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Product Photography Pricing: How Much to Charge for Product Shoot?

How Much to Charge for Product Photography? (Guide)


Welcome to my guide on how much to charge for product shoot!


Look:

Running a successful product photography business entails dedication and hard work.

When you are still starting out as a photographer, one of the important questions that you will encounter is how much are you going to charge for your services.

The worth of photography is abstract, that is why pricing your efforts is quite challenging. 

Now…

Underpricing your work won’t compensate for the hard work and effort that you put into your craft while overcharging may lead to loss of clients.

To avoid these problems, there are factors that assist in gauging how much you should charge your services in product photography.

==> Buying guide on the best cameras and lenses for product shots.

So, how do photographers rate their skills? Let’s find out now.


Product Photography Costs & Your Skill Level


  • Beginner or student

A beginner product photographer bases his rate depending on his industry experience.

They are the ones who are still building their profile. You can expect that their charges are more affordable. Most of them still learn how to be a pro but they are already equipped with the basics.

For entry-level charging on an hourly basis, the charging rate is between $0 to $50 while per image charging starts at $10 to $25.

  • Semi-Pro 

A semi-pro product photographer is the one who already earns money from this craft part-time.

As a rule, they have other sources of income apart from photography. Their goal is to further enhance their skills in this niche to be able to transition into a full-time professional category.

These people already have innate talent and further enhance it by accepting freelance photography jobs.

Their hourly rate ranges from $50 to $150 while per image charging ranges from $50-$75.

  • Professional

A professional product photographer already has a compiled portfolio and experiences.

They are the ones who turned their hobby into a full-time business.

With their years of experience and excellence, they have full knowledge of the different kinds of product photography. They are well-versed on how to execute it.

A professional product photographer may charge their services for $100 to $300 at an hourly rate while the per image charging may range from $75 to $250.

  • Top Professional 

The top professional photographers are known to be in the elite group.

They already have an established name in the photography industry that is why advertising their services are no longer necessary because of their popularity in the business.

Their name and skills ensure that clients will surely be satisfied with the final product.

Their hourly charge is around $250 to $500 while the per image charging may range from $300 to $2,000.


Factors Affecting Product Shoot Prices



  • Location of the project

Photo shooting can be done in different locations. It can be at the photographer’s studio or in a client-preferred location.

When the project is happening at a different location apart from the photographer’s place, there will be a difference in the final amount that will be charged. 

  • Number of products to shoot

In most cases, photographers are the ones who take the products out from its packaging, assembling it to its designated position and packing up. The more items to shoot, the more time it requires to accomplish the task.

If there are a lot of items involved, it is recommended that the price for the service is based on the number of the final product.

  • Image usage

Commercial photography is often used by different businesses for marketing strategies.

It can either be used for billboards, websites, electronic catalog, e-commerce sites, and many more. The way how a product is photographed depends on where the image is to be used.

Product photography for billboards, websites, and e-commerce sites are charged higher compared to photos that will be printed on flyers and/or posted on social media accounts.

  • Type of product

Not all products have the same level of difficulty when shot. Small products are simpler and easier compared to large and heavy pieces.

The more complex the task in shooting an item, the higher the rate will be. 


How Photographers Charge for Their Service?


  • By the product 

Photographers charge their service based on the product’s type, size, and quantity. It is expected that the more product to be photographed, the higher the rate for the service.

Most of them offer bundles or promotions so that clients will be more attracted to avail of their services.

If this is the way photographers set prices their services, it will be easier for the client to budget because they already have an overview of their expected expenses.

  • Charge by day or per hour

When one charges for his service per day or per hour, the actual shooting time that was spent in doing the client’s request is the one being measured.

It is a good charging option if there are a lot of products to shoot. The photographer is also given the freedom of how he/she can manage the time given to produce a high-quality finished product. 

  • By the final image

This is considered as one of the fairest and transparent ways of charging service in commercial photography.

No matter how fast the photographer produces the final product, it is still an assurance that he/she will get something from it. The final product is the one that is valued.

This is how professional studios do their business.

The more the final output, the higher the pay. However, since the output is the one being rate, the extra time photographers spent in the overall production may not be accounted for.


Openly Disclosing Product Photography Pricing


So…

  • Is publishing the product photography costs a good idea?
  • Is it good practice for a product photography business to publish their prices for each service they make in public?

Making your rates as a product photographer public has both positive and negative impacts to your photography business. 

Clients who are canvassing about the best advertising photography business prefer those who publish the charges for their services on their website, flyers, posters, etc.

If this information is easily made available, clients can set their expectations regarding the pricing before they contact you.

It will also filter clients who don’t have the budget to avail of your commercial photography services. 

However…

When your rates are public, clients tend to judge the prices for your services without having an idea about how you do the job. There is also a possibility that your client will no longer contact you to have some arrangements.

Potential clients will have the impression that your charges are already fixed. 

Publishing your product photography business’ rates is a strategy that you can do depending on what you think is best for your business.


Beginner vs Experienced


In any photography genre, the photographer’s skill level is the basis for the charging rates.

One’s portfolio is one of the factors that clients look at before deciding to have business with them.

Needless to say that an experienced commercial photographer that has positive reviews tend to have a higher demand for their product shoot services.

Let’s face it:

Experienced photographers are confident in investing in top of the line equipment because there is a certain return of investment. To compensate for their experience and high-end gear, they charge for their product shooting services higher. 

Whereas, beginner product photographers work double-time in order for their services to sell.

They do some gimmick such as discounts, bundles and sometimes, they even give their services for free. These are the strategies that they do just to build their profile.

Beginners charge for their services lower than experienced pros but the level of effort in accomplishing their tasks is just the same.


When to Choose a Product Photographer


Now…

Let’s talk about when you should consider hiring someone else to take care of making your products look good.

  • It is not your expertise.

Most people have access to mobile devices that have good cameras but not all have the ability to take good pictures in line with product photography.

It takes a good amount of knowledge and experience for you to become a professional in this industry.

If you want the best quality photos for your advertising business, you might as well consider handing the job over to a product photographer.

  • You are into accuracy and precision in a short span of time.

Commercial photography is a meticulous task.

If you are not a pro in this field, you may be spending a lot of time preparing and doing the actual task without an assurance if you can produce a high-quality final product.

Hiring a photographer not only saves a lot of your time but increases the chances of you being satisfied with the final results.

  • If you do not have time.

Those who usually require product photography services are usually the ones that own and run a commercial/advertising business.

So as to take away the additional burden, hire a product photographer especially if you have a limited time to get things done.

Being able to delegate certain tasks is truly awesome!

  • Lack of equipment.

In doing product photography, one must have a complete set of equipment such as cameras, lighting gears, editing materials, etc.

Most of the photography equipment is high-end which is also pricey.

If photography is not your thing, it is not practical to have those equipments in a single shooting. Hiring a professional product photographer is the most suitable thing to do so as to save money.


Final Thoughts


So…

How much to charge for product shoot?

As we’ve learned from this post, product photographers charge their services based on their skill level, type of products used, location of the shoot, etc.

Whatever the factors involved, you must know the worth of your efforts.

Never underestimate your abilities. Instead, keep on striving to be one of the best product photographers out there.


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