Frequently Asked Questions


BEFORE PLACING YOUR FIRST ORDER

  • How much information about my shoot do you need to get started?
  • The quick answer is “as much as possible”. Before sending out a contract, there’s a number of things we need to know:
    1. – The exact number of shots you’re ordering
    2. – Description of your product(s)
    3. – Are there any group shots
    4. – How you would like them shot. Knowing the angles, product placement, shot straight on, at an angle, etc is critical to ensuring that the photos we take will fit your vision
    5. – Transparency, silhouette, clipping path to cut out the product from the background to create transparency
    6. – Drop shadow, cast shadow, reflection
    7. – Final Image format, if you are not sure, ask us, we can guide you
    Without that information, we execute our ‘best judgment’ for photos and creative direction. Granted, after hundreds of clients and hundreds of shoots, our instincts are very good, but there’s always a chance that a product will either be photographed incorrectly or the results may not fit what you had in mind.
  • What if I’m not sure how I’d like my products photographed? Can’t you figure that out for me?
  • Yes just send us a message!
  • Can I just call you and get a quotation by phone?
  • You can call and discuss your project during standard business hours at (832) 303-3220. M–F 9–5 CST.

    The best way to obtain the most accurate quotation though is via the email form on our contact us page. By having all of the information about your project in front of us, in writing, it allows us the time and space to draw up a more accurate, more detailed quotation.

    We’ll follow up and email you a quotation with your order #. Please do not ship your items to us without an order #.

PROVIDING ART DIRECTION, BRANDING AND STYLING FOR YOUR PHOTOS

  • I want my products to look different than everyone else’s. How much customization do you offer?
  • If you know exactly how you want your items positioned in the images, tell us. If you don't, ask us. Our photographers can access your style guides for each item and pose the item accordingly. You can even have multiple guides for items that will result in multiple poses and images. Flexibility is our middle name.
  • Can I as a client get to be a part of the photography process?
  • Quality assurance is a major part of our system. You'll be able to follow every step of the process using our client website and to accept or reject an image that doesn't meet your needs. We give you all of the tools necessary to make that determination, including image size, item angle, and clipping path.
  • Photography consistent with your Brand!
  • The high quality digital imaging, pre and post production services we provide are customizable and scalable; specifically we can integrate into your existing logistical infrastructure to produce a seamless photography process. We can present a cost effective and time sensitive solution to photograph your entire product line. Our number one goal is to deliver high quality photography ready for web or catalogue use, creating an immediate return on investment. We take pride in our photography and we understand that these pictures are part of your image and product branding!

SHIPPING YOUR PRODUCTS FOR PHOTOGRAPHY

  • Can I ship my products before signing a contract?
  • Houston, We have a problem! All humor aside, the answer is an emphatic ‘NO’, as this has caused significant problems in the past. Our studio receives shipments from clients every day and the first thing we do is to match them up with contracts.

    Several times a month, we receive ‘mystery boxes’ that have no contracts. We have no idea where they came from or who they belong to. When this happened in the past, we would place these products on a shelf, in the hopes that their owners would come forward. Some of them reached out within a day or two, but many wouldn’t reach out for weeks.

    We were surprised to learn that the majority of the people that came forward had assumed that they were already booked for product photography – even though no contract had been signed!

    If a shipment comes in that we have not been contracted to shoot, it is discarded or donated to charity within 24 hours.

    It’s not something we enjoy doing, but it ensures our studio will always remain tidy!

  • Can I drop ship my products directly to you?
  • You can, but we strongly recommend against blind drop shipping your products to us.

    Product photography should always be a cherry picked perfect representation of your products. Often, products have minor manufacturer flaws and while these would not affect the enjoyment of a purchaser, they create a significant challenge for photography, as even minor scratches or flaws are very evident on camera. Many of our clients are Amazon or Shopify sellers looking to obtain product photography for Amazon listings or Shopify storefronts and a situation that we run into often is that Amazon FBA or another distribution center has placed cardboard packaged products in a small padded envelope and the packaging arrives crushed. While this wouldn’t be a problem for most consumers, as the packaging is the first thing to be discarded, it’s a fairly large issue when you’re hired to photograph the packaging.

