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Thread: rates for product photography

  1. #1
    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default rates for product photography

    hey guys ~~ i'm kinda interested to start a small business myself, gonna try product photography.

    basically what i'm planning to do is to offer services for people who needs to have their products shot, such as food, watches and etc. my target consumer group is people who want decent yet affordable photography service, such as people selling stuff online.



    i will be getting myself a studio product shooting kit

    http://store.tagotech.com/product_in...roducts_id=281

    i own a canon 450D, tamron 17-50mmf2.8, ef 50mm f1.8, canon efs 55-250mm f4-5.6

    i dun have a fixed working hour. probably when its after sch or saturdays when i can make it.

    i'm just a student who is aged 16, so i need help on what are the pricing and maybe certain rules and regulations tat i have to look out for. and how to advertise my services

    THANK YOU

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: rates for product photography

    Do you have a portfolio to show your potential clients? Any track record or references would certainly be of some interest to them. These are some of the upfront indication of what you can charge. You said you'll be getting some stuff. That means you haven't got what you think you need yet. Do you think you know your equipment well enough to start earning money from it?

    The audience you are targetting will in most cases, not able to pay you anything that's required just to sustain your business. Since you are just starting out, its really just pocket money you would most probably be earning or at least to cover your costs. Have an idea of your costs e.g. transport, time, etc.

    You'll never get an accurate answer to your questions since the variables are almost indefinite and please get to know your clients well and understand their needs. Does he/she has 200 pairs of earrings to photograph or just 1 Richard Mille? The last thing you want to do is to either over or under deliver. However, I seriously don't think you are at this stage yet.

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    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: rates for product photography

    yep. its more of a pocket money thing and do for experience. it is my first time so i dun have a portfolio tat i can show to anyone. i could take photos of certain common day products as examples.as for the studio kit, i will be buying cause i wanna use it for my photography. and in the mean while i'm at it might as well get some extra pocket money.

    so basically i gotta look out is time, transport, what am i shooting? normally how much do people charge for this kind of stuff?



    also, is there anywhere tat i could advertise my services online?
    Last edited by allenleonhart; 20th December 2009 at 09:29 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: rates for product photography

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    yep. its more of a pocket money thing and do for experience. it is my first time so i dun have a portfolio tat i can show to anyone. i could take photos of certain common day products as examples.as for the studio kit, i will be buying cause i wanna use it for my photography. and in the mean while i'm at it might as well get some extra pocket money.

    so basically i gotta look out is time, transport, what am i shooting? normally how much do people charge for this kind of stuff?

    also, is there anywhere tat i could advertise my services online?
    What you should be doing now is to prepare a sample of works first, not thinking about what you can charge. If you don't even have a portfolio, you are not ready to earn money from photography yet. Why should your clients give you the job without even seeing what you can do or had done before? It may sound harsh but it beats souring your relationship with your clients and having your reputation ruined without you knowing better.

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    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: rates for product photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Kit View Post
    What you should be doing now is to prepare a sample of works first, not thinking about what you can charge. If you don't even have a portfolio, you are not ready to earn money from photography yet. Why should your clients give you the job without even seeing what you can do or had done before? It may sound harsh but it beats souring your relationship with your clients and having your reputation ruined without you knowing better.
    agreed ~~ yes i will do tat sir!

    permission to go take photos sir?

    now i will be back once i'm armed to the tooth with photos. WAIT FOR ME

    thank you kit. loads;D

    *wad should my portfolio include? jsut specifically product shots since i'm planning to offer services in that area? or can it include anything as long as its one of my best photography pieces?
    Last edited by allenleonhart; 20th December 2009 at 09:52 PM.

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    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: rates for product photography

    Look at what other people had done. Do you think you can sell your skills to the clients if you showed them a photo of cheetah running in excess of 100 clicks?

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    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: rates for product photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Kit View Post
    Look at what other people had done. Do you think you can sell your skills to the clients if you showed them a photo of cheetah running in excess of 100 clicks?
    ~~ k hehe;D

    thanks for the help

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    Default Re: rates for product photography

    A couple of tips...

    1) You'll need at least 200 sample images ranging from tiny ear / nose rings to pushbike sized objects. Clients want you to be able to demonstrate your versatility unless you specialise in one area such as jewelry.

    2) Light tents are okay but nothing beats a proper product bench for serious work. Light tents with only 2 lights tend to produce uneven lighting and that's a big no no for many product shoots. Light tents also tend to limit the photographers ability to control perspective, which is fatal when shooting commercially with certain product shapes.

    3) You'll need a macro lens

    4) When you can shoot a clear glass bottle with clear liquid in it and have the liquid visible in the bottle without needing to PhotoShop it you're almost good enough to shoot products commercially. There must be NO shadows or measurable light intensity difference across the bottle either. Sounds tough huh? It is, but that's what it takes to shoot product at a commercial level.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

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    Default Re: rates for product photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    A couple of tips...

    1) You'll need at least 200 sample images ranging from tiny ear / nose rings to pushbike sized objects. Clients want you to be able to demonstrate your versatility unless you specialise in one area such as jewelry.

    2) Light tents are okay but nothing beats a proper product bench for serious work. Light tents with only 2 lights tend to produce uneven lighting and that's a big no no for many product shoots. Light tents also tend to limit the photographers ability to control perspective, which is fatal when shooting commercially with certain product shapes.

    3) You'll need a macro lens

    4) When you can shoot a clear glass bottle with clear liquid in it and have the liquid visible in the bottle without needing to PhotoShop it you're almost good enough to shoot products commercially. There must be NO shadows or measurable light intensity difference across the bottle either. Sounds tough huh? It is, but that's what it takes to shoot product at a commercial level.
    word.

    when i worked at a studio last time we did a couple product shoots.
    even for something as simple as a necklace we had about 6 different lights on it to make sure there was absolutely no shadow...

