5 Tips to Reduce Your Photography Costs

I often see my clients throw their money away unnecessarily. In fact it happens all the time.

The biggest problem is they’re not organised. Clients who aren’t organised waste hundreds of dollars, while I wait around for them to be ready; 5 minutes, 20 minutes, occasionally we’re talking hours! Just like a taxi, my meter is running if I’m waiting around, so you may as well make the most of my time and yours.

So I’ve put together a list of things that happen time and time again, so hopefully you can avoid them.

Here we go:

1. Know What You Want To Shoot And How You Want It To Look
Known in the business as a shot list. Please don’t make it up on the fly or just have it in your head. Write it down and preferably send it to me before the shoot so I can get the creative juices flowing – yes it takes time to do this but you’ll end up with better results.

As well as having a list, it’s important that you have an idea of how you want the item shot. Photography is subjective and I want to create the image you have in your head. If you don’t have any idea, then you’ll end up wasting a lot of time experimenting.

2. Know What
Are You Using The Images For
The number of times I’ve heard, “We’re not really sure yet,” astounds me. You’re paying me to come out to do a job and you’re not sure if you’ll use the images? On hearing this, I tell my clients to put the photo shoot on hold until they know exactly how they’ll use the images – otherwise you’re probably wasting your time and money.

Now if you said to me, “We’re using them for our marketing,” that’s a great start. But to get a higher return on your investment then you need to get really specific.

How? Try this: “We’re running a campaign to launch our new product/menu. The images will be printed in some press releases, be posted on our Instagram account, put in an EDM or email newsletter and we’re printing some point of sale brochures.”

If you said that to me I’d say you’re getting maximum value.

Your images are an asset that bring you customers. The more places you can use your images and the more marketing campaigns you can use them in the better value the images are.

3. Clear Out a Space
You know I’m coming right? We booked a few weeks ago. Take the time to find a suitable space and clear it out ready to shoot. You could use any of these spaces: boardroom, warehouse, reception area, restaurant space, outside in the car park.

The bigger the better. I can normally make most spaces work.

4. Products Out And Ready
“We won’t be much longer,”says my client. Then I see him run through the office and down to the warehouse to ask the forklift operator to get the next product down from the shelves. Meanwhile I’m getting paid to stand there and twiddle my thumbs.

Happens all the time. And I’d rather be shooting.

Have your products out and ready! I can’t say this enough.

And when I say ready, I don’t just mean you know where they are. Put them in the room that we’re shooting in, remove the packaging, clean them well too so we can smash through the shoot quickly.

5. Are Your Staff Members Available and Ready?
Regardless of whether we’re shooting corporate headshots, doing food photography or product photography, the right staff should be available.

Obviously when shooting business portraits, I can’t take your photo if you’re not there. But for food and product photography, I’ll often have questions about the product or which angle you’d like it shot or have an idea I want to run past you. For these reasons it’s important that someone is on-hand to help out.

So those are my biggest tips in reducing your photography costs. I hope there’s something here that will help you to make the most of your photography budget and keep your costs to a minimum.