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Product Photography – Service Guide

flat lay_Fashion accessories product photography

 

We can all agree that the visual presentation is probably the best way to display your product’s value. Not to mention how important is to have a trustworthy brand. But, how can you actually achieve this? Well, among many, one thing surely can go a long way if you do it right – Product Photography.

Namely, the product photography is not a simple photo shooting of products, it’s actually much more. Meaning, you can definitely get high-quality and mesmerizing photos of your products which will help you position yourself and your brand higher in the ladder of success.

However, lifestyle product photography services don’t come cheap. This is simply because these kinds of services involve lots of equipment and talent.  Also, let’s not forget all the tools one photographer is using to make beautiful photos, and, possibly most important of all, the technique.

In that light, the importance of having your products properly presented is the key to almost any business. Therefore, let’s take a deep dive into the world of product photography and see what kind of services are there.

Let’s take a closer look.

Product Photography Services – What’s out there?

First of all, let us say that there’s a ton of services you can benefit from when it comes to product photography. And, it’s not a secret that most of them are specially oriented for only one type of product – food for example.

Anyhow, let’s take a look at these services and see what they are all about.

 

Regular Product Photography Services

Every studio should be able to provide these types of photography services:

 

As we can see, these are pretty basic stuff and you should expect that every studio is able to ensure such services.

Furthermore, let’s talk about these services a bit more now, shall we?

 

White Background Product Photography

In most cases, you will encounter the term ‘’standard’’ when it comes to tabletop product photography. This means that the subject of photography, the product, is weighing less than 50 pounds and is able to fit on a table that’s 4 x 4 feet.

To be more precise, this service is the most popular as the majority of products are ‘’fitting’’ under these standards. Also, it’s important to mention that when it comes to background, most studios offer plain and simple choice – white.

The white background photography is clean and it helps your product to speak more about itself through a photo.  The perfect white background product photography can do wonders on the market.

However, if you require product photography services for a product that’s huge, not every studio will be able to provide you with that. That’s mainly because larger products require more equipment, more resources, and in some cases more people.

 

Editing

Most people only see the final draft of the photo, they don't know that there's all sorts of things involved . So, in a way, image editing is a service that includes shadow removal, cropping, adjusting of the tone and the background, and much other stuff.

Therefore, once the photo in a raw form, the studio is going to do some editing and ensure that the product photography is of the highest quality. Nearly every studio will offer you editing services, however, not all studios will offer this service if they don’t take the picture.

And, it’s a good thing to know that product photo editing service is not always required, especially when it comes to bright white background photography. On the other hand, editing is the key for food product photography.

 

product photography, editing-photography-on-laptop_4460x4460

Formatting

The Formatting of the image is present in every studio. And, it’s only normal that you request different formats for one picture as you might want to use for more than one thing.  

Therefore, most studios have the ‘’standard’’ format when it comes to product photography.

  • Standard Format – The default file format is 3000 x 3000 JPEG for photography with black and white background. The subject (product) is centered and maximized in the square-shape photography.

On the other side, there’s always a way to request a special kind of format for your picture. In that light, studios offer additional file formats.

  • Additional File Format – The photo is by your requests and requirements. The cost of this service differs from the standard format as it includes more time and effort.

In conclusion, it’s up to you to decide whether you want standard format or something different – The studio will meet your requirements in any case. Editing process is really crucial when it comes to commercial food photography and beverage product photography.

Quality Control

One of the most important things when it comes to product photography services is Quality Control. Namely, every studio should check for quality of the photo once they finish the job. This service is the final step before delivery.

So, you can expect that studio will do the delivery on your request. Even if you have some complaints, most studios will acknowledge them and do another quality control.

Also, in some cases, the studio’s quality control is a thorough process, especially when it comes to creative photo services.

 

Delivery

After everything’s done in the correct order, every studio will deliver your photos to you. Now, there’s more than one way of delivering, and it’s common for studios to offer more than one way. However, they also tend to do the delivery that’s most convenient for them.

So, here’re the most common ways of photo delivery:

  • You’re given access to the FTP server where the photos are uploaded, and you can download them from there.
  • You need to provide the server where they can upload the images.

Both way, you get your images and are able to use them the way you wanted.

For those that want a ‘’special’’ kind of delivery, which usually includes DVDs or Hard Drives, there might be some charges you’ll face.

