Commercial product photography is about hiring professional photographers to make the products look professional and captivating enough to attract customers.
The first and most important concern when hiring someone, whether a photographer or a brand owner, is to consider the pricing, as photographers need to set the pricing, and brand owners need to set their budget for the photography.
We have designed this product photography pricing guide to provide a comprehensive idea to both photographers and business owners.
So without further ado, let’s check it out.
What you’ll learn in this article
How Do Product Photography Pricing Approaches Differ?
Product photography pricing depends on various factors, such as the type of photography, types of pricing methods, and so on. However, out of all of them, your choice of photography studio comes first. Usually, there are two types of photography studio services that you can choose from, which are-
- Independent/Freelance Photography Service
In almost every city, numerous independent photographers provide their services for indoor, outdoor, corporate and personal events. Freelance photographers may or may not own any studio. However, they may rent a studio or work at your desired location to complete your project.
There are freelance photographers at all skill levels, from beginner to professional. So you can anticipate that the beginner photography pricing will be a little lower than those of freelancers with more experience.
- Price can be negotiated
- A large number of options
- If the photographer is local, shipping expenses are reduced
- Can be hired for an emergency situation if you don’t have time to ship products
- Possibly lacking a studio
- May not have expertise in all types of product photography
- Quality is not guaranteed
- Equipment required for all types of shooting might not be available.
- May not have access to the technology required for 3D and 360-degree photos
- The technology to monitor the quality and progress of your work might not be available to them.
- Full-Service Photography Studio
Full-service photography studio is usually a professional photography studio where you will get services related to all types of commercial product photography, including flat lay photography, 360-degree photography, white background photography, and many others.
You can hire them for both small and large projects. However, they may not be available in every city or have different prices, so you need to do some research to find the one that will be best for your product and budget.
- Professional quality is guaranteed
- Well-equipped studio appropriate for every type of product photography
- Work with both small and large size products
- Expert in product photography
- Both eCommerce standard and lifestyle photography with models are possible
- Provides technology to the customers to monitor their project’s quality and progress
- Sometimes quite pricey
- If the studio is far away, shipping costs might go up
Ways to Determine Product Photography Pricing
Every photographer or photography studio has its own distinctive pricing methods. However, the following are popular methods that almost everyone follows.
- Per hour or day
Paying photographers per hour or per day is a common commercial product photography pricing method. You may have a limited quantity of products that may take only 3-4 hours or only a day to shoot. In such a case, you can opt for this method.
Usually, for still images, you might be charged around $150 per hour and $1200 per day. However, for 360-degree images, the price may increase to around $200 per hour and $1500-$1600 per day as some advanced technology and methods are required for this product photography category.
Nevertheless, the estimated time for the photography may not always be accurate because various factors, including the preparation of the set, the positioning of the subjects, the photographer’s speed and skill, and many others, affect the shooting process. So, paying per hour or day might end up costing you more than the number of images you would expect to get.
- Per product
Paying per product is another common category of pricing for product photography. Here, you will be charged according to the number of your products. For instance, if you have 20 products in a similar category, then you will be paying a certain amount per product, let’s say $10, which means your total bill will be $200.
Besides, if your product contains different components, for instance, for car photography, you would need images of various car components, such as the steering wheel, seats, tires, headlights, etc., each of which requires a different level of photographic skill. In such cases, every component may have a different price depending on its difficulty level.
However, this method has some issues for both the photographer and the customer. A drawback for the photographer is that sometimes they may take way more pictures than they had planned because there is no limit to the number of images.
On the contrary, customers may receive fewer photographs per image due to time constraints and a large number of products, which is a disadvantage for the customers. That’s why photographers often set a maximum number of shots to avoid such problems. Customers who demand images beyond that limit might have to pay an additional charge.
- Per image
The most convenient method for commercial photography pricing is to pay per image. This method is advantageous for both the photographer and the customer. Customers can decide the number of images as per their budget; on the other hand, photographers can shoot, considering the specific number of images.
However, the effectiveness of this method depends on proper planning. First, you have to decide how many shots per product you will need. A front shot, a back shot, and a close-up shot are typically the minimum number of shots that are necessary. If you are sure about the quantity, you can ask for a quote from the photographer.
Many photography studio websites have a photography pricing calculator to make the ordering process transparent and convenient. You can select the categories and the number of images you want to receive, and then the calculator will provide you with an estimated photography pricing list. This will also help you design your budget.
Moreover, this method is way more cost-effective than the rest of the methods. Usually, commercial photography requires a huge number of images. So, some agencies provide the opportunity to minimize costs for bulk orders. That is, if the cost per image ranges from $25 to $50, the cost per image might gradually decrease with the increase in order size.
However, some additional charges might get included due to the following reasons.
- Product weight: If the product requires specialized tools and extra staff to shift its position due to its weight, then you may need to spend some extra bucks.
- Product size: Large products require a large space for the shoot and other photography tools, such as a large tripod. Besides, extra people may be required to manage their position, which makes the photoshoot quite challenging and a bit more costly than the regular products.
