You’ve invested a lot in your product development, brand or business to get to this point. Now you need to make sure you have great imagery to get a return on all that sweat, cost and effort. Whilst shooting products in a white tent may work for some, it doesn’t always produce the best result to drive the sales you want. So if you choose the professional approach, selecting the right product photographer is key.
There is no shortage of product photographers out there. Some are great to work with, others leave you wishing you’d done it yourself. Having worked in e-commerce for a very long time, we have some experience on what to look for to make your products look great online. Whether you use SKUvantage or not, here are some things to think about, to make sure your images look great online. Have a read of our product photography tips before choosing a photographer.
Tip #1 – Do they have a strong client portfolio?
Make sure they have long term relationships with clients that you respect with the same product photography standards as yourself. This proves credibility and is a demonstration that they are getting referrals within the industry. SKUvantage clients range from the smallest ebay seller to the major retailers and brands, many of whom have been with us for years.
Tip #2 – Experience in your product categories is crucial!
Product photography is a diverse art. Shooting wine is not the same as shooting fashion. There are different lighting setups required, different approaches to get the right result and different approaches to editing. For this reason, some photographers specialise in one category or avoid others altogether. As for SKUvantage, we have shot (almost) everything, from coffins to catheters and food to fashion. Our large team gives us specialists in each area, and a diverse skill base to draw from.
Tip #3 – Will they be reliable and on time?
Your time is precious and the timing of your product listing is key to clearing through your stock. The last thing you want is being messed around by ‘one man bands’ who may struggle when they are busy, meaning lost sales for you. Make sure your shoot is locked in, with all components (model, makeup, location, editors) planned in and an agreed delivery date. We have many photographers and a management team, delivering a reliable and easy process for our clients, with a very rapid turnaround.
Tip #4 – Who’s studio will you be using?
You can do product photography in a garage (which is where we started 6 years ago), or a multi million dollar set up with infinity walls. You need to make sure that your space is fit for purpose for the products you are shooting so you don’t over pay for things that you don’t need, but have all the space and equipment that you do need. And if it’s rented, you don’t want any last minute changes, so get studio cost, size and availability confirmed. SKUvantage has its own large studio with ten setups, kitchen and sofa from where you can watch the shoot (see above).
Tip #5 – How is the quality?
Getting your product photography right first time is important to getting your images selling your products Reshoots are frustrating, time-consuming and some photographers re-charge. Experience in quality management from briefing through to photography and post-production will save you time, tears and cost. We are passionate about delivering for clients and use our diverse experience get it right first time, most of the time. And if the brief doesn’t change, we don’t charge to fix issues.
Tip #6 – Are there hidden extras?
Product photography may look like a commodity service, but there is a range of different prices based on volume, category and other factors. You want to know what this is going to cost from the outset, and what extras may be involved for reshoots or changes you make along the way. Make sure you have a clear quote and contract that sets this all out. SKUvantage provides a simple but clear quote before we start any work, together with terms that are fair and client friendly.
Tip #7 – Will they deliver files as you want?
Your web site, catalogue or system will need files of a certain specification. CMYG, RGB, JPG, PNG, TIFF, aspect ratios, resolution… You don’t want to be renaming and resizing files – it’s a pain. Your photographer should not charge you for resizing images. We can’t believe that some still do! We deliver files in the format you want at no extra cost.
Tip #8 – Is it value for money?
You can go cheap and cheerful – heck you can take a photo on an iPhone. But this is a false economy. You don’t sell anything without an image, and probably less with a poor image, which destroys brand value. Equally, you don’t need Steve McCurry doing your model shoot. Make sure your product photographer is cost effective for the skills you need. SKUvantage may not be the cheapest, but we deliver the best quality for an equivalent cost and the lowest cost for a given quality.
Tip #9 – Are they customer focussed?
It’s your business, and you want solutions not problems. Just because they are good with a camera, doesn’t mean they are customer focussed and sympathetic to your needs and experience. Some photographers won’t even give you the copyright to your images – how does that work?!. SKUvantage bend over backwards to deliver for our clients. Our reviews proove that. And we wouldn’t even think of retaining copyright ownership for images of your products.
Tip #10 – Do they treat their staff well?
Product photography and associated image editing is very competitive. Some photography businesses really don’t treat their staff well, abusing internship programs, not paying super and giving other statutory benefits. You don’t want to be party to dodgy practices. SKuvantage doesn’t employ interns as slave labour, we pay super and a living wage. Many of our team has been with us for years.