Aug 2021

Advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing product photography to a local photographer.

Whether you have your business already ongoing or just planning to set up one, having an e-commerce website requires the excellent product photography and attractive marketing visuals, so your clients can purchase without hesitation.  


If you wonder what could happen if you choose to cooperate closely with a local photographer who will help you expand your business, you have come to the right place.  Let’s see the pros and cons of outsourcing product photography to a small, local studio.

Five advantages of outsourcing product photography to a local studio:

  • Low shipping costs

When the cooperating studio is located in the same area as your business, you can always send your goods quickly and easily. You can use a local courier or even choose a taxi. The transportation fee will not be excessively high, and most probably, everything should go well with timing and efficiency. If there is an urgency to shoot something at the very last moment, you can also deliver goods yourself. If such a situation happens often, there is nothing better than having a local studio that is a stone’s throw away.

  • High availability 

As the studio is located nearby, you can always meet face to face when some problems arise and discuss the process directly. Moreover, it is convenient and fast. 

  • Lots of control over the process

While cooperating with a local photographer, you will probably have an impact on how things are done. Some photographers focus more on creation than on processes. So If you have your idea of what the product photography process should look like, you will have the chance to put it into practice. On the contrary, outsourcing to a professional photography service provider would probably be a better option if you lack experience.

  • Supporting of local businesses/ talents

By searching for a reliable partner to outsource your product shots to the nearest area, you support and invest in local talents, allowing you to create new workspaces and support local businesses.

  • Creative ideas

Usually, people working as photographers are artists, that have many creative ideas. This input can be precious for your business and might help you find out-of-the-box thinking needed to grab the attention of your potential buyers.


Main disadvantages of outsourcing product photography to a local photographer:

Looking at the examples given above, it might seem that outsourcing product photography is the perfect solution for everyone. But, unfortunately, this solution also has several disadvantages that you should know before deciding on the type of outsourcing for your business.

  • Limited productivity

One man can do only a certain amount of photoshoots per hour, and there is nothing you can do about that. Of course, the photographer might hire a person or two, but this is not the option if you need the high capacity and speed.

  • Limited knowledge or learning skills

If you have chosen carefully, the cooperating photographer is skilled enough to deliver you different shots. He will also be able to adjust them to global e-commerce platforms like Amazon or eBay. But what if those requirements change? Is your photographer capable of adapting the process quickly and seamlessly?

  • Limited resources in terms of location/equipment

Each photographer uses his own studio space to produce photos. The studio’s dimensions determine how to take pictures, especially when it comes to the lighting, departure from the background, size of softboxes, scenography, etc. So if your expectations change during the cooperation, you may find that due to the lack of space or money, the photographer will not be able to meet your expectations.

  • Lack of software and resources

Unless the photographer you have chosen specializes in e-commerce photography, he might have trouble affording/finding software that will allow you to have the on-time preview of shots, proper renaming, and transferring of pictures

  • Implementing changes / expanding production problem

Consider your scale. I assume your sale will grow in time. Discuss with your partner if he is willing to develop and invest in his studio, skills, equipment, and workforce once you expand your production. If not, then after a year or two, you might be forced to look for another partner.

  • The threat of missing/lost pieces

Suppose your cooperation with the contractor is not exclusive, and the photographer rents a studio also for other clients. In that case, there is a risk of the clothing being lost, stolen, or used for different purposes.


The sentence I have written above may seem like an exaggeration, but unfortunately, it is not, especially when your partner offers to rent a studio for hours. If you are not shipping all your garments daily (and I assume you are not), then all your pieces will be stored in the studio. Are you sure that someone will not use them for another photo shooting or “rent it”? 

You can only make sure by counting pieces after every shooting, and this process is problematic, time-consuming, and costly.

While a local photographer can be full of creative ideas, it may seem that his business approach to doing photography might differ from what your company needs. It will take time to set production in a way that will be effective. Even small things (but essential) like transferring pictures to a receiver might cause trouble. It sometimes requires expensive software and an intelligent system of naming files. 

To sum up, choosing a local photographer is the best option for small and relatively new businesses staying on the market for over a year and looking for a way to expand their brand. It will bring sound effects and has a good value for money factor.

But if your fashion business is evolving quickly and you are looking for a fast way to expand without the necessity to invest much money, outsourcing product photography to a professional studio seems like a perfect option for your business. If you need some more details, please fill in the formula on our web page or check the GoPackshot studio portfolio for some more inspiration.