    While repairing boxes, packaging and slight cosmetic damage in Photoshop is certainly possible, there is a cost associated for doing so. Advanced retouching cost is $80 per hour and can almost always be avoided by taking the following steps:

    1. – Always inspect your products by hand whenever possible. Look at them closely and check to make sure they’re operable and that there’s no tears / dents / scratches.
    2. – Send us more than one product whenever possible, to reduce turnaround time. In the event that one is damaged in shipping, the other likely will not be. On the same token, if your product is to be photographed alone (standard product photography) and then also using a hand model, sending at least two samples ensures that we can schedule the modeled shoot immediately, rather than waiting until the standard product shots are completed.
    3. – Pack your products well!
    4. – Send us ‘flat’ versions of the packaging, without the products inside.
  • I am located in another State or Country. Can you take my photos?
  • Yes, we work with customers from around the world. As long as you are able to ship us your items, we can be your product photographers. Due to our centralized, Texas Location, UPS and FedEx shipments reach us within 2-4 business days from all across the country. Once your items arrive the rest of the process is all electronic.
  • I have a product that is very large. Can you shoot it?
  • Items to be photographed can be small, big, simple, complex, shiny, dull, one piece, require assembly, clean, filthy, light, heavy, perishable, non-perishable... Well, you get the point—we're flexible. Our multiple studio facilities are located in a warehouse equipped to handle a wide variety of products. Prices may vary, but the quality does not.

    Our basic pricing is based on Products under 20 inches and up to 20 lbs. which can be photographed on our shooting table. Products larger than 20 inches on the longest side and weighing over 20 lbs. are subject to an additional charge relative to the size of the product, please contact us before shipping.

  • How Do I Ship My Items to You?
  • After you submit your order you will receive an order confirmation with instructions on where to ship your items and your order number which will be part of the address. Carefully pack up all the items that you need to photograph and ship them to us via UPS, FedEx or USPS. Pay special attention to the products you send; ensure any labels are straight, and the product is in excellent condition.
  • Where Do I Send My Stuff?
  • Do not send us your products unless you’ve placed an order first.

    Attn: Order # (insert order number)
    DPP Studio
    944 Rayford Road, Suite A
    Spring, TX 77386

  • Will you ship my products back to me after you photograph them?
  • Yes of course! if you want your items returned we do ship them back, simply include a prepaid UPS, FedEx or USPS shipping label in the package, or email the digital label to us ahead of time. We can also bill you for shipping charges.

    Alternatively, we can donate your products to local charity or discard them if you don’t want them back. For export reasons, return shipping is limited to domestic US addresses.

    If you’re local to Houston, you may arrange to pick up your products at our studio within 5 days of project completion.

  • Can I drop off my products at your studio?
  • You most definitely can! But only after your contract is signed, just give us a call at (832) 303-3220, or send an email to schedule a time to bring your products over. We’re looking forward to meeting you!

    Please make sure to make an appointment first, while it’s definitely fine to drop off your products at our studio, they likely will not be photographed right away.

OUR SERVICES

  • Our specialty is Product Photography on white background – We are able to offer such low prices!
  • We specialize in product photography. Our core service is ideal for E-commerce, catalog and web presentation. We shoot clean, crisp photos of your product on a pure white background*. Each image is professionally photographed and edited in our state of the art Houston studio by our experienced staff of trained product photographers and digital image editors.

    Fast standard turnaround. Most projects are delivered within 5 days after receipt of products.

  • Do I need to be located near Houston to be a client?
  • You don’t need to be in Houston, or even in the United States, to work with us! In fact, over 90% of our clients are located outside the Houston area.* With our purpose-built studios for “mail order” service, we provide professional product photography no matter your location.

    But if you are local, call us to make an appointment, we would love meet with you in person! **

  • Can your photos be used on Amazon?
  • Yes, Absolutely. The majority of our customers sell on Amazon in addition to their own websites. We are familiar with Amazon specs and all orders include files ready for upload to Amazon, as well as all of the popular e-commerce platforms and web stores.

