Most modern businesses understand the value of product photography but are hesitant to spend too much money on it. They worry about product photography pricing and how it will affect their bottom line. It is important to consider the costs carefully but don’t get intimidated by the up-front expenses. Here’s a look at everything you need to know about product photography expenses so you can plan a budget accordingly:
- What’s Usually Included in Product Photography Pricing?
Different studios have different ways to approach pricing. Some charge on an hourly/daily basis while others offer per image/per product pricing. There’s no uniform pricing strategy so it is a good idea to look at estimates carefully and ask what’s included in them. Most studios will consider the following a part of their basic service package:
- Cost of consultation, research, and planning.
- Principal photography sessions.
- Cost of lighting, technicians, and set-up.
- The cost of editing raw images.
- A set number of finalized images.
- Cost of basic props and backgrounds.
- Cost of delivery.
All of these expenses are usually included in a basic package. However, some studios will also include the cost of specialized props, models, and outdoor shoots in their quotes, especially if these items are discussed during consultation. Clients should ask whether these services are included in product photography pricing before hiring the studio.
2. What is the Average Cost of Photography?
The cost of product photography depends on many factors. The age and experience of the photographer, studio maintenance costs, location, type of shots, models or outdoor shoot costs, etc. It is difficult to come up with a fixed product photography pricing estimate. You will only get a clear idea of the expenses involved after speaking with the studio directly. However, here’s a look at some average market pricing estimates:
- An amateur photographer with limited experience will charge anywhere between $25 and $75 per hour.
- Experienced photographers can charge anywhere between $200 and $1500 an hour.
- Some studios charge a per-product basis and that can cost anywhere between $45 and $60 per product.
Consider the above-mentioned averages a rough guideline for planning a budget. You need to speak with a photographer directly to get a good idea of the expenses.
3. What are the Additional Costs?
Most product photography pricing quotes don’t include a few additional expenses, especially if the studio provides an up-front quote instead of offering one after consultation. Some of the most important additional expenses to consider include:
- Use of models and custom-made props.
- Cost of transporting items to outdoor shoot locations.
- Additional expenses for the weight, size, or volume of products.
- Cost of product preparation or styling if needed.
- Cost of product construction or set-up if the item needs assembly.
When you plan a budget, it is important to account for all of these additional expenses as well. They may or may not be included in the estimate provided by the studio.
4. How to Compare Estimates?
Experts recommend getting estimates from three or four local studios. That will help you find the best option and save money on good-quality services. However, many clients struggle to compare estimates. Here are some tips that can help:
- Calculate the total final cost of photography by adding all expenses involved and dividing them by the number of finalized images. That will give you a cost per image.
- Compare the cost per image of every studio to see which one offers the best deal.
- Study what’s included and excluded in the quotes carefully. For example, it is possible that one studio is offering a lower pricetag because they aren’t offering lifestyle photography.
- Look at the quality of work offered by browsing through the studios’ portfolios.
Once you understand the cost per image and the quality of services offered, it is easier to plan a budget.Sometimes, studios that charge more offer more services and better images than affordable establishments.
5. Cost of Third-Party Services
There are some related expenses outside of photography to consider as well. Unless you hire a freelance professional to take pictures at your warehouse, you will need to transport items to the studio. The cost of shipping products can have a big impact on your budget, especially if you’re not able to find a photographer in your city.
If you have a fragile or expensive product, consider getting sufficient insurance coverage. Most studios have their own insurance policy but it is a good idea to get additional protection. The studio insurance will not cover damages to the product if they happen in transit. Their insurance policy may not cover the cost of replacing or repairing expensive items. Full insurance will help you save money if something goes wrong.
Some businesses prefer to make their own props and accessories for the shoot. You may want to include these expenses in your budget if necessary.
6. How can You Save Money on Product Photography?
There are many ways to save money on product photography pricing and still get good-quality images. Consider the tips mentioned below while looking for a studio:
- Find a local establishment to save money on shipping costs.
- Invest in the more affordable product on white photography.
- Limit the number of lifestyle photography images.
- Get 3-5 images of every product for the best results.
- Order in bulk if possible. Many studios offer attractive discounts on bulk orders.
- Make your own props and handle assembly yourself.
- Choosing the right shipping services.
- Make sure the photographer/studio can handle your order.
- Get insurance to avoid repair or replacement costs.
These tips will help you find the best deal and reduce product photography expenses. You can discuss product photography pricing in detail with a trustworthy studio. An expert photographer will explain the costs involved and point out where you can cut corners or save money. Experienced photographers will also provide good-quality images that can stand the test of time.It is better to invest a little more money in product photography than to upload poor-quality images under your brand name.