Before choosing a product photography vendor, ask yourself a few key questions. What kind of photos do they take? Are they a photography studio near me? Do they fit my budget? Do they offer the kind of services I need as an ecommerce company? Here, we’re going to look at how you explore the world of product photography vendors and how you find those worth outsourcing to. These tips for choosing photography vendor services will ensure you don’t get surprised by sub-par work that’s not fit for your ecommerce site.
In ecommerce, few things matter quite as much as the visuals. They are the tease, the hook, the first impression that draws the customer in and they need to be of a high enough standard to represent not just the product but the business.
With that in mind, you want a professional product photography service that can deliver quality shots time and time again. However, since it’s relatively easy to pick up a digital camera, it’s also easy to find those vendors that aren’t exactly up to scratch.
Here, we’re going to look at how you explore the world of product photography vendors and how you find those worth outsourcing to. These tips for choosing photography vendor services will ensure you don’t get surprised by sub-par work that’s not fit for your ecommerce site.
Check their website and research on the internet to find out more about the firm
The first thing when learning how to outsource photo services is understanding the importance of research. You shouldn’t be choosing a photography company on a whim. First, you want to learn all the practicalities of doing business with the firm.
Start by asking a few key questions. What kind of photos do they take? Are they a photography studio near me? Do they fit my budget? Do they offer the kind of services I need as an ecommerce company?
All the answers should be on their website. Take a close look at their portfolio to see whether they have done the kind of work you want. Investigate their pricing structure to see how cost-effective they are. Look at their service description to ensure that you understand exactly what you’re paying for. Lastly, find their location and contact details so you know that they’re within reach and able to easily respond.
Read their blogs
When outsourcing to a photography company, you want to make sure that you understand what they deliver to customers on average. Their blog could be an excellent source of information on just that. Most professional photography firms have a blog where they show past work, their process, and they make their photo requirements clearer. They may have in-depth case studies on work they have done with ecommerce businesses in the past. What’s more, any professional photography vendor should be regularly updating with new photos, showing you the standards of their work in greater depth.
What’s more, an important part of outsourcing is being able to effectively communicate with the service that you’ve hired. You want to use the same language as them. Reading the firm’s blog can familiarize you to photography terms that they use, making it easier to communicate exactly what you want.
Follow the photography company on social media
Social media is a highly visual platform, so it should be no surprise that product photography vendors can often be found on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms. For one, these platforms can give you an idea of whether they update with new photos frequently. It’s an evolving portfolio that shows you what their most recent work looks like, as well as recent events and activities they have been a part of.
What’s more, when outsourcing, you want to be able to gel well with the service you’re hiring. Social media can give you a glimpse in on the company culture. Lastly, getting a look at follower count, and the average likes and shares of their posts can help you determine whether they have a happy, thriving community of customers and fans. If they have many followers in the ecommerce world, it’s a good sign that they’ve served clients like you well in the past
Use customer reviews
Getting the direct perspective of past customers and clients when outsourcing is crucial as well. Visit Google reviews to see what other ecommerce business owners say about them, as well as other past clients. If you’re looking for photography services, a Google search is the first place to start. It gives priority to local companies and, in most cases, those firms will already have reviews that you can read up on.
Star ratings are a decent overall measure of the quality of photos and customer service, but you should take the time to read the reviews in detail. The occasional bad review is not uncommon for any business, but if you see several customers making the exact same complaint, you should bear it in mind whether that specific complaint will be an issue for you.
Ask for a photo portfolio
Before outsourcing to any professional photography company, you should get a good idea of what their work actually looks like. If they don’t have a portfolio of photos from past work, then you shouldn’t spend money without knowing what you’re getting into.
A portfolio should show photos from a range of past clients, but ecommerce business owners should be on the lookout for product photography done specifically for other ecommerce brands. You want a photography vendor that understands your needs as a client and how to best capture the subject of your photos: the products themselves.
You also want to see a little creativity when outsourcing your product photography. Look for photos that are distinct from one another, in different styles using different visual language and techniques. After all, you don’t want the brand of your ecommerce business to be the exact same as their other past clients.
Schedule a call meeting
By this stage, you should have already narrowed down your choices considerably and you may be looking at a handful of product photography services you’re considering outsourcing to. Now is the time to see whether they’re a good fit.
As mentioned, few things are as important in outsourcing as communication. Miscommunication can see you ending up with photos you don’t know how to use and a result that doesn’t accurately capture the brand of your ecommerce business.
Schedule an individual call meeting with each photography company that has kept your interest thus far. Start talking about what, exactly, you want and get an idea of how they organize shoots and go about delivering their services. If they can’t describe their process with ease, understand your needs, or simply can’t seem to meet your mindset then they might not be right for the job.
Free Test Shot
Not all professional photography services offer a free test shot, but if any that you’re considering outsourcing to do, now is the time to take advantage of it. A free test shot is essentially a “try before you buy” session. You won’t get too many photos out of it, but you do get enough to see how well they communicate with you, whether they shoot to a professional standard, and whether they are able to nail down the visual brand you want in your ecommerce product photography.
You don’t have to necessarily discount any photography services that don’t offer a free test shot, but if you do find one that you offers the service and you believe will give high-quality photos with, it might be worth sticking with them as opposed to risking it with someone you haven’t worked with.
Subscribe to their email
Whether you’re looking at a new professional photography vendor or you’re keeping up with photography services that you are already outsourcing to, subscribing to their emails is a great way to keep updated on them. You can see work they’re continuing to do, for ecommerce businesses and other clients, as well as events they’ve been to. You can see updates to the firm, as well, whether it’s new services you might want to take advantage of or a deal or discount that could help you get the photos you need at an even lower price.
Visit the vendor’s site
Want the answer to the question “how do I know to trust a photographer near me?” There’s a lot that can be hidden in a portfolio of photos, through a website, and even over the phone. If you’re intent on outsourcing to anyone, you should get a look at where they work. Any ecommerce business owner should understand that location of an online-based business isn’t necessarily the most traditional workspace, but it can still offer a lot of insight.
Visiting the office, studio, or site of the photography vendor’s business gives you a first-hand look at their work environment. You can see the kind of equipment they use for their photos, as well as the company culture they keep. What’s more, it’s important to verify that any business you’re outsourcing too does have a real-world base or location. If they end up not delivering what they promised, you don’t want them to be able to simply disappear into the night, after all.
Hopefully, this guide to outsource photography has helped you learn everything you need to know about finding the right professional photography company. Using the net to learn more about their services, communicating to discover whether or not they understand the needs of the ecommerce client, and building trust is crucial to outsourcing to any photography services.
Simply following the nine steps above and narrowing your options down as you could be the start of a great business relationship. More importantly, you will have high-quality photos showcasing your products and helping you build the ecommerce brand that will cement your business’s identity.