controversial guide to product photography

Guide To Product Photography Costs

One of the first questions potential clients of product photography ask is: How much does it cost to get some photos of my products? Although this is quite a difficult question to ask, I’ll do my best to answer it here in a Guide To Product Photography Costs.

A Guide To Product Photography Costs

Product photography is a bit like buying a car, there are so many different options, add ons, sizes and personal preferences price ranges can vary massively. Sometimes is it really obvious what the difference in cost is when comparing a little 3 door town car to a big van. You can easily see the difference in size, space, and usage, therefore you make an educated assumption about the cost difference.

Equally, when you go to buy a Ford Fiesta, of which there are currently about 1.54m on UK roads they start at £19,000 but you can choose to get the add ons including of large rear spoiler, 1.5-litre EcoBoost, 8” touchscreen, 12.3″ digital instrument cluster, metallic paint, performance seats plus premium 10-speakers from B&O and so on which then brings the cost to close to £28,000.

Considering on average people change their car every 4 years why would you choose to get all the upgrades? The answer is that most people understand the importance of getting what you want the first time so that you don’t have any regrets down the road. Most car users in the UK are in their car for an average of 45 minutes a day, they want comfort, reliability, quality, longevity and ease of use.

The same principles typically apply to choosing a product photographer.

I understand that you are trying to book a photographer to take your product photos so you can list them on Etsy or Amazon or your own E-commerce website, but all you get is a range of prices. It leaves you feeling frustrated as you don’t know how much to budget or even why there is such a range of photography prices.

We get it price matters, but it is not the only consideration when choosing your product photographer, but if you have not had product photos taken before you might not have any idea of costing. Or if you have paid for product photos in the past and been really unhappy with the results you might want to know how to ensure that doesn’t happen again.

So let me help you work out what all the different costs are, and what to look out for when booking a product photographer.

With years of experience of being a photographer since 2006, I can honestly say no two jobs are the same, no clients are the same and although products can be really similar, their brand ethos, ideal clients and aims are often very different. All of these details make a difference when costing a product photography job. Our aim is to educate every potential buyer, even if that means guiding them towards a different option.

We want to give you realistic price options, that are based on real life experience plus exploring other valued photography colleagues based in the UK to provide this estimate guide.

Before we talk about the actual product photography fees…

There are full fees listed at the bottom of this article, but before we get there we need to understand a few things that will change the cost of product photography.

  • Your photos are integral to your branding. Who you want to attract, what you stand for, your look and vibe and your product’s price point will all feed into your photo shoot.
  • Your photographer will need to understand this, they will need branding guidelines. If you are a small business that has not got branding guidelines, marketing direction, art direction or even brand colours, that’s ok. But what you will need is your photographer to take on the role of Art Director. This is not the same as a photographer. This role is about planning the photoshoot, to include all the elements of your brand and check that against the products and your aims. They will create a mood board, a set of colours and a prop list. The art director is a specific role with a marketing or design team. Having worked with many start-ups and small indie brands many of my clients have not heard of an Art director and don’t realise the amount of work that takes place prior to the photoshoot. A lack of art direction means a lack of clear direction and has a higher chance of the images not being what the clients expect or the photographer and team spending more time on the shoot therefore costing the client more in shoot time.
  • You don’t want a point and shoot photographer, you need to collaborate, to discuss and be part of the photoshoot. This ensures that your get the result you need. Your photographer should be asking a lot of questions. Photographers are not just clicking a button and taking a photo they are bringing your brand to life visually.
  • Planning, creativity, trend research and skill is what will separate one photographer from another. Going back to the car analogy, there are lot of vehicles out there with 4 wheels that will get you from A to B but the quality, branding and experience vary vastly from one car to another. Look at the photographer’s portfolio to get a feel for their work. Our work is bright colourful, on trend, bountiful and light but other photographers produce dark, moody shots. Both are skilled photographers but the outcome will be different.
  • Why do prices vary so much from one photographer to another? That will be down to experience, skills and education. Getting your 10,000 hours of experience will mean that you probably have priced jobs wrong, gone over budget, gone under budget and made mistakes along the way. The length your photographer has been in business and whether this is actually their full time business or side hustle at the weekend will all make a difference to the price they charge. I have been working full time as a photographer as my main business since 2006. Colleagues who work just at the weekend or evenings to supplement their main 9-5 job may charge less. However, their focus is not fully on your photography job. Their turnaround times, as to when you get your pictures back after the shoot, their availability, the flexibility will all be restricted because this is not their main job. Low rates are often due to the photographer being beginners, students, new to the profession or in some cases because they outsource.

