Photography trends for the second quarter of 2020


With the challenges that we are faced with as a global society of retailers, service providers and entrepreneurs, our common objective is to remain competitive and stay in business. To achieve this goal, we all have to adapt to change. Gone with the old ways of thinking and in with the new. The “new”, I refer to online processing to maintain ranking and SEO, the more eyeballs, the better the sales. Stuck in lockdown has forced shopfront business to halt, directing the retail and service industry to the various online platforms and social media sites that our target market and demographics are glued to 24/7. Not only are customers now the “program managers”, but the consumer is spoilt by convenience, choice, and instant gratification, right to their front door by just pressing the button on their mobile, tablet or desktop. The likes of Amazon is a great example.

The demand for product photography to boost your revenue

The time has finally arrived for photographers to steer their skills to this sector in the marketplace. Everything that is on the shelves is now visual, visual is what sells, so good visual representation is key. The better the photograph looks, the more chance the client  has of closing the sale. The image, likewise, must exude appeal, taste & sensation, all the senses that we, as humans are conditioned and attracted to.

The next consideration is to provide an in-house service that facilitates the clients photographic needs, as well as their editing and the post production, able to meet the requirements of the various online platform like Takealot and Superbalist, who share a strict set of rules before images will be posted online.

We have been offering these services for years now, experiencing immediate growth surges in this area for e commerce online product content from our clients. Learning how to quote and score an enquiry of this nature requires time, patience & precision.

Areas to consider in the costing & planning process

Studio setup & the actual photoshoot

Setup costs relate not only to the studio and the lighting for the different ranges and type of product, but the time required to set up each product and each angle for each shot. Remember, certain items like clothing needs to be steamed or ironed in order to remove creases, they also need to fit well on the model or the mannequin, now this takes time, yes, your time, so don’t be afraid to charge. Ensure that the client is present at the shoot so you get direction and understand very clearly what is required. I am just using fashion as an example, but the same applies to most products we shoot. Ensure that before you even start with the shoot, you have a shot list from your client, no shot list along with a disorganised delivery of products is an administration nightmare. You need to have everything in order so focus can be placed on your primary task, to shoot the products.

Editing and post

When you are quoting on a job, ask as many questions that pop into your mind as possible to make things totally clear, understand what the client is expecting, RAW unedited images, or, images edited for online usage that are optimized & sized correctly, with all blemishes and defects removed. Ensure that you are able to grade your background properly, so that the images that are sized for handover have a uniform grading throughout.


Don’t rush the shoot, or you will find you will either loose the client, or have to spend wasted time reshooting the job… “egg on face”, there are no second chances in this world and clients will move on and bad mouth you. So, pay attention to detail and understand the brief. Ask the right questions first, and do the maths before rushing in with that quotation. Yes, time is always a factor, but be realistic on your calculations and don’t drag your feet from the setup to the final edit for handover.

I trust that this short insight will prove helpful to photographers as to the expectations the client.