In-house vs Outsourcing Product Photography: Pros & Cons

Updated on January 6, 2024 in Photography by

In-house vs Outsourcing Product Photography: Pros & Cons

When in doubt about choosing between two good options, I always rely on a pros and cons list. It just makes everything clear and helps in finding the best fit.

Product photography for eCommerce is a similar situation.

Choosing between In-house vs Outsourcing product photography is an important business decision that should be taken very wisely. For that, this article is created in a way that will help you pick the best option for you.

Whether you are just getting started or are exploring your options. Here, you’ll know the best options for your eCommerce between In-house vs outsourcing product photography.

Let us get started with this amazing article.

What does In-house product photography mean?

What does In-house product photography mean?

In-house product photography means having a photography team within your organization to capture your products for your eCommerce. It is a team responsible for carrying out all the operations related to capturing your products and getting them edited to meet the set deadlines.

An in-house product photography studio team may include various roles such as studio manager, photographer, assistant, editor, art director, and more. The bigger the organization is more diverse the positions are.

These team members will be full-time employees of the organization and will use its resources to carry out daily responsibilities. These resources include a studio, lighting, camera, lenses, software, tools, etc.

What does outsourcing product photography mean?

What does outsourcing product photography mean?

Outsourcing product photography means hiring a team of professional product photographers on a contract or freelance basis to capture your products for your eCommerce. The responsibilities of this team are the same as the in-house photography team, but here they are an independent organization working with you.

Mostly this team is responsible for all the equipment, set-up, and professionals the work requires.

You’ll have less control compared to the in-house product photography team. But in case you are just starting an eCommerce, results will be much more professional when photography is outsourced.

Also, if you are looking for advanced photography, like 360-degree photography, it is better to outsource your product photography.

We will be going through some quick FAQs that will help you know what is best for you, but for now, let us go through their pros and cons.

In house Product Photography Pros & Cons


  • You train your team as per your requirements and style of product photography.
  • It is comparatively much easier to keep track of the project.
  • You can carry out various experiments much more swiftly.
  • Everything is in-house, so less time is spent preparing for the shoot.
  • You can hire people as per your requirements and experience.
  • You have control over the operations and can make changes in the process as per your requirements.
  • Best for an eCommerce with continuously growing inventory, that can surpass the cost of setting up a whole studio and team.


  • The initial cost of setting up an in-house studio is expensive.
  • You’ll have to put in the time and effort to create a reliable team before finally seeing professional results.
  • The organization will have to invest time and capital in training them, which can take time (around 3 to 6 months).
  • Recurring costs of software, equipment maintenance, and growth of people must be taken into consideration.

Outsourcing Product Photography Pros & Cons


  • A trained professionals team helps you get started and deliver professional results.
  • The cost of getting started is comparatively low and budget-friendly.
  • You pay only for photography with no hidden fees or the cost of setting up a whole department.
  • The cost of updating and maintaining pieces of equipment is not on you.
  • You don’t have to divert your resources to hiring team members and ensuring their growth.
  • You get a fixed price, and you have to pay only when you require the service.
  • If you do not like the service of one, you can change the service provider without compromising the quality of results you initially expect.
  • Best for eCommerce that are initially getting started and have small inventory.


  • You have less control over the operations.
  • Shipping products to the studio can be a hassle.
  • Re-shoots may take longer if the products are shipped back.
  • Experimenting with the style can be complicated.

Questions you should ask when choosing between in-house and outsourcing product photography

in-house and outsourcing product photography

How many products do you need per year?

When it comes to in-house vs outsourcing product photography, you have to understand that most of it is a numbers game. If your products are more than tens of thousands a year, it will be wise to have an in-house photography department. But if that is not the case, outsourcing might be a good fit for you.

Are the products shipping friendly?

Shipping your products to the studio might be the only thing that might hold back most of your decisions. When you are selling fragile or large-size products that need to be taken care of while shipping, it will be wise to get an in-house product photography team.

But if you have products that can be shipped in bulk, outsourcing product photography can work for you.

Before you finalize your options, ensure that you know how much will it cost to ship your products.

What is the frequency of photography service you need?

Just ask yourself, is this an ongoing project, irregular project, or one-time project. If it’s an ongoing project for your eCommerce, the in-house product photography is the best fit for you.

But if it is irregular or one-time, project outsourcing product photography will be a much more viable option.

Bonus Read

With continuous development in photography and eCommerce, outsourcing product photography has evolved. One can request a service, track the progress, and review it from your dashboard.

But still, when it comes to a large organization with huge inventory and ongoing projects having an in-house product photography department can be a much more efficient option.

Now whatever you choose, one thing that you can outsource is product photo editing. It is work that requires a lot of resources, training, and time to get professional results.

But when working with PixelPhant, there is nothing that you have to worry about. Get a high-quality professional product photo editing service for your eCommerce. Try our service for free now 👇.

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