Commercial Photography Pricing Essentials

If you are new to hiring a product photographer, be sure to read this section

Licencing and copyright will affect the cost of any photography this is the ability for you to use the photographs that your photographer takes. Weird right that you are paying for a photographer to take pictures of your products but yet you need the rights to use those images. In the UK copyright stays with the photographer they own the pictures forever. They allow you to use them, through a signed agreement it will state when, where and for how long you can use the photographs. The Licencing is the part of the contract that will show how long you can licence that image for. Photographers and agencies will make money from the reuse of the images, a. bit like a song writer, everytime you hear a song a bit of money will go back to the writer for years to come. This is licensing of artworks and you product photos are part of this agreement too. Some photographers charge an additional fee for a license. Licenses can expire and need to be renewed. Other photographers roll their license fee into their rate. Depending on your use of the photo, you may have the right to use it online, but not in a printed advertisement. There are also photographers who will transfer the copyright to the client You will need to know exactly what type of licensing the photographer offers and get that in writing in a contact. We send out all this detail in our terms and conditions as part of the onboarding, slo there are never any nasty surprises.

Retouching and Editing Product Photos

Half the job of a photographer is photographing the other half is editing. I would be a millionaire if i had a pound of every time someone says “Can you photoshop that bit for me” or ” Can you fix that in post production?” There are two types of editing, there is colour correction, resizing, balance etc which I take to mean basic edits for for me are part of the price.

Then there is editing which is heavily photoshop work, removing parts, compositing elements together and spending a number of hours in post production to get the finished photo correct. This work is always additional to the photoshoot, it can be outsourced by some photographers to retouchers as it is a specific set of skills.

One of the photos after basic edits from the photoshoot, with colour correction only. This was one of 3 photos used in the final shot that you see on the right.
Finished Product Photograph after extensive composite Photoshop editing work. Using 3 photos to make one complete final product photograph

Quick answer – What Does Product Photography Cost in the UK?

Taking a variety of photographer’s costings and dividing them by the average the cost of a single product photograph with full usage rights is £119. That is a quick answer to your question. But as you know now there is much more to it.

The actual cost of photography can include the following options:

  • Photographer One has a 4 day turnaround for white background-only images. The price – £100 for 3 photos Front, Back and Side Shots
  • Photographer Two Only delivers Amazon photos and gets £390 for up to 5 photos. £799 for 1 SKU / Product that gives 12 photos of that product. This cost includes Amazon feature text image, retouching and background removal. Or £1099 for 14 photos plys one video of a single rotation clip of the product. They have a 21 day delivery time
  • Photographer Three Offers 3 hours on location product or lifestyle photoshoot for £725 to include up to 30 images., Travel is extra and additional photos can also be bought for £99 each.
  • Photographer Four offers Full day photoshoot for £750 with 70 images, retouchins is extra, Art direction extra and planning is also additional along with kit hire, lighting and studio are all extra costs. 3 weeks turnaround

My product photography packages are simple:

  • 5 product shots with a single colour background of up to 2 SKU products, email support prior to the shoot 5 days turnaround Cost £349
  • 8 Product Photos in a gallery ready to use with full image licencing rights included, with 2 video clips including one hand model single studio set up, art direction and 7 days turnaround £999
  • 15 product photos in a gallery ready to use with full image licencing rights included,with full set creation, model, art direction and 2 background set ups and 14 days turnaround Cost £1500
  • 20 Photos edited in a gallery ready to use with full image licencing rights included, 1 fully edited 20 second vertical video, one day video shoot on location, Personal bespoke audio capture audio, Aerial filming total 21 Days turnaround Cost £1799

