Product photography sounds easy to many businesses. However, its pricing keeps on changing as the trends and everything around it changes. That is why it is crucial to keep up with the pricing.
The factors that affect the price of product photography include:
- Size of the object
- Product preparation
- Number of items
- Post retouching
- And much more
That is why it is crucial to consider these factors before you decide to opt for product photography.
There are factors that generally affect the price, and then there are fixed factors and costs that you can’t escape. Each of these will affect the way your shoot is conducted and the price you will have to pay.
If you want to learn about these factors, you have come to the right place. Here is your complete guide to understanding all the factors that affect product photography pricing.
12 Factors That Affect The Price Of Product Photography In 2022
If you are on a budget, it is important to understand the various factors affecting product photography price. These factors will give you an idea of the amount you can expect to pay. Don’t forget the impact of the content of a single photo on the price.
Most studios will give you pricing that will include how you want to photograph a single piece of product. Each product will be priced accordingly.
We have explained each factor in detail for you:
1. Size Of The Photography Object
Of course, the first thing that will affect the photography price is the size of the product. The photographer will charge you more for large products. That is because such products are difficult to handle.
Besides that, larger products also require another individual to set them at a certain position on the table. The photographer will also require a large photography table and a proper camera that can take the product photo accurately. Of course, the camera stand must also be high enough to fit the entire product in the frame.
Product photographers also have to experiment a lot and put more time and energy into finding the right shot for large products. They need to ensure the product is coming in the frame while looking great. This is a process of trial and error, which will consume more of their time and resources.
So, if the products you want to sell are large, then you must prepare yourself to pay a higher price. Of course, you will get a high return on your investment in the long run as people purchase your product.
2. Preparing The Product
Yes, there are some products that you can easily start photographing by taking them out of the box and keeping them on the table. Such products don’t require any extra effort or preparation. On the other hand, there are products that will require assembly, cleaning, and much more before photography.
As a general rule of thumb, the products that require extensive preparation will cost you more. Product photographers will charge you an additional fee for product preparation, which will be included in your total cost. If you want to save this cost, you can try to assemble and clean the product before you send it to the photographer.
Of course, in many cases, this is not possible at all. You will have to pay the additional charge as the product photographer will have to take these steps before they begin their photography process.
3. Styling The Product
A lot of products need to be styled in the right way before the product photographer can work their magic. These include clothing products, food products, and many others. Let us explain each of these in detail:
Clothing Products（Learn the tricks of clothing shoots）
Clothing products require extensive styling before they can be used. For example, most clothes will require ironing, folding, and you will have to pair the time with another product, model, or mannequin. The product photographer will have to think about what looks best with the product and style it accordingly.
Food photography may look easy, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. That is because food products will need a special countertop, cutting block, layout, and groups of other food products. Besides that, the key to food photography is making the product look as delicious as possible.
Because of this, the product photographer might have to invest in other things to ensure that the food looks great. These products require a lot of preparation and styling before you can photograph them. All of this will translate to an additional charge for you.
Packaging And Shapes
Finally, the product styling will also depend on the package and the shape of the product. For example, if your product has a reflective package, then the photographer will have to think about how to style it so that the reflection doesn’t get caught in the camera. The shape of the product will also matter, as some products can have inconsistent shapes.
Due to the shape, the photographer will have to move the contents in the package to ensure that the shape is right. Sometimes, the contents of the package are removed, and the packages are stuffed for the perfect shot. A lot of thinking and effort goes into styling, which is why you will have to bear the additional cost.
4. Number Of Items
How many products do you plan on photographing? If you are launching a new collection, then you will have many items that require product photography. In this case, your cost will be higher because the number of products will be a lot.
Many product photographers charge by the product. For example, they might charge $20 for one product. If your collection has 100 products, then your cost will be $2,000.
If the product photographer is charging by the number of products, then they might offer you unlimited pictures of each product. Of course, this is an advantage for you, but you will find that many photographers don’t price their services in this way. Even if they do, there are certain conditions that you have to follow.
