Why You Need To Hire a Product Photography Service Provider

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If you run an e-commerce business, you know how important it is to showcase your products in the best possible light. You want to attract customers, build trust, and increase conversions. But how do you achieve that with your product images?

You might think that taking photos yourself with your smartphone or a cheap camera is enough. After all, there are plenty of filters and editing apps that can make your photos look decent. But is decent enough for your brand?

The truth is, that product photography is not something you can do casually or amateurishly. It requires skill, experience, equipment, and creativity. It also requires an understanding of the market, the platforms, and the psychology of your target audience.

The Importance of Product Photography

Before diving into why you need professionals, let’s first understand why product photography matters so much. According to Canva, around 93% of people consider image quality to be a key factor in their purchasing decisions. That’s huge!

Also, professionally taken product photos – 

  • Makes a memorable first impression – Customers decide if they trust a brand and want to buy in seconds by looking at the photos. High-quality product photos make a great first impression.
  • Allows customers to visualize the product – Since customers cannot touch or feel a product online, the photos need to accurately demonstrate size, design, colors, features, and uses.
  • Differentiates from competitors – Unique and artistic photos help products stand out from competing brands and offerings.
  • Boosts conversion rates – Products with quality images have conversion rates higher than those without them.
  • Reduces product returns – When photos properly showcase the product, it reduces misleading customers who return items.
  • Provides flexibility for marketing use – Photos need to work across web, print, billboards, social media, and other marketing channels.
  • Supplements product information – Photos provide details that would otherwise require a lengthy description.

Clearly, product photography has a direct impact on sales and revenue. Low-quality photos result in lost customers.

The Drawbacks of In-House Product Photography

Many businesses try to save money by handling product photography in-house. However, this has several drawbacks:

Limited expertise – Staff tasked with product photography rarely have formal training on lighting, equipment, editing, and photography best practices.

Subpar equipment – Basic cameras, lenses, smartphones, and lighting Lead to blurry, grainy, or distorted photos.

Generic, lifeless images – Without creativity, all products start looking alike. Unique angles and perspectives are missed.

No consistency – Photos taken on different days, locations, and people lead to inconsistent imaging.

Time-consuming – Taking and editing photos takes time away from core tasks for staff.

Lack of professional editing skills – Tools like Photoshop require extensive learning and expertise to retouch effectively.

No specialization for different needsPhotography for Amazon, web, print, and ads requires different specialized skills.

No long-term vision – In-house teams fail to tie photos back to core brand messaging and goals.

Minimal equipment investment – Serious photography requires investment in cameras, lenses, lighting, and software.

In summary, an inexperienced internal team with limited gear will produce mediocre photos and waste valuable time.

Benefits of Hiring a Product Photography Service

We’re always honest with new clients who haven’t hired a product photographer before and share the reasons why it would benefit their products and help their business. 

Now I’m sharing these reasons to help you decide if it’s best for your business!

1. Amateur Product Shots Destroy Brand Credibility

Let’s be honest: smartphone and basic camera shots look amateurish. And amateurish product photos destroy brand credibility.

Common rookie mistakes include:

  • Blurry, grainy images
  • Harsh, uneven lighting
  • Distracting backgrounds
  • Messy compositions
  • Inaccurate colors

These flaws make products appear cheap and low-quality. Amateur shots scream “unprofessional!” to potential customers. They erode buyer trust.

In contrast, professional product photographers use premium gear like

  • High-end DSLR cameras
  • Macro lenses for detail
  • Powerful flashes
  • Continuous lighting kits
  • Backdrops and platforms

Combined with expert editing software skills, this professional equipment creates crisp, polished, visually stunning product visuals. The quality establishes trust and reinforces your brand image. Customers instantly recognize it and buy with confidence.

Product listings with quality images have lower bounce rates (27% less), higher add-to-carts (35% more), and better conversion rates (up to 22% more) than products without them, according to this True Value Company case study.

Hiring pros gives your e-commerce business an instant competitive edge.

2. Product Photography Is a Specialized Art Form

Top product photographers are highly skilled artists. Their trained eye notices subtle details amateurs easily miss.

For example, they pay close attention to:

  • Lighting angles and shadows
  • Color balance and brightness
  • Lines, shapes, and symmetry
  • Backgrounds and compositions
  • Product styling and positioning

With an artistic eye, professionals meticulously position products and adjust variables to perfectly highlight your product’s best features and benefits.

Experienced photographers also deliberately direct the customer’s gaze to showcase vital elements like:

  • Branding and logos
  • Unique selling points
  • Premium materials and finishes

This subtly draws the viewer’s eye to recognize your product’s value and quality. Their artistic skills make products irresistible to online consumers.

3. Retouching and Editing Are Crucial

After the photoshoot, photographers use editing apps like Photoshop to professionally retouch and enhance the photos.

