Confused Head on the Left whereas Clear Head on the Right (A Team Effort)

Many retailers have turned to a Do It Yourself (DIY) approach to keep the budgets low for product photography. Others have trained existing staff or have hired photographers to take product photos or outsourced the work. But, what is the right solution? The answer varies according to multiple factors. However, this write up will help getting a clear idea on how outsource will help you reduce cost over DIY product photography.

Product Photography Process

Before we look into details, let’s have a quick overview of the steps and equipment required to get professional-looking product images in-house. Note that shooting and photo editing are 2 separate steps that can be outsourced individually.

#1 Studio Space 

You will need a space designated to take photos that has all the equipment necessary at hand.

Studio Space with Lighting Setup

Original by Pexelz/ CC BY and edited by ImageEditing

#2 Someone to Shoot 

Depending on your budget, this person can be a professional photographer, or a trained staff member.


Original by Pexelz/ CC BY and edited by ImageEditing

#3 Accessories Needed for product Photography 

Read our previous post here to know what accessories you will need for product photography as well as the apps needed for editing.

Stools, Backdrop and Lighting Accessories in a Studio

Original by Pexelz and edited by ImageEditing

Pros of DIY Shooting

DIY Photography of Some Fruits

Original by Pexelz/ CC BY and edited by ImageEditing

Total Control – DIY shooting represents full control of all product photography related activities. You will have the chance to experiment with different set ups, backgrounds and shooting styles. It will surely bring utter satisfaction to you as you will do it with care.

Cons of DIY Shooting

Heavy Investment – DIY shooting demands a variety of investments. You need time and money. You will need to buy all photography equipment including lights, cameras and other set up equipment to start with. Then, you need a space to shoot to put all the equipment.

All Photography Instruments in a Photography Studio

Photo Courtesy – IwinkStudios

Besides, you need someone to shoot too. If this person is not trained, you will have to invest additional time to train him or her properly to achieve good quality photos. If you are shooting yourself, you will have less time to focus on your business.

Pros of Outsourcing Photo Editing

Photo Editing in a Mac consist of Keyboard, Mouse, Table and Mobile

Original by Pexelz/ CC BY and edited by ImageEditing

You may have your reasons on why DIY shooting makes sense for your business than outsource them. However, outsourcing image editing is also a great option. The pros of outsourcing this step in the photography process outweigh the cons.

Cost Effective – Prices for image editing vary according to services and the level of complexity of the images. For example, a simple background removal to get the perfect white background can cost you less than $1 per image. Trying to do the same work by yourself would take you about 20 min to 1 hour per image.

Before and After Version of a Girl while Removing Background

Original by Pixabay and edited by ImageEditing

In this case, outsourcing makes total sense. If you opt for having an in-house editing team to do this work, it would have to take them a minute or less to be able to compete with the $1 edit you can get with outsourcing.

Fast Turnarounds – Outsourcing image editing usually involves hiring an offshore editing team to do the work. They can work overnight so you can get your photos in 24 hours or less.

Save Time and Space – Shooting products can be a whole day affair. It needs time.

DIY Photography of Glasses and Rose with DSLR

Original by Pexelz/ CC BY and edited by ImageEditing

Outsourcing your product photography will free up all that extra time, leaving you and your team more time to focus on growing your business.

Cons of Outsourcing Photo Editing

Finding the Right Partner – As with any outsourced service, it’s tough to find a company that is reliable and consistent with work. Many offshore companies may not be available to provide support 24/7 and the language barrier may be too big to overcome. Nevertheless, ImageEditing.Com ensures that the clients will receive 24/7 support every day.

Budget – Outsourcing product photography usually consists of shipping products to be photographed by a professional studio or photographer. Cost varies depending on product since some products are tougher to photograph than others.

Product Photography Pricing: Finding the Right Solution

Now, let’s put all of this information together to get a solution. Ask yourself this list of questions to guide you in the process:

  • Volume – If you need to shoot product every single day, shooting in-house may make more sense than outsourcing. However, if you just need to shoot once per week or a handful of times per month, outsourcing may be a good fit.
  • Know Your Requirements – Are your images for Amazon, Ebay, or Google Shopping? If so, those images have to follow a special editing style that may take more time than usual to accomplish.
  • Know Your Length – DIY photography will require a big time investment to learn all the skills necessary to shoot properly. If you cannot afford to spend that time, outsourcing may be your best bet.

Doing it by yourself has its advantages. In some cases, it can absolutely prove to be the right choice, regardless of what your budget is. However, it has its downsides too. You are going to take longer time, make more mistakes and waste a lot more money than a professionals would. Hiring a professional will almost always result in a better end product. After all, that is what professionals are there for.

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