 

Standard Product Photography Services are usually requested by businesses with a diversity of products. So, let’s take a look at some:

  • Business involving Online marketing: Amazon, eBay, Walmart, etc.
  • Business that needs editing services: These are usually in-house photography teams or DIY images
  • Business that are frequently producing new products
  • Those who don’t have a plan to use these images in marketing purposes
  • Micro-sized business
  • Business that request a large amount of product photos per month.
  • Those who like to keep their quality and format consistent
  • Those who have a website and need images for a product page

 

As we can see, some businesses are requesting amazon product photography service, and some are just here for editing or other services. However, they all require special services from product photography studios.

 

Charlotte x Olivia_Watch_electronics accessory_product photography

Advanced e-Commerce Product Photography Services

Every studio is offering standard product photography services. However, not all of them are able to offer special kinds of services in case you need them to.

But, what are these additional services when it comes to product photography? Well, let’s find out together.

When it comes to a bit larger studios, we have a wide range of services:

 

These are all special kinds of services and in most cases, they are all offered by larger and a bit more successful studios.

 

Creative photography

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear someone say ‘’Creative Photography’’? Some would say that for this service, you only need a camera and a sharp eye. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Creative image photography requires a lot of equipment and talent as well. Therefore, this is perhaps one of the most complex studio services out there.  Why?

First of all, creative photography requires:

  • Styling
  • Preparation of the set and adjustments
  • A careful approach and a sharp eye

 

Second, it’s not easy to do photo shooting when it comes to creative product photography. Take food photography for example.

There are numerous things that should be done in order to get the final draft of the professional food photography. This process is quite time-consuming as it involves: Careful food preparation, table set-up, finding the right angle, light adjustment, refreshing of the food, and hardest of all, working fast until the food loses its shape due to cooling.

Simply, take a look at this final draft photo – it’s the macro food photography:

It looks clean, professional, and rich with all sorts of stuff. Yeah, but, you can’t see that someone had to cook the food, prepare napkins, add silverware, all that in order to get creative food photography.

Not to mention that this type of lifestyle photography food service is usually not that easy to edit and format after the shooting is done.

 

Godiva_food photography_PENCIL ONE_Detail shots

Creative Photography Requires Special Assistance 

Also, another thing about creative and food photography services is that there are special kinds of workers involved. So we have:

  • Professional food photographers
  • Freelance food photographer
  • Beverage photographer
  • Drink product photography experts
  • Food advertising photography consultants
  • Food stylist photographer

 

Therefore, if studio is not equipped with one of these workers, it should be able to find them. On the other hand, you can always try to find food photographer near me. But, food photography pricing is not cheap.

 

Ghost mannequin photography

When it comes to ghost mannequin photography, one thing is certain – Every large and successful company is doing it. First of all, ghost mannequin product photography is one of the most convenient ways of displaying a product (clothes, shoes, hats, etc.)

The whole concept is based on the mannequin that’s wearing a product while the studio makes some photos of him. Later on, by editing, studio will remove the mannequin and keep only the product, resulting in a product-only photo that looks like a ghost is wearing it - invisible mannequin photography.

So, in a way, this is actually quite good since it shows exactly how a product will look like on someone (potential buyer). And, that’s why some of the largest companies in the field of appeal, underwear, and even sock industry are using mannequin for clothing photography services.

In that light, we have Nike, Addidas, Puma, Under Armour, Reebok, New Balance, Champion, and so on. All of these brands are benefiting a lot from ghost mannequin photography. So, let’s see one example that shows the whole concept of this style.

As we can see from the photo, the ghost mannequin product photography style will ensure one of the best displays of the product. Also, this kind of style is usually combined with 360 degrees photography.  In which, the photographer catches the product from all angles and then make a final version of the photo.

Therefore, mannequin photoshoot sessions are not that hard to do after all. And, they are quite beneficial when it comes to eCommerce product photography services.

 

Oversized industrial equipment photography

Product photography is useful in all aspects of the industry, even when it comes to oversized industrial equipment. Therefore, some studios offer this kind of service for companies that want to make the best out of their products.

Simply speaking, product lifestyle photography in this field is facing a hard task. There are all sorts of things one studio should be able to do in order to prepare for photo shooting. In some cases, products can be easy to work with, but, on the other hand, it’s a nightmare to catch the perfect angle and present in the best possible light.

However, successful studios have a way of dealing with this sort of task. They usually have the needed equipment and tools to produce such photos:

  • High-quality cameras
  • Convenient Lightning Adjustment tools
  • Team of people working on each set
  • Team of editing experts to complete the photo

 

And, the final draft in this category looks something like this.

