If you’ve sold anything online, you understand the need to post quality images of your product. Your product’s shot is the first impression that you, your product, and your company make. That image will determine whether your viewers will consider making the purchase, as well as how they perceive your company.
So let’s talk Product Photography.
I have great products for sale online. I need photos to place on my listings. What exactly is product photography?
Product photography is a combination of photography skill and marketing knowledge. Product photographers are trained to photograph commercial products with the goal of selling them. They work with specialized equipment, lighting, angles, subject, focus, settings, and editing to capture your product’s quality, function, and style.
I have a dslr camera sitting on my shelf. I’m here. My product is here. I even know how to play around with editing pictures. Why pay a product photographer?
Using your own photos may save pennies, but loses dollars. Product photographers put high quality equipment and years of expertise to work displaying your product. They use their photography knowledge and marketing strategies to produce images that will help sell your product. Consistent high quality images brand your business as a company that’s committed to quality and professionalism. Poor images leave viewers wondering about the legitimacy of your product and your company.
Whom should I use; how to choose?
There is no official certification or education required in order for a commercial photographer to begin offering his/her service. Therefore, be sure to choose wisely. Here are some points to guide you:
Portfolio. Check the company’s portfolio. It will show you other jobs the photographer has done. Is the work professional? Does the style suit your taste? Have they ever worked with products similar to what you are selling?
References. Ask for references. Find out about their customer service, honesty, communication, and reliability.
Experience. It’s best to use a photographer that has a least three years of experience. Look for someone who has some experience with companies/products that are similar to your own.
Communication. Since product photography is an art and marketing field, make sure you will be able to share insights about your product, your sale’s pitch, and your company’s branding style. It is very frustrating to pay for professional photos, but when you reach out to communicate, there is no response from the photographer. Make sure the company you choose can be easily reached via email and/or phone.
Pricing. Check if they have competitive pricing. Be sure to get a set price in advance. And find out what is included in the price, for example, if the images need further editing, ask if that is included in the price. Make sure there won’t be surprise fees with the bill
Crew or Solo. Find out if the company is comprised of a one man show or a team of professionals? Both have their benefits, choose those that suit your style. (Crews provide you with a quicker turn-around, and a balance of all-around talent. With a one man show, pricing is usually cheaper, but turn-around is usually longer…)
Free Trial. Some photographers offer to prepare images of your first product free of charge. This is a great opportunity to get an idea of their service, style, quality, and efficiency.
How does pricing work and how many images are recommended for a single product?
Generally, you pay per image. Package deals are usually available as well. The price per image will depend on the photo type you order. A standard white background shot will be cheaper (think: $25-$55), and a lifestyle photo, which shows your product in use, will be pricier (think:$50-$80). It is usually sufficient to order 5-8 white background shots, and 1-2 lifestyle photos per product.
When can I expect to get my images?
The standard turn-around is 7-10 business days. This includes time for communication, photographing, and editing your product’s images. This may seem like a long time, but keep in mind that a qualified photographer spends time on processing each photo to make it ‘listing’ worthy. *If you are shipping your product, keep in mind that the 7-10 business days only start once the photographer receives your product.
Where do I find a product photographer. Are there benefits with choosing someone local?
Product photographers can be found everywhere and anywhere; online, tv commercials, etc., but choosing someone local is generally more convenient, and allows for face to face communication that adds a lot of dimension towards them understanding your company’s needs. If you do choose to hire someone remote, keep in mind that communication may span time zones, shipping costs, and possible shipping delays.
Additional points to ponder…
Shipping. If you ship the product to them, ask them to let you know as soon as they receive it. You’ll breathe easier knowing it got to where it had to go, and you’ll have a better idea of when you can expect your images to be ready.
SEO. Some commercial photographers can further your products SEO by embedding data into the image. This allows search engines to “read” your photo and direct searchers to your site.
Busy Season. Popular Product photographers may be backed up during busier seasons (think December), try to book in advance during the busy seasons to avoid delays.
So…Get the Picture? 🙂
Questions? Comments? Please reach out to us at K2photography We’d love to hear from you!