Product photography is an integral part of any business as it can boost sales up to a significant margin. However, the main question when it comes to getting your product photos ready is whether to build an in-house studio or hire an external photographer. Both options have their advantages and drawbacks depending upon your preference. Therefore, continue reading to understand more about both processes.


In-House vs Outsourcing Product Photography

It is better to have a clear understanding of both categories before deciding on one. In-house product photography simply means that all of the photography processes including plan, shoot, process, and management are done by the company itself. For this purpose, the company will have to invest in the required equipment and manpower.

On the other hand, the outsourcing approach hands the product photography process to an external firm or company and lets them take care of the images. Your work is only to provide them with the product and guidelines regarding your preference for the images.

Several factors will influence your decision. Read along to understand which of the two categories best fits your requirements.

Total Images Needed

The very first point that you will need to consider is the total number of product photographs that you need. If that number resides under a thousand, then you should not even think about going in-house. It is better to outsource in this condition as it will save precious resources including time and money for your company.

However, if you require thousands of images and will continue to require images in the future, you can set up an in-house product photography department.

Still Images or 360 Images?

The next step is to determine whether those required images include 360 images or stills.? As you might well know that 360 photography is more elaborate than the simple still image. Therefore, it requires complex equipment and manpower to handle it. It all adds to the main cost of the setup. If you do require 360 images, it is better that you outsource your product images to someone who already has a setup in place and the knowledge for 360 interactive rotation images. A lot is involved in this category, things like specialized 360 software, hardware, and time to produce the images.

Project Scope

A critical point to this discussion is the scope of your project and business. Talking about in-house product photography is impractical if it is just a one-time project. In this case, outsourcing is the only option.

The in-house product photography department is only viable if your project is ongoing and you will need images in the future as well.

Project Deadline

wood wall with post its with photography deadlines

Another important factor is the urgency of the required images. If your schedule is on tight deadlines, outsourcing would be the better option. This will save you the time of setting up the studio and training your personnel. On the other hand, if you have enough time on your plate, you may choose in-house product photography.

Budget Flexibility

U.S.A dollar banknotes

Of course, this whole discussion revolves around one synchronized factor which is the budget allocated for product photography. Setting up in-house product photography does not mean that you are good to go with a single DSLR. The total cost includes all the accessories which are not cheap. Other than that, you will also have to buy the tools and software for post-processing the images. The cost must also include the amount needed to hire or train expert photographers. If you are new to this field, it would be best that you do not try to invest a large sum into this without proper knowledge. However, if you have a sound understanding and budget, you may choose in-house photography.

Required Expertise

We briefly discussed this factor in the budget; however, it is important to emphasize the total amount of resources this will need. You are not only going to need extra manpower for this department, but you will also have to provide the training for the required tools and software. In addition to photography, you will also be required to prepare the products needed for the shoot and keep an extra list in the inventory for this.

Unless your company can handle added distractions, you will have a hard time managing this whole process. If you do not want to add a burden on the company, it is better to outsource to someone who already has a setup in place.

Control over the Images

This will be a main deciding factor for some of the people. If you fancy total control over the project, you will be inclined toward the in-house setup. It will allow you to monitor and modify even the slightest of details according to your vision and sentiments. Additionally, it will also give you control over the deadlines and management of the whole process. Otherwise, reputed outsourcing firms will not compromise on quality if you were inclined towards this option.

Shipping the Products

person handling product box in a photo studio

Unless you outsource the products to a local firm, you will be required to ship them to their studio. It is not a suitable option if you produce heavy machinery or even fragile equipment. Other than that, if you deal in precious items like jewels, you will also need to bear the cost of insurance and security escort for the items.


Now, we believe that you will have a clear idea of what you want. As an added perspective, if you build an in-house studio, you can also try to monetize it by offering product photography services in addition to your main business. Otherwise, if you want to save time and energy, outsourcing will be best for you. Make a decision that will be healthy for both you and your business.