Online businesses rely heavily on product photography to sell their wares. Good-quality images can capture and retain a prospective customer’s attention, helping you generate more sales. But you need good-quality product photography to get the best results. DIY or amateur images may look appealing, but they don’t have the same impact as professional images. Here are some tips on how to find reliable product photography in Chicago:
1. Create a Shortlist
Most people find product photographers online by carrying out a simple Google search. All you need to do is type a search phrase and location name to find all open studios in the vicinity. Sometimes, you may get thousands of results and it can be difficult to parse through them to find the ideal fit.
The best method is to create a shortlist of four to five local studios. Look at the studio’s ratings and reviews carefully. Choose professionals with 4–5-star ratings and read at least six to seven reviews. Reviews will give you a very realistic idea of what to expect from the studio. Be wary of any listing that has only perfect five-star reviews because some studios can fake reviews to bolster their reputation.
2. Visit their Website
Most studios that offer product photography in Chicago have a dedicated website that explains all of their services in detail. It is a good idea to investigate the website thoroughly to understand what to expect. Some professionals focus primarily on other styles of photography and only offer product photography services as a subsidiary service. Unfortunately, that often means they don’t have the skill or experience needed to take truly stunning product photographs.
This style of photography requires a different approach and some marketing knowledge. Experts should know what will appeal to their client’s target demographic and plan their composition accordingly. Look at the studio’s website and see if they provide any information on past projects. Hire them only if they have worked extensively on product photography or if they specialize in the field.
3. Look at their Portfolio
The portfolio is the best part of a studio’s website. You can see a wide range of sample photographs that showcase the expert’s style, skill, and experience. There are a few things to keep in mind when you browse through a professional portfolio and they are:
- Do the images tell a story and deliver a strong message?
- Is the product the hero of the image and does it stand apart from the background?
- Do the background elements distract you? Are you paying more attention to the model or landscape than the product?
- Is the image blurry or smudged?
- Does it look oversaturated and too bright?
- Is the image too dim? Can you see the product clearly?
If the studio’s portfolio is full of well-edited and descriptive images, they might be a good choice for you. It is also a good idea to see if their aesthetic matches your brand image and messaging.
4. Look at Social Media Accounts
Many studios have social media accounts and they share photographs, behind-the-scenes looks, and other such information on these platforms. When you’re looking for reliable product photography in Chicago, check the social media accounts of all your shortlisted candidates.
You can see their content and see how they interact with followers or past clients. A strong social media presence is a good indication, especially if the studio responds to client concerns and enquiries on Twitter or Facebook.
5. Contact the Studio for Reference
While you can find a lot of information about a studio online, it is still wise to contact some past clients to get a more detailed insight. Most studios will offer references to past clients willingly. You can contact them and ask them about their experience with the studio. Prepare a list of questions and concerns before calling the reference to ensure you don’t miss anything.
References will offer the most unbiased look at the studio’s performance and services. They will mention all of the photographer’s strengths and weaknesses so you know what to look out for.
6. Book a Consultation
Once you have collected all of the information, book a consultation with the photographer. This is one of the most important aspects of product photography in Chicago. During the consultation, you can discuss the following points:
- Who are your target audiences?
- Who are your competitors?
- What kind of message do you want to convey through product photography?
- How many images do you need?
- What kind of images do you need?
- What are the common industry trends?
Experts recommend bringing some reference photographs and links to the consultation. It is easier to explain what you need through a visual medium. Photographers will have a better idea of the aesthetics and messaging you want for your product.
7. Request a Quote
Request a detailed quote after consultation. It is a good idea to consider quotes from multiple vendors so you can find a service that provides the best value. Look for hidden costs, inclusions and exclusions, and calculate the cost per image to make an informed decision. Calculating the cost per image is easy as you just need to add up all expenses and divide the sum by the number of images you get.
8. Ask the Right Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions during the consultation. A good photographer will be happy to answer your queries and offer straightforward advice on all aspects of product photography in Chicago. Here’s a look at some of the questions:
- Do you have experience in my niche?
- Have you worked with similar products before?
- Will you use models and accessories?
- When can I expect the photographs?
- Can I use the photographs on any platform?
- How will you deliver the photographs?
- Can you handle production photography and process hundreds of products at the same time?
These tips will help you find the best product photography in Chicago. Take time to establish a smooth rapport with the photographer, especially if you require services for the long term. A good client and photographer relationship will contribute to the project’s success.