All in all, there are not many studios that offer this kind of service, you get the picture why.

 

Functional Images Shooting

The best thing about having a product displayed is that you can choose which parts to highlight and which to hide. For example, if you have a dining table to sell, with product photography services you can highlight its features. Then, a product will catch the customer’s eye and they will be attracted to it.

However, if you could catch the functional aspect of the table, that would be even better. And, with the functional image shooting, you can! Simply put, functional image shooting stands for highlighting the functional parts of the product. These features are carefully chosen and presented to the customer through a photo.

Normally, if the product has a feature that’s ‘’invisible’’, it’s important to do everything in order to highlight it. And, that can be tricky sometimes. Therefore, high-quality studios have a way of creating an atmosphere where the product shows its full functionality.

For example, addressing the waterproof feature of the USB charger can be only done if some water is poured on the product. In that light, we have this masterpiece.

On the first look, the customer will know that the USB charger is waterproof. This, of course, is what the product manufacturer wanted to show.

So, we can all agree that functional product photography is actually what matters when it comes to features and quality. Missing functional Images will miss revenues.

 

Waterproof

Human-touch product photography

The sole purpose of human-touch product photography is to eliminate the use of models for photo shooting. Namely, in most cases, models are expensive and not always easy to work with. After all, models are living beings with needs and it’s expensive to meet all their standards regarding the workspace.

Just some of the downsides of hiring a model for a lifestyle fashion photography:

  • Hiring part: Not every model wants to help you out with photo shooting. Therefore, it’s not that easy to find those who want. And, on top of that, finding models can cost you a lot of money.
  • Cost-inefficient: Models require payment and all sorts of other stuff you need to prepare for them.
  • Not easy to work with: For example, some models might be kids and it’s hard to control them sometimes.
  • Scene preparations: Preparing a scene layout is hard enough. Include a model preparation as well and you’ll get a time-consuming and hard-to-execute process.

 

So, this looks like something that consumes a lot of time and energy. But, there’s a way of doing that in an affordable fashion.

 

Human-Touch Photography - Affordable option

Namely, by adding a human-touch to model photography will ensure much more room for creativity. Also, it will cut down lots of expanses and allow you to focus on the product. In a way, the product photo retouching services are a good way to save some money.

For example, hand models are a great way of portraying smaller products like jewelry. So, here’s how that looks like in a final draft of this creative jewelry photography.

As we can see, the only thing that matters in this photo is jewelry. And, that’s exactly what’s accomplished here. Therefore, if you want to learn a bit more about the human-touch photography, feel free to read this blog post to get inspired to involve model elements in your product photos.

 

Group product photography

As the name implies, group product photography is a service involving a group of products. Now, this service is based on taking photos of products from one group.

Because of that, this service is considered quite hard to do, so there are not many studios offering such service. For example, in order to make a great group product photo, a photographer must face these challenges:

  • Lightning adjustment – Finding the best position for each product is the key here, but, that’s not always easy to do.
  • Studio set-up – There are lots of tasks that are required in order to photoshoot a group of products.
  • Plenty of space – Sometimes, additional space could mean a lot here.

 

Also, there are millions of other things a good photographer will face during the photo shooting of the products. Anyhow, here’s one that resembles a great example of this service:

On this picture, we can see that lightning and product positions mean a lot when it comes to this service.

 

Eliot's Aoult Nut Butter_product photography_food shots_PENCIL ONE

Those who could Benefit the most

With all this on our mind, who would be the one to request such services? Well, some would certainly benefit from it:

  • Businesses that are well-informed: In case the competitor company is stepping their game up, it’s a good idea to try some of the amazon product photo services to strike back.
  • Social media marketing: Those who take their marketing to the social media could definitely benefit from these services.
  • Google Ads Users: Some businesses want to increase their website traffic and click-rate. And, there’s no better way of doing so than hiring a photo studio to deliver high-quality photos you can use for ads.
  • Subscriber Base: Those who are focusing on their subscriber base will always find a way to improve their e-mail marketing by enriching it with high-quality photos.
  • Customer’s attention increase: Some businesses are focusing more to attract more customers to their websites. Therefore, having some great pictures for display is always helpful.
  • Food and Beverage Companies: The creative food photography services are important for hotels, restaurants, and basically all type of food product involving shoots.

 

Furthermore, some product photography companies will use all of these services just to increase every aspect of their ‘’game’’ on the market.