    Click here for Amazon Specs.

  • Do You Offer Photos with Models?
  • We currently do not offer photos with full-body models.

    If your shoot requires a hand model, we need to align our schedules with that of a hand model or models, as well as our stylist, which may increase turnaround time by a few days as well.

  • How Do I Ship My Items to You?
  • After you submit your order you will receive an order confirmation with instructions on where to ship your items and your order number which will be part of the address. Carefully pack up all the items that you need to photograph and ship them to us via UPS, FedEx or USPS. Pay special attention to the products you send; ensure any labels are straight, and the product is in excellent condition.
  • Do You Shoot Clothing on Mannequins/People?
  • We currently don’t offer this service.
  • Do You Offer Lifestyle photos or Props?
  • We currently don’t offer this service.

  • Do You Photograph Clothing?
  • We currently don’t offer this service.
  • Do You Photograph Jewelery?
  • We currently don’t offer this service under this pricing structure.

    Professional jewelery photography is a very slow and painstaking process. This is a speciality which requires a lot of extra time and extensive photo retouching after the photo shoots.

    Based on our experience, the current pricing structure for products on white photography service just does not match with the high cost associated with jewelery photography services.

    We offer an exclusive service for this speciality, the cost is usually higher for items requiring focus stacking and advanced photo retouching. Sample images of high end jewellery photography are available upon request. Please contact us to discuss your project details.

    Professional jewellery photography involves a great deal of lighting adjustments and we cannot do our best work under a time or space constraint.

    We do not photograph jewellery on location.

  • Do you offer free product photography trials or samples?
  • While we don’t offer free trial or sample photos, we maintain an extensive photography portfolio for you to view before deciding to book.
  • Can you shoot at our location?
  • There are times where it isn’t feasible to move products from your location and bring them to our studio for photography. Depending on your products and as long as your location has adequate space, we can certainly bring our studio to you. For small products, we require an unobstructed space that is at least 15′ x 15′ to allow room to set up our product table, light stands and lighting.

    If your space is smaller, then there may not be adequate room for the light from our strobes to properly propagate.

    For larger products, please let us know how big your products are and the approximate size of the space we’ll be shooting in. We have backdrops that we can bring, as well as other equipment, provided the space is sufficient.

    Our rate for location product photography is $2000 per day plus expenses and travel time. Photo assistants are necessary for location work, cost is $400 per day per assistant. In an eight hour day, we can usually photograph around 40-50 standard products on location. Setting up our product table, lighting and background takes approximately 1 hour and breaking our equipment down takes approximately 30 minutes, resulting in approximately 6.5 hours of shooting.

    Professional jewelery photography is a very slow and painstaking process, involving a great deal of lighting adjustments and we cannot do our best work under a time or space constraint. We do not photograph jewelry on location.

  • When To Work With Your Traditional Photographer?
  • Our 'products on white background' photography service is not good fit if you need styled creative photos different then what is in our portfolio. Basically anything that requires a prop stylist or use of elaborate set ups and backgrounds for Lifestyle photography.

    If you don't know what you want and you want to experiment with different variations. Contact us with your project needs, we can schedule a lifestyle shoot, please note this is traditional photography model with day rate charges.

  • Why We're Awesome!
  • Our process makes this fast, easy and more affordable then you may be used to.

    Since we specialize in photographing 'products on white background' for commerce, we're typically better at it then a traditional shooter. We've got this figure out!

PRICING

  • Why Are You So Affordable?
  • If you're asking this question chances are you've worked with traditional commercial photographers and you're used to spending $2000-$3000 for a day of shooting. We understand, because we come from that world too. Well, we're about to make your life a whole lot easier!

    Our goal is to provide a high quality service at affordable rates. Our streamlined photo-taking process plus our product photographers’ years of experience allow us to offer affordable rates compared to other studios. This results in less overhead reflected in lower costs for the client. We have serviced hundreds of clients over the years, perfecting our ‘specialty product photography on white background' service. However, this does change some things that you might be used to.

