Product photography is one of the easiest ways to impress customers. A stunning image will catch people’s eye and encourage them to make a purchase. Professional product photography is also very descriptive, which means customers get a lot of information about the item through them. However, you can only get a good result if you invest in professional product photography.
While DIY images have the potential to turn out great, they rarely stand up to polished professional images. They are a worthwhile investment and will deliver good ROI for several years to come. Here’s a look at some characteristics of an excellent product photographer:
1. In-Depth Consultation
An exchange of information is the first step in any product photography project. The client shares their priorities, goals, targets, and brand messaging with a professional photographer. The expert shares their ideas, recommendations, and sketches with the client. This consultation ensures both parties are on the right page and the results of the project are satisfactory.
Without an in-depth consultation, the product photographs will be directionless and bland. They won’t look as polished or convey the right message to prospective customers. This meeting also allows both parties to establish a rapport with one another. If clients aren’t satisfied or don’t gel with the photographer, they can look at other experts or change the studio. A great consultation is an indication of a good photography studio.
2. Marketing Expertise
Product photographers aren’t just experts in their own field. They have considerable knowledge of marketing and promotion strategies as well. They know how to reach the target audience and frame a product in an appealing way. They understand what convinces people to buy an item, which improves the effectiveness of product photography.
If your expert has considerable marketing expertise and can offer some innovative solutions, they will be the perfect fit for you. Product photography through a marketing lens provides much better returns.
3. Industry Research
An experienced professional will also research the client’s industry and target audience. They will check people’s response to competitor images and study data from different sources. Industry research helps photographers develop a good composition that encourages people to buy. It also helps them avoid any pitfalls that may make the image ineffective.
For example, if the client targets millennials and Gen Z, they need images that suit their style and aesthetic preferences. These customers may prefer a vivid, visually-appealing image with some heart and meaning to it. Millennials value experiences and authenticity over everything else. The photographer will need to ensure all product images convey that.
4. Regular Communication
Communication is an important aspect of product photography. Clients need to be informed about all developments in the project. Most projects have two consultations; the first consultation is information sharing and the second one involves photographers sharing their sketches and vision with the clients.
If your photographer doesn’t keep you up-to-date on important developments, you may want to switch studios. An experienced professional will wait for a client’s approval of their compositions before working on the shoot.
5. Honest Advice
Professional photographers will offer honest and straightforward advice on all aspects of the project. If they will listen to the client’s feedback, consider their requests or recommendations, before offering their solutions. An open and honest rapport between a professional and their client increases the chances of success.
Hire a photographer who wouldn’t hesitate to offer blunt and direct advice on product photography. For example, a trustworthy professional will recommend not investing in expensive lifestyle photography if your brand doesn’t need it. They’re not focused on profit and want to ensure the client’s campaign is successful.
6. Expert Editing Skills
Editing skills are an essential tool in every professional’s arsenal. While good camera equipment and photography skills help experts take great images, editing skills helps them polish those pictures. An experienced photographer will use tools like Photoshop to refine the images until they’re ready for publication.
They will also ensure all pictures are suitable for mobile screens and different platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. Poorly edited photographs are immediately noticeable, especially on immersive smartphone displays. People will notice issues like bad white balance,smudges, inaccurate colors, etc. Editing will remove all of these flaws and ensure the image stands up to scrutiny.
7. Reasonable Prices
Research the average cost of product photography in your location and compare the costs with the estimate provided by your studio. It is a good idea to add all expenses involved and divide that number with the number of finalized images. That will give you a clear cost per image to compare with other quotes.If your studio offers great services at a slightly higher price, consider hanging on to them. It is better to pay a slightly higher rate to a proven photographer than to look for an alternative. If they offer good services at a very expensive rate, look at other studios to see what they have to offer.
Expensive service isn’t always good-quality service. Some studios charge more because they have an award-winning photographer on board or a stronger brand image in the industry. You may be able to find a more affordable option that delivers good-quality product photography. Check competitor portfolios and speak with their clients before making a switch.
8. Consider the Rights
Trustworthy photography studios are clear about image rights. In most cases, the client retains all usage rights and the photography retains the creator’s rights. This means you can use all images on different platforms for different purposes freely. However, you can’t claim that the image was taken by anyone else or by yourself.
If the photographer explains your rights clearly and succinctly, you have a good partner and should hang on to them. If they are vague, unclear, or unwilling to explain, consider hiring someone else.
All of these traits are an indication of a great product photography studio. If a studio doesn’t communicate well or keep you up-to-date on the process, consider switching to a better alternative.