Product photographers are pretty much at the heart of advertising. If there is a product to sell, you can bet it will be marketed by using a picture that was taken by a product photographer.
Of course, this doesn’t just mean that anyone with a camera phone can call themselves a product photographer, as there is a lot more skill involved.
Product photographers will spend endless hours setting up and arranging the products, getting the right lighting and angle, taking the pictures, and then even editing them afterward in post-production.
It takes an artist to be a successful product photographer. You need a great eye for detail.
If you are thinking of becoming a product photographer, or you are simply interested in finding out more about the field, then you might be wondering how much they actually make when it comes to their salary.
Well, you won’t have to wonder for much longer, as this is the question that we are going to answer in this article.
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What is Product Photography?
For those that don’t already know, product photography is a type of commercial photography that involves taking photos of products for commercial use.
The product could be an item of food, a prepared dish, or the latest smartphone. Generally, the product would be small enough to be placed on a table and photographed. However, someone has to take photos of the newest Lamborghinis, too!
A product photographer will take pictures of both people and products for promotional use. They will need to be creative in order to get the most compelling and original shots, but generally, they will work either in a studio or will travel to a location to get a specific type of photo.
Product photographers will usually focus on photographs that are going to be used for the purpose of advertising.
You can often see their work on billboards, in magazines, and even in newspapers. And don’t forget Amazon, all 75 million products listed there needed a product photographer. A product photographer will need to have a good eye, and understand how light and different colors can affect an image.
Product photographers will need to combine their understanding of photography with an awareness of the advertisement campaign to create the perfect image that conveys the intended message. Product photographers can also either be self-employed or work for an advertising agency.
How Much Does A Product Photographer Make?
Product photographers will typically make around $32,000 a year as a salaried employee. However, but this figure can vary significantly depending on things like experience, skills, and academic qualifications. There are lots of things that can influence the final amount that you take home each year.
When it comes to product photographers that work for advertising agencies on an hourly wage, they will usually make an average of $15.56 per hour of work. If this were a full-time job, this would put you at earning just over $32,000 a year.
Can You Make Good Money With Product Photography?
Yes, there are lots of different ways to make good money in product photography if this is something that you are passionate about. If you are one to take challenges and persevere, then you can easily go far in the field of product photography.
The best thing about product photography is that new products are being created all the time, and there are always opportunities to get work as long as you are able to make a name for yourself. There are lots of product photographers all over the world that are making good money.
Is Product Photography in Demand?
Yes, product photography is still a highly profitable industry, but the demand is slowly changing over the years.
It is important to make a name for yourself, create a niche and stick to it, and set competitive rates in order to protect your craft. It is also really important to market yourself efficiently — or get help — to ensure your success as a product photographer.
It’s vital to choose one area and become the GOAT (greatest of all time) at it. This seems counterintuitive; why not take any jobs you can grab? In the long run you want to build a reputation in a particular industry (food, electronics, etc). Every industry is actually a very small world and word-of-mouth referrals will catapult you to the next level.
The beauty of product photography is that you’re helping someone make money, rather than photographing a family pet or wildlife. Clients who are going to make money because of what you produce are also willing to pay more for the service.
How Do Product Photographers Get Clients?
The first thing that you should do to start getting clients is to research the companies in your area. You should look for companies that have a large range of products that are likely to need regular photography services to cover their existing range and to add new products.
You should also identify companies that advertise regularly in trade magazines, as they will need high-quality product photography that will stand out from their competitors.
You should also try to approach advertising and marketing agencies, as they will often commission photographers to work on different campaigns.
They will choose different photographers that are suited towards the type of product or the end result that is trying to be achieved. If you can get into such an agency, you will already have your foot in the front door.
You should also make it your mission to contact companies that produce catalogs. They may have their own production department or use a design consultancy to produce content, meaning they would have a need to commission photographers.
Something that you should definitely do is create your own website to show some examples of your work. You can create an online portfolio and put all of your best work forward. You can also group your photographs under different categories, so potential clients can compare your work with what they are looking for.
When potential clients do get in touch, be sure to send them the details of your service, and you can then even send them a link to your online portfolio.
You should also try to keep in touch with existing and potential clients to make your presence known by publishing an online newsletter with information about recent projects that you have done.
You could even join a professional association, like Professional Photographers of America to post an entry into their directory of photographers with your specialites in mind.
Finally, you could even submit your photographs to a library, as design and marketing agencies will use stock photos from libraries for projects where the client does not have a budget for original photography. Some newspapers and magazines will also do the same.