When you start exploring prices for product photography, the variety of rates may surprise you. If roughly the same set of services differ in price across the selection of photographers and studios you contact, then you might start to suspect there’s a trick hidden somewhere along the way. To dispel your doubts in the honesty of a professional and to explain why prices may differ for the same shot, we will outline the mode of operation of service providers and what their average prices are (and why there is a large gap in quotes). Read on and add rough costs to get a hint of how much your product photography session will cost – in fair game terms, we mean.
Independent Photographer vs. Full-Scale Studio
The first bump in the way of price comparisons is the large individual and studio capacity differences that can impact rates. Individual photographers who live near you and can come to your location (your warehouse, shop, or even your home) offer lower prices generally. It happened because they didn’t own a studio and had to share it with other professionals, making scheduling difficult. They may not have all the necessary equipment in terms of professional lighting and props. They may also specialize in one particular type of photography and avoid doing the more challenging types. All of these conditions reduce the price but make shooting more complicated and limit the creative potential of the shoot.
On the other hand, established studios have high-end equipment and have both indoor and outdoor shooting sets, but they all come at a higher cost. Equipment maintenance, rent, and salaries of photographers and assistants all drive up prices, but the range of service (and, oftentimes, the best quality and impact) is superior.
So decide what you need more – a discount (and maybe some delays or limitations in the way the shoot is done) or high-end photos that cost more. Each approach makes sense under certain conditions.
Rates Per Day/Hour
Let’s now zoom into the specific modes of cost assignment. The first on the list is the daily or hourly rate. This means that you pay for the number of hours or days spent shooting. This mode is usually not recommended as it is difficult to predict how many images can be produced during an hour or day and you will pay for the setup time or standby time if some delay occurs.
However, if you agree a number of hours in advance and your shooting plan is to shoot similar products in the same setting, it might work in the long run.
To give you some benchmarks, think about the following numbers: hourly rates can vary from $200 to $500 depending on the complexity of the idea, and daily rates fall into brackets from $1200 to $1600 (on average).
Rates Per Product
Per product cost, charging may seem more reasonable as it focuses on the number of products photographed, not on the number of hours spent. So whether a photographer manages to cover all the products in one day or need to extend the shoot in a week, you will only pay for the product. Per product does not mean one image per item/unit. This means a minimal number of images, such as 3 or 5, that properly display the product from all sides. If you need more pictures or some specific shooting angles, it should be negotiated on separate terms.
Talking about the average cost that arises from this shooting mode, it depends on the cost per product. Usually, more products mean lower prices and vice versa. For example, if 1 to 10 products cost $50 each, shooting 21 to 50 products would cost $45, and so on. Multiply the rate by the number of products and you get the final shot.
Rate Per Image
This pricing mode is considered the most profitable for customers, as they can calculate exactly how many images they want, without extra haggling. Photographers also like this approach, as it pays for each image created (and edited) rather than combining them all in one product category.
Average rates today fluctuate between $30 and $50 per image. So whether you need 10 images of 1 product or 3 images for every 100 products, you can calculate the cost first. Here, discounts are also available, so the higher the number of images, the lower the cost per image.
We hope we’ve given you some pointers on pricing modes and their differences. Each pricing mode has its pros and cons, and a preliminary estimate is the best way to know what approach to choose. Whichever approach you choose, at Heroshot.io You will find professionals who can offer services on your preferred terms and who will provide the highest quality product photography you can imagine. So find your perfect photographer now!