Pricing is the exchange rate you put on
all the tangible and intangible aspects of your business.
– Patrick Campbell
Pricing is considered one of the cornerstone decisions of a business. Accurate pricing is deemed as one of the secrets of successful businesses.
Being your product photographer needs a pricing list as well. The more well-structured your product photography pricing will be, the better your chance of competing in the market.
Getting stuck on deciding the price is normal; because your pricing will determine the remuneration of your effort, the profit you make, and the expense you need to cover. So it would be best if you give it a good thought.
To help you get out of that situation, I have planned a detailed guideline in a written form. In this content, you will find information on the importance of proper pricing to ensure maximum profitability, considerations before setting a pricing list, ways to charge your customers, and so on.
Why Should You Choose Product Photography as a Photographer?
Taking photos is no longer considered a hobby, even though having many hobbyist photographers out there. It is less like a hobby right now, rather more like an industry that is continuously booming.
Out of the vast fields of photography, many photographers choose products as their micro-niche. Product photography has an escalating demand in every business.
There are several reasons why people want to be product photographers. One of the main reasons is that it is a worthwhile career with increasing demand in the commercial sector. The commercial purposes of photos are not only astonishing but also highly competitive.
Take a look at the reasons why you should become a product photographer, or why your choosing product photography is the right decision-
Work in a Broad Arena
Product photography is a vast arena. You can prefer jewelry photography, shoe photography, clothing photography or what you find easy to deal with. You can choose to become an e-commerce site photographer for amazon or eBay. It’s up to you.
Deep Insight in your work
As a product photographer, you learn to clutch every subtle detail. Regardless of the intricacy of your product, you understand the product details you need to capture and your targeted clients’ expectations.
Develop Entrepreneurial skills
As a product photographer, you get the chance to work
While working in commercial platform, you can cast your net wide and learn a lot of skills, for example-
- Image marketing tactics
- Business tactics and acumen
- Social media marketing
- Photo editing software knowledge
- Entrepreneurial skills like – decision making, presentation, research, collaboration, etc.
Learn to be a Tech-savvy
Day by day, new technological advancements are brought into the camera lens, software, and other gears. So, photographers are becoming more knowledgeable and equipped with the latest version of the technology. These convert them to a professional in your field of work which adds a higher value.
Get Sell your Work at a Premium Price
You can sell your artwork on different sites like Alamy, iStock Photo, Etsy, Adobe Stock which collect diverse images on different niches. By becoming one of their contributors, you can get paid.
Your Work Get Recognized
You can help your customers to grow reputation, trustworthiness, and professionalism. Your work impacts their sales and conversion. Thus you get your work recognized.
Collaborate with e-commerce Businessman
Many businesses out there prefer collaborating with professional product photographers to save their time. As a product photographer, you can have opportunities to work with e-commerce business owners and commercial clients.
A study showed that 75% of online shoppers decide to buy a product after seeing the product image. That means that product photographers play crucial roles to convince potential clients. They can have insight into what their targeted customers want and how to make the most of it.
By virtue of skills, product photographers can create a strong portfolio and help their customers build brands, and set themselves apart from the competitors.
Why Should You Have a Clear Idea on Product Photography Pricing?
Pricing is a difficult factor to understand. How should you price that will neither negatively impact your work nor degrade your value? Combining these, you have to price your work.
Later I am going to tell you the importance of having a clear idea of product photography. First, let me show you the aftermath of pricing inaccurately.
Your hesitating in pricing exactly will have great consequences. You are already aware that pricing determines the effort you put in your hard work and the worth. Remember that, your potential clients are going to pay you by your value. So, your failure in pricing accurately will result in 2 facts, either you underprice or you overprice your work.
So when you underprice your work, there are some consequences-
- You lose quality customers.
- Clients will judge your capability.
- Your expertise will be in question.
- The profit won’t be much even if you get more clients.
The other side of the coin is overpricing your work. Many photographers assume overpricing will help them catch big fish which may not be the case. Back to earth, overprice may cause these situations for you-
- People are reluctant to pay much. However, brand reputation, marketing, etc play a vital role for such price.
- You scare your potential clients and gain less than your competitors.
Deficiency in pricing ideas will decrease your profit. So, it’s your call to decide how much you should be pricing. By smart pricing, you mean a lot and deliver some crucial messages to your potential clients. Pricing accurately or having precise ideas of the price will give you some additional benefits from the get-go.
Having accurate product pricing knowledge will assist you in flourishing your business. Among the numerous advantages, these are the most crucial ones.
- You get to stay competitive.
- Your profit remains secure.
- You show the value of your services.
- You attract better customers.
The pricing of your services depends on a number of variables. Considering circumstances, your investment, effort, cost, you should calculate the amount you should charge. Without having proper knowledge, running a business for the long term would be difficult.
How Much do Product Photographers Make?
Figuring out your worth as a photographer is pretty much struggling. How much do photographers make? This amount largely depends on their skill and the products they shoot.
Product as being the subject of your camera, you are already aware that the pricing varies. Even then, extra costs might be charged for products’ weight, size, preparation, group or a single image or type of print clients want, etc.
