Product Photography prices and cost factors
Product photography pricing in the UK generally starts at £160-£450 but the full cost depends on the type of product photography you’re looking for and the number or type of products you have. If you're looking to find out what influences product photography prices - read on!
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Consider the last time you made a purchase online. When you were browsing through to find that perfect new phone, for example, would you have bought it if it didn’t have any images? Probably not! Product photography is key in building trust with customers to transform them for a prospect to a customer who actually makes a purchase. Good product photography can make or break your business, either by capturing an audience who are intrigued by your product, or having them not even think twice about considering your product! Product photos shot on your smartphone just won’t cut it, instead you need to invest in high-quality, professional product photography. Let’s look at the types of product photography available and factors that can affect product photography prices.
Types of Product Photography
First impressions count! When a potential customer is visiting your website, they are going to want to see high-quality photos of your products. Excellent product photography on your ecommerce site will help build trust, show your credibility and help build your brand - all of which result in an increased conversion of prospects to actual customers. Most ecommerce photos will entice visitors. When you shop online you cannot physically touch the product, so great photography will help a potential customer get a true feel of a product, even without seeing it in person. Ecommerce photos should always be taken from a few different angles to give a customer the sense they are seeing the product truly in front of them. Many people opt for supplier images, but they do not make your brand stand out. There are quite a few variations on product photography that extend behind a product being shot in front of a white background. Depending on your product, some of these variations may be more appealing for your product and help to develop your brand. Also, you'll find that different types of photography generally means different product photography prices.
Lifestyle product photo shoots help to tell a story and create a personality and set the mood, creating a beautiful aesthetic. These kinds of shoots are great for a range of products such as jewellery, stationary, clothing, kitchenware and more! Most lifestyle shoots will include props on which products can be draped over or positioned on top of to help your product stand out. You will want to think about the context of your product, so if you are creating a lifestyle shoot for a blender, you would likely use a kitchen to help set the scene; photographing a blender in a bedroom would be odd, so always think about the context and how a product relates to its surroundings before shooting. Your photographer will have some great ideas if you are struggling, but a good tip is to browse the websites of some of your competitors; this will give you an idea of how they are displaying their photos and the kind of lifestyle shoots you want to be aiming to achieve. Outdoor shoots for products such as may also involve the use of aerial photography to capture the product in the natural environment, find out more about drone photography prices.
You should always have standard product photos on your website or ecommerce store, but including 360 photography is great for allowing your customers to visualise a product in its entirety. While you cannot use 360 photography to draw customers in (a stunning flat photo can do this), it adds value to your product and the shopping experience of the customer. You will notice a lot of clothing sites use this feature as well as those that are selling smartphones and other devices. A key consideration when incorporating this kind of photography into your website is to ensure you have an adequate platform and plug-in to support viewing these kinds of photos.
Ghost Mannequin Photography
Ghost mannequin photography is highly popular within the clothing industry. This type of photography allows the customer to imagine they are wearing the clothing. This form of photography can also be cheaper than model photography as you do not need to pay for a model too. You can also combine ghost mannequin and 360 photography to give your customers an incredible experience. Another feature you can speak to your photographer about is image flip, which when a customer hovers over a photo, it flips to the reverse side of the garment.
Hand Model Photography
Perfect for selling jewellery and watches, hand model photography gives your audience an idea of how a certain item will look on them. You can also use many other parts of the body, not just the hand; consider ears and feet too. Rather than just taking a photo of the product alone, displaying it on a hand, for example, gives your product more personality.
If you do not have someone who is able to model you can request your photographer use one of their models, however, this form of product photography can be the most expensive. These kinds of shoots are much more involved typically and you are able to have a consultation with a photographer to describe the ideas you have in mind. You will also need to consider whether you will be wanting the model to shoot in a studio with your product or whether you want to combine it into a lifestyle shoot and use your preferred location. Most photography agencies offering model photography will include hair, make-up and styling in their pricing, so you can be sure that the model looks stunning in the photos and it matches your brand.
