As an ecommerce merchant trading in today’s busy online marketplace, you’ll know that how you showcase your products online has never been so important. It’s simple: the better your products look on your website, the more you will sell. Your ecommerce images maximise visual appeal, showcase your products’ unique selling points, and create a sense of desire amongst consumers. Over 50% of those who buy online consider product photography to be more important than information about the product, rating and reviews.

With this in mind, outsourcing your product photography to an experienced professional is an investment worth making. Not only will a professional ecommerce photographer capture high-quality photos to transform your online store, but you’ll be able to use these images to create lots of vibrant and engaging marketing collateral too.

How much does ecommerce photography cost?

You’ve decided that investing in professional product photography for your ecommerce business is the right move. Now, you’re probably wondering how much it will cost to hire a photographer to produce these all-important product snaps. 

There’s no simple or set answer when it comes to ecommerce photography rates. Of course, fees will vary depending on the volume of images you need and usage you require, but there are some other important factors to consider too.

Let’s take a look at some of the things that affect the cost of ecommerce photography in more detail …

#1 Studio type

photography studio set up

When on the hunt for a professional product photography service, you’ll notice that there are two types of studios that could help. The type of studio you choose will affect the price you pay.

If you’re looking to use a local service, then an independent studio is a great choice. A simple internet search will highlight all the independent photographers based in your area – there may be more than you think! Often, local independent photography studios are a one-person operation, which means the photographer you’ll be working with can offer a wealth of experience across all areas of a project. You’re more likely to receive a more tailored, individual service that really takes into account the unique needs of your business too. You may be able to negotiate rates with an independent photographer.

For large-scale product photography projects, a larger full-service studio may be a better fit. Although this type of studio can usually handle larger shipments of products, you might not receive the personalised service that a local independent photographer can offer. Furthermore, you’re less likely to be able to negotiate rates.

#2 Charging structure

As you would expect, different photographers and studios charge for their services in different ways. Depending on the size of your individual project, you might prefer one charging structure to another.

Ecommerce photography rates are usually calculated by the hour or day, per product, or per image.

At Spencer Cobby Photography, fees for white background product packshots and simple lifestyle shots are based on either an hourly, half-day or full-day rate:

Per hour – 1-4 images depending on brief – £95

Half day (4 hours) – 1-20 images depending on brief – £270

Full day (8 hours) – 1-40 images depending on brief – £425

These prices include studio time, photographer, basic digital clean-up and colour correction. These rates are used only as a guide, and are negotiable subject to volume and usage.

#3 Product type

Ecommerce photography rates can also differ depending on the type of product being photographed. This is because some types of products require more pre-shoot preparation than others. For instance, some products might require extensive cleaning or styling before photography can get underway.

Clothing and food items are good examples of products that require extensive preparation. Clothes might need ironing, folding in a certain way, or pairing with other apparel on a mannequin. Food products often need to be presented in a special way in order to make them look as edible as possible. Preparation means time. And time translates into increased fees. There may be some preparation time factored into the initial rates that you are quoted, but it is always worth checking this before a shoot takes place.

flat bread pizza with cheese and chilli topping from The Flat restaurant, Exeter by Spencer Cobby Photography

#4 Image type

Another key factor to consider is image type. Are you looking for a set of formal white-background shots? Would you like lifestyle images to showcase your products? Or is a mix of image types the best solution for you?

White-background shots are an effective way of communicating key details about your products and really highlighting any unique selling points. A set of high-quality, consistent photos like this give your ecommerce store a professional feel, helping to increase trust between you and your target audience.

Lifestyle images showcase your products in real-life scenarios, often with models who resemble the target audience. As well as telling the story of your brand, these types of product photographs are an effective way of connecting with customers’ emotions and creating a compelling sense of desire. They offer consumers a tangible lifestyle idea to aspire to – a must for arousing interest and increasing sales.

Think about these options in advance. Which image type will work best for your business? Lifestyle images require sets and props, so come with an increased price tag. The cost will depend on many factors, including location, models and sets – more on this next.

#5 Set construction

If your lifestyle images require a set to be built, this is going to significantly change the photography rates.

Sets can range from simple backdrops with a few relevant props, to full room settings with extensive detail. Depending on the complexity of the set, they can be time-consuming to design and build. The photography process can also take much longer when a set is involved.

product photography shoot for Nkuku by Spencer Cobby Photography

Photography rates for lifestyle set images will depend on set design, materials needed and props required. Here at Spencer Cobby Photography, we love to get creative, and can produce your chosen backdrop before we begin shooting. This comes at an additional fee. We can accommodate small tweaks to your set at no extra charge, which means each image we produce for you is unique. For more significant changes, there may be additional setup charges.

#6 Location hire

You may need to hire a location for your product photography shoot, which can impact the photography rates you pay. Getting out of the studio tends to open up much more room for creativity. It offers the chance to capture more distinctive images that will engage customers and really reflect what your brand is about.

woman photographing product in a large white room

The cost of hiring a location can vary greatly depending on your needs. As such, most professional photographers will need to provide a bespoke quotation when it comes to a location-based shoot.

When budgeting for this type of shoot, think about how long you will need your location for, if any special equipment is required, and how you will transport your products there.

#7 Post-production options

Remember to take into account the cost of editing when budgeting for your product photography project. The editing process is where images really come to life, so it shouldn’t be overlooked.

Here at Spencer Cobby Photography, we provide basic digital editing as standard. This includes clean-up and colour adjustment on all images. Each photograph, whether captured in the studio or on location, is carefully edited to specification. We also offer advanced editing options to our clients, including cut-outs and clipping paths. This service comes at an additional cost, which is dependent on specific needs and image volume.

Spencer Cobby ecommerce photography

With this knowledge of ecommerce photography rates under your belt, we hope you’ll be able to make an informed decision when it comes to hiring the right product photographer for you.

Professional ecommerce photography is one of the many services we offer here at Spencer Cobby Photography. Thanks to our extensive experience in the industry, we can create high-quality product images that connect with your customers and ultimately help increase sales. Whether you require formal cut-out shots or more relaxed lifestyle images, our local Exeter studio is more than equipped to accommodate your needs.

If you’d like to find out more about our ecommerce photography rates or perhaps discuss a bespoke quotation, please do get in touch. We love connecting with ambitious brands looking to optimise their online stores with high-quality product photography.

You can explore some of our recent ecommerce photography work over on our website – check out some examples here.