  • Changes From Traditional Model of photography?
    1. You won't be on set for the photo shoot.
    2. You provide direction before the shoot by sending existing match images or setting the arrangements and taking a cell phone photo. You can also send in your competitor’s pictures and ask us to match that look.
    3. You'll order online upfront by the shot, not by the day rate.
    4. You’re going to pay less than 1/2 the traditional rate.
    5. World wide, unlimited usage rights forever are included!
  • May I be present for the photo shoot?
  • It all depends on the type of shoot. Product photos on white background* are shot in the order that we receive them, so while it’s definitely fine to drop off your products at our studio, they likely will not be photographed right away.

    On the other hand, if you would like to be on set to provide direction to ensure the photos we take fit your vision, we’ll have to book you for photo session specially dedicated to you, cost will be higher as we have to stop our normal studio work flow to accommodate you. A 50 percent deposit is required to safeguard against no shows. Please contact us for pricing. **

  • Do you Charge By The Photo or Product?
  • We charge by the photo. For example if you are selling a product on Amazon and want 3 product photos of the same item photographed from 3 different angles you will be charged for 3 photos.
  • Can I get larger volume pricing for multiple small orders?
  • Our rates decrease with a larger order because it is more efficient for us to shoot one large project than it is to shoot several smaller projects. Because of this, each project is priced separately based on the size of each order. Multiple small orders do not equal to volume discount pricing.
  • I will have lots of future business – can I have a discount?
  • We offers lucrative quantity based discounts on larger product photography orders, but as a general rule we do not offer additional discounts, as it would not be fair to our other clients. When building a long term relationship with a new client, the first project always sets the stage for successive projects. The value for potential future work does not exist until we have completed at least one project and should never be used as a bargaining chip to negotiate a lower rate.

    If the first project goes well and has great communication, then the next project likely will as well. If the first project is steeply discounted, then the next project will probably have to be discounted as well. We then end up charging all of our clients different amounts, which doesn’t seem very fair to our other clients, especially considering that many of them have been with us for years.

    Besides, you can always take advantage of our quantity based discounts by placing a larger product photography order!

TURNAROUND TIME AND FILE DELIVERY OF FINAL PICTURES

  • How Fast Is The Turn Around Time?
  • Turn around times begin when the products are received at our studio.

    We have 3 turn around times, listed below:

    •Standard | 5 business days or less (excluding holidays)

    •Add $20 | 3 business days or less **

    •Add $40 | 24 hour, call first. **

    If your shoot requires a hand model, we need to align our schedules with that of a hand model or models, as well as our stylist, which may increase turnaround time by a few days as well.

    When you have very high quantity of products, we can work with you on a weekly rolling schedule, we’ll work with your product production, logistics and marketing teams.

    For new clients or first-time orders, we reserve the right to process a small number of product pictures for approval before photographing your entire order. We will send you a proof image for your approval. This ensures you are happy with our service before we complete your entire order.

  • How do you deliver my finished photos?
  • As soon as your product photography shoot is done:
    1. We email you proof(s) to review.
    2. You approve your proof(s).
    3. We email you a download link for your files. That same link can be forwarded to your designer, or anyone else on your team that needs access to your photos.
  • When Do I Pay for My Photos?
  • Once you place your order, the invoice can be paid online with PayPal or any major Credit Card.

FILE TYPES, IMAGE SIZES, TRANSPARENCY & CLIPPING PATHS

  • What Is The Type & Size Of Images Do You Deliver?
  • – Standard File: Amazon Web-Ready Jpeg – 3000px on long side @ 72dpi

    – Designer’s File – High Res TIFF – 3000px on long side @ 300 dpi

    – Transparent Web-Ready PNG – 3000px on long side @ 72dpi

  • In what format are my photos delivered?
  • Standard product photos are delivered as amazon ready jpeg using maximum quality settings measuring 3000 pixels in size. Depending on product shape, excess white space may be cropped leaving the longest dimension at least 3000 pixels, while the other dimension is cropped to fit the shape of the product being photographed.

