What’s the return on investment on an in-house product photo studio?

Any plan to bring photo production in-house should follow a clear primary objective: getting a return on investment.  What are the short-term and long-term advantages of acquiring an in-house product photo studio solution for image production?

An in-house product photo studio: the cornerstone of a comprehensive business strategy

Whether it’s there to serve the needs of an e-commerce platform (product still photos for furniture, close-ups for food, parapharmaceuticals…), or digital image production for archiving or Quality Control, an in-house photo studio is the cornerstone of a comprehensive business strategy.

It creates economies of scale in numerous areas that are not always obvious at first glance: for instance, it lets you shorten the time it takes to put products up for sale, and improves responsiveness when dealing with new product arrivals.

Logistical gains using a product photo studio

Since automated photo solutions let you cut back on return trips to external service providers, your business can become more responsive and make immense gains that benefit every link in the supply chain. Reducing delays and cutting back on the number of intermediaries is good for your bottom line! And because of rapidly changing trends, this is especially true in industries like home furnishings, interior decor, fashion and eyewear.

Discover the 360 photo studios from PackshotCreator

In concrete terms, an in-house product photo studio lets you avoid having to move products back and forth between multiple sites. On top of that, it allows you to stop depending on suppliers for things like photo equipment. See our article on the laws of attractiveness in e-commerce for more info.

Economies of scale

As in any industry, when you increase production, you should also see a drop in the final cost per item. Using an automated product photo shoot solution is an answer to this problem: the more product photos you take, the more the cost per photo goes down. It doesn’t cost a penny more to simultaneously put out a photo in multiple formats or shoot objects under several different angles!

Save on production time

An in-house photo studio is a professional studio that lets you create and produce visuals with speed.

The advantages of industrialization, with features like on-screen previews and light controls for impeccable results, save you a considerable amount of time. Check all available Packshot software features.


Save on man-hours

A photo shoot solution that’s software-controlled and assisted makes it easier to post your images online, even taking into account any creative work or adjustments you might wish to make after the shutter clicks.

For instance, the software that comes with the machines will allow you to generate QR Codes or trim a photographed object intuitively in just a few clicks. This saves considerable time by allowing you to carry out multiple steps in a centralized manner, including different types of work: stock management, production and post-production.

footwear photography for ecommerce with PackshotCreator photo studios

Responsive, optimized decisions

Bringing photo shoots in-house speeds up the decision-making process

  • The time it takes to go from making a decision to posting an image on your website is drastically reduced.
  • You are in full control of each step, making you more responsive.
  • Putting a product online becomes an extremely fast and simple process. This lets you deal with critical periods like sales and promotional campaigns with more peace of mind — and get a leg up on the competition!

What are the costs of a traditional 360° photo studio?

  • Photo equipment: lighting, backgrounds, hangers, tripods, stands, turntable, camera and lens, computer, etc. Approximate cost between 5.000 € and 10.000 € depending on the configuration and quality of the equipment used. Over 5 years, this equates to a range of 85 € to 170 € per month, so on average 130 €.
  • Software: Lightroom / Photoshop for retouching + a 360° creation software: monthly licence, the cost is approximately 100 €per month.
  • Labour: experienced photographer, graphic designer or outsourced retoucher, stylist (often for fashion photography): 36,000 € per year or 3,000 € per month each.
  • Photo studio space: a rather large room is needed, let’s count 30m2 * 30 € = 900 € per month.
  • Number of photos taken: approximately 20 products per day – 5 packshots per product + 360° animation = 100 packshots + 20 360° animations per day, i.e. 2,000 packshots + 400 360° animations per month with minimum post-production.

The total per month is 130 + 100 + 900 + 6.000 € = 7.130 €. Cost per packshot: ~ 3.5 €, cost per 360° animation: ~ 18 €.

What are the costs of an automated 360° photo studio?

  • Photo equipment: automated photo studio, camera and lens, tripod, computer, etc. Depending on the size of the photo studio, you should expect to pay between 8.000 € and 25.000 €. Over 5 years, this equates to a range between 133 €and 417 € per month, so on average 275 €.
  • Software: included in the price of the photo studio.
  • Labour: photographer or operator, stylist: between 30.000 € and 36.000 €per year, or 2.500 € to 3.000 € per month.
  • Photo studio space: small space required: between 1 and 3m2 – 3×30 = 90 € per month.
  • Number of photos taken: approximately 50 products per day, 5 packshots each + 360° animation = 400 packshots + 50 360° animations per day, which is equivalent to 8.000 packshots and 1.000 x 360° animations per month, with the images being edited automatically.

The total per month is 275 + 3,000 + 90 = 3.365 €. Cost per packshot: ~ 0.4 €. Cost per 360° animation: ~3.3 €.


To wrap up

Logistical gains, economies of scale, time savings, optimization and increased responsiveness are the key factors to take into account when calculating your Return On Investment (ROI).

And when you measure the impact of investing in a Packshot studio, there are other, more qualitative factors to consider as well: taking control of your schedule, no longer having to depend on external service providers, and the option of determining your own quality standards and your own commitments.

Become the photographer of your products

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What are the costs of a traditional 360° photo studio?

Background, camera, manpower, lighting, software... Discover the different costs to have a traditional photo studio in this article.

What are the costs of an automated 360° photo studio?

Discover how you can save time and money when using an inhouse product photo studio. Read the article.