Product videography can be quite expensive, but can really make the difference between a customer not being confident in your product and not purchasing or a customer seeing just how your product functions and buying it; so while it may be quite pricey, your return on investment will justify these costs. Product videos are great for household items like vacuums, blenders, furniture, etc - typically items that are more of an investment for the customer. A professional video is great for establishing your brand and product as a premium one. It allows you to show your product off and highlight key features; for example, if you are selling a vacuum with an anti-hair wrap roll, you may want to demonstrate this in action with a product video. Product videos also add huge value to your website and can increase your SEO rank, which will result in a higher level of traffic to your website, and you know what that means! More traffic = more sales!
Find out more about commercial photography rates more broadly and their cost factors.
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Factors Affecting product photography prices
Let’s take a look at some of the factors that will affect the price of your product photography, as there are quite a few considerations. Remember, the average starting cost for a basic product shoot is £160-£450, but the following factors can have an impact on product photography prices:
Type of Product
The type of product you are requiring product photos of can impact price. As we’ve seen in the various types of product photography, there are so many options available and some work better for some products than they do with others. A mug, for example, can be shot on a white background, but can also have a bit more character added to it if you used hand model photography too. It will be entirely dependent on your product to help determine the kind of shoot you require. Talking to your photographer will help you come up with ideas that will be best for your product; again, you can also check out your competitors and see how they are staging their products. When you check out your competition, don’t assume the staging they have used is correct, but form your own opinions on it and let that guide you in making the best choices for your product.
It is also to remember that if you have heavy products, the photographer may be required to utilise heavy duty props, like a table, to support the product, so there could be an additional cost for this. If you have a product that needs to be unboxed or assembled prior to shooting, this can also have an impact on the cost and they may charge additional fees for this depending on how long it takes.
Number of Products
If you are just creating your ecommerce website, you may require all of your products to be shot, or you may just be requiring a few new ones to be added. The number of products you require photos of will dictate the price and time you can expect. Different studios and photographers will have their own pricing method, but the main two are either per product or per hour. There may be minimums set on both options, but generally if they are offering per product prices, they may allow for an unlimited number of photos per product. Typically, if a photographer is charging per product, they break it down and have a certain price band relating to the number of products. Similar to wholesale, the more you have, the cheaper it is per product. If you do have a large number of products to be shot, it is worth speaking with several photographers and studios to get an idea of cost and how they structure their cost, as well as what you will receive, i.e. unlimited photos per product, etc, which will help you determine which option is best for you and will meet your requirements.
Many products are shot on a white background so they remain the focal point and there may be props included to help give your product personality. If you require a more specialised background or want to achieve a certain aesthetic, this could require travelling or investing in certain props to create scenery. Most photographers or studios will have a separate cost for lifestyle shoots or may charge a surplus for styling your shoots to help create the aesthetic you have in mind.
Product photography pricing often depends on the length of time you need a photographer for. Typically, most product photoshoots can take about three hours for an average size shoot. This time includes the set-up and styling usually, but it is always a good idea to talk about your budget with your photographer if they are charging per hour. As mentioned above, there may be time required for travelling before a shoot even begins, so always bear this in mind.
Location and Experience
The location of your photographer can have a huge impact on price. London-based photographers are always going to be more expensive than other areas. If you are not located in London, it is a good idea to look locally and see if there is any talent in or around your area, as they are likely to charge less.
Of course, price can also be an indicator of experience. Some photographers dabble in a range of photography, and while they may be good, their skills will not be equivalent to those of a dedicated product photographer. Always look through portfolios and spend a bit of time researching to find which photographer is going to be able to provide you with the level of service you require.
Many photographers and studios offer packages, so they may be able to offer a combination of lifestyle shoots and 360 shoots at a lower price because you are combining them into one session. Package options can help save you money and reduce product photography prices, especially if you have a range of products and types of product photography you want to use.
If you want to build credibility and trust and truly put your brand on the map, you will require high-quality product photography to achieve that. Help your brand stand out with eye-catching images and give your customers an excellent shopping experience with a range of product photography.