INCLUDED WITH ALL MY PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY PACKAGES

• Free Unlimited Commercial Licensing

• Fast Turnaround Times available if needed

• Art Direction to include moodboard within 48 Hours of booking

• Free virtual Pre-Production Call

•Art Direction

• Professional Product Styling

• Product Group Shots

• Free Product Prep

• Unlimited Backdrops

• Free Use of In-house Props

• Professional High End Photoshop Retouching

• 100% Money Back Guarantee

The aim of this article is to educate and demystify Product Photography. I hope this article has helped work out what you need on your next product photoshoot. All prices quoted are of course subject to seeing a full brief. Here is an example of a full product shoot

We would love to help you with your next project, so when you are ready let me know how I can help you by following the video or filling the the form below:

Guide To Product Photography Costs

single product shoot

E-Commerce Product Photography Starter Pack

E-Commerce Product Photography Starter Pack

Product Photography Hand Model Photography Pack include:

  • 5 Product pack shots on a chosen background
  • Hand model holding product
  • Can include group shots or single products
  • Up to 2 SKU’s and background choices

Investment £399

We always shoot the allocated pack quantity, but if we have time we will take extra photos and video clips, if you want to purchase these after your shoot you can do so for up to 12 months after your project completion.

Extra Photos can be bought for £39 each

Extra Video Clips Can be bought for £93


E-Commerce Product Photography Starter Pack Photography Gallery Example


Do I provide a brief or do you create it for me?

You write the brief including the shoot list and direction. You will need to provide brand colours, and branding guidelines. Package and post all products to me here in the UK ahead of the shoot day. We will have a 30 minute pre-shoot meeting to clarify the details of the photoshoot.

If you need specific Art Direction which means we check that the shoot fits with your branding, we create an inspiration board prior to the shoots. The mood board will give clear indication of the shoot plan and content. Art direction also includes a dedicated point of contact to coordinate all the necessary details before your shoot happens. We have two pre-shoot calls to review your vision board, amend and check the shot list creation, coordinate to manage your shoot and ensure you leave with content you love. Art Direction is additional and starts at £499 per shoot, contact us to discuss this extra.

What to expect during your E-Commerce Product Photography Starter Pack Photoshoot

Following the creative brief you have provided, the team with shoot as many variations of your products during the allotted shoot time. We will ensure that you have your pre-determined shot number, in this case 5 but, if we have time we will shoot additional photos and these can be bought afterwards for £39 each. These can be bought up to 12 months after your photoshoot.

If you are looking for more product or to include video click here

devon Honey photo and video project

Deluxe Multi-Platform Pack of Photo + Video + Audio + Aerial

Video and Photography Pack includes

  • 20 Photos edited in a gallery ready to use
  • 1 fully edited 30 second video
  • Location video shoot day
  • Video edit included
  • Personal bespoke audio capture
  • Aerial filming

Price £1799

We always shoot the allocated pack quantity, but if we have time we will take extra photos and video clips, if you want to purchase these after your shoot you can do so for up to 12 months after your project completion.

Extra Photos can be bought for £39 each

Extra Video Clips Can be bought for £93

Photography Gallery Example

Deluxe Multi-Platform Photography and Video

🎬 Elevate Your Food or Drink Brand with Video and Photography Marketing 🍔

If you are a food or drink supplier looking to stand out online, build your brand and sell your products with ease then get some professional photographs and videos to make this happen now.

Unlock the full potential of your food and drink brand through the magic of video on social media

🌐 Don’t miss out on this game-changing trend that’s already taking marketing to another level. 🚀

💡 Why Video Matters:

🌱Engage your audience instantly, boost interaction, and drive conversions with compelling video content.
📈Connect on a deeper level by telling your brand story through the power of visuals.
🌐 Video Stats You Can’t Ignore:
In 2022, 3.37 billion internet users consumed video content. 📱📈 Despite the undeniable value, some marketers face challenges. According to Statista, 48% feel they’re not utilizing existing video to its full potential, 43% lack in-house skills, and 40% struggle with budget constraints.

