Product photography can help businesses convert customers and increase sales. It can help entrepreneurs showcase their products in the best possible light, drawing attention to their most impressive features and benefits. However, many businesses still wonder if professional product photography services are a worthwhile investment. They want to spend their money wisely on assets that will deliver good returns and don’t know if product photographs are a good investment.
Most professional services cost anywhere between $500 and $5,000 per day, based on the location and reputation of a photography studio. Businesses with a large inventory end up spending thousands of dollars just on product photography. It is easier to justify the expense when you understand just how much work and effort goes into it. Here’s a look at the most important steps in professional product photography services:
Consultation is one of the most important aspects of professional product photography. An expert sits down with the client to understand their needs, priorities, and targets. An experienced photographer will ask the right questions, do some preliminary research, and look at the company’s brand. The purpose of a consultation is to ensure the client and photographer are on the same page and have the same goals.
Most photographers will also provide a tentative quote during the consultation so clients can form a budget for the project. You can discuss all of the expenses involved and make an informed decision.
2. Planning and Composition
Once the consultation is over, photographers will dive into research. They’ll look at all of the material provided by clients, study reference photographs, research competitors, and collect data on the client’s target audience. Most professionals seek information from small and big data sources to understand just what the client needs.
Once they have all of the information, they will start planning compositions and sketch out a few ideas. Photographers usually keep communication lines open and discuss ideas with clients during this process as clients know their brand and products better than anyone else. This research is an important aspect of professional product photography services, ensuring that the end product lives up to the client’s expectations.
3. Prop and Preparation
There are three approaches to product photography. You can choose product on white, creative in-studio, lifestyle, or a combination of all three. An ideal product portfolio will have all three types of images to give prospective customers all of the information they need. Product on white is a relatively straightforward approach and doesn’t require a lot of preparation or planning. The photographer just needs to work with lighting techs to ensure the photography environment is suitable before they get to work.
Creative in-studio images require relevant background elements and sometimes these elements need to be made from scratch. For example, if the client’s product is pancake batter, you will need pancake props to illustrate the batter’s purpose. Lifestyle product photography services also require some preparation. These often involve models and/or outdoor shooting locations. The studio needs to make all of the required arrangements before they can start principal photography.
Photography starts once everything is in place. It can take anywhere between an hour and few days based on the number of products and images. The expert will take shots from multiple angles, different lenses, and different lighting conditions. The goal is to capture a sufficient number of raw images and find the best composition.
A photographer can work alone or with a few technicians to help rearrange things between every shooting session. Most photographers will work for eight hours every day on large-scale projects, dividing their time between organizing the set, taking pictures, and looking at raw images to ensure everything is to their satisfaction.
Editing is the final and most important aspect of professional product photography services.An expert will carefully study all raw images, choose the best options, and then refine them using editing software like Photoshop. They will correct white balance, improve brightness and contrast, remove distracting elements and flaws, and make sure the image looks complete.
Editing is important because it improves raw images and makes them look more polished. Even inexperienced customers can tell the difference between raw images and polished, edited photographs. An experienced professional will spend a few hours carefully correcting and improving all images before considering them suitable for a public platform. Editing also ensures the images are ready for high-quality displays.
Once the editing is complete, the photographer will deliver all finished images to the client. Not all raw images make it to the finished portfolio. The studio will only deliver editing and refined pictures, keeping or disregarding raw photographs after the project is complete. Modern studios usually upload the images to a cloud server and provide access to clients. You can look at the photograph at any time, from any device, and download them onto any personal database. Some studios will keep the images on their database for a set number of weeks or months before removing them.
It is a good idea to transfer all pictures to your personal server to ensure you don’t lose track. Some studios will offer a physical storage option on request. For example, they may upload all images into a CD or USB drive and send them to the client. While this is an option, most clients usually find cloud servers quicker and more convenient. Delivery is a part of product photography services.Once it is done, you can use the images on all platforms and marketing campaigns. Clients have full usage rights to the images while the photographers retain creative rights.
As you can see, product photography services require a lot of time and effort. The visually appealing and descriptive images are a result of a long-hours of work and expertise. As long as you hire a good-quality professional photographer, you’ll reap great rewards. These polished images deliver great ROI for several years to come. There’s no need to replace them unless you want to revamp your brand or run a fresh campaign.