How to Get Product Photography Clients?

When you have started a photography business, it is crucial to get product photography clients faster. It's the flow of clients that will continuously build your business.

Finding suitable types of product photography clients can be challenging. Like most other commercial photography businesses, your existing circle may not be able to produce new orders.

If you are in a place like that, need to find and get hired, also don't have marketing skills, this article is meant for you.

I will try to guide exploring more opportunities to get clients. So, find out the marketing channels, skills, and other relevant things. This article will help you to build a strategy for being successful in your photography career. No matter what you want a job or clients, take this guide as the starting point.

How to Get Product photography Customers

Here I have discussed the photography business marketing plan and procedures.

How to Get Product Photography Clients [Guide]

I am pretty sure that you have seen various products in magazines or any other promotional media. Don't they look stunning?

Yes, indeed. These stunning pictures of that particular product attract potential customers.

No matter what, online sellers, product producers will actively search for a business like yours.

For this specific reason, product photography is a powerful publicity aspect in the industry.

Now, there are several ways that you can be a product photographer. In my previous articles, I have shared my insights about how to become a product photographer.

Today, we will be dealing with a different aspect altogether. Today, we will be talking about the ways to get a client. Now, you have the skills. You are a hardworking person. But if you do not have clients, how will you obtain cash?

That is why we are discussing the depths of tracking down potential clients and showcasing your talent. Some of you might be scratching your heads and thinking, why do you need to showcase your works?

Because it will help the clients to have an idea about your potential, that's good. Now you know why self-exposure is so essential in this line of work. But the next big question is, how will you get that exposure?

We will be moving to that later in this article. Now, we will be showcasing something else. We will simply broaden up your ideas on how to hunt clients and projects.

Here is a simple list of the aspects you need to cover:

  • Start from your locality,
  • Trace down companies,
  • Identify your comfort zone.
  • Grow your circle,
  • Get Acknowledgements,

Other aspects could help you to get things going pretty smoothly. And those are:

  • Create a stunning portfolio
  • Get your self listed on the local directory
  • Embrace Online Marketing
  • Sell your photos through online libraries
  • Keep the Notes

Now, we will be discussing all the points of getting clients one by one. So, pay some attention. This is an eye-opener. I bet on that!

Start From Your Locality

Now, as you have started a product photography business or have started a career as a product photographer, the real hustle begins. But the sufferings will soothe up if you follow my instructions one by one.

Make a List of Local Contacts of Potential Clients.

First of all, you need to find factories or productions that need product photography. Having those facilities inside your area will be a plus point. What it will do is that it will allow you to bid more reasonably as there is no outdoor cost in your city!

On the other hand, companies like to tie up with local talents as they know the turf pretty well. So, this also gives an advantage to fellow photographers. You should start tracing down companies like that for a major breakthrough.

You can start by searching for targeted clients' locations on map listings (like Google Maps, apple map or directories).

By simply raiding the market in your locality, you will understand how the brands work. What are the products that need you the most? This will help you be a better businessman. And trust me, you are selling yourself!

Trace Down Companies

Now, this is very important. As you are a newbie in the market, it is unlikely to have customers or contacts on the first attempt. You will have to do some research. For that, you will have to look into the market closely.

If you're set up a legal photography business, this step is beneficial.

When you are building the list, focus on -

  1. Ecommerce Business Companies
  2. Product Producers
  3. Online Sellers
  4. Amazon Sellers
  5. Lifestyle brands

Identify the companies that have always been hyperactive in product launching and branding. As a result, those companies require more photographers throughout the season. Also, find potential companies that can excel in the market by good and quality branding.

You can go to them and show them what you are capable of. In this way, they will get to know the hidden aspects of product photography and get interested in you. But the approach should be professional. This will create a long-lasting impression.

Identify Your Comfort Zone

You see, you can cut down a good amount of extra work if you can select your comfort zone. In product photography, there are two aspects. You can either stay inside the studio or go to locations and sites.

Sometimes, your comfort zone is the region not to get hired.

Identify Your Comfort Zone

Both of the aspects have different merits and demerits. Starting off with the studio, many products need a more defined and robust approach. So, artificial lighting, a good script, and excellent execution is the key to success.

In this process, you will have to be inside your studio, ready with all your equipment. But this requires a lot of patience and skills. Making a product stand out from the crowd is not a joke. It depends on you. Your skills and work can either get the product rolling smoothly.

Another possible aspect is the outdoor photoshoots. You see, you cannot show a car and all its features inside your studio, right. Or you are shooting a horse saddle. So, you need a horse, a model to ride on it and shoot it while it is in action.

