If you own an e-commerce business or a website that showcases your products, hiring product photographers is a good idea. They’re experts when it comes to elevating your product pictures to their most visually stunning.
In this article, I’ll talk about what product photographers — like me — do and why your business needs one. I’ll also offer some tips on how you can find the right product photography services for your needs.
What does a Product Photographer Do?
Product photographers shoot images to display, promote, and highlight a product’s features. The photographs are meant to entice shoppers to buy the promoted products. The idea is to give buyers a full impression of the product supplemental to any written information about it.
Product photographers can do:
White background: as the name suggests, white background photos have white backgrounds. You can often see them on e-commerce websites like Amazon and eBay. White background product photography may focus on a single product or feature multiple ones. It’s one of the most common forms of product photography.
Contextual: in this genre, the product photographer aims to feature products while in use. They’re ideal for showing customers how to use products, allowing them to imagine themselves with the product in hand. It also gives viewers a sense of scale.
Lifestyle: this is like the contextual approach, except products are shot in a more creative way while elevating human elements. Imagine a shot of a person smiling while carrying his fishing gear to a lake. It’s scripted but made to look unplanned, and the goal is to showcase the product in real-world scenarios with people.
Detailed: detailed product shots aim to show elements not usually visible in normal product photographs. These shots are perfect for shoes, accessories, and apparel. You want to highlight your product’s minute yet important details.
Flat lay: flay lay shots are popular on social media because of their simplicity and aesthetic appeal. The product photographer lays photos and takes shots from a bird’s eye view. They find creative ways to arrange products in creative ways, allowing them to add diversity to their shots.
A great product photographer will help you understand which style works well with your brand and products. But that’s just one of the benefits of hiring them — we’ll talk about that more below. First, let’s see some of my own examples.
Examples of Professional Product Photography
As a professional product photographer, I’ve worked with countless clients who want to showcase their products in creative and stunning ways. Here are some examples:
Product Close-Up Texture (Detailed example)
Letterpress Ink for American Crafts (Flat Lay/White Background)
Product Flat Lay for Signal Relief
Lifetime Portable Basketball Hoop (Contextual/Lifestyle)
You might also find more interesting samples of my on my product photography page.
9 Reasons To Hire Product Photographers
Before searching “world class product photographers near me” on your browser, you should first understand what you stand to get from hiring one. The following are the greatest reasons your business needs a product photographer.
1. Have Professional Photos
These days, anyone can take photos and apply filters to them.
But if you’re going to pay thousands of dollars for a picture, might as well get it from someone professional. Product photographers don’t just snap pictures — they create art.
Professional product photos are clear and creative, and they highlight the best parts of your product.
2. Access to Top-Notch Editing
Professional product photographers have superb editing skills that are simply priceless. They can manipulate colors, lines, and light sources to make your products as attractive as they can be.
Even an imperfect shot can become a customer magnet with the right post-production skills. Professional photographers have the skills (and software) to retouch photos so they become their best versions.
3. Build Customer Trust
Customers trust websites and businesses with high-quality images more than those with poorly shot ones. This trust is long-lasting — your audience associates your company with quality and attractive visuals.
Hiring a product photographer or a product photography agency is an easy way to get images that foster this kind of trust.
Your images will be unique, and your customers know you’ve invested resources to give them the best view of your products.
4. Boost Your Conversions
According to Etsy, 90% of their customers said the quality of photographs was “extremely important” or “very important” to their purchase decision.
A high-resolution photo encourages customers to check out your products and stay longer on your website. This increases your chances of converting that viewer into a paying customer.
Think about it: you’ll feel more confident buying a product from a business with well-shot images than from one with blurry or poorly shot products.
5. Improve Your Brand Identity
Today’s market is extremely competitive, so having a cohesive brand identity is important.
Product photographers know this, and they’ll tailor their work to produce consistent branded images for you. Through such images, they aim to illustrate your core brand values.
Your customers will distinguish your brand from others with just the quality of the photographs you use. If your product photographs look mediocre or amateurish, then you’ll find it extremely difficult to stand out from the competition.
