An Ultimate Guide To Hire The Best Product Photographer

An Ultimate Guide To Hire The Best Product Photographer

With quality visuals being the driving force for brands to improve their sales, there's a high demand for choosing the best product photographer to execute the shoot.

product photographer

An Overview: Quality Images

Well, there's no doubt that most of the brands have revised the way they present their visual content, but not everyone has done it. It's either they don't understand the complete need for having high-quality professional product images or their impact on the overall sales of the business. 

Yet, one may consider it a mere process, but statistics do not lie. 3 out of 4 customers say that high-quality images help them in deciding whether to purchase the product. Even for product videos, the study says the brands that use custom visual content witness a 7x higher conversion rate.

product photographer

The Importance of Hiring The Best Product Photographer

Not every business has a budget to hire the best product photographer. The bootstrapped brands mostly rely on a plethora of tutorials available on YouTube on DIY product photography. It's not just the small brands that are juggling whether to hire a professional photographer, but many top brands also get stuck on deciding to hire one. 

Whether to hire a professional photographer? Do I outsource product photography images? Or should I tie-up with an in-house photography studio? These are a few questions where brands almost get stuck. However, this blog is meant to clear all your doubts. 

While writing the blog, we also spoke with the top photographers using Spyne on - what criteria do they consider while hiring a photographer? What are the best qualities of a professional photographer? And how to measure their expertise in photography?

There are so many things to consider while hiring the best product photographer who can produce beautiful pictures for your brand with the highest precision and consistency. 

product photographer

Here are some insider know-how that will help you in finding the best product photographer in trade. 

Difference between an amateur photographer, professional photographer, and on-demand photography studio

In an attempt to save the budget, many bootstrapped businesses try their hand at DIYing their product photography but, eventually, understanding how impactful visual content can be, they switch to hiring a professional photographer. 

Compared to any other content, visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared. And it cuts on the return rate by 22%. Also, over 75% of the shoppers say quality product images play a pivotal role in deciding to make a purchase. So, keeping this in mind, brands are convinced to hire a skilled photographer to shoot their products and services. 

product photographer

product photographer

Necessary Skills For A Product Photographer

There are several skills that you must consider while hiring the best product photographer. However, what measures the expertise of a professional product photographer is the creative and technical skills and managerial or organizational skills.

Executional skills

Firstly, for product photoshoot, you must make sure whether the professional is skilled in packshot or flat-lay photography. Has he ever done a product photoshoot? How many images were shot? What was the turnaround time of a shoot? What equipment was used? Who was the shoot for? All these questions will give you an understanding of the photographer's credentials.

product photographer, creative photographer

Both businesses and photographers must ensure that what kind of requirement do brands have and do they need a single product image or multiple images. What are the standards to be followed during the shoot? If it's for a marketplace or a magazine, brochure, or any advertisement. The photographer you're choosing must know the precise details of the two and should be able to demonstrate the skills required for this shoot from his previous works. 

product photographer

Technical skills

Then comes the technical and creative part where you need to check the professional's understanding of the role of lighting in product photography and his practical experience on different types of shoots like indoor shoot and outdoor shoot, etc. 

If you're looking for a high-end product photography shoot, then you must be aware of what equipment he uses. Whether he owns or rents them? If you're a jewelry brand, then asking how to avoid light reflections on jewelry items is inevitable. 

To learn what photography brands expect in a candidate while hiring a professional photographer, we spoke with Spyne's top photographer nitinaraoraphotography.com, Canon India's official photo mentor. Nitin said, 'there're several technical, organizational as well as behavioral skills we expect in the candidates we look for.'

product photographer, creative product photographer

product photographer

Nitin, Spyne's top photography user, mentioned the following abilities as necessary skills in any professional photographer. 