So. stuff like that requires outdoor locations and sites. There are a lot of possibilities in those locations. The main merit is the robust and unpredictable nature. Pushing your creativity can bring up the best in you. This will result in excellent and quality photos.

On the other side of the coin, it is pretty hard to get hold of Mother Nature. You will have to get out of your comfort zone and work according to the conditions, not your dealings. So, it might get tricky at times. But if you are good enough to get a hold of yourself, you are good to go!

Active Circle - A Switchblade

Active Circle - A Switchblade

In this segment, it is very crucial for early-bird photographers. You see, you are still in your early stages of the career.

So, you have very little knowledge of how the market operates and how the industry works. So, it is most likely to be difficult for you to survive.

You probably noticed, when people really need services, first they try to find someone in the circle. Although, there are several common ways they seek help. Like-

  • Post on a Facebook group. It can be a photography group or a general group.
  • Search online or browse directories and even places like cartelist.
  • Contact nearby agencies.

From the very fast, men have started civilization just to survive. That is why, if you need to stay, you will have to make some good friends. In this case, friends are referred to senior photographers and agencies.

My advice to fellow early birds is to get going with the help of the seniors. You can easily find a senior photographer with years of experience. You can work under him and get an idea about the market. Also, you will have the chance to meet many people on the go.

This will create an identity of you as a product photographer. And then, when the time is right, when you feel or gather the confidence to survive as an independent body, you can part your ways.

Agencies are great options to find good work. But as you know, agencies do take a commission on your works. But for a start, it is bearable. In addition, you are learning or making a name for yourself. So, that is considerable.

For a start, you can sign up with an agency. They will find you some works and projects. On that, they will charge a small percentage. But this is beneficial for you. If you would have started alone, you will struggle at first to get the same project as you have no or very little proven work.

That is why my advice is to get along with the agencies and senior photographers to take your stakes up higher simply. Keep this in mind and start finding some.

Get Acknowledgement

This might be new to you. But this helps you grow as a product photographer. So now, how will you get acknowledgment?

Simple, by enrolling into communities of similar interests. For instance, you can join the Product Photography Community in your locality.

It will sometimes do that the company looks up to the committee and tries to find the right person for their projects. So, if you are the right person, they will get to know you via the community.

Making good friends, as well as some proven acknowledgments, will work for you.

But that does not mean that you will just have to enroll in a community and sit relaxed in your home. You will have to be proactive. You will have to get yourself to stand out from the crowd, interact with potential people. Attending seminars and workshops will do the trick for you.

Market Your Product Photography Business to Book More Clients

The planned way to get clients and jobs continuously.

This is a major question to ask. You see, no matter what you do or how you do, if you cannot reach the clients, you will not be able to sell your talent.

That is why you need to have a good grip on the market.

Making a good impression or getting proper exploitation of the market is a hard thing to do. But there are some possible ways that you can easily accomplish these aspects. These are as follows:

Create Portfolio Website

Now, what am I trying to say? How can anyone publish their work? It is effortless. All you need to do is to make a proper portfolio of your proven works. This way you will have a good display of your skills.

Now, how to publish your portfolio? Simple, make a website. Currently, there are some criteria that you need to follow while publishing a website for yourself. First of all, your company should have a relative name. The website will have to have the same name as well.

Making these small changes does create a more significant impact on the clients. Now, what will be the contents of the website? Your works, of course! Now, showcase the best results on your website. Be very specific about your line of work.

Also, you need to be reasonable as far as the pricing is concerned. There are many examples where young and fresh photographers get too greedy and lose clients or do not find any. So, you will have to look into it very carefully.

On the other hand, publishing your work and showcasing your projects will attract clients. Newsletters on how you operate and how things are done under your command can also create an impression of you to the client. Always be very specific and formal.

The takeaways-

You'll need a website to showcase our work by sharing with the clients you are visiting, driving traffics from your social media profiles, advertising online.

Creating Photography Packages

You know, when you're wanting to sell your photography services, setting up a pricing plan and different packages is a great idea.

Clients appreciate that.

When you are creating plans, make sure that they are not either cheap or expensive. However, you can do any of that but believe me, that will not be appropriate for beginners.

Instead, don't include the pricing. Instead, create the packages, and you will get to deal with pricing when making a trade-in.

In general, photographers offer three or four packages. Hence, take your time to research other photography businesses, what they are offering and at what price.

Get Listed on Local Directories

Local directories are like an online address book. You can list your business name, type, phone number, web address, business location, hours.