This post-production process ensures:

  • Accurate, appealing colors
  • Sharp, crystal-clear focus
  • Ideal lighting and contrast
  • Removal of any imperfections or distractions

Meticulously retouched photos make products look pristine and flawless. Edited product shots simply convert better.

In fact, research by web usability guru Jakob Nielsen shows unedited product photos underperform professionally realistic edited photos.

By optimizing images to showcase products in their absolute best light, expert retouching helps maximize sales.

4. Pros Create Tailored Images

Savvy product photographers deeply understand how to effectively showcase products across all sales channels.

For example, they adeptly tailor images to meet the specific requirements for:

  • Your unique website aesthetic
  • Amazon product listings
  • Social media platforms
  • Print ads and billboards
  • Pinterest product pin guidelines
  • Google Shopping feeds

Experts optimize photos to highlight your product’s most effective features and messaging for each platform and audience. This further converts more online visitors into customers.

5. Pros Deeply Understand Today’s Marketplace

Seasoned product photographers stay on top of the latest visual trends and platform requirements in the dynamic e-commerce marketplace.

  • Need optimized images for your Shopify website? Experts will craft photos to load fast and maximize conversions.
  • Selling on Amazon? Photographers will ensure your product shots meet Amazon’s strict image guidelines and specifications
  • Got a Facebook ad campaign coming up? A pro will provide you with engaging images sized and designed to boost traffic and click-throughs.
  • Want eye-catching photos for Instagram and Pinterest? Experts will compose stunning yet organic-looking lifestyle images tailored to those platforms.
  • Launching a promotional email sequence? A photographer can capture captivating product images sized for seamless embedding in email templates.

For any visual needs across channels, an experienced product photography service will deliver formatted, compliant, stylized photos that help you succeed. Their deep marketplace expertise ensures your product shines everywhere it’s shown.

6. Outsourcing Is Far More Efficient

Attempting to photograph products in-house is extremely time-consuming and generates mediocre results.

You have better things to do than fiddle with cameras and lighting kits. Outsourcing to competent product photographers liberates your time for priorities.

Let the experts handle the shoot while you focus on your core business. No more wasting weekends on makeshift home studios!

A trusted photography provider also streamlines the process. Simply approve the images once delivered then continue growing your business. Establishing an efficient outsourcing relationship is a smart move.

7. Photography Pays for Itself Through Sales

Quality product photography does require an investment. But the sales revenue enabled by pro images far outweighs the costs.

As seen throughout this guide, compelling photography provides immense benefits:

  • Reinforces your brand reputation
  • Engages customers on an emotional level
  • Draws attention to your product’s strengths
  • Rises above the competition
  • Removes purchasing objections and uncertainty

Converting browsers into loyal buyers thanks to impactful photography makes the investment abundantly worthwhile. Treat excellent photography as a revenue growth driver, not a cost center.

The ROI from product photos crafted by specialists justifies the spending. Your next product launch is the perfect opportunity to turn amazing visuals into sales gold.

Photographing Products In-HouseOutsourcing to Product Photography Pros
Slow process with a learning curveFast turnaround from experts
Expensive studio setup costsNo equipment overhead for you
Ongoing salary expensesOnly pay per project
Mediocre photoshoot resultsGuaranteed top-notch shots
Basic editing skillsAdvanced photo editing/retouching
Wasted time better spent on your businessHuge time savings and convenience

For most e-commerce businesses, outsourcing product photography is clearly the smarter choice.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Decision

How Many Product Images Do You Need Every Year?

If you have a car that only breaks down once or twice a year, you would probably take it to a mechanic to fix it, instead of setting up your own garage and hiring a staff to work there. 

But if you had a hundred cars that needed regular maintenance, then having your own garage would make more sense and save you money.

The same logic applies to product photography. You have to estimate the point where it becomes worthwhile to invest in your own photography equipment, studio space, and team.

To get an approximate idea, you can multiply the average number of products you added to your online store last year or plan to add next year by the average number of images per product (ideally, you should have 4 or 5 images for each product page).

If you need tens of thousands of images per year, then setting up your own studio might be a good option. If you only need a few thousand images, then outsourcing your product photography might be more cost-effective.

How Much Control Do You Want Or Need Over The Process And The Outcome?

This is another important question to ask yourself. If you want to have full control over how your product images look and how they are produced, then you have to do it yourself.

The general rule is: that the only way to have complete control is to have an in-house photo studio; the next best thing is to have a long-term contract with an outsourcing studio that specifies every detail of the process and gives you as much input as possible.

How Urgent Is Your Product Photography Project? 

Setting up an in-house photo studio takes time and effort. You have to learn how to do everything from scratch and deal with any challenges or mistakes along the way. 