Take a look at what a photographer charge in line with their level of expertise-
- Beginner level photographers
As most of the beginners are just starting, they can charge $5 per hour. As the time passes, they can charge up to $100 per hour.
- Mid-level photographer
Having some expertises and experience, mid-level photographers can charge $100+ per hour.
- Professional and expert level photographers
The charge from expert-level photographers comes at a much higher price; they charge over $250 per hour. In some cases, they charge over $500 per hour!!
Things to Consider To Set a Product Photography Pricing List
The price you should charge for your product photography work- is both a confusing question and a challenging task. As you are/ will be running a business, you have to calculate how much you should charge or what your clients should pay to make ends meet.
Here we are talking about your business. Of course, you don’t want to stand at a breakeven point after the year ends. Therefore, you need to be calculative, cautious, and prudent enough to create your pricing sheet or pricing list accurately. Neither should you underestimate, which will cost you loss, nor overestimate to drive your customers away.
What is the principal purpose of your business?- To gain profit. Being a photographer won’t do the job alone. Therefore, we have factored in some vital and unavoidable matters that you need to consider along with business knowledge because your pricing list will vary depending on these.
Check these out to ensure the bang for the buck.
Experience is one of the crucial points that help you decide how much you should charge. How long you have worked as a photographer signifies how much precision you put in your work.
Established professional photographers have secured their position due to their ample experience and the knowledge they accumulated in those years under their belts. So considering your experiences before deciding your charge.
For any photography, knowledge, skill level, and expertise are vital factors while considering the charge. Product photography rates are no less different from that. Adept photographers know exactly how to play the cards right, so they charge a bit much more than the average. In contrast, the pricing structure for mid-level photographers or beginners is relatively low.
You can be a freelance photographer, a studio photographer; even so, you may have your own reputation and brand. For example- Karl Taylor, a commercial photographer of the USA; Jordan Matter, a famous portrait photographer of New York City.
You can be like that in product photography. Your reputation and brand also matter while counting charges. If your name is yet to be publicized that much, don’t worry, your hard work will pay you off – very soon.
Quality of work
What more can you bring to the table? Quality is another vital factor. If you see an inexperienced photographer demand like a professional does, won’t it be a laughing stock?
Prioritize your quality and ensure standard results. Make sure to maintain the deadline as well. These will add value to your quality and impress your clients. Thus, you will be able to set good pricing for your work.
Product you shoot
Prices also vary depending on your product. There are a number of products to photograph. Some products can be shot single; some are not. Some products’ details are hard to photograph and take multiple shots. Therefore Number of images of your products also counts.
Location you choose
Location plays another vital role in deciding to price. So, have you decided where you want to work?
For example, if you work in a busy city like Newyork or London, considering different costs and expenses, no wonder your charge will be high. If you are a photographer of Cardiff (One of the best and cheapest UK cities to live in) or Virginia (one of the cheapest U.S. cities to live in), you won’t charge that much.
Then again, there are other parameters. Whether you need to shoot outdoor or indoor shooting will do the job just fine- charges also vary upon these.
Creating a pricing list is never easier. It needs the inclusion of your business costs as well. Like all other businesses, photography businesses require some initial inevitable cost for having a client-friendly look. These are-
Equipment cost includes the price of lens, camera, tripod, lights computer as well as their repair cost.
Setup involves the arrangement of all necessary equipment and their placement.
If you don’t own a place, you must be renting one for your studio. Hence, you have to pay rent. Don’t leave this cost behind while calculating your business cost.
- Charge of other photographers
Do you want to hire photographers to back you up? Then their payment and costs for them are also considerable.
Does your profession require you to take outdoor shooting at times? Don’t your clients want outdoor photoshoots? In that case, this cost is also includable.
- Post-production services
If you want to get hold of your work emphasizing professionalism more, you will think of saving time. Therefore, you may need to rely on a professional photo editing company rather than doing it yourself. So that you can invest more of your time in your work and for your clients.
You better create a spreadsheet and count all the business costs in. Adding these all up will be easier to find the total amount you have invested in your business.
How much does your competitor charge? What do their services include to charge that amount? Gather as much information as you can. This information will not only help you set a price but also build a strategic plan to work on.
Customers you target
Your buyer persona or targeted clients will play a huge role in your pricing structure. Let’s exemplify this. There are customers to whom price matters the most; on the other hand, there are customers who prioritize value the most. Therefore, have an insight into your targeted clients.
- What drives them to choose a photographer?
- Exactly what they are looking for in this particular service?
- What can you offer them to fulfill their necessity?
- What services include that they will choose you over others?
By answering certain questions like these, you will figure out what sets you apart from other photographers, and then you can give it a thought.
Profit you want
Your hard work needs to pay off. It is not just about payment or money I am talking about; the profit is also part of your motivation to walk ahead, right? Add up the profit you want to have.
How are Product Photography Services Charged?
Now that you have come through the factors you need to consider, and how much you need to charge, it’s time to head on to how you will charge.
