How Much Product Photos Cost?


    Planning your budget for the product photography project? The following list of the common pricing methods photography studios apply will help you allocate costs and make your choice.

    Product images enhance your online presence introducing your brand and making the first visual impression that is hard to overestimate.

    Given the importance of the proper product shots, it becomes obvious that you need a certain budget to make your excellent images real. So, how much do product photographs cost and how should you determine a reasonable price when choosing a product photo studio in Chicago?

    The prices vary greatly, as well as the pricing models. You should choose the method that suits your specific project.

    Per Hour / Per Day

    As you can guess, with this method a studio charges a flat hourly or daily fee for its services. Different images are estimated at different rates. For instance, still shots may cost $140 per hour or $1,120 per day and 360 images will be priced $180 per hour or $1,440 per day. The latter are more expensive as they require specific equipment and software.

    Therefore, if your project has special demands for images that vary from item to item, the service provider would hardly be able to estimate daily output. In such cases, a studio may suggest an hourly or daily fee.

    By the Product

    A photography studio can also charge by the number of products you need to shoot. For instance, at $40 per item for 100 items, the total project cost would be $4,000. 

    This method usually comes with 2 conditions:

    • The number of photos per item is limited. The exceeding photos will be estimated at a specified rate. This measure is aimed to protect the photographer if the client requests more images per product.
    • Rates per product depend on the product category since some categories are harder to photograph than others. For instance, with a project for a bike manufacturer, brake system parts could be estimated at a different rate than wheels. 

    By the Image

    With this method, a provider charges you a fee for each photo produced. Thus, if the rate per image is $40.00 and you need to make a total of 100 photos of 10 products, your project cost would be $4,000.

    This pricing structure is favored among service providers because:

    • The method corresponds to their cost structure. A studio charges each time they incur costs for capturing, editing, and formatting an image.
    • A studio gets paid for every picture they produce (unlike with a fixed fee per product).

    Some studios also offer subscription plans where per image pricing reduces as the plan upgrades.

    Additional Charges

    Your products and image requirements may involve specific preparations by a service provider. In such cases, a studio typically applies extra charges to your project. 

    When planning the budget, consider the following range of specific conditions/requirements that usually incur additional expenses: 

    • Exceptionally large product size and/or weight;
    • Extensive preparation, i.e. cleaning or assembly;
    • Styling, i.e. ironing and folding for clothes, creating a special layout for foods, and more;
    • Construction setting, i.e. for furnishing products;
    • Lifestyle images that demonstrate a product in action, since they require special scenarios and people.

    There can be more cases when additional fees are applied, so you should negotiate all the conditions in advance.

    The Takeaway

    You have plenty of options when it comes to product photography. Carefully identify your needs, time, and budget before choosing the right vendor for the project. The key takeaway, however, is investing in excellent quality photography as it will help grow your business.


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