How to Make Money from Product Photography

Numerous big and small businesses always have a need for images to help sell their products and services. One niche you can tap into is product photography and  the online product photography genre by starting with the small businesses in your local area that do not have extravagant marketing budgets but still need to promote and sell their products online.  Most of the time, bigger companies with bigger budgets tend to already have a professional photographer to cater to their marketing needs. The internet is a growing industry that more and more people are relying on for information. It has become an integral factor in providing us with the information that we are looking for. 

With a few helpful tips to add to your experience, you’re well on your way to getting those professional looking product shots that clients are looking for: 

Do market research to identify potential clients – the first step is to determine the local businesses in your vicinity by going through the yellow pages, directories or the internet. Determine how they are going about marketing their products. What type of images they are currently using, the quality of the images, the market rates, etc. Make a list of potential clients and familiarize yourself with the type of products each business has. From the research you made, you can then decide on what type of product you would like to get yourself into. Most small businesses don’t even consider online advertising, you’re sure to pique their interest. It’s always a smart move to pick a niche within a niche to develop your skills better. For example, in online product photography, you choose to concentrate on just food, and from food you can choose what type of food you would like to focus on like bread, cakes or pasta, etc. 

Be ready with your portfolio – When setting appointments with prospective clients, it would be helpful to have a portfolio of your work to show them. It would enable the business owners to see your style and assess your skill and at the same time show that you can deliver. Make sure that your portfolio comprises samples of your greatest work. Always remember that a portfolio is made to impress the viewer and be able to “wow” them. For first time clients, you only get one chance to impress them. Your sample images should be able to show off your expertise as much as you are selling your services to the business owner. You can start to work on practicing shooting your chosen product and experiment on the various techniques to get great images and use this for your portfolio. Mastering the different lighting techniques to make your images pop out would make it more enticing for the viewer which would then make them more saleable. You can also make an online portfolio to reach a broader range of clients. 

Along with your portfolio, try and prepare a pitch for a product. Offer some ideas and sample images to illustrate your ideas. This would reflect to the prospective client that you have put much thought into their business and how your services can be beneficial to them. 

Consider offering free services – In the beginning, you can even offer your services for free just to get your name out. This is a valuable source for marketing your services to get potential clients. You can do this for the various establishments in your area. The images you take won’t go to waste, it can be used in building your portfolio to showcase your work. 

Invest in proper equipment to take product shots – every good product photographer will have the tools needed to create great images. All it takes is a simple cost efficient set-up. One of the most important must haves is proper lighting. Good lighting equipment, a light tent and a light table will do wonders to enhance an image. It would be a good idea to invest in a macro lens or extension tubes for you to be able to get clear close-up shots for products that are small in size.  For better control over your lighting, you can also add an overhead light box or a ring flash to your standard equipment. 

Create your own brand – Use your imagination in creating your own brand and signature in your shots. In an ever competitive market, being original and creative will give you the edge you need to make a name for yourself.  But always make sure that your product shots will be appealing to the target market of the product. First and foremost, your images should sell. This way, your customers will keep coming back for more and you will have a steady stream of clients clamoring for your services. Just keep in mind that no matter how creative you get, the focus of your shot should always be with the product. You can use props and other paraphernalia to accentuate the product but not overwhelm it or make it compete for attention. 

There is a network of online stores looking for fresh approaches in showcasing their products online, and they all depend on virtual imagery to attract sales. In a world fast relying on online marketing and even selling, this is an industry that is growing everyday and you can never go wrong by establishing a foothold in the market. Being a product photographer entails determination and a lot of perseverance. As long as you stay true to your craft and deliver quality images that cater to your clients’ needs, there will always be work for you.

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