    Since we specialize in photographing 'products on white background' for ecommerce, and based on feedback from our clients, we suggest using a 2000px image for your web site, its a smaller file which results in faster loading of your page. We have extensive experience working with design and web development teams, just let us know the image parameters needed for your project, we can deliver files based on your specific needs.

  • Hero Shots?
  • Hero Shots are 5760 × 3480 pixels (before cropping) and are delivered in a layered tiff format.

    In addition to the high resolution originals, our server also allows you to chose from several smaller size jpeg images for use on the web.

  • What is a Silo/Clipping Path?
  • A clipping path is a hand drawn outline around the product. It’s also referred to as creating a silhouette (silo). This is a post production process which takes place after the photography. This is an advanced Photoshop tool and should only be ordered if you have the proper experience because its use is not intuitive. They can be ordered after the image has been created as well.
  • Can I do group photos and then cut out the products into individual Photos?
  • Simple answer is NO. Photographing larger groups removes our ability to control the lighting to the same degree as we can with individual shots.

    The reason is because the other products may cast a shadow or reflect into each other or prevent us from adding lighting devices we would normally use because there is another product in the way. When used as a group, these shadows and reflection are not distracting because they are actually in the shot in relation to one another, however when extracted they may not look as perfect as if they were photographed individually.

    Under our Terms & Conditions, we will not reshoot or retouch to fix these deficiencies that could be fixed by photographing the products individually.

COPYRIGHT & OWNERSHIP

  • What sort of usage license do you include with the images? Can I have the full photo copyrights?
  • As many of our product photography clients are small businesses without legal teams and ad agencies, we’ve made our standard usage license extremely generous, to allow you to use them in any normal business capacity.

    Upon final payment and delivery, the photographs become exclusively licensed to you for use on a royalty-free basis. This means you are free to use the photographs in any of your publications as many times as you like, with as wide a distribution as you like, without ever having to pay us royalties for their use. We allow the use of these photos in all forms of media including print advertising, packaging, web, television, etc. We do retain the copyrights for delivered photos.

    You may not sell or re-license the images to a third party. This includes selling or licensing images as photo stock for profit which would be a violation of the copyright agreement. See our Terms and Conditions.

PAYMENT

  • When Do I Pay for My Photos?
  • Before starting your project we will send you a quote with a payment link which you can use to accept the quote and pay a 50% deposit. When we photograph your project we will send a Proof image for your approval. Once you approve the image, we’ll photograph the rest of your order, when final images are done, you need to pay the full invoice before the files are delivered to you.
  • How do I pay?
  • You can pay online with PayPal or any major Credit Card.

OUR PROCESS, CHANGE ORDERS, HIGH VOLUME ORDERS

  • Is Your studio able to meet my specific needs?
  • The most likely answer will begin with "yes". We pride ourselves on being very agile and adaptable. Our systems are all designed in-house. We create and integrate software, hardware and personnel to meet all of your imaging needs. The size of your company and the number of products is just part of the equation. We take pride in our work and, whether the job is one item or thousands, you have our attention and dedication. We are very aware that these pictures are part of your image and branding.
  • High volume: Can you photograph my entire product line?
  • The high quality digital imaging, pre and post production services our Studio provides are customizable and scalable; specifically we can integrate into your existing logistical infrastructure to produce a seamless photography process. We can present a cost effective and time sensitive solution to photograph your entire product line. Our number one goal is to deliver high quality photography ready for web or catalogue use, creating an immediate return on investment. We take pride in our photography and we understand that these images are part of your branding!
  • What is involved in the imaging process?
  • The process can be as simple as this: you ship us your products, we take the pictures, and we return the products to you, or as complex as arranging to hire a team of photographers to photograph your products on site. (Or, for that matter, anywhere in between and beyond.)
  • What if my product requires assembly?
  • We include minor cleaning and simple assembly in our base price per photo. If you have a product that requires extensive assembly, please let us know so we can provide you with as accurate a quote as possible. For any products that require detailed cleaning and major assembly, we will charge $80/hour in 15-minute increments.
  • What does "minor retouching" include?
  • Our base prices for our product photography include basic retouching. We will perform minor editing, color correcting, and retouch any distinct defects. If your product requires additional time, we will contact you to approve the extra cost. We will provide you with a cost estimate. The fee is $80/hour billed in 15-minute increments.
  • What is your policy on reshoots?
  • In photography there are a million ways to create an image of the same product. We want to help bring your vision to life and have set up a processes to make that happen. Please send us as much information as possible to convey the style of images you envision for your products. You can send sample pictures, sketches, tear sheets, written descriptions, web link URL's… anything to convey your art direction.