 

High-end Professional Product Photography Services

As we go through the product and lifestyle photography services, the ones that require most equipment and talent are considered the best. That’s the case with full professional product photography services.

Namely, these services are only offered by some high-end studios, or full-service studios. Also, each studio is offering their talent and tools for such services. So, in a way, you can say that these services are unique.

But, let’s take a look at some that are present in almost every famous studio.

Those who seek this kind of service

As we mentioned before, all of these services have their benefits. Therefore, some businesses are prompt to use them in order to achieve their goals. Let’s take a look at who actually benefits the most out of these services:

  • Improving Brand Names: Most successful companies already have their well-known brands. But, for some who’d like to establish their brand identity, these services are quite helpful.
  • Marketing Strategists: Some businesses are focusing more on their services, and advanced product photography is a perfect way of highlighting that.
  • Large Companies: It’s not a secret that big and successful companies are using this kind of service in order to boost their appearance and brand.
  • Trust Building: There’re many different ways for a company to express its intentions. However, with these kinds of services they can build a trust-worthy brand and present themselves in the best light.
  • Conversation Increase: Businesses that focus more on marketing could benefit a lot from product photography services, especially when it comes to conversation flow. It’s easier to reach out for the masses.

 

Anyhow, there’s no discussing about the expenses when it comes to these services. That’s why only the most powerful and high-end companies can afford professional product photography services.

So, let’s take a look at these services from a fresh perspective and see what they actually offer.

 

1) Photography requires full sets

Most products are easy to work with and they don’t require anything special. However, in order to shoot some products, an ecommerce photography studio needs to adjust its sets accordingly. This means that studios need to construct special a special kind of set that can produce professional food photos.

In that light, we have:

  • Home interior products – In order to best display some home interior products, studios usually set-up a whole house and make images of products inside that house.
  • All sorts of equipment – Same goes for equipment. Some, like gym equipment, is only possible to shoot inside a complete set-up gym.

So, the main point here is to present the product in its ‘’natural state’’. Therefore, a good studio will always find a way to make the full set and do the shooting.

 

NINE ZEN - Home Decoration Product Photography

2) On-site photography

When it comes to on-site photography, one thing stands out here – the studio will actually come to your product. This means that services offered by a studio involve them making a whole set around the product as they go.

Simply speaking, the place of photo shooting is the same place where the product is stored. It’s simple and easy when it’s done by professionals.

This service is unique since it involves a whole studio crew to come to a warehouse or a place where product is stored. Then, the crew makes the set and a photographer does its job. Later on, the images go through the editing process and then they get delivered to the customer.

However, one big flaw of this service is that it takes approximately 4-10 months to complete the whole project. Now, the time of deliver mostly depends on the quantity of the work.

So, when is actually good to hire professionals for this service? Well, it’s beneficial in these cases:

  • When shipping products to a studio is expensive.
  • Product’s nature: Some products are not meant for shipping.
  • Sometimes the product is enormous and it’s not possible to ship it.

As we can see, this service is actually an excellent idea once you put everything on paper.

 

on-site photography
on-site photography

3) Model photography

Model photography is mostly used to highlight and sell some special products. Namely, models are there to present the product in the best possible light. Therefore, hiring a studio that can do this service is going to make wonders for your sales.

To be more precise, appeal photography is not that simple, as it requires lots of stuff. First, there are models, and they can be a real pain in the neck to work with sometimes.

On the other hand, there are all sorts of equipment one studio needs to use. Here, we have Cameras, Lightning adjustment equipment, On-set equipment, and other things that make the final image astonishing.

That’s why apparel product photography is quite expensive. That being said, it’s normal to conclude that only big companies are using this kind of service.

Take this beauty for example - This photo shows how great brand name companies are using models in order to promote their products.

Also, here's one with the male model showing what it takes to look quite stunning with a simple cloth combination.

Anyhow, cloth product models are not the only models when it comes to this photography service. There’re different types to model photography, here're some:

 

Types of Model Photography

  • Male & Female Modeling – Great for basically any kind of product photography service that involves wearing a product. However, this is quite different from Human-touch photography as models are representing their faces as well.
  • Kid Models – They are perfect for kid products, so, companies that have this kind of product are using them for photo shooting.
  • Babies Models – Same as kid models but for baby products.
  • Pet Models – This kind of model is usually the hardest to work with as it requires steady and well-behaved pets.
  • Models for in-studio shooting – This type is usually in combination with all other model types. However, in-studio shooting sometimes requires special kind of set. Therefore, the creative studio photography is one of the most popular ones.
  • Models for outdoor shooting – Great for any kind of products in the outdoor, camping, and hiking field.