- Product styling: For clothing photography and food photography, the products need some styling, such as ironing clothes to remove wrinkles, folding, and adding complementary products to make food items or clothes items more compelling. All these activities require extra time and labor, which can increase the cost.
- Product preparation and organization: If your products need to be cleaned or arranged in a particular order due to having multiple components, it will take more time and effort to prepare everything for the photography session, increasing the overall cost.
- Designing set: A specific set is required for home decor or furniture photography to make the photographs appear realistic and captivating. It takes a lot of time and effort to construct such photoshoot sets. Besides, some of the funding will be spent on the props for the setting and the crew, which could cause some additional charges.
- Hiring models: If you need models like hand models for jewelry photography, foot models for shoe photography, or models for apparel photography, then you can expect to pay some additional charges.
- Product shipping and returns: If you choose a photography studio, you will be responsible for both the shipping of your products to the studio and the cost of returning them, which is an additional charge.
How Much Does Product Photography Cost?
There are many different product photography types, each with a different price range. Prices may differ based on factors like the photographer’s or studio’s reputation, expertise, policies, products, and types of photography. The information provided below will give you a general idea of the potential cost for your preferred genre of product photography.
1. Individual Product Photography – 1 Product Per Shoot
This photography category is often considered the standard product photo, as only one product is photographed in each image. This type of image is ideal for use on eCommerce sites or for social media marketing. It can also be used as a banner, in a catalog, or even in magazines.
- Makes the product the center of focus
- Highlight the features of the product without any visual distraction
- Helps to draw the customer’s attention
Individual product photography pricing may range from around $25-$50 per image. The cost may vary depending on the size and type of the product. That’s why it’s better to contact them for a custom quote.
2. Group Photography – Multiple Products Shoot
In this category, a variety of products are showcased in a single frame. The products can be organized by considering their similar colors, materials, or even designs. It’s ideal for social media marketing on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, as users are most active on these sites.
- Show the variety of collections
- Provides customers with options to choose from
- Effectively persuades customers to make the purchasing decision
This type of photography costs a bit extra as it’s required to do planning for the layout, preparing the set, and many other activities. Hence, such product photography rates can be around $100-$150 per image.
3. 360 Product Photography – Full Circle Photography
360 product photography is in high demand on eCommerce platforms as this photography category gives customers the feel of reality. In this genre of photography, numerous images are taken from all possible angles to capture every detail. Then, with the help of a special type of technology, all the images are combined to create 360 product images.
360 product photography requires advanced technology, the expertise of the photographer, as well as specialized tools such as a circular photography table. Since all these advanced features require a huge investment, only a few well-established photography studios provide this service.
- Show details from every aspect
- Makes the images more engaging
- Enhance trust in the products
360 product photography pricing is way more expensive than other categories as the technology used for this is completely different. So, you can expect to spend around $140-$200 per image.
4. The Package Shoot – The Shoot for Advertisement
Customers usually look at a product’s packaging before deciding whether or not to buy it. Package shots, also known as packshot photography, are therefore used to advertise products on social media and e-commerce websites. This shot’s main focus is to showcase a product’s packaging in the most attractive manner.
- Makes the product look more appealing
- Helps to build brand image
- Provides a professional appearance to the product
This type of photography is mainly for eCommerce. So, its pricing will be similar to eCommerce product photos, which start at around $80 per image.
5. White background Photography – Shoot Products on White Backgrounds
Renowned marketplaces like Amazon prefer white background product photography for their websites. When products are shot against a pure white background, the focus naturally goes to the product as there is no distracting element in the background. Another advantage of using white background product photography is that it helps build brand trust.
- Makes the product look professional
- Helps to keep the focus on the products
- Makes the details look prominent
White background or Amazon product photography pricing ranges around $25-$50. However, some agencies may offer you discounts on bulk orders, while others may not. So, you can do some research to find such a deal for your white background product photography.
6. The Detailed Shots in Photography
Detailed or macro shots are ideal for jewelry photography or other accessories like watches. The main objective of this kind of photography is to take close-up pictures of products in order to capture every little detail, giving customers a full view of the product.
It’s crucial to take pictures of the product from different angles so that you can show off all of its intricate details. So, it’s recommended to use macro lenses to capture such kinds of images.
- Shows the finest details of a product
- Show texture and original color
- Builds trust in the product
As detailed shots are taken for products with intricate designs, making the product look appealing in the photographs becomes challenging. You should be prepared to pay around $30-$100 for macro shots due to the level of difficulty involved in the photography.
7. Ghost Mannequin PhotoShoot – Remove The Model or Mannequin
A unique form of product photography known as “ghost mannequin photography” involves taking several pictures of apparel like T-shirts, shirts, pants, dresses, and others on a mannequin’s body. Then those images are combined while the mannequin is removed from the images.
This type of photography is entirely dependent on Photoshop, as combining the images is impossible without the help of editing. So, photographers need to have expertise in Photoshop to provide this type of photography, or else you have to hire a professional photo retoucher.
