Frequently asked questions about product photography.

Whether you are just starting out or have some experience under your belt, we’ve provided answers to common questions that will guide your explorations into product photography. From product photography gear recommendations to how to sell your images, we’ve got you covered.

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Frequently asked questions.

How do you get into product photography?

You need a portfolio to showcase product photographs to potential clients. Get some products and take different shots. You can even use products you have lying around the house. Many new product photographers start freelance gigs with minimum compensation to build their product photography portfolios. 

How much to charge for product photography?

Experienced product photographers charge product photos based on production costs, creative fees, and commercial usage. A rule of thumb for the amount to charge for product photography is to know your value and not be under-charging for your work. Do some in-depth market research to gain insights on the profitability of your client’s products, and take photos that’d be hard for others to duplicate. Pricing for your photography will vary depending on how you set up your business, but generally speaking, make sure all of your expenses are being met, take into account what you want your salary to be, and charge licensing and usage fees.  

How to get product photography clients?

Word of mouth is the main source of how product photographers get new clients, followed by portfolio websites (like Zenfolio) and social media (Instagram). You can also try other methods to find new clients via Facebook, Google search, agencies, LinkedIn, or other social media sites with an emphasis on images. 

How to find product photography jobs?

Many product photography jobs were marketed and found on social media sites such as Facebook groups/pages, Instagram, and LinkedIn. You can also find product photography jobs on freelance sites such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer. Instagram and portfolio websites like Zenfolio are among the most popular to get future referrals.

How do I sell my product photos?

You can sell your product photos by creating courses and workshops, selling prints online, and selling digital downloads. You can also sell your product photos by making in-person sales or self-publish photo books. Most product photographers sell their photos by doing photoshoots for their clients, while others focus on stock photography.

Does product photography pay well?

Product photography pays well in the industry compared to other shoot types. According to the 2022 State of the Photography Industry Report, roughly 80% of part-time, self-employed product photographers made more than $10,000 a year with average revenue of $20,000-25,000. 10% of part-time product photographers made around $60,000-80,000

How to shoot product photography?

First, you need to define how you want to make the viewers feel about the product before shooting photographs. This will often be defined by the client brief, but there is also space for you as the photographer to inject a feeling or narrative into the images. Use lighting and styling to invoke that feeling and reinforce the branding in the photo. Utilize depth and composition to create visual interest and make the products stand out. 

How to set up lighting for product photography?

Try setting up two lighting sources to give products optimum light exposure in product photography. Set one light to one side and a large soft box on the other to widely disperse the light over the scene. Feel free to adjust the direction of these two light sources and play with the shadow effects on the product.  

How to eliminate shadows in product photography?

Using a piece of white card to reflect the light towards the side is an easy way to control unwanted shadows in product photography. You can also use a softbox to create a soft light to wrap around the product. 

How to get a perfect white background in product photography?

You can use the light itself as the backdrop to get a perfect white background in product photography. Be mindful of the distance between the light and the product in this setup. Ensure the background lighting is slightly below pure white to avoid flare on the product. You can also set up your product on a seamless white background and light the background evenly with 2 lights, and light the product independently of the background lighting. 

How to use umbrella lights for product photography?

You can use umbrella lights to create a soft glow on the products for product photography. You need to mount the umbrella to the light source on a light stand and ensure the distance between the light source and the umbrella is creating the desired effect. Shine the umbrella lights directly at the product for the best results. Keep in mind umbrellas will create a more contrasty light compared to softboxes. 

How to use light box for product photography?

Try using light boxes for product photography. The lights, reflectors, and backdrops are inside one convenient space. All you need is to put the product inside the box and snap photos from the opening of the box. You can move the lighting to different positions of the box to get the desired glow on the product.

How to show scale in product photography?

Showing scale in product photography gives the viewers a sense of the product size in real life. You need to compare the product with an item that your viewers are familiar with. Placing items such as a ruler, coin, or dollar bill next to the product is a great way to show scale.

How to build a product photography portfolio?

You need to figure out your niche in product photography and build a portfolio that will bring you continued clientele in that niche. A good portfolio will reflect who you are as a photographer, what types of products you specialize in, and whom you work for. A portfolio should have at least 10 – 15 images that you’re proud of. As you get more work your portfolio will grow too. Make sure you’re constantly updating your online portfolio website with your newest and best images so you can pulling in the most relevant clients.

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