  10. #10
    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: rates for product photography

    Quote Originally Posted by rgy1993 View Post
    word.

    when i worked at a studio last time we did a couple product shoots.
    even for something as simple as a necklace we had about 6 different lights on it to make sure there was absolutely no shadow...
    well. commercial lvl against pros i guess not. i'm providing cheap and affordable service for masses. decent quality photos. as compared to professionals shooting for companies such as rolex. i'm a one man team basically:x its just for experience and pocket money. very small scale.


    as for equipment. a product bench is better than a light tent, how so?:x sorry i'm first time venturing. i'll be taking a good 200 shots first tats for sure. but i need some help along the way:x

    lights at least 6? no shadows.... noted

    as for lights i'm ok. i can get more if i need to. i do have spotlights, and all sorts. cause my dad happens to be a contractor. so tat shld be quite ok for me to get lights.

    anyone here does product photography? need some extra help along the way.

    A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE

    *edit: i'm currently starting out. other equipments will soon be added along the way once i earn enough during my part time job. this is kinda like a learning experience and some kopi money only. must remember i'm a student. this is a part time job:x

    as for the product bench did u guys mean this? http://store.tagotech.com/product_in...roducts_id=201
    Last edited by allenleonhart; 21st December 2009 at 08:18 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: rates for product photography

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    well. commercial lvl against pros i guess not. i'm providing cheap and affordable service for masses. decent quality photos. as compared to professionals shooting for companies such as rolex. i'm a one man team basically:x its just for experience and pocket money. very small scale.


    as for equipment. a product bench is better than a light tent, how so?:x sorry i'm first time venturing. i'll be taking a good 200 shots first tats for sure. but i need some help along the way:x

    lights at least 6? no shadows.... noted

    as for lights i'm ok. i can get more if i need to. i do have spotlights, and all sorts. cause my dad happens to be a contractor. so tat shld be quite ok for me to get lights.

    anyone here does product photography? need some extra help along the way.

    A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE

    *edit: i'm currently starting out. other equipments will soon be added along the way once i earn enough during my part time job. this is kinda like a learning experience and some kopi money only. must remember i'm a student. this is a part time job:x

    as for the product bench did u guys mean this? http://store.tagotech.com/product_in...roducts_id=201
    I do a lot of product photography at a professional level.

    A light bench is an infiinate horizon bench (has an S shape to the base, lighting underneath and on top that is usually colour compensated cold cathode lighting (no heat) in the form of fluro tubes. My bench has about 70 tubes on it, 45 of which are in a 180 degree semi-circular pattern above and the others below. It is 2.0m deep, 1.2m wide and can accomodate objects up to 1 metre in height. Cost .. A LOT (over 20,000 USD).

    Beware of using spotlighting as it leaves hotspots, borrowing lamps from your father may end up with a mixed colour-temperature and horrific issues in white balance compensation, unless your camera allows you to set the exact CT in deg Kelvin, and then you'll need a colour temperature meter (around 1000 USD for a good one from Gossen).

    Once you start charging for work you'll leave yourself wide open to a raft of potential abuse from disgruntled clients who will expect the world for your $25 an hour or so that you'll be able to charge when starting out. Bottom end feeders get the $hit clients the full time pro's won't touch as they are either too cheap cheap or bad news.

    Good luck!
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  12. #12
    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: rates for product photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    I do a lot of product photography at a professional level.

    A light bench is an infiinate horizon bench (has an S shape to the base, lighting underneath and on top that is usually colour compensated cold cathode lighting (no heat) in the form of fluro tubes. My bench has about 70 tubes on it, 45 of which are in a 180 degree semi-circular pattern above and the others below. It is 2.0m deep, 1.2m wide and can accomodate objects up to 1 metre in height. Cost .. A LOT (over 20,000 USD).

    Beware of using spotlighting as it leaves hotspots, borrowing lamps from your father may end up with a mixed colour-temperature and horrific issues in white balance compensation, unless your camera allows you to set the exact CT in deg Kelvin, and then you'll need a colour temperature meter (around 1000 USD for a good one from Gossen).

    Once you start charging for work you'll leave yourself wide open to a raft of potential abuse from disgruntled clients who will expect the world for your $25 an hour or so that you'll be able to charge when starting out. Bottom end feeders get the $hit clients the full time pro's won't touch as they are either too cheap cheap or bad news.

    Good luck!

    hmm. thanks for the advice. as i said. i'm not going to go pro ~~ its a hobby/ pocket money earner ~~ still its quite insightful. the world of a professional is really different from us hobby photographers.

    so how would this kit sound like for a basic starter kit?
    http://store.tagotech.com/product_in...roducts_id=281

    i would like to emphasise on the fact i'm doing this as an amateur providing cheap service and yet still produce decent results ;D tyvm for ur time

  13. #13
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    Default Re: rates for product photography

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    so how would this kit sound like for a basic starter kit?
    http://store.tagotech.com/product_in...roducts_id=281

    i would like to emphasise on the fact i'm doing this as an amateur providing cheap service and yet still produce decent results ;D tyvm for ur time
    It's useable ....
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  14. #14

    Default Re: rates for product photography

    isn't there a sticky on starting out?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: rates for product photography

    k usable can liao ~~
    slowly learn. there is a sticky on starting out. but this is kinda more specific ~~ as in advice if doing things this way will work or not tats all

  16. #16
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    Default Re: rates for product photography

    okkies ~~

    some updates: currently trying to build up a online catalog~~ pls visit me at www.allen-photography.blogspot.com

    also the new light tent seems pretty fun to use;D gonna try some stuff on once i have time.

    2 weeks before holidays ends ~~

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