When you are first starting out, you need to DIY as much as you can to save money.
You're not sure what works or what you need. There's a lot to do and not enough resources to do it, and you often don't have nearly enough lead time for anything, much less a photoshoot.
But there comes a time, when you start to feel the pinch. Things just aren't working. There's still not enough time in the day, but you begin to feel like you are wasting more time on photography than you can responsibly spare.
The truth is, a lot of designers are shocked when they realize how much time they actually spend on product photography in a year. We all know, time is even more valuable than money. So rather than asking how much should it cost, ask yourself this instead:
"How much does it actually cost you to photograph your products?"
Why do we calculate this way?
Right now, the money you bring in is directly related to your efforts to drive sales.
Your time is valuable, and worth something. If you want to assign an hourly rate to yourself to see how much your "labor" costs, you definitely can! A mindset that often stands in the way of our success is the belief that our time is not worth as much as it actually is.
Don't forget to consider potential lost sales from inaccurate photos.
Time and investment in marketing and sales often has a multiplier effect. It's not uncommon for our customers to see increases in sales after uploading new imagery to their website. This is because your customers rely on these images to make buying decisions they would otherwise use their senses for.