Dunning-Kruger’s experiment shows that people might sometimes overestimate their abilities or underestimate the difficulties involved. This can lead to missed deadlines and increased costs.

So if you need your product images as soon as possible, you might want to consider hiring professionals who can guarantee a certain quality and quantity within a certain timeframe.

Do You Need A Lot Of 360-degree Product Images?

If the answer is yes, you should be aware that this type of product image is very complex, expensive, and time-consuming to produce. You will need to hire experts, buy extra equipment (such as a rotating table), and spend a lot of time on production and editing.

360-degree photography combines photo and video techniques, so it will result in higher costs for maintaining an in-house photo studio.

Are Your Products Easy To Ship? 

Shipping costs are a major factor in the outsourcing equation. The more difficult your products are to ship, the more reasonable it is to consider an in-house photo studio or an on-site outsourcing service.

What Makes Products Hard to Ship?

  • Weight – if you sell very heavy products, such as safes, you will have to pay extra for shipping them to an outsourcing studio. You will also need extra manpower to move them around on the site. 
  • Size – some products are not very heavy, but take up a lot of space. For example, inflatable pool balls. They are made of light plastic and filled with air, but they occupy a lot of room in a truck. You get the idea. 
  • Price – if you sell very expensive products, such as jewelry, you will have to pay extra for insurance and security when shipping them. 
  • Fragility – shipping fragile products is risky and prone to damage. No matter how much protective material you use or how clearly you label the boxes as “FRAGILE”, there are many chances for something to go wrong.

Does Your Current Team Have The Right Skills? 

The more expertise your current team has in product photography, the easier it will be to set up an in-house photo studio. At a minimum, you will need a photographer, a project manager, a photo editor, and IT support.

Does Your Current Team Have The Right Skills 

The further away your team is from having these skills, the more challenging it will be to create an in-house photo department.

Is Your Project Ongoing Or One-Time? 

This question is related to the first one but from a different perspective. It’s about estimating the volume of work for an in-house photo studio over time.

If your project is one-time or highly seasonal (for example, focused on Christmas), setting up an in-house photo studio is a waste of resources.

Key Takeaways

  • Amateur product shots erode trust and crater sales
  • Pros use lighting, angles, and styling to make products irresistible
  • Meticulous post-production editing makes images flawless
  • Experts optimize photos for each unique sales channel
  • Outsourcing maximizes productivity and minimize costs

To captivate customers and boost conversions, you need a talented professional product photographer.

The ROI of outsourcing pro-caliber product photography far outweighs the costs. Investing in phenomenal photography is a proven sales growth strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does professional product photography cost?

Product photography pricing varies based on different factors. Costs typically range from a minimum of $25 to $100+ per final edited image. Pricing is usually tiered based on order volume.

Is product photography a one-time cost?

For new products, photography is generally a one-time upfront investment. However, you may incur additional costs if you expand your product catalog, need seasonal (holiday) product shots, or refresh old product photos every 2-3 years

For established brands, product photography is an ongoing marketing investment. But the sales boost is well worth the cost.

Should I just buy stock product photos?

Stock photos are very hit-or-miss. Finding the right concept that also looks authentic is rare. And competition is high – your competitors can license the same generic stock images. Unique custom photos tailored to your brand perform much better.

How long does the photoshoot process take?

For small inventories, most professional studios can photograph 15-30 products per day. Larger volumes take 2-3 weeks in total. Images are edited and delivered after the shoot wraps. 

Can I art direct the photoshoot?

Absolutely. Reputable photographers welcome art direction and collaboration to maximize results. Provide mood boards, brand guidelines, ideal lighting/angles, or other creative direction to ensure the shots perfectly suit your brand.

How do I get started?

Contact 2-3 photographers. Share your brand style, product catalog, ideal images, and photography goals. Evaluate portfolios and pricing. Set up a consultation call. Then hire the best match for your needs and budget.

Hiring an expert product photographer is a surefire way to make your online product catalog shine. Take your e-commerce business to the next level with high-converting product photography!

Scalable, Professional Product Videos

Do you need high volumes of polished product videos annually? Product Video Studio specializes in creating hundreds of top-quality videos monthly.

Our global creative team can handle any video volume for e-commerce businesses. We’ve produced over 5,000 innovative product videos to date for brands like Anker, Ugreen, Akaso, Feiyutech, Eufy, and so on.

Our portfolio includes diverse products like electronics, apparel, CPG goods, and homewares. We’ve helped clients generate millions of views and sales.

Our 4000+ square foot studios across two continents (the US and Bangladesh) allow incredible scalability. We can tackle 50+ videos per week through efficient workflows – ideal for companies needing regular video content.

For e-commerce sellers, impactful product videos often provide the needed edge over the competition. Partner with us for a flexible, scalable video production solution.