Probably this is the only thing that you may need to find clients. If you search on google, you may find results like this.

Google Search on Product Photography in NYC

These search results are always on the top when you search for any services. This was created from googling my business directory listing.

On the other hand, there's are several directories that are also helpful to get hired. Here is some other business directory (mostly free) where you should list your business.

  • google.com/business/
  • yelp.com
  • botw.org
  • bingplaces.com
  • smallbusiness.yahoo.com/local
  • business.foursquare.com
  • yellowpages.com
  • chamberofcommerce.com
  • hotfrog.com
  • bbb.org
  • merchantcircle.com
  • superpages.com

Endorse Online Marketing Cannels

You know customers are surfing online. Likely today, online advertisement mediums are capable of displaying ads based on people's interests.

Moreover, you may already notice that Google and Facebook ads that you see daily are based on your interests.

However, if you are willing to invest in online advertisement, you should not only focus on getting clients. Brand and reputation building is equally important.

My favorite paid marketing channels are-

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Google AdWords
  4. Pinterest

Lastly, SEO or search engine optimization is another way to drive clients when they are searching online.

Sooner or later, you have to endorse SEO to gain organic clients.

Sell Your Photographs Through Online Libraries

It is not just a way to make money selling photographs. Sometimes it can build your reputation.

Selling your stock photographs can also create a market for you. Sometimes, there are clients or companies who cannot afford to hire a personal product photographer. Then they rely on paid photographs.

You can always click some stock photographs and sell those through online paid libraries. This will not only help you earn some extra bucks but also will help you attract some clients.

Now, do publish some of your stock photos in such libraries.

Keep the Notes

Now, some of you will be laughing at me. Why do I need to tell these you! But listen, I have seen an awful lot of people getting into trouble by not keeping proper documentation. Simple documentation can save you in ways that you would have never imagined.

That is why you need to write down all the orders, all the consignments. Also, always make a proper sketch about the possible workflow. And try to stick to the plan. Improvise that I allow you to do. But keep the cellular integrity rock and solid.

In addition, always try to communicate with the clients formally and keep those conversations documented. In this process, you will create a professional impression. And trust me, the corporate dog does like a professional approach.

Preparing Yourself to Get Hired

Skills

Firstly, you have to know your craft and your tools. This is the simple and obvious thing. You should be honest with your potential clients.

Besides your growing and learning purpose, you have to be faithful that one day you will be where you want to be.

The main thing is your camera. Very carefully, you have to know your camera, your light modifiers, your lenses, and your photo editing software. Know them like the kicker of guidance.

Perceive whichever Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO intend and how to operate synchronically. You have to grasp where to set your camera to catch a scene and how to stretch those settings very hastily where your adorable little subjects toddles off to the next event.

Business knowledge

  • You have to also be alert about professional services to establish business and policies. You can make a suitable statement for consultations with legal and accounting professionals. And also, add a professional accountant.
  • Education is most important. Except if you are Ansel Adams or Anne Geddes, you will have the capital to discover about photography even after your business is well off the ground.
  • You need to do marketing. It helps you to find out. Hence, an advertisement is urgently needed. It can be direct mail or web marketing.

Problems will still always, but you have to overcome all risks. Shooting time, driving time, editing time, ordering, packaging time, bookkeeping time all areas packages, and you technically have to handle them.

Artistic development: 

Firstly, you'll find out yourself like who are you? , what do you want? And what do you want to be?

Doing so, make sure yourself and not copy another artist you cherish. Influence is a pleasant thing. Collect new ideas from other artists and serve your creativity.

Design time into your agenda. Just shoot a huge time in advanced heydays. This is the technical knowledge as well. 

You should join the photography club or different types of online forums, and that place helps you to get good work for constructive reasons. Then you can analyze your capacity in photography. 

You should always remember your ambition and passion. Be honest, be bold, be genuine, be loving, and be humble. For these things, your clients will appreciate you more and more.

Final Verdict

So, I guess I have proven all my points. And these aspects are beneficial for a young budding product photographer like you.

To sum up, all the ideas, find work in your area, track down companies, find essential acknowledgment, start working for agencies.

It will help you create an identity, lean the business and marketing process. Then try to get product photography clients.

Create a presentable and professional impression by publishing your works. Also, try to find ways to get good exposure. If you pull the right strings at the right time, you will end up getting a good deal or two.

But that is just the beginning. You will have to work hard every single day. And always remember one thing. Success does not come in a single moment, but it takes one moment to ruin everything. So, get yourself ready!

Originally published December 22, 2020 , updated May 11, 2021
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