As we are already aware that the pay rates depend on a product photographer are calculated on a number of factors. Not working as a hobbyist is going to keep up with the regular necessities. Therefore, like other niche photographers, these categorized photographers can charge on the following basis-
Depending on your experience, product photographers can charge their services. Here we divided photographers based on their experiences-
- Inexperienced photographers
Such level photographers don’t have any professional experiences, such as students or photographers with 2-4 years of experience.
- Mid-level photographers
Mid-level photographers have gathered professional experiences in product photography and working in this field for more than 4 years.
- Professional & experienced photographers
This level of experts can be called pro-photographers. They have taken product photography as their profession and have a high ground on their expertise.
Pricing will vary depending on the products the photographer shoots. Say, for example, when you are an apparel/ clothing photographer, the photography pricing charge of clothing products will very much differ from packshot photography pricing, don’t you agree? If your product is bulky and big, let’s say- a motorcycle, the price will undoubtedly go up as it will include additional charges.
Project-based photography can be like these-
- Needs to be completed within a certain days/ time
- Taking different photos of the subject
- Photograph under a certain theme etc.
Many people prefer their work done under projects. It is indeed an excellent opportunity for photographers to learn to work on something new and add skills to their work.
Number of product images
It is another pricing model for photographers. Many clients want few images to depict their product with high caliber; for those- this is a perfect choice. Under this photography, photographers provide services up to the mark at a premium price.
Type of product images
The type of images you require also counts. Suppose your product is a shoe product. In that case, shoe photography pricing may depend on real-life photography, lifestyle images, 360-degree product photography, etc., for you to use social media, events, or websites.
Day or Hour basis
Hourly rate is nothing new. It is a convenient way for both commercial photographers as well as student photographers. After calculating how much you need to earn in a month, you can segregate those on a day or per hour basis.
Based on clients
Depending on clients, your charge can vary. If you are shooting indoors, there is a charge. If your clients need you to shoot outdoors, the price will definitely be different. Then some clients take these services and seek competitive pricing on product photography. And some clients prioritize quality over price.
Having said those, you will meet every type of client during your photography journey. So, you can have a chart entirely based on clients.
Seasons and Festivals
You can have a separate pricing chart for product photography during different seasons or festivals.
For instance, it is said that June, September, and October are the best seasons to get married. So, we can assume that the demand for jewelry products is at its peak at these times of the year. Therefore, jewelry businesses will seek photographers to shoot their products in the best light. You can take this opportunity to set your pricing.
When Should You Reevaluate Your Product Photography Rates?
Being closely connected to this industry, I have the advantage of observing every subtle matter in the photography business. After analyzing business policy, services, photographers’ skills, targeted clients, and some other matters, it is better to review and adjust your product photography rates once every 4-6 months.
Many experts suggest new photographers reevaluate their charges frequently. I would not suggest that. Early on, you better reevaluate it 3 or 4 times in a year. So that you can adjust your pricing at a competitive level along with your expertise, it is not wise to price up your services without proper reasonable explanations. It would bother your clients.
If you have a reputation or clientele of yourself, doing business for quite a while, and your business is near to be matured or has a couple of years of experience in its pocket, then you may need review but not this frequently.
Nothing of these are mandatory, though. And you don’t always have to follow the book. As it is a changing matter, so you can adjust it at your convenience when your business becomes more mature.
Product Photography Pricing Guide – FAQs
Q: How much should I charge for 360 product photography?
Depending on the complexity of products, a 360-degree photography pricing varies. On an average, most of the product photographers charge around $200 and it will vary.
Q: How much should I charge for jewelry photography?
Jewelry is one of the intricate products that cause difficulty to take photos for photographers. Hence, the charge is one of the pricy tasks as well. The charge of jewelry photography may vary between $30-$500.
Q: How much should I charge for shoe photography?
Simply put, it depends on you. If you are a freelance photographer without having your own studio, you can charge at a price. If you have a studio and work only for commercial purposes, then your charge will be different.
Q: How much does a product photographer charge per hour?
The amount as a product photographer you can charge- depends on the factors discussed above. A beginner can charge around +/- $50, a mid-level photographer around +/- 350, and an expert can charge around $400 or more.
Q: Should I have a different rate for different seasons?
I would suggest – yes. Seasons have a deep impact on every business. For example, warm clothing has skyrocketed demand during winter but not in summer. Considering seasons, you better have a different plan for your pricing structure. Need to mention, like seasons, you should heed to festival pricing structure as well.
Q: Can I charge different rates to different clients?
Yes, you can. The type of products your clients want you to shoot, are you shooting indoor or outdoor, the charges will vary.
Q: How much should a beginner photographer charge?
New or beginner photographers rather not be picky. As they need to gather experience and enrich their profile, their charges are relatively affordable. Generally, such photographers charge per hour around $30 and for per image, around $15; this price may vary.
Long story short, pricing is a fluctuating term. You never can tell that your setting price is accurate and going to get you long-lasting profit. So, the best way is to keep yourself updated with the market and gather experience and skills as much as possible. Within no time, you will be able to adjust your accurate price.