6. Better Audience Reach
High-quality product photographs are great for posting on various channels. You can use them on your website, social media channels, or printed media.
This way, you can reach a wider audience.
What’s even better: quality images are endlessly shareable. They can spread quickly and have the power to influence people’s perception of your brand. This also leads to a truly prominent online presence.
7. Access to Quality Equipment
Even the most famous product photographers agree: the way you use tools is more important than the tools themselves.
But it’s also true that having access to quality equipment is rewarding. By hiring professional photographers, you gain access to sophisticated equipment. Quality lenses, lights, and cameras amplify the talent of these photographers, and you reap all the benefits in the end.
8. Enjoy Creative Management
You’re running a business, and product photography is just one of the things you have to handle.
Hiring product photographers takes this off your plate, allowing you to focus on more important things such as meeting partners and investors.
They will understand your brand, know what you need, and execute product photography projects with little handholding from you. You can rest assured knowing that your project is in the hands of a professional.
9. Achieve Great ROI
All of the above result in great ROI. Improved brand perception and trust, increased conversions, and wider reach give you a competitive advantage, leading to sales.
Professional product photographs serve as valuable assets to your business. Finding and hiring a professional photographer to produce them may be expensive at first, but the investment is definitely worth it.
What Skills to Look for In a Product Photographer
Whether hiring a product photography agency or a solo product photographer, there are certain skills you need to look for to ensure you get value for your money. These skills must be evident in their portfolio and work history. They include:
Good product photographers know how to communicate clearly with stakeholders. This skill helps them relate with clients.
They listen to their client’s concerns and needs, promptly acting on requests. They also know the right questions to ask. This extends not only to in-person meetings but also to written communication.
Photographers in general need an artistic eye to deliver great shots. Excellent product photographers know where to place and arrange visual elements to make them most effective in the shoot.
This skill extends to the editing and post-production stages. They know how to elevate an image to its most visually striking levels.
Interpersonal and Collaborative Skills
Great product photographers can work with other professionals — such as videographers, editors, and crowd control personnel — with ease.
Their collaborative skills help them build rapport with these professionals. And when you put them in charge, they can keep everyone on the same page through their sheer ability to foster great teamwork.
At the end of the day, product photographers are business people. They know their way around business transactions and processes.
They know how to market themselves to potential clients. If they’re running a professional product photography agency, they know how to recruit the right people and motivate them to meet clients’ requirements.
When necessary, good product photographers know how to present their work to different audiences.
Presentation skills include using slides, apps, and other virtual tools to showcase their work. The photographer must be confident when doing so, so they’ve also honed their public speaking skills.
While passion is an intangible skill that’s not easy to see at first, it’s a powerful quality found in the most famous product photographers around.
Great product photographers are passionate about their job. This allows them to imbue their shots with creativity and artistic flair. This passion also allows them to grow as professionals, ultimately benefitting themselves and their clients.
Hiring product photographers allows you to improve your overall branding and deliver captivating imagery to your audience. You build customer trust, boost your conversions, and have more time to focus on your core business processes. Finding a great product photography isn’t only a wise investment — it’s a must-do for your business.
How much does it cost to hire a product photographer?
Product photography can cost from $60 to a couple hundred dollars per image, depending on your product or project’s complexity. If you’re an e-commerce business with large volumes of product photography needs, expect to spend upwards of $600 per image for specialized services. Other photographers charge per hour, typically ranging between $100 to $300 per hour depending on the scope of work and complexity.
Is it worth it to outsource my product photography needs?
Outsourcing your product photography needs is a good idea if you have the budget. You get instant access to expertise and experience without worrying about expenses related to setting up your own in-house photography studio. However, if your product photography needs are in tens of thousands of images per year, it might be wiser to invest in an in-house studio and photographer or creative director.
Where do I find good product photographers?
Referrals from friends, relatives, or co-workers are great for finding good product photographers. You can also search online or browse platforms such as Behance. It’s also wise to browse social channels such as Instagram — the hashtags are useful for finding specific styles and photographers that might fit your needs.