5 Questions You Should Know the Answers to Before Hiring a Product Photographer

As 2017 is gearing up to be a busy year, I have been working hard to provide all of  our clients here at Dotcom Photo Studio with as much information as possible to make smart decisions about the future of their product photography. After all, product perception drives customer loyalty! 

I recently put together some thoughts about the importance of understanding what you want before entering a product photography discovery sessions.

Here are five questions that you and your team should have the answers to before speaking to a product photography studio or agency.

Here are five questions that you and your team should have the answers to before speaking to a product photography studio or agency.  Answering these will help you ensure that your first chat with an external photography team is efficient and effective. 

1. Will this be a one one-time shoot or an on-going project? 
Knowing the answer to this question will ultimately help you stay within the means of your budget. Due to larger volumes,  projects with multiple photoshoots help keep your product photo shoots less expensive.

2. How many products + shots will you  need to shoot?
This will tell your ecommerce photography studio how much time needs to be allocated for your product’s photoshoot. It will also affect pricing. If we are shooting and styling three products, your rate may be determined “per shot” or per photograph taken. Depending upon your photographer/studio, if you are shooting and styling more than seven products, your rate may be determined “per day.” Anything that takes over four hours to photograph can also considered be priced according to a  “day rate.” 

3. What do you not like about your current photography?
The answer to this question is crucial for your new photographer to know. It is my goal to make sure our clients’ photographs look incredible. It should be your goal for your photos to connect with your customers’ needs and wants. By knowing what you do not want, it’s easier to determine best practices for shooting your photos.  For example, many brands often struggle with problems such as overlit backgrounds and underlit product photos. Is there anything that customers repeatedly complain about? Are there other companies whose product photos inspire and/or similar to your desired style? Let your photographer know. Accurate color representation is also important and something a professional team will work hard to ensure. However, remember if you need your products to be true to Pantone color matching, this usually needs to be indicated to your photography team ahead of time.  

What are the images going to be used for? What file specs will you need to adhere to?

4. What are the images going to be used for? What image specs/file size will you need to adhere to?
Will the photos be used for web, print, email or social? Understanding the use of your photos will help your post- shoot file size and specs. This will affect your overall project turnaround time. If you are using these photos to print posters for your brick & mortar stores, the files will need to be larger and may take longer to edit. If you are going to use the photos for a large retailer such as Amazon that has certain specification requirements, your files will need to be a lot smaller and would most likely cost less to retouch.

5. Do you have a style guide?
A style guide is the visual representation/guidelines that should be use to ensure consistent branding and styling across all image outputs/platforms. Having style guides help your photographer better understand your brand’s unique subtleties, what your brand is about, how it connects to your customers, and what type of product shots you need. For instance, all of your products may have to be photographed at certain angles based on your style guides. Overall, style guides provide consistency and often help guide the photographer’s session, helping to streamline and make your shoot as efficient and true-to-brand as possible! Style guides also allow you to not be on-site during a photo shoot as it serves as creative supervision. 

If you’re currently considering updating your current ecommerce photography, let’s chat. Click here  to contact the photo studio and I’ll be happy to guide your pathway to a successful product photography shoot! 

If you want to learn the 7 most common ecommerce photography mistakes (and how to fix them) click here to download your FREE tipsheet NOW. 


Written by: Peter Frey, Dotcom Photo Studio Director