So there you have it, model photography is offered only by large studios or specially designed studios only for this purposes.

 

4) Brand Image Guide Creation

Importance of having a popular brand is huge in the product line business. Simply put, a brand needs to speak more about the product than the product itself. Therefore, having a well-known brand already means a lot to customers.

So, how can one company improve their brand lifestyle photography success and reach millions of customers on the market? Well, some photography studios are offering this kind of service as well. Brand and image creation usually require multiple services such as model photography, creative photography, and even functional image photography as well.

Besides that, there are other problems in the field of marketing that one studio come across when it comes to brand and image creation.

However, if the job is done professionally, a brand will shine and it’s going to much easier for a company to be recognized on the market.

A great example for this kind of service is WolfCircle. They are a company that offers excellent style guides in order to make your brand more recognizable. In that fashion, they are offering some really great Imagery Style Guides.

Anyhow, you can get to know a lot more about brand image guide creation here. Also, if you’re interested in learning a bit more about the image style guides, feel free to visit this blog.

 

Services Provider – How to Select the Right one

When it comes to selecting a service provider, there are lots of things you should consider. First, you need to know what you need, and then narrow down the search to studios that offer that kind of services.

Second, you should consider asking these questions to a photo vendor:

  • How long have you done this particular job?
  • What’s the number of employees in your company?
  • Are you straight-forward with the pricing plan or you have some secret price plan?
  • What kind of service are you offering?
  • What’s the most affordable pricing plan?
  • Where is your company located?

All these questions mean a lot and you can actually get to know quite a lot of info about the photo vendor this way. On top of that, you can always check some legal information about them and see whether they have something to hide.

 

Photography

The most Important Question to Ask

Without any hesitation, you should ask them:

‘’Should I look out for some hidden communication costs during the whole process of cooperation?’’

So, why is this question so important? Well, you should know exactly what you’re getting into and therefore you need to ask upfront about these things.

Anyhow, it’s a good thing to learn a bit more about the hidden communication costs that might occur. You can do that right here.

Furthermore, as you’re closing in with the deal, you should ask yourself:

  • Can I count on this studio?
  • Do I see my business working with them and improving in the given field?
  • What’s the Return on Investment policy?

Only after answering these questions, will you be able to continue with the deal and seal it.

But, in case you can’t decide, or you need a bit more time, it’s a good way to explore a world of product photography. Therefore, we strongly recommend visiting our blog and getting to know a bit more about the best tips to choose a product photography services near me.

Product Photography Costs – What’s the Price?

The main thing to know about the product photography costs is that it differs from one studio to another. However, you find that almost every studio charges these eCommerce photography rates:

 

1. Per product

In case you agree on this kind of pricing, the service provider will charge you per one product, no matter how much images he makes. However, this price can differ on the type of service.

So, if you want to do a photo shooting of one product, but in two different styles, that’s going to cost you more per one product.

 

2. Per Image

This type of pricing is usually the most common way of pricing when it comes to food styling photography. Namely, you will pay for each image, no matter what’s the service you requested. And, a food photography price per image is determined by the studio.

And, in most cases, studio is going to ask you how many images you actually need. Therefore, you can have the best insight into the whole project’s cost which will allow you to know the exact food photography cost.

 

3. By the Hour/Day

Another way of charging is by the hour, or by the day. Namely, this is usually the thing when it comes to full-service package. This package is offered by many studios and includes multiple services combined.

So, you will get your job done and they will charge the time they spent on the whole project. This is usually the case with food product photography pricing.

In that light, large companies, especially food photography companies, are offered this kind of charging rate as they can fully commit to the project.

On the other hand, an individual or a small-size company might not benefit from this kind of charging plan as it’s expensive. In some lifestyle photography New York studios, you can choose how much services you want and they will tell you the rate.

Therefore, knowing what you need is the most important thing when it comes to product photography services. And, if you want to take a closer look at a bit more detailed guide about pricing, take a look at it here.

Imagery Brand Guide_PENCIL ONE

Conclusion

In the light of everything we said above, it’s only logical to conclude that product photography services are quite complex and detailed. Therefore, it’s a good thing to know as much as you can about them in order to find the best lifestyle photography near me.

Anyhow, we surely hope that this guide helped you out with your decision. After all, if you’re going to commit and make a deal with some photo vendor, you should know everything behind it.

 

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