📱 Mobile Dominance:
Did you know 90% of consumers watch videos on their mobile devices?

🌟 Tips for Success

📲Create vertical videos tailored for platforms like Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts.
📺 Focus on the first 3-5 seconds to grab attention
3️⃣ Perfect Timing: Stick to 60 seconds or less for maximum impact.
🧘‍♀️Be Relatable: Embrace a mix of polished and authentic, relatable content for a winning strategy.
🚀 Now’s the Time to Shine:
Ready to dive into video marketing? 🌟 Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or need a pro agency, now is the perfect time to incorporate video into your business strategy.

🎬So what’s holding you back from using video in your next marketing campaign or advertising plan?

Deluxe Multi-Platform Photography and Video

Granny Gothards Ice Cream

I scream for Ice Cream Product Photographer

The Client – Mid Devon District Council for the Field To Fork Campaign Featuring Granny Gothards Ice Cream

Case Study: Ice Cream Product Photographer, Video, Audio and Social Media with Granny Gothards

Task to create a collection of photos and produce a 30 -40 second video with client audio to use on Instagram Reels, Facebook and YouTube

The project was to create a video with audio that shows the journey of the produce made and grown in Mid Devon through to the ice cream in the hand of the consumer.

Taste Mid Devon: From Field to Fork with Grannhy Gothards Ice cream made in Willand, Mid Devon. Featuring Fordmore Farm as the location where you can buy this luxury Ice Cream.

What We Did

To understand the field-to-fork process of the company we had an initial conversation, because from this we devised a plan that would capture a unique story. It was important to feature the supply chain following each supplier. Therefore this included the milk delivery, the staff in the warehouse, the making of the ice cream and the final journal of the product in the hand of the customer.

Although the video appears a linear process, the filming took place in reverse. We began with the ice cream serving at Fordmore Farm to align with favourable weather conditions. Models and staff were sourced for the film shoot. Due to the unpredictable UK weather, we often had only 2-3 days’ notice before filming. Contrary to appearances, this was not filmed in mid-summer as planned. But, Instead captured at the end of September after a stint of bad weather.

The story planning included coordinating Oak Park Dairy deliveries, production schedules for ice cream and sorbets, and changes in warehouse packing. Smooth filming and photography required careful coordination among staff, suppliers, and manufacturing processes. The CEO of Granny Gothards, Amanda’s had a piece to camera audio. She explained the route from field to fork for her Ice Cream. We planned to record the audio in a quiet space with no interruptions after proper preparation and audio set up ready to go.

The storyboard was created, shoot dates set then this was filmed over two days. Then, once we had the footage, we edited and supplied film for instagram Reels output.

Funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Part of Visit Mid Devon’s Field to Fork Scheme.

Ice Cream Product Photographer Instagram Feed

Ice Cream Product Photographer Granny Gothards Ice Cream vist Mid Devon instagram

Video Marketing for Food and Drink Producers

Marketing on social media has been core for food and drink promotions, but the use of video on social media for food producers has been slower to be adopted. Often considered expensive, harder to create and often overwhelming.

Social media video marketing has grown as a powerful tool for food and drink brands. Product Vvideo has the ability to quickly capture your audience’s attention, it will boost engagement and drive conversion.

Tell your food story through video. As artisan producers, you have a greater ability to connect on a much deeper level with your audience. Unlike the big brand, you are close to making the products. Share this knowledge and skills in a video.

Whether you are looking to learn to create more video content yourself in house (join the next smartphone video workshop here to help you ) or you need an agency to plan and create your next video content this is the right time to be using video in your food product business.

In 2022 There Were An Estimated 3.37 Billion Internet Users Consuming Video Content

Video marketing for Food and Drink Producers Close up point of view young female in a yellow coat an din the street  holding a mobile smartphone learnong smartphone video

Even though the value of video is clear by these video marketing statistics, there are still a number of marketers who face challenges when creating this type of content. Statista surveyed with a group of content marketers based in the U.S. who are actively creating videos to find out what their biggest video challenges were.

