Every ecommerce brand needs a product photography pricing guide.
In fact, product photography is so critical to a DTC brand that it’s hard to imagine a successful ecommerce business without top tier product pictures. Whether it’s social media posts, website content, email newsletters, or your Facebook ads, there isn’t a single marketing channel that you can do well in without amazing product pictures.
Hence why hiring an agency for this isn’t cheap.
Yet, at the same time you can’t spend your entire budget on it.
So in this product photography pricing guide, I’m going to lay it all out for you. I’m going to give you every possible option, what factors affect pricing, and the actual potential costs.
How do I know this is all accurate?
Because I run an agency called SupplyDrop, which specializes in producing high performance creative for ecommerce brands including ad creative, social media content, and product photography. So you’re getting all of this straight from the horse’s mouth.
Product Photography Pricing: Local Photographer vs Content Studio
The first decision you have to make, and possibly the biggest decision, is how “big” do you want to hire. In general, this is going to mean choosing between an independent photographer versus hiring a full service content studio, like SupplyDrop.
The case for hiring a local photographer…
The typical local photographer is going to be your hustling freelancer. They’re out there trying to make a full time living from their services. This means they’re working hard to pay the bills, so it’s very possible to get a local photographer to accept your product photography pricing. If they do, it’ll also be cheaper than hiring an agency because they have virtually no overhead. It’s just them with a camera.
The case against hiring a local photographer…
At the same time, there are certain realities a local photographer faces. Because they have such limited free time as a one-man or woman shop, they tend to specialize in big projects such as weddings, events, and portraits. It’s what pays the bills. This means while they might still take on your project, they will rarely ever specialize in product photography. So they won’t know what makes product photography that sells. Worst of all, they won’t have all the resources that an agency would have to make tons of beautiful variations.
The case for hiring a full service content studio…
If you want to hire an agency like SupplyDrop, you’re going to get top tier service. This means you’re going to send your product to a firm that understands both the art and science of product photography. You’re also going to get a firm that has the people, equipment, network, and other resources to produce tons of unique images. So while a local photographer will have limitations with what they can take on, a full service content studio can do whatever you need them to do and at a scale local photographers can’t match.
The case against hiring a full service content studio…
Like everything in life, you get what you pay for. And if you want a full service content studio, it’s going to cost you a lot more than a local photographer. It’s also going to take longer to receive your product photography because agencies tend to have tons of clients that need their attention. Generally 2-4 weeks depending on the volume of your project.
Product Photography Packages: What Are My Options And Costs?
There are no “one size fits all” product photography packages, so let’s go through every element that dictates the cost.
The first is the pricing terms.
Depending on the service provider, you can be charged by the hour, day, or even per image. And because of that, you can be charged wildly different depending on these terms. If you’re working with a local photographer, you’ll more than likely be charged by the hour or day. With an agency, you’re more likely to be charged by the image or package of images.
The second is deliverables.
Because all product photography is edited, you can typically ask for specific things. You can ask for higher resolution, Amazon-specific editing, transparency, and other small edits. Not everyone will allow you to have these choices though. So if they don’t make sure to ask about them ahead of time to make sure they fit what you need.
The third is the type and amount of SKUs.
When you’re dealing with something that requires props, particularly models, it’s going to be more expensive. This usually means categories like apparel and jewelry, although not always. At the same time, the more products you ask to be in a certain photo, the more expensive it’s going to be as well.
Last, but not least, turnaround times.
Obviously, the faster you expect your photos to be delivered, the more it’s going to cost. With that said, most agencies won’t allow for this as product photography is usually a less profitable service, so they won’t put it in the front of the line if there are other projects going. If they do allow it though, this tends to lead to some of the bigger markups.
In the best case scenario though, this is what you want…
You want an agency that has multiple set packages you can pick from. The packages will allow you to get more photos for less money. You’ll know exactly what you’re getting as packages are usually bundled in a way to deliver consistent results. And you’re working with an agency that has a process to get it done relatively quickly.
This is what SupplyDrop does.
Hence why we can start our product photography packages at just $495.
Lifestyle Product Photography Pricing
Lifestyle product photography is also generally known as “specialty service”.
That’s because lifestyle photography requires a lot more than just the product, hence the “special” part of speciality service. You typically need props, location, and even models. Not to mention the photographer and whoever is editing the photo.
This is why it also happens to be the most expensive option you can choose. It’s also an option that many local photographers might not be able to do due to the resources needed. So if you’re looking for large packages of lifestyle photos, you’re probably better off hiring a social media marketing agency.
So what does it cost?
It can cost anywhere from $20 per image to $200 per image.
The reason why the gap is so big is due to pricing estimates. For example, you might be able to get $20 per image if you order a big package with tons of lifestyle photos. On the other hand, you might be working with a content studio that combines stock photography and graphic design to make a lifestyle image that they then charge $150-$200 for.
As for what SupplyDrop charges, our lifestyle photo packages start at $995.
Amazon Product Photography Pricing
If you’re an Amazon seller, you’ve probably noticed you needed product photography too. It’s key to maximizing the conversion of your listing, especially with Amazon PPC, which then leads to more Amazon reviews, which leads back to more sales due to boosting your Amazon SEO.
Luckily, Amazon product photography pricing is usually more straightforward.
For the most part, you only need product on white and maybe a few lifestyle pictures.
There are not many packages built specifically for what an Amazon seller needs in terms of volume of creative, so the best way to give your tangible pricing is to go with 1 at a time.
For product-on-white, it’s generally going to be anywhere between $15 and $40 per photo.
For lifestyle, it can be anywhere between $20-$200, as discussed earlier.
Again, the ranges are due to different potential packages. The larger the packages, the cheaper you’re paying per photo. The smaller, the more expensive.
For SupplyDrop, you can expect Amazon product photography pricing to start $495.