Some people might think that product photography is a simple and effortless process. But what they don’t realise is that even a seemingly simple photo takes a lot of work and time to produce.

There are many ways to shoot products, and they all vary in cost. Photography services can’t just be boxed into a single package with a fixed rate because every project has unique requirements.

To help you make a better decision, here are some of the variables you’ll need to consider to determine the cost of product photography:

Product Photography Costs

Product Photography Location

Knowing where to shoot is critical in figuring out how much a project would cost. Shooting in a studio is often the most cost-effective because both the set and the equipment are in the same location.

When I have more control over the elements of the shoot such as lighting and the background, it will take less time for me to finish a project.

On the other hand, an outdoor location takes more commitment since it’s more unpredictable than the controlled environment of a studio.

When I’m shooting outside, the quality of light always changes, and I’m often at the mercy of the weather. To gain more control over the inconsistencies of the environment, I have to bring specialist equipment to ensure the quality of my photos stays consistent.

Nevertheless, real locations add authenticity to the product, and consumers interact with them differently than studio shots.

 

The Set

Another factor that influences the shoot’s budget is the set. Some may need nothing more than a plain background, while others require props and even specific surfaces where products can be displayed.

Shooting products against a white background (a.k.a. Catalogue photography or pack shots) is relatively easy because I can use the same set-up for every item I shoot.

Catalogue shots aren’t just affordable; they can also be used for different platforms from print ads to websites.  That’s why every business should have a set of catalogue shots for their product.

However, neutral backgrounds can also be boring. If you want your product to look more engaging, then adding engaging visual elements may be necessary.

Apart from incorporating props, colourful lights and different backgrounds may be included to make the product pop. It takes more time, thought, money, and energy, but it also results in more appealing images. 

 

The Product

When shooting a product, size always has to be considered. While some products are small enough to be displayed on a tabletop, others may require an entire studio. The bigger the item, generally the more time it takes.

Furthermore, the product’s material can also make shooting more challenging, especially if it’s made of metal or a similarly reflective surface.

When photographing shiny objects, lighting is much more difficult and takes longer. Additional editing of unwanted reflections may also be necessary. As always, time is money.

 

Retouching

Every product photo has to go through post-production to make sure the quality stays the same. But while some images need nothing more than some dust removal and some minor tonal adjustments, others may require more work especially if they’re damaged.

If the images are for online use, then often only minimal retouching is necessary. However, if they’re going to be used for advertising, then they have to be edited more extensively to look perfect whether they’re on small print ads or big billboards.

Apart from retouching, effects can also be added to make the photos more engaging.


Hardly anybody would be interested in looking at bottle of Schweppes against a white background. However, adding lemons and a splash of water in the mix surely makes people pay more attention.

 

Usage Rights

Paying for product photography often involves usage fees which set parameters on how the client can use the images.

Since small businesses have a more modest demographic, the usage fees are usually already included in the photography package.

When it comes to large advertising campaigns, however, the fees start to vary depending on how long the images are going to be used and what they’re intended for.

 

Conclusion

Product photography plays a vital role in creating a successful business. And now that you have a better understanding of the various factors that can affect the price of a photo shoot, you’ll be able to make decisions when talking to and choosing your photographer.

If you need professional help with your products, get in touch today.