Jewelry photography is among the most demanding photography types. Besides capturing the fine details, it requires extensive editing skills because of precious metals’ reflective properties and gemstones’ unique colors that must stay true to life.
That’s why jewelry photoshoots are pretty expensive. Add models and art direction to the equation, and you get a hefty price tag you may be unable to afford.
How much does a jewelry photoshoot cost? Let’s see the factors affecting jewelry photography pricing before exploring the costs and tips for minimizing them.
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Factors That Affect Jewelry Photography Pricing
Jewelry photography pricing varies among photographers. However, every photographer sets their rates according to the following factors.
Do you wish to photograph diamond rings, showcasing their clarity, cut, carat, and color? Are you launching a line of pearl necklaces and earrings and want their photos to show their unique milky or satiny luster? Do you want to capture the kaleidoscopic iridescence of opal jewelry?
Photographing fine luxury will cost more than capturing fashion jewelry. Why? Because precious stones and metals reflect more light than base metals and synthetic materials. Additionally, they’re more expensive, requiring gentle handling and, sometimes, meeting insurance requirements regarding the set.
Therefore, jewelry quality is directly proportional to jewelry photography pricing. The more challenging highlighting the quality is, the more your photos will cost.
Experienced photographers charge more than their beginner counterparts because they’ve built an extensive portfolio that continually attracts clients. The demand for their services is higher, making it possible to increase their pricing. After all, they’re experts who can capture high-quality, eye-catching product photos.
Additionally, they typically invest in top-notch equipment for jewelry photography, making higher rates unsurprising. Moreover, they need high-quality macro lenses for close-up jewelry shots, which are more expensive than standard lenses.
Furthermore, a seasoned jewelry photographer must have excellent post-production skills to fine-tune your photos and present the pieces in the best possible light.
Therefore, choosing someone with adequate experience and technical expertise over a beginner will cost more but ensure premium quality.
Number of Photographs
Some jewelry photographers charge by the hour, some by the day, and others have per-image rates. The more photos you need, the more you’ll pay for the photoshoot because your photographer will need more time to create the shots.
However, as the number of photographs increases, most photographers’ per-image prices decrease. For instance, if 1–10 shots from multiple angles cost $55 per photo, 11+ images could have a $45 price tag each.
Additionally, there’s a pricing difference between single and group product shots. The more jewelry pieces your photographer must handle, style, and retouch in one image, the more expensive the process will be.
Considering the example above, the pricing of a group jewelry photo could be $65. However, that rate typically applies to fewer images, sometimes doubling for more photographs. For instance, if that’s the price for 3–5 group photos, 6–9 might cost $130.
Jewelry photography for ecommerce catalogs requires a solid-color background or a creative backdrop. Editorial photography is another story.
It requires lifestyle product shots, calling for models to make your jewelry more appealing and compel customers to purchase it.
However, hiring models for jewelry photography adds significantly more costs to your photoshoot. Besides paying the models, you might need makeup artists, hair stylists, and other professionals—even if you photograph only their hands (they’ll need perfect nails).
Additionally, working with models requires a set in a studio or outdoors. You also might need props, further increasing the costs. Moreover, you might need a capable art director to communicate the project visually—unless you plan to do it.
Art direction is another significant factor impacting jewelry photography pricing. It helps capture intricate details and create eye-catching compositions reflecting your brand message.
Jewelry photographers working with an art direction team charge more for their services because they communicate visual designs to grab people’s attention. They provide a creative vision, ensure seamless communication, and create artistic visuals that sell.
Art direction guides your photographer. It dictates how they’ll direct models (if any), which camera angles and lighting they’ll use, and how they’ll utilize props. The more guidelines they must follow, the more expensive their work will be.
Finally, editing affects jewelry photography pricing. Every photograph requires retouching to correct the colors, reflections, highlights, shadows, contrast, background, and other elements. Post-production editing also helps remove imperfections and mannequins, add various effects (e.g., drop shadows), and emphasize details.
Photo editing software can be expensive, and mastering it takes time. If your chosen photographer is adept at post-production and uses high-quality retouching tools, you can expect to pay more for their efforts, but you’ll get impressive photos.
Estimated Jewelry Photography Costs
Jewelry photography pricing varies depending on the factors above. Still, the average cost per image ranges between $10–$60. However, if you hire an experienced photographer, that price could reach $500. Many high-end photographers who charge by the hour have similar hourly rates — around $600.
What about hiring a model? That could set you back $2,500 per photograph. Every additional model costs extra, typically around $1,000. Makeup, hairstyling, and premium clothing increase the costs.
Therefore, a jewelry photoshoot could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars, primarily depending on the models. Fortunately, you can trim those costs. Here’s how.
How To Minimize the Costs of a Jewelry Photoshoot
Jewelry photoshoot pricing goes hand in hand with the time your photographer invests in styling jewelry and taking and retouching photos. Here’s how to shorten that time and minimize the costs:
- Use AI tools: You can remove the photographer from the equation using AI product photography tools. That will considerably reduce your costs since these solutions fit anyone’s budget. Some are free, while others have monthly prices between several and a few hundred dollars. For instance, Wondershare VirtuLook provides 1200 monthly credits for $39.99 per month, and 14400 monthly credits for 399.99 per year. And VirtuLook offers 40 credits for free to help you enjoy the feature. But to remove the watermark and download 4K image, you need to upgrade your plan.
- Polish your jewelry: Prepare the pieces for the photoshoot by thoroughly polishing them. That way, retouching the photos in post-production will take less time since the photographer will focus only on removing reflections and other technical corrections.
- Ship the jewelry to the photographer: If you don’t need a specific set with models and props, consider sending the pieces to your photographer to save on their travel expenses. You can chat over a video call and ask for a test photoshoot with a live preview to ensure you’re on the same page. However, this method works if you don’t sell fine jewelry with insurance regulations. In that case, the photographer must meet you at the specified location.
- Ask them to recolor identical pieces: Do you have a particular necklace available in silver, gold, and rose gold? Do you have the same rings with different gemstones? Your photographer could style only one piece before capturing it and use others for color reference. Then, they can use editing software to recolor the styled images using reference shots, saving significant time and cutting costs.
We recommend trying AI tools before applying other cost-saving tips. You can save hundreds or thousands of dollars while creating high-quality jewelry shots (with or without models) and fine-tuning everything, from lighting and angles to backgrounds and positioning.
The best part is you don’t need technical knowledge because AI tools like Wondershare VirtuLook are intuitive. If you don’t like the results, you can always hire a professional photographer, but we’re confident you won’t need one.
Jewelry photography pricing makes many business owners take the DIY road to take product photos. They buy a standard camera or use a smartphone because paying thousands of dollars for an extensive photoshoot is often more than their wallet can handle. Others save money by hiring inexperienced photographers with lower rates and requesting fewer images.
However, it doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom. You can reduce the costs in several ways, including with AI product photography tools. Creating and retouching jewelry shots with AI takes only a few minutes. Moreover, it’s a fraction of the cost, making AI solutions ideal for everyone.