How Long Does It Take To Get My Product Photography Done?
For one product, in one setting, the time between the photography, the processing, and the delivery could easily be within a week. The more products you have in your project set, and the more comprehensive the setup, the longer the scope becomes. In an ideal world, the turnaround time would be a nice round number, with no interruptions or any setbacks. But in reality, time varies by studio, and by accounting for unexpected circumstances.
What goes into the prep work?
Once products are received, looked over, and cleaned in preparation for the shoot, it’s time to get the set ready. A lot of research goes into preparing the appropriate set; oftentimes adjusting and readjusting components to maximize efficiency for the shoot. That could mean the addition of more lighting equipment, calibration of camera tethering equipment, the arrangement of props, and the preparation of special effects that will be used within the photoshoot. For fantastic shots, where the product is in an out of reality setting; underwater or floating, for example, many extra components are arranged in order to get one effective image. In some cases, there is even a need to be quick about the shots in order not to lose out on naturally made special effects (think natural bubbles, foam, or falling sand).
Give yourself & your photographer time
It can be exciting to anticipate receiving your photos, especially if you’re not accustomed to taking photos yourself. And although your contract will likely have a timeline written out for you, it’s a good point to consider giving yourself and the studio time to prepare and process your images. If for any reason, there were issues during development, or any extra work required to prepare and photograph the items, a little patience will allow for these events to be remedied.
It’s not just about the point and shoot method
Anyone can take a picture, and with some practice, many images can come out crisp and clean with good composition. But for product photography, a lot of the work is unseen. It’s about more than pointing a camera and triggering the shutter, a lot of time and research goes into finding the most emotional, the most impactful aspects of a product to really resonate with your audience. The process can’t be rushed, (well yes, for a modest fee, some studios provide a rush service) but taking the time to understand the concepts behind the image makes a world of difference in the end product.
My photographer said 30 days. That seems like a lot
It can be, and for some projects, it may not be enough time. Many photographers, myself included, will offer the ability to tether live, which will allow clients to be present during shooting days, when all is set up and ready, to watch and offer insight into what a client may want to see. This opens doors into the process that a client may not otherwise be privy to. It may be overwhelming to see gear and equipment manipulated and rearranged live on set, or exciting to watch as minute details are adjusted for a straight out of camera view of a product, but overall, it could take weeks to get and process that impeccable shot. Always refer to your contract, and don’t be afraid to ask questions to clarify your understanding. We as photographers spend decades mastering our craft, many aspects are second nature to us, whereas they may be new unknowns to our clients. There is no harm in asking for clarity, with the understanding that the process does take time, and rushing the work is not the best way to get photos any faster.
I have a deadline, how do I keep it?
If you’re able to find a photographer who offers rush services, that may be your best solution. But the better method is to prepare in advance. Gather the materials you need, and begin looking for your photographer ahead of time. Giving yourself this buffer is ultimately cheaper and more effective to streamline the process. If you know your project will require monthly content, consider looking for photography packages that work on retainer pricing. This allows you to secure product photography in a timely and manageable manner for your brand.