Today we’re talking about how to find a product photographer when you’re launching your online business. Now it’s no secret that as entrepreneurs we wear a ton of hats, from bookkeeping to marketing. And when you’re selling products online via your e-commerce store, there’s one more thing to add to the mix: taking pictures of your product.
You better bet that in the first months of my first e-commerce business I was the one grabbing my camera, looking for backdrops and TRYING to get the lighting right.
My kitchen…my deck…and kids…as well as pretty much everything else was fair game when it came to taking pictures.
It was necessary, but also sometimes the slightest bit annoying long about the time that I needed to start making dinner or when guests dropped by and saw stacks of e-commerce products everywhere.
Oh—and then came EDITING. The nights spent in front of my screen trying to perfect the images as my eyes grew redder and my temper shorter. Dear heavenly days.
Given all this, it’s probably no real shocker to learn that one of the first things I wanted to unload as my business grew was product photography, right? There was just one tiny little problem, however. I still didn’t have a lot of cash to pay for it.
Want to know how to find a product photographer you can afford when you are first starting out?
Ready for the big solution? I did what we all do: I asked my friends if they knew anyone who could help me.
Not surprisingly, they didn’t know any product photographers (I mean, seriously—who has a product photographer on speed dial?) but several of them recommended a fantastic woman who specialized in family pictures.
Are they two different things? Yep. But the reality was that she had tons more experience than I did behind a camera and the editing skills that I lacked. But I pretty much took a “what the heck” approach, walked up to her and asked.
What was I asking? First, if she’d be willing to step outside of her own comfort zone to do product photography. Second, if she’d be willing to take photos for me in exchange for products until I had more money coming in and I could pay her.
Admission: I thought she’d say no.
Reality: She said YES!
And you know what? It was the beginning of an AWESOME relationship. She was an absolute pro at doing everything I needed. It saved me tons of time, which I used to work on finding and selling products. Pretty soon, I was able to pay her…and then pay her more…and then pay her more. We worked together for YEARS. I love her to this day.
Now, before you think that I’m going to give you her phone number so you can try to make the same deal with her…I’m not.
But I am going to tell you where you can find product photographers for your e-commerce business that aren’t going to break the bank.
The first one is INSTAGRAM.
You guys, Instagram isn’t just a place to go look at pretty pictures or inspirational quotes. It’s a great place to make connections. Open up the app and do a search using #(yourcity)photographer. So if you live in Phoenix, type in #Phoenixphotographer. Then take a look at the profiles that come up and scan their pictures. If you see one you like, reach out via a direct message. One caveat: if they have a huge following, they’re probably not the ones who’ll work on a budget. Look for those who are just getting started, but who have the style you like.
The second one is HIGH SCHOOL.
Whaaaa…? Yep! More and more high schools have really good photography clubs and programs, and a lot of those kids want to build their portfolios. Most have great cameras, they already understand lighting and are pretty dang happy to earn a little side hustle money or get free products.
The last one is LOCAL CITY COLLEGES or local adult learning programs.
Talk to the professors or teachers of these programs and let them know what you’re looking for. So many times these students need to work with a variety of mediums, and your products might fit the bill, whether it’s clothing or toys or home décor. And if you find one you like, it’s a great entry point to build a long-lasting relationship exactly like I did.
So you can see that there are a lot of great options for how to find product photographer that won’t bust your budget…and that will help you grow your online business. PLUS, I’ve created a downloadable .pdf that has all of these tips for your convenience. Click the link to have it delivered to you right through Facebook Messenger. Easy peasy!