  • Equipment knowledge
  • Knowledge about lighting
  • Understanding of the product
  • Knows marketplace and businesses image specifications
  • Technical background and experience in photography production
  • Patience, organizational, and responsible

best product photographer

best product photographer

Post-Production

Nitin also said that the candidate must be well-versed with post-production. Since the client needs finished images, a photographer must have experience of using Photoshop and Lightroom. 

Professional Skills 

When you're relying on a person for any kind of shoot, you must know how well the person can organize and manage things during the shoot. He should have the capability to plan for a smooth and safe shoot. Ask the candidate if there's any process that you follow during your shoot, say tracking of the shoot process? Do they have any an app or software? How many professionals in a team, and how long have they been working together? How well are they aware of the product photography trends?

product photographer

best product photographer

Here's the due process to follow while hiring the best product photographer 

  1. Brainstorm yourself: As a client, you must have finalized details of the products or the services that need to be shot so that you find the perfect match for the shoot accordingly. Along with the terms for the photographer, you should also know for how many products do you require the shoot? Is the contract a one-time or annual basis? 
  2. Launch a Search: Look into all the possible spots from where you can compile a list of top product photographers. (Google, Instagram, Facebook pages are the best places to find the right choice).
  3. Scan: Scan the work of the photographers and list them in an excel sheet. List at least 10-20 photographers whose work you liked.
  4. Propose: Send out a request for proposal (RFPs) to all the selected photographers and ask them for their portfolio. Also mention the details of the shoot like the nature of the product, size, complexity, volume, shipment requirements, and deadlines.
  5. Narrow down: Once you get the portfolio from the photographers, study it thoroughly and narrow the list down to 3-4 photographers by examining their style, match of your expectations, shipment costs, budget, etc. 
  6. Trial shoot: You can ask for a trial shoot from the shortlisted photographers. Some of them might charge, and some might do it for free. Send them items for a trial shoot.
  7. Once you receive the trail shoot images, you can choose the best product photographer for your assignment. Did you know that Spyne provides all kinds of shoots for all kinds of businesses? Learn more.

Questions you need to ask your product photographer 

There are some questions that you need to ask your photographer so that you have full closure about the shoot.

1. What all equipment do you use?

It is very important for a photographer to have all the right and necessary equipment. If your photographer has all the professional equipment then it is a good sign as this means that your photographer has clearly invested in professional equipment. 

And if you are wondering what all equipment is needed for product photography, then here is a list of the must-have tools:

Camera 

Lens

Tripod

White Background

Table

A Room

2. How many photos can you expect?

This is another question that you should ask your photographer right way so that you can be assured that you are getting your money's worth. Usually, in these product shoots, you can expect a bunch of images. which is not the case with other genres like fashion.

3. How many product shoots have you executed in the past? 

This question can eventually tell you whether the photographer is experienced or not. If he/she has done a lot of product photoshoots, then you should check out their portfolio to know their style.

4. What is your turn around time?

Most of these shoots are time-sensitive hence you always have to know when can you expect the images. A great photographer is no good if he/she delivers the images late.

Which is the proper lighting setup for Product Photography

Like many other photography genres, 3 point lighting is one of the best lighting setups. Light in this system is just correct, neither too hard to form unwanted shadows nor too soft to make the image look underexposed. To know more, you can read our detailed blog on Three Point Lighting

 

Product Photographer

Photographers vs Studio

Freelance photographers might have cheap prices for their photoshoot services but they'll also have higher risks concerning image quality, consistency, production, logistics, and keeping deadlines. Freelancers are a team of photographers, they will not be able to deliver the results you require from their post-production. 

So, it is important to tie-up with a studio that will help you in an end-to-end shoot - meaning from shoot order to shoot delivery, they take care of everything. 

From shoot order to post-production to final delivery, Spyne is a go-to place for all shoots. You can further explore here.

Looking for an on-demand photography studio? Join our top market clients such as Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, OYO, PP Jewellers. 

Case Study: Read how we helped PP Jewellers with high-quality visual content. 

Written By - Younus Sideeq on 09 May, 2020