Product photography has grown into a massive business space in recent years. Many professionals and amateur photographers are earning their entire livings from it. The job can be a full-time profession, or you can do it as a part-time assignment. Whatever may be the case, the product photography industry is booming, and many product photography enthusiasts are willing to explore this industry.
With all of these entrants into the market, it has never been a better time to hire a product photographer. In this article we will go over product photography pricing, as well as the costs associated with doing your own product photography. If you are a DIY-er, doing your own product photography might be appealing. We will go over the different pieces of equipment you need to start.
The Price of Product Photography Equipment and Gear
Backgrounds or Backdrops
Your subject may be the hero of the content, but adding a compelling background is incredibly important for the composition of your photographs. Professional product photographers usually use a solid backdrop for their photos. Backgrounds are often not considered when considering the price of product photography, but it’s very important that you include it.
Backdrops play a crucial role in the outcome of your images and can help you to be productive with your creativity. There are many backdrops available in the market, and you can choose one of them according to your needs. You can get an appealing backdrop anywhere from $14 to $445.
Choosing a backdrop depends on things such as material requirements for your projects, the creativity you want to implement with your product, and, most importantly, the price of the product if you are on a tight budget or just venturing into the product photography industry.
We recommend that you get a PVC background, instead of a cheaper fabric background. If you have a good camera, the texture on the fabric background will be picked up in the picture and won’t produce as satisfying of results. PVC is slightly more expensive, but you can usually find a good solid-color background for less than $100.
Another crucial factor in product photography is lighting. Some lenses perform well in any lighting conditions but having a proper lighting setup in your studio will increase the level of your composition. As many professionals use two or more lenses, the need for an excellent lighting setup becomes much more essential.
Choosing the perfect lighting setup can be tricky, especially if you are a beginner. You have to learn the skills to play with shadows and the use of light to create impactful images. You can either pick a powerful mountable flash or set up studio lights at your studio. But most product photography professionals tend to go with the latter.
Studio lights are indeed better than speedlights as they offer more power and a more diverse array of lighting options. They are brighter and faster, which is an essential element for any product photography.
We recommend you to have at least one fill light, one back light, and one highlight light. You can get all of these for less than $250, but we recommend that you spend a bit more on higher-quality lights. Lighting is the most important part of your photography setup.
Light boxes can help you get a clean and professional look for your product photography. Light boxes are excellent when you are shooting small subjects such as jewelry or other compact products. The main advantage of using a light box is eliminating shadows. Shadows can play spoilsport in some cases, and by using a light box, you can not only get rid of shadows but also create a more accurate presentation.
Light boxes are crucial if you are getting into product photography, and buying one is a smart choice. If your light source doesn’t come with a light box, they can usually be found for around $20.
The camera is one of the most important parts of your product photography setup. If you’d like to read more, you can check out our guide The Best Cameras for Product Photography.
Having an incredibly detailed image from your camera is terrific, but you usually will need to tweak that image to make it print-ready. Editing your photographs enhances the captured details and makes it look more professional.
Post-processing also helps rectifying any errors which you might have missed while shooting. Some of the benefits of editing your photos include:
- Adjust color accuracy
- You can change the background if the result is not satisfactory
- You can adjust reflections and shadows in your images
- You can remove unwanted errors or flaws with your pictures
If you have an online store, editing your photos will improve the appearance of your photo gallery and allow you to appeal to more customers and potential clients. There are mainly two types of editing tools, free and paid. With free editing software, you get some of the functionalities, but some core functions are available with the paid versions only. Many online platforms also have programs on their servers that allow you to edit your pictures online, which means that you don’t have to download the software to your computer. Here is a list of some of the best photo editing software.
- Adobe Photoshop (Paid)
- Adobe Lightroom (Paid)
- Gimp (Free)
Professional Product Photography Price
Back a few years ago, a small business didn’t really have a price when it came to product photos. The only budget-friendly way to get them made was to do them on their own. Thankfully, times have changed. Although some companies still charge upwards of $40 per photo, we don’t.
We believe that small businesses shouldn’t need to worry about taking their own product photos. We use our hundreds of hours of product photo experience and combine it with professional equipment to provide you with the best pictures possible at great prices.