    We try to avoid reshoots by ensuring that we have good creative direction from all of our clients before we begin work, but if we discover that we’ve made a mistake interpreting your direction (if we photograph a product backwards / upside down / inside out), then we will gladly reshoot your product according to your specification at no charge to you. Along with our apologies, of course!

    On the other hand, if you decide after viewing your photos that you’d like to have a different angle, prop, or other creative change that wasn’t previously discussed, then we would charge you a reduced rate for additional photos.

    The best way to obtain a quotation is to reach out to us via our contact page and provide as much information as you’re able to. If your project involves ‘sensitive information, you are more than welcome to send over a non-disclosure agreement as well, so that we can discuss the project openly.

  • What if I Want Changes?
  • We encourage all customers to email us any special instructions prior to your photo shoot so we have the best opportunity to deliver proofs that meet your expectations the first time around. Once you get your proofs you can view your product photo(s) and approve your order. However, additional charges may apply in the event that your request deviates from your original instructions. Extra charges will go through you for approval.
  • Can I see more photos of a particular type of product?
  • “I don’t see very many photos of ” and “Can I see more photos of ” are questions we’re asked from time to time.

    Having completed hundreds of projects, chances are we have likely photographed something similar to your project, but unfortunately it’s impossible to have a photo of every type of object.

    The good news though is that unless we’re talking something incredibly unique/difficult like an antique vase made out of tiny gemstones, almost every particular type of product is ‘just another product’ and likely doesn’t require a special skill or experience to shoot successfully.

    We maintain a very large portfolio of images on our website, with enough variety that we feel our overall quality and skillset is well represented. It would be too difficult to create custom galleries or portfolios for each client, unless there’s merit to do so (such as a very large project with a unique type of product).

  • How Many Photos Do You Take?
  • We can take as little as 1 or as many as you want of each product. Since we charge per photo you get to decide. If you need help deciding how many photos you need, please contact us and we can help guide you based on your product-type, where you plan to sell, and your budget. We always recommend at least two photos of each product-item. Product Photos help sell your items and having more than 1 photo can help increase your conversion rates and bottom line. This is especially true for Amazon Sellers.
  • How long are my images available on your server?
  • We will host the images for 30 days from the date the shots were first made available to you for download. We highly recommend that you make backup copies of all files contained within your account.
  • Why Are You So Expensive?
  • Better photos sell more products and make your business look more professional. Therefore, we base everything at DPPS on creating high quality photography for you.

    Our price is directly related to the time it takes to photograph a product divided by the cost of hiring a professional photographer + overhead. If we were to lower our rates, we would have to have hire less experienced photographers and have them spend less time with the styling and lighting of individual products. There would be less time for communication with our customers and less budget for retouching. The price in this situation is directly related to the quality of work and customer experience.

    We only hire experience professionals with formal education and our photo sets are top of the line. We are not a "plop and drop" catalog studio pumping out shot after shot in the same lighting setup. Every product is lit carefully to define shape and texture and retouched by professionals to make it stand out. Our customers come to us because they want to improve their ROI and they know that in a listing contest, the best photo wins.

* We provide final images with Pure white background, the product has a natural shadow at the base, these specifications conform to amazon.com guidelines. If you prefer to eliminate all shadows at the base, a clipping path (Silhouette) is needed to cut-out the product from the background.

** Rush delivery is subject to availability. Call first.

*** if you would like to be on set to provide direction to ensure the photos we take fit your vision, we’ll have to book you for a photo session specially dedicated to you, cost may be higher as we have to stop our normal studio workflow to accommodate you. A 50 percent deposit is required to safeguard against no shows. Please contact us for pricing.