It all depends on the product photographer you select for your shoot. They will give you a much better idea of how they are pricing the shoot and what you will have to pay.
5. Weight Of The Product
Yes, the weight of the product can also affect how much you have to pay for product photography. That is because lighter products are easy to handle. They don’t require much preparation or styling either, as they are relatively small.
On the other hand, if your products are heavy, they will be challenging to handle during the shoot. In some cases, the photographer might need additional labor to handle the product and position it. That is why you will have to pay more, as the cost of the photographer is increasing.
If you want to cut down on the increasing cost, there are some things you can do. These include:
- Aligning the product by weight so that the photographer can take consecutive pictures of products with the same weight
- Get additional help from your staff to help out the photographer
- Check if the equipment you have is reliable for the products
These three things will help you slightly bring down the cost. If your cost is increasing because the photographer requires more labor, then you can ask someone to volunteer. Doing this will give the product photographer the help they need while keeping your costs low.
6. Photography Scenes
Product photography is not just about keeping the products on the table and taking pictures. Instead, the product photographer will have to create photography scenes and settings to enhance the photography. In some cases, they might have to build an entire set to fulfill the needs of your product photography.
For example, you might have to create bedroom sets, kitchen sets, and much more. Creating the set is not an easy task. It requires people to get creative, invest in materials, and spend time perfecting the set. Creating a scene is all about bringing the vision you have in your mind to life.
（Learn What is Lifestyle Photography)
Besides that, if you need to keep on changing the scenes between the products, then that will affect your price too. You must determine the kind of scenes you require beforehand. It will give you a better idea of the time and resources it will require to create the set and execute the product photos.
There are many products that require more definition, and you will have to hire models for this. That is because it becomes easier to highlight the product when there is a human presence. The models can also show your target audience how the product will fit into their daily lifestyle.
Remember that hiring models can cost you a lot, depending on who you hire. Besides that, the cost will also be affected by what you need from the model. For example, do you only require hand modeling, faceless modeling, or even the face shown in the picture?
Of course, if you require hand modeling or faceless modeling, then your cost might not be too high. However, if you want the model to appear fully, then you will need to pay accordingly. If you want the best model at an affordable cost, you will have to do a lot of research.
Create a list of all the models available, and determine what they charge. After this, you can shortlist the models and opt for the one that suits your budget and your product photography needs in the best way possible. Once you do, you will have the perfect model by your side.
8. Post Retouching
Photography is not just about taking pictures and sending them to you. Instead, there is an entire retouching and editing process to make the product photographs look fantastic. Professionals have to fix lighting, colors, saturation, and much more to get the right pictures.
Besides that, some shots will require more editing and retouching than others. For example, hero shots will require post retouching to make the shots pop and look great. During the editing process, the product photographers also have to ensure that they are maintaining the quality of the images.
That is why they have to balance many aspects to guarantee that the pictures come out perfectly. Besides that, it also depends on what you want the pictures to look like. If you have extensive requirements that require more editing, then your cost will increase too.
9. Delivery Time
How long do you need the pictures? If you are on a deadline and you need product pictures immediately, then this will cost you more. On the other hand, offering a reasonable deadline to the photographer will ensure your cost doesn’t increase, as they can take their time.
You must remember that an efficient product photographer will have an entire calendar of photography commitments. However, they always leave room for projects that are of high priority and require them to rush. That is why you can request them to move your project ahead, but you will have to pay the additional charge.
So, the delivery time is also an important factor that will affect the price of your product photography. Remember that you can’t have something fast and cheap with high quality. That is why you will have to pay a premium if you want high-quality product pictures on short notice.
10. The Cost Of Shipping
Have you chosen a product photography studio that is not in your region? If you have, then the cost of shipping will also affect the cost of your product photography project. However, as a general rule, the cost of shipping must be less than 10% of the total cost of your project.
Of course, if your items are large and heavy, then your shipping cost will take up more space. You must consider this cost if you plan on opting for a photography studio outside your region. If you want to opt for a local studio in your area, then this will not be a concern, as you will not have to pay any shipping costs to get your products from one place to another.