- Customers can visualize the fit of the products
- Keeps the product in focus without any distracting models or mannequin
- Gives the products a 3D effect
As this type of product photography requires mandatory retouching services along with photography, the difficulty level is a bit higher. So the pricing for photography may be around $75-$150 per image.
8. Flat Lay Shoot – Image Taken Straight Down From Above
Flat lays are another category of eCommerce photography where products such as clothing, food products, etc. are laid on a flat surface, and shots are taken by setting the cameras parallel to the photography surface above the product.
These types of images are popular on social platforms and online marketplaces for their professional appearance. Besides, this photography style works well for single and multiple product shots.
- Provides neat and organized appearance
- Makes products look professional
- The minimalist setup brings focus directly to the product
This trendy eCommerce standard style of flat lay photography starts at $50-$80 per image.
9. Lifestyle Photography – Taken With a Model
Lifestyle photography also refers to “products in action” photography. In this category, products are displayed on models to show how they will appear when worn.
Usually, products like jewelry, accessories, shoes, bags, clothes, and many others require this genre of photography to use certain parts of a model like hands, feet, neck, ear, shoulder, and sometimes the entire body.
- Provides the product a wearable look
- Helps customers visualize how the product would look on them
- Creates brand image
Lifestyle product photography pricing includes the cost of the photographer’s time and effort as well as the fee of the model. That’s why pricing will be decided depending on which part of the model you will be using.
Lifestyle photography with hand models may cost around $40-$150, whereas a full body of the model may cost around $100-$700 or even more.
10. Real Environment Photography – Contextualized With a Lifestyle
This is another form of lifestyle photography in which the models are seen wearing the products in an actual setting. Depending on the type of product, both indoor and outdoor product photography can be done with this style.
The main theme of this genre is to tell a story through images. For example, models can be seen applying sunscreen on a beach when promoting sunscreen products.
- Convey a story
- Helps to build a connection with the context
- Helps customers to visualize the products in that particular context
The pricing for this category is similar to that of lifestyle photography. However, the outdoor shoot requires a travel fee, and the indoor set organization needs an additional cost to prepare the set with props. So, depending on the location and other factors, the price may vary.
11. The Scale Shot in Photography – Shot Scale Distribution (SSD)
Often, due to the camera angle, it becomes difficult to determine the actual size of the products. In that case, scale shots come in handy. In scale shot photography, the products are shot in a way that their size is understandable through the image.
Models or other products can be used to convey the idea of the size. For instance, if a model is carrying a bag, the viewer can see the size of the bag, but if the bag is placed on a flat surface, this would not be possible.
- Gives the idea about the size of a product
- Helps customers visualize products in their hands or body
If models are used for the scale shot, then the pricing would be similar to that of lifestyle photography. However, if other products are used, it would be considered group photography.
How Much Does Product Retouching Cost?
Photo retouching is a crucial part of product photography to make the product photographs flawless. That’s why every photographer needs to retouch the images before delivery.
The demand for photo retouching has made photo editing services popular these days. However, every photo editing agency works differently, and their pricing also differs. Hence, to make photo editing cost-effective, selecting a service provider at an affordable cost is crucial.
On that note, Clipping Path Studio is undoubtedly one of the best photo editing service providers at a reasonable price. At Clipping Path Studio, the photo retouching service starts at $0.60/per photo. Depending on the complexity level, it may cost at most $5.6 per image. Moreover, you can receive delivery within 48 hrs, 24 hrs, and 12 hrs.
FAQ on Product Photography Pricing
- How do you price a beginner photographer?
Beginner photographers can fall into various categories, including amateur, student, and hobbyist. Among them, $10-$25/image and below $50/hour can be paid to the hobbyist; $250-$50/image, and $25-$100/hour to an amateur; $25-$100/image and $50-$100/hour to a student.
- How much can you make from product photography?
The average annual salary of a product photographer in the US is around $30,850. However, a professional product photographer with many years of experience can earn around $167,015 annually.
- How much do freelance product photographers make?
The earnings of an amateur freelancer can be around $500, while an experienced freelance product photographer can charge around $3000 a day. So, the average daily earning of a freelance product photographer in the US can be estimated at around $2,000.
- How much should I charge for a photography session?
As a beginner photographer, you can charge around $50 to $100 per hour for a photography session. But if you are experienced and professional, you can charge around $100-$300.
- How much should a photographer charge for digital images?
Nowadays, all types of photography, including commercial and personal events, are delivered in digital format. So, the cost of the digital images is exactly the same amount you will be paying per image. However, if you need the same images in various formats like PNG, Jpeg, or Tif, you may have to pay some additional charge per image.
Good product photography makes a huge difference in increasing a brand’s revenue, as customers make the purchasing decision only by observing the product photography. So, getting creative with product photography is crucial to staying on top of the competition, which is only possible by hiring a professional product photographer.
We sincerely hope our article has provided you with valuable information about product photography pricing that will assist you in budgeting your product photography.