Here’s the outcome of that survey:

  • 48% said they felt their organization wasn’t using existing video to its full potential.
  • 43% said lack of in-house skills (filming, editing, etc.) was another challenge.
  • And 40% said their biggest barrier to video marketing was the lack of a budget dedicated to creating videos

90% of Consumers Watch Videos on Their Mobile Devices

Video quickly provides emotional connection and storytelling. Through the medium of video, food and drink brands can forge deep emotional connections with their audience. Storytelling on social media with video allows brands to share narratives that resonate with viewers’ emotions and values, ultimately strengthening brand loyalty.

Focusing video creation on social media output on smartphones shifts the output and content significantly.

  • We need to create vertical video not the traditional portrait format. Think Instagram reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts these all favour the long thin video format.
  • Have a strong hook that captures the viewer in just 3-5 seconds. This might be a different angle, a notable piece of text or funny moment. Next time you are scrolling through your favourite social media channel, write down what makes you stop and watch.
  • Timing is key and that means you have a maximum of 60 seconds, some platforms give you 90 seconds of maximum air time. On instagram reels the longest reel you can upload is 90 seconds, but from recent statistics most successful videos on instagram are actually just 23 seconds long. Often these videos direct you to read more in the caption, where you have 2200 characters. to write a mini blog post.
  • Rough and ready is ok. This might go against the grain of many video production houses. But from my experience of teaching smartphone video, and creating videos for clients, the combination of “loose’ relaxed video ” that is less polished and more relatable has become more successful on social platforms. A combination of professional images, videos and branding is vital. Combined with some looser, experimental video content that connects with your ideal client, will help you to stand out online.

92% of Video Marketers Are Satisfied With the ROI on Their Video Marketing

According to Animoto, 92% of businesses are satisfied with the ROI of their video marketing on social media. Further, 91% of businesses now leverage video as a key marketing tool. An unprecedented peak since monitoring this data. Furthermore, 96% of marketers, the highest proportion in the past nine years, recognize video as a crucial component of their marketing strategy.

Consumers love video. According to Social Sprout, 73% of consumers have been influenced by a brand’s social media presence when making purchasing decisions.

Valentine Vertical Video Content
Stay Hydrated Vertical Video
Easter Egg Video Content

Now is the time get started with video marketing

Take advantage of these video statistics in 2024 and get started with your video marketing. Use these statistics to kick start your next video campaign. Include planning video into your next marketing campaign. Video content is powerful, taking your brand directly to your ideal clients, increasing sales and being memorable.

If you are looking for your next video partner then check out the videos we have created for our clients.

Video marketing for Food and Drink Producers is Simple, Effective and Fun

colourful product photography candles

10 pack Product Photoshoot and Video content

Product Photoshoot and Video Brief: Art Direction, Styling, Props, Photography and Video 10 products including – 6 Candles, 3 tea light candle sets and 1 festive pack

Anne, the owner of I am Candles contacted me as she was looking to update her photos. She started her hand-poured candle business a few years before and was currently selling at local markets and via messages on socials. She wanted to take her brand to the next level, set up an e-commerce website to make the buying process easier and to use instagram with focus.

Anne knew that having strong images would help her business stand out online, they would promote trust and integrity while elevating her brand. After a quick call we knew we were on the same page, so quickly booked a product photoshoot in the studio. A project brief was created that listed the art direction, look and feel of the photos, including planning, video and prop sourcing.

The colourways, branding and specifics are all agreed before the photo shoot to ensure that we all know what we are photographing on the shoot day. This shoot was to be woodland inspired with a twist of magic.

I aim to eliminate surprises and unknowns on product photoshoots. The video captured the behind-the-scenes with timelapse and user-generated content, hand models. The video will be used on Instagram and facebook so it was taken for portrait and landscape usage.

