Product photography is a profitable, fun, and in-demand photography niche. So how do you price your product photography services in order to make a great career out of it?
Here is our guide on how to price your product photography!
What is Product Photography?
You see product photography all the time- from billboards to the outside of store fronts. Product photography is a type of commercial photography which is about representing and capturing a product. The intent is to show the product in the most attractive and sell-able way!
Product photography is used in advertising products, whether it be for sale online or in marketing.
Every business needs product photography which is what makes this type of photography so in-demand.
The Cost Of Doing Business (CODB)
All pricing, for any business, goes back into your cost of doing business (or CODB for short). Your cost of doing business refers to the financial investment of doing a specific job, how much you have to pay in order to do the job! Your pricing needs to cover all of this and then some so that you can make a profit.
For photography, the CODB usually includes the following:
- Your photography equipment and accessories
- Editing programs
- Equipment service and repairs
- Phone and phone service
- File storage solutions
- Mileage and vehicle expenses
- Professional development
- Advertising and client relations
- Business insurance
- Equipment insurance
- Health insurance
- Business licenses
- Government fees
And many more. Everyone’s CODB is different.
Once you figure out how much you spend yearly on the aforementioned products (and anything else you may need to add), you need to determine your billable units.
Billable units are the amount of hours invested in a photography job that you can collect money for. For example, product photography, this would probably be your billable unit:
- Shooting Time: 3 Hours
- Travel Time: 30 Minutes
- Culling / Proofing: 2 Hour
- Client Meetings: 1 Hours
- Administrative Time: 30 Minutes
Billable Units: 7 Hours
Do this for all services you offer.
Next, take your total of doing business, divide that by your total billable units, to get your CODB per billable unit.
Next, take your billable unit and times it by billable units per service to see your CODB per service.
Use that to serve as the minimum you need to make per session. Add in what you’d like your hourly salary to be and you have your rate!
Pricing Editorial Product Photography
Editorial product photography is intended to be more story-telling and lifestyle in nature. This photography type is published in magazines, often running alongside text to help tell a story or educate readers.
Editorial product photography tends to be priced per the hour because you’re setting up a whole scene! It’s similar in pricing to portrait photography or advertising photography!
Pricing E-Commerce Product Photography
E-commerce is the most common product photographer booking. E-commerce relates to online sales of products. You see e-commerce photography everywhere, from Amazon.com to a brand’s specific online store.
E-commerce product photography has a very specific requirement. The products must be shot on white, clear, no shadows, and usually no horizon line. It is solely the most accurate representation of a product with no frills or fuss.
E-commerce often requires a studio set up, lights, and computer tethering to Lightroom (which allows the program to process the images immediately after taking them).
This type of photography is most typically priced per-product, not by time. It’s hard to measure the amount of time needed for e-commerce photography because that really relates to the individual photographer’s efficiency and process. As a result, companies price it per number of products that the photographer must shoot.
A photography license is a contract in which the photographer grants specific rights to the client who wants to use your image(s) for a stipulated amount of time. The client is free to use the photos in any way that doesn’t go beyond the scope of the agreement.
This is very common in product photography because the images produced are for commercial and advertising purposes. Licensing fees often come into play with any sort of commercial photography and is especially prevalent here.
Many product photographers charge a session fee to show up and shoot and then a licensing fee per image to allow the company to use the photographs. Or, for ease of use, they include this fee in the total cost of the photo session.
In conclusion, how you price your product photography revolves around a variety of factors, but one thing we know best- whatever price you set is right for you! There is a client for everyone.