Basically, the honest answer to the question in the heading is as follows: pricing of product images is often dictated by photographer’s appetites, and nothing else. So a big-name master can easily charge you hundreds of dollars per image and thousands of dollars per day where a less known but no less professional indi photographer will charge you half that price. So what should you do to avoid overspending? It’s that simple: educate yourself about rates, paying schemes, and other accompanying matters of photo sessions before you actually book one.
In this piece, we will give you an overview of what to expect and how to gauge the feasibility of the quote you get. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll make the right decision on who to hire and what to ask. A really good and affordable product photo studio in Austin (or other locations, for that matter) will tick all required boxes and offer other nice perks. So do not fall for the loud name alone, reach for your calculator and get the real cost of services instead.
Photographers and studios alike can charge you per image, per hour, and per day. The scheme that benefits you most is per image since you set the fixed number of images you need and you do not care whether it will take a photographer a day or a week to take them. The cost per image can range from $15 to $400 (the values in the brackets are established on the basis of brand and reputation of photographers solely). Where to look for a bargain? Look for pricing that starts somewhere around $35 …$40 per image and reaches the ceiling of $100…$120 per image. That’s the most reasonable price charged by experienced pros and studios that can deliver what they promise.
Per hour and per day schemes are feasible in very particular cases, like, where you have a lot of similar products. Then the shooting process resembles an assembly line in its speed and routine, and you can save some money by stuffing as many products as possible into a single shooting day. If hourly rates begin at $25 and reach $550 and more, and daily rates start at $300 and move to $3,000 (yes, 3K, you see it right), you can easily calculate for yourself why per image fee is the most reasonable one.
Types of images and their pricing
Yes, types of images matter in putting the shooting budget together. A single product image with standard positioning will fall in the lower part of the price brackets, and a fancy lifestyle picture with a model will cost quite a lot.
A single product image is usually made for Amazon or similar platforms, and their unified requirements ask for white background and an unobscured view of the product. With a minimum of editing and props, the price will be obviously really low.
If many products are styled into a cohesive picture that catches the eye, the cost will grow. Models, outside location rent, transportation, and shooting that are involved in a lifestyle scene will boost the price significantly in comparison to other image types.
So decide in advance, what images you need and what can be skipped for good.
When you decide on a studio or a photographer, look at the pricing and benefits they offer. A really welcoming studio will not rob you (because they have plenty of clients who pay). Instead, it will offer a subscription, some perks, and a reduction in per-image costs if you order ‘in bulk’. So listen carefully to what they tell you and make a really smart decision that will save you time and money!