My insight about product photography for small e-commerce website

I did a product photography for a new e-commerce website a while ago. I worked full time for about one month. Had shoot and retouched over 500 photos.

This was my first time work for e-commerce. I gained a lot experience and insight about this kind of photography job.

1. The pay for this type of job is usually very low. I am talking about $20 per hour. If you look online such as craigslist, you can find this type of job quite often. Those e-commerce companies are very small. They need photo for their product. But they can only pay you like a normal worker. But again this is a full time job. Obviously no one will pay you the rate as a wedding photographer. That way the investment is huge. Nevertheless $20/hour is a very low end job. Nobody wants to become a professional photographer that make such little money.

2. You might think if the pay is so little, they can not expect much from our work. Well, not really. The photo represent the quality of their product. No owner wants their product look bad. They all expect high quality photo that can make their product look good. That means the skill we need as a photographer is demanding. That also apply to retouch skill. We need to do a lot retouch. Retouch is way important for product photography than for other type of photography.

Let me show you some of the work I did for this e-commerce company.IMG_7564 Studio Session-956 (2) Studio Session-1557 Studio Session-1994 Studio Session-1221 as Smart Object-1 (2) Studio Session-1303 Studio Session-1473 (2) Studio Session-1489 Studio Session-1866


I can spend more time doing retouch. There are still some dust and imperfection there. The owner said this is pretty good. We can not spend too much time on every photo.

3. I need to bring all my own equipment. This is usually the requirement. I am using speedlight only for this job. It can save money to buy studio light. There are softbox adapters in the market that can let you mount softbox on speedlight. It works fine.


Overall I learned a lot during this one month work. I am self taught. I only practice a bit product photography at home. This is my first paid product photography job. I experienced problem during shooting, and find way to overcome these problem. It is a good experience. Will I find another job like this in the future? No, not for this kind of pay. The effort you put into just not equal to the pay you deserved. This kind of photography require way more skill than a portrait or event photographer. It is also kind boring. If you are looking for this kind of job online. Be prepared.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. 匿名说道:

    Hi Kai

    Yes, I agree. It is ridiculous. Clients hope to get advertising level product photography for virtually no money…..and, they always want it asap. It’s destroying the industry! Once you start doing it so cheap, clients expect it all the time, and then you just become a factory worker to them, they don’t see the effort, skill, knowledge or experience that goes into it. And what about usage and copyright?? They could take images and use them anywhere without you knowing.


  2. Mandy说道:

    The images you took for the e-commerce is very good.

Mandy进行回复 取消回复

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