Product photographers are a hot commodity, and they can help bring details to light while making the product enticing to consumers. Many consumers become motivated to make a purchase from visual content. But, how much should you charge if you are the photographer capturing the product?
There are a handful of ways to charge for your product photography services:
By the Hour
Photographers who charge by the hour can have varying prices depending on their experience. I have seen people charge anywhere from $20 to $400. However, this is one you should be careful with. You can not include downtime and only charge for the time you are actively working. Potential clients may be wary of this type since it is not as straightforward as the other options.
If you decide to charge per day, it could be easier to estimate. Daily rates can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Doing it this way can only get tricky if your project does not require an entire workday, and you do not want to charge someone the same amount for one image versus 20.
Another option is charging your client for every shot they need. A price per image could range from $10 to $500.
The final option is charging per product that you need to photograph. If you decide to charge per product, prices can range from $20 to $90 or more depending on your experience.
Why do product photography rates seem like a rollercoaster?!
Well, as you have read above, the rates can have some lows and highs. You probably read that and immediately thought, "Okay, but how much do I charge?!"
Your rates will ultimately depend on a few things. What is your product photography experience, and what type of photography aesthetic will you use?
What experience do you have?
The less expensive rates are for beginners or hobbyists. If you are just starting out in the photography industry, you should consider charging between $10 and $30 per image.
On the other hand, you may be in the middle of the road. A notch above a hobbyist but still have professional shots with a decent portfolio. Consider charging no more than $50 per image or $100 per hour.
The next level would be a semi-professional photographer. Your hourly rate can be as high as $150 or a starting rate of $50 per image. This should be someone with photography education, but maybe they are only doing product photography part-time.
Professional photographers have an educational background and several years of experience. If this is you, you should have a whopping portfolio. You could charge $75 per image or $300 an hour.
Lastly, our top professionals. You should only consider yourself in this category if you have taken photographs of very high-end products and have many years of experience with a photography education. With this type of experience, you could charge up to $500 an hour or more than $1,000 an image.
And, remember to always include the time it takes for you during post-processing in your invoice. If your client requests more editing, you should have a price for additional edits.
What type of product photography are you taking?
There are several different types of product photography. Here are the top two categories:
In-Context or Lifestyle Photography
In-context or lifestyle photography shows the product in a specific environment. Usually, there will be a human element in the photograph to motivate consumers to want that product, and this style wants the consumer to almost imagine themselves in that lifestyle.
Lifestyle photography will have an additional cost from your hourly or daily rate. Typically you will need to create a set, rent props, and pay for models. This style will usually be more than just basic product photography since it is more labor-intensive.
If this is what your client wants, you will need to have them answer a few questions to make you shoot easy and go smoothly. Ask them:
- What type of environment should this product be in?
- What age group will be the target audience?
- What type of props would you like in the set?
- What exactly do you envision for your image?
E-Commerce Product Photography
E-commerce photography will be cheaper than lifestyle. An example of this is the photos you see here, on our website. This is also easier to do and much more straightforward. To effectively take these photographs, you will need to:
- Take photographs to show all of the details. This could be a photograph of the front, back, and sides, and maybe a zoomed-in photograph to show detail/texture/fabric/quality.
- This photograph should not have any additional objects or graphics and have a pure white background.
This guide should help you determine where you fall in the experiential category to know what your services should cost.
If you are a beginner, you may want to know how to set up your own home studio or how to take photographs of certain products, like ceramics, clothes or jewelry. Check out the articles below for more tips and tricks!
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