What’s in the Bill: Rationale behind Pricing of Quality Product Photos

Updated By: Jessica

Pricing of Quality Product Photos


Very often we try to decide upon some product or service on the basis of its price tag. The higher the price, the better the offer, that’s how the common wisdom goes. However, sometimes the cheaper services can be as good as the costly ones, the only difference being the big name and high brand awareness attached to the big price tag. So the price should not be the only decisive factor in selecting service providers, the quality and other aspects should also be accounted for. 


The same relates to product photography services. High pricing is not a sign that this is the only best option on the menu. It only means that the brand can afford such pricing and customers are ready to pay it. There are many indie studios and solo photographers who can offer a very good level of professionalism and creativity for a lower price because their name is not known to everyone and they still have to build their fan base. On the other hand, a very low price should make you suspicious of the service quality and integrity of a person offering lucrative discounts altogether.


For you to understand what is reasonable and why in the area of product photography pricing, we will list the pricing schemes and what average numbers to expect. Too low or too high a price may hint that you need to look for another photographer(s).


Fee ‘by day (hour)’

This method of billing means that you pay for time, not for the specific image output. This method is not very convenient if you don’t know how long the shooting process will last (and you may pay literally for nothing). Yet, it is suitable if you’ve agreed on the number of products or shots to fit into a day, or if the shooting set needs lots of preparations for a single shot. 

Pricing usually ranges from $250 to $500 per hour and can amount to $1500 or even $200 per day. That’s the average, a benchmark to have.


Fee ‘by product’

This mode is used when you have a set of identical or similar products, and 3 to 5 images are to be made per each (with basic styling, nothing particularly fancy). This billing scheme is OK if you have many products and paying for every image is a little bit too much.

The pricing per product may vary slightly since usually a system of discounts is offered. Typically, the pricing will start at around $50 per product, and as the number of products grows, the price declines. For 50 products, you may be charged at the rate of $45, for 80 – at the rate of $40, etc.


Fee ‘by image’ 

That’s the most transparent and fair billing scheme in the majority of cases, so it’s totally fine to look for photographers who offer it. You pay for every image taken, and knowing the number of images in advance, you can predict the total cost of the shooting session. It is really convenient. 

The reasonable price in the by-image pricing model is from $30 to $50 per image. Just make sure to enquire in advance what is included in the cost: shooting only, or postproduction as well, etc. with this knowledge, you will understand what the approximate total will be and will see clearly how it was calculated.


So, now you are prepared to go and pick a studio or photographer that will help you make your products shine. Search, look, compare rates, ask what’s included, and find a true artist who will deliver on the promises and help your eCommerce thrive.

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