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

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