affordable because they don’t require a lot of work or prep. The product is placed against a plain white background for the shoot.
Creative in-studio photography is a little more expensive because it involves props and relevant background elements. These images also require more time to edit, which means the photographers have to work longer hours to polish the images.
Lifestyle photographs are the most expensive because they involve models and/or outdoor locations. The cost of the model, transport, support staff, permits, etc, is included in the final product photography pricing. That’s why you need to discuss the estimate in detail with your studio.
Breaking Down Cost Per Image
Calculating the cost per image can help you get a clear idea of how much you want to spend. We recommend rounding up all expenses related to the shoot, including shipping, insurance, storage, photographer/studio costs, etc. You can then divide the total by the number of finished images you receive. For example, if you spend a total of $10,000 on the entire project and receive 200 finished images, you have spent $50 on every image.
Understanding the cost per image allows you to determine how many images you can get and set a more reliable budget. The calculation can also help you with future projects. It is important to remember that the cost per image on bulk orders is usually lower because studios will often offer attractive discounts from the get-go. For example, a small project will cost you around $70 per image for 50 images. A big project may cost $50 per image for 500 images.
Businesses can potentially save thousands of dollars by sending bulk orders. Discuss the product photography pricing on large assignments in detail with your photographer. Most studios implement a slab system and have a set price for different order sizes. You can enquire about such a system before hiring a studio.
What’s Included in Product Photography Pricing?
It is important to understand what’s included in product photography quotes. Reliable studios will explain all of the expenses carefully and answer any questions you may have in that regard. Here’s a look at what most photographers include in their basic pricing:
- Consultation and planning
- Sketches and composition ideas
- Principal photography
- Basic props and background elements
- Lighting and lighting technicians
- Editing and refining photographs
Some studios include the cost of models, outdoor locations, and custom props in their estimate of these factors are discussed during consultation. If they’re not explicitly mentioned in your quote, be sure to ask the studio about it. They will let you know whether you need to pay more money for models.
Factors that Influence Cost
Some factors can influence product photography pricing and you need to discuss them in detail with your studio. These factors include:
- Size and weight of the product.
- Delicate and fragile items.
- Items that require assembly before the shoot.
- Products that require special props before the shoot.
- Large products that require outdoor location shoots or big studios.
- Projects that require special models like infants, disabled individuals, people of specific ethnicities, etc.
These factors have a big impact on the overall cost of photography. Some additional costs are never included in estimates provided by photography studios. Studios don’t handle shipping and large-scale storage. While most have basic insurance coverage, you may need a different policy for expensive or delicate items. For example, if you want to take pictures of an expensive jewelry set, be sure it is covered by insurance. If there’s any loss, damage, or theft, you won’t need to worry about the cost of replacement.
Hiring a good photographer will offer several long-term benefits, especially if you have a large inventory of products. You can negotiate on product photography pricing and save hundreds of dollars on bulk orders.