11. Categories Of Products
There are some product photographers that will charge depending on the number of product categories you have. That is because each category will require a different type of photography. Of course, that means more resources, effort, props, styling, and much more.
Besides that, the photographers will also have to ensure that the transition from one category to another is smooth. For example, a similar category must be next up in line so that it doesn’t require too much transition. Doing this will also reduce the adjustments they have to make as they switch between categories.
You can categorize the products before you opt for the product photographer. It will save them time, and they will have an idea of the kind of product photography they need to do. You can find ways to cut your costs in all the factors.
12. The Use Of The Images
The product photographer will have to set up the entire shoot, depending on how you want to use the images. For example, if you want to use the photographs for your online store, then they will need to make adjustments accordingly. On the other hand, if you require product photographs for high-quality print ads, then they will have to do something else.
That is why you must figure out how you plan on using the images later on. Once you have this idea, the product photographers will also tell you how much the shoot will cost, as they will need different equipment for different uses. As you require more custom images for marketing purposes, you will end up paying more.
Top 4 Fixed Costs That Will Affect Product Photography Pricing
Now that you are familiar with the main factors, there are also some fixed costs you can’t avoid during a project. These are the costs you will have to pay no matter what your project is. The costs will not vary and will impact how your project is priced by the studio.
Here are the top fixed costs that will affect the price of your product photography project:
1. The Venue Fee
The location is an important consideration that can increase or decrease the cost of your product photography shoot. If you are doing a studio shoot, then your costs will not be that high, especially if your photographer already has a studio. However, if you don’t have a proper space to do the shoot, then you will have to rent a venue for the shoot.
You can’t avoid this cost if you need a studio for product photography. However, you can conduct research and select a studio that will not charge you an arm and a leg for the project. There will be many available in your area that will allow you to do product photography without breaking your budget.
2. Hourly Photographers Wage
If there are a lot of products you need to shoot, and they require installation or assembly, then you will need more labor to handle the project. Of course, the more people you add, the more your cost will increase because you will have to pay them hourly wages. The product photographer will also require help in executing a significant project.
Such a cost will fall on you. However, if you want to save on this cost, then there is a way you can do that too. For example, you can ask people from your marketing team to volunteer and lend a helping hand during the shoot.
Doing this will mean that you will not have to pay extensive hourly wages to anyone. Instead, you will be getting help from the people that are already there at your disposal. So, don’t forget to find ways to cut costs during the entire shoot project.
3. Tax Rate
Even photography services are taxable. Of course, the tax depends on where you are from. That is because you have to pay a sales tax on the product photographs you opt for.
The sales tax will be charged on your entire bill. That is why you must take the tax rate into account before you decide to opt for the product photography project.
4. Type Of Product Photography
You will notice that many photographers also charge according to the product photography you want them to do. These rates are fixed and are not subject to change. For example, they will have set rates for Amazon product photography, real-life product photography, and many others.
You will find this out when you are conducting your research and selecting the right product photographer for your needs. You can find these rates on their website, or you can ask them directly. Besides that, if you need anything additional during such photography, then your cost will increase.
However, they offer standard packages according to certain conditions that will keep your cost in check. That is why you must decide the type of product photography you want to conduct and then understand the rates of your photographer. Once you do, you will have a much better idea of what you have to pay.
That was your complete guide to the top factors that will affect your product photography price in 2022. Remember that there are some fixed costs that you can’t escape. There are also some other costs that you can cut down on, depending on what you need from the shoot.
From my experience, maybe you can choose to shoot the product in China, which can save a lot of costs.
This article can tell you why you choose to have your product photography done in China. (17 Reasons To Take Product Photos In China)
Complicated, extensive, or high-priority shoots will always require you to spend more money. Of course, if your shoot doesn’t take up too many resources or time, then you will not have to pay too much. In the end, you must decide what you want and what you are willing to pay for the product photography shoot.