This reel is created from 6 clips of video clip used on instagram as a reel. I add a collection of the photos too, all of which were created as one reel. The photos were resized to fit portrait before being added to the reel. This helps to maintain the quality of the photo externally to instagram.

When you include video in your package you will get the individual video clips to put your own reels together too. This means that the content you get is not just one reel as you see here but actually, it’s 6 or more reels/videos that you can create.

The benefit of using short form video like this that you can resuse and clip the video in many different ways. The content is created once and used numerous times again and again.

This reel uses text and trending audio, but you could use each clio with audio or you could use your own voice over.

Video content like photos stops the scroll and magnetises your ideal client directly to your social, website or even email list.

Video clips like this are a great addition to a photoshoot as they add another dimension to your branding and story.

Do you need to update your product photos or videos?

It’s really easy to work work with me as all you need to do if send me your products and I’ll capture them for you. Fill in the form below to find out more about product photography + Video Content Creation

walking in mid Devon lifestyle photoshoot

If you want to change a dull, sky into a nice blue sky here is a quick and easy hack to use on Canva. If you have taken your photo on your smartphone then simply use the mobile canva app or if you prefer to work on your desktop then use Canva online here

I normally do edits like this in Adobe Photoshop as it gives me more flexibility, but while testing out some new features in Canva to use with my smartphone photography workshops, I discovered this new AI feature.

This image is a bit technical as it has trees overhanging and there is a puddle to match up to, so there are many easier images to work on than this one.

Start easy with maybe a seascape or just a sky change. I am really pleased with this version of sky replacement in Canva, its is fantastic. I could do it all on my phone too.

As Canva uses cloud hosting, whatever I do on my phone, matches up with my computer or any other device. Just log into your own account and all your projects are there waiting to be used, shared or downloaded. Plus if you don’t have an Adobe Photoshop subscription then using this hack in Canva is super easy.

Watch this video to see – How to swap a dull sky for a blue sky in Canva

This video takes you step by step through the process of

  • Getting your photo into canva
  • Editing the photo in canva
  • Masking an area of sky that needs to be swapped
  • Programming AI in canva to get the desired sky that is not to bright or fake
  • Swapping the dull overcast sky into a sunny blue sky with fluffy clouds
  • Editing the puddle on the floor to match the sky
  • What to do when you don’t get the result you expect
  • Finally exporting the finished photo showing the before and after results

I run workshops and teach smartphone photography and professional photography classes, so if you want to improve your smartphone skills then fill in the form below or book here for a quick virtual coffee and chat to find out how I can help you

colourful product photography

Did you know you can send me your products and I will photograph them for you, then send them back in the post? It really is that easy.

Do you need to have better photos from your social media or Etsy shop or maybe you are getting your own shopify e-commerce website. It might feel daunting to be setting up a website to sell your very own products for the first time or if you are going through a rebrand an you need a new set of product shots .

I know that anytime you need photos or video the process can feel difficult, cumbersome and sometimes really expensive. The goal for all business owners is the same, I have worked with well known brand that you probably have in your cupboards and I have worked with small cottage business owners that are making things by hand and selling products at markets.

The expectation and outcome needed from any content, but especially from photography or videos is ultimately it needs to drive sales.

The effectiveness of the photographs or video hangs on its ability to disrupt your ideal client’s mindless scrolling, click and buy.

It’s super simple to work with me from pretty much anywhere in the world, but mostly I work with brands based in the UK and brands that want original, creative, colourful photos or social media video content.

You will most likely be a forward-thinking trailblazer who steers your brand with creativity and passion. You value high quality images and video content.

You might only need a handful of shots to update your socials or you may need a total rebrand package. If you are starting out and not sure how a brand shoot works, then I can talk you through that too.

I work with brands from all over the country and have had teams dial in from abroad to join in the shoot on the day.

If you have a product that needs some attention I would love to hear from you. Currently booked into the studio are photoshoots and video creation for Valentine’s and and Galantines day, Spring yoga photo updates, cider product shoot and an updated delicious food product launch for summer.

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