Product Photographers: Essential Tips & Salary Info for 2023

Professional product photography is an essential part of marketing campaigns. So, it’s no wonder why the demand for innovative product photographers is on the rise. After all, today’s world is highly visual and the quality of an image can make or break a sale. As such, product photographers are tasked with having the sharp technical skills and creative thinking skills needed to produce awe-inspiring images that draw attention to a product’s features. Are you an aspiring product photographer? If so, keep reading. In this article, we’ll provide essential tips and tricks to help you get started in the field. And that’s not all! We’ll also discuss the average salary range for product photographers so you know what to expect as you pursue this career. 

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Best Career Advice for Beginner Product Photographers

  • Practice your craft often. Create mock campaigns, pick up pro bono work, or just shoot product photos of objects around your house. Whatever you do, make sure your skills stay sharp by practicing them often.
  • Invest in your equipment. Photography tools can be quite expensive so we’re not suggesting that you run out and buy the priciest thing on the market. However, you should work with the tools you have and invest in your equipment whenever you get the opportunity. 
  • Network with other creative professionals. Attend industry events, creative outings, and other social gatherings that may put you in the room with art directors, entrepreneurs, or other photographers. 
  • Adapt to industry changes and client demands. Hone your collaboration skills and keep up with the shifts in the industry. Both of these will help you as you advance through your career.
  • Practice other forms of photography or add skills in a related field such as graphic design. Find things that complement your product photography skills – doing so may just broaden your career opportunities. 
  • Bring a strong brand identity.¬†Post your work on social media, promote it on a blog, and keep¬†consistent branding across all platforms. After all, you want to make your mark on the world of commercial photography.

Technical & Soft Skills Product Photographers Need to Succeed

Like all photographers, those who work in product photography need a wide range of skills to succeed in their industry. Below are some of the skills employers expect product photographers to have in 2023. 

Technical Skills:

  • Experience using a variety of photographic equipment including various cameras, lenses, reflectors, tripods, lighting setups, etc.
  • In-depth knowledge of photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop and Capture One.
  • Proficient knowledge of color theory, lighting, and composition to create visually compelling product images.
  • Knowledge of various file formats, color profiles, and image resolution requirements needed to produce high-quality product photos. 
  • Experience shooting in various lighting conditions

Soft Skills:

  • Strong attention to detail to ensure shots are of the highest quality. 
  • Creative thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong communication skills to work with clients, art directors, designers, and other creatives on set.
  • Time management skills
  • Flexibility to adapt to changing project needs.

Average Salary for Product Photographers in 2023

As with many forms of photography, product photographers can expect their salaries to vary widely based on factors such as experience, location, industry, and type of employment (i.e freelance versus full-time). 

According to Salary.com the average is $38,000 for product photographers as of February 2023. On the lowest end of the salary range, these professionals make around $32,000 and on the higher end, they earn around $46,000 per year. 

However, other sources such as Comparably note that geographic location plays a large role in the product photography salary offers candidates receive. On their site, they note that product photographers can make as high as $167,000. However, those rates are more notably seen in large cities like San Francisco, CA, Washington, DC, and Dallas, TX.