Productability is a branded photographic service brought to you by Durban based professional photographer, Dallas Dahms.
Dallas has been a full time professional photographer since 2008 and has taken on many different types of assignments, ranging from photojournalism to commercial work. As a former data systems analyst he strives for efficiency in everything he does and in the sphere of photography he has managed to create a workflow around standard product photography that bears this out.
“Productability is all about getting you the best quality images of your products in the shortest amount of time and at the most reasonable cost possible. With the experiences I have had since becoming a full time professional photographer I know where the bottlenecks in providing this kind of service are, so I have looked at those problems, found solutions and in so doing have streamlined the entire process. I am using the Productability brand to kick start a potential photography franchise service down the line where we can train up young people to do this kind of work in many different parts of South Africa. We will equip them, train them and provide a platform for them to sell these services on to businesses in their area.” ~ Dallas Dahms
We offer excellent quality pack shots of most products on pure white backgrounds that are easy to integrate with a variety of platforms, including Instagram, Amazon, Takealot, Shopify or WooCommerce. We are now also able to offer full length fashion on white backgrounds.
Our clientele is primarily small business, but we also do work for larger corporations.
We have been doing product photography under various brands and guises since 2008 and have photographed thousands of images for a variety of different clients. From text books to T-shirts, cosmetics to coffins, bat guano to car racks, there isn’t much we haven’t photographed, so give us a try.
We are located in central Westville in Durban, just across the M13 from the Westville Mall and up the road from The Pavilion.
While we may have a physical presence in Durban, we provide our service for any person or business within the Republic of South Africa. All you have to do is courier your products to us, we will photograph them then repackage and send back to you via the same means if required.
Some products can’t be shipped easily, but we are also able to shoot on location using our portable setup. If you are located outside of Durban we can offer you a day rate, plus S&T expenses. Get in touch to discuss this option.
We do have plans to open up a studio in the Western Cape region in the next few years.
We have 50m² of space to play with in our new studio which enables us to do pretty much any type of small to medium size product photography. Our lighting setups are both flash and constant LED which gives us a lot of flexibility when it comes to lighting certain types of products. We also have a brilliant system for overhead flat lay shots using our Inka studio stand with our geared heads.
From R50 Per Shot
* click the button below to see how we price per shot and how we discount
Please scroll this block to see the discounting section below for details on how you can reduce the rate per shot.
Standard rate = R100 per shot
Anything that is no larger than 50cm on any side, doesn’t require assembly or have any highly reflective or glossy surfaces falls into the “easy” category. This does not include clothing. Basically, if we can set it down and take a shot without much fuss we’ll call it easy.
Example of an “Easy Product”
Standard rate = R150 per shot
Some flat lay work is very time consuming, so if your item comprises elements that need to be arranged carefully then this rate will apply per shot. Clothing sometimes falls into this price bracket, but it also depends on the type of clothing. For example a dress will require much more setup than a T-shirt, so we’d need to assess the effort required before committing to a price per shot for some flat lay items.
Most 2 dimensional artworks we can do at a much better rate. Talk to us if you are an artist with a collection you’d like photographed.
* The number of items that can be included in a single flat lay shot at this price is at our discretion.
Standard rate = R200 per shot
When a product requires extra attention then we call it complex. Examples include jewellery, glassware, shiny objects, clothing, pure white products, items requiring assembly (or arrangement like flat lay or grouped items), bottles, etc.
Complex products require complicated lighting setups or time to prepare for photography, that’s why they cost more than regular products. Sometimes we can overcome these issues easily and we might be able to bill you at a lower rate, but it’s best to check with us before you book a job in.
Example of a complex product
Add +50% per shot
Example of a grouped items pack shot
If a product is a part of a set or you would like to show it together with other products from the same line a 50% surcharge over the normal rate is applied to the image.
Also note that when we arrange these products we do so in a way that they can’t be cropped out and used as individual product images (yes, unfortunately we have people who try to game our system that way, so we’re wise to it now).
Additionally, if the product is part of a set that requires significant attention to alignment it will fall under the Complex category of products, even if it doesn’t meet any of the other complex attributes.
Add +R50 per shot
The process of deep etching involves physically tracing the outline of a product in Photoshop and removing it from the background. Once removed this can be replaced with any other background.
Our clients often ask us to do this for their images when they are going to be used in brochures and not only on a website.
Our rate to deep etch most products is R50 per image in 2022. This depends on the complexity of the edges that need to be traced, so a box will be easy, but a necklace with links will be considerably more. If you are unsure please check with us before assuming this will be the cost.
We have 2 discounts that we apply to our jobs.
Pay in advance and receive 25% off the going rate.
Order more than 25 shots and receive a further 25% off the going rate.
Under these conditions you will be able to order our services at half the normal rate. Please note that the volume discount is strictly based on that number of shots being ordered and also the advance payment discount is very strict. You won’t get a discount off additional shots ordered on a job unless they are paid for in advance of the work being done.
If you are able to be present in studio to supervise your own shoot we can bill you per hour instead of per photo. We will be on hand to sort out all the technical aspects of the shoot, such as the lighting, camera settings and everything else you need to push out a good amount of products in as short a space of time as possible.
These types of shoots do require good organisation to be financially feasible so you will need to be certain of exactly what shots you want to get and have all your materials ready beforehand. The meter starts running from the moment you arrive in studio and ends when the last shot is taken.
We do not bill you for your shots taken, but if you want us to edit them further we will bill per edit (i.e. deep etching, touch-ups, etc). All images we send out will be colour correct.
Remote Monitored Shoots
If you can’t be in the studio you can still monitor the shoot via our Google Drive and also if necessary a Google Meet live stream. Basically how this works is we will shoot images directly into a Google Drive folder which you can approve or adjust as they are made (you monitor the drive contents as we upload to it).
If you would like to watch the shoot live on Google Meet we can set up a camera on the set so that you can see how your time is being used.
Drag the sliders to estimate what your shoot will cost on our current rates.
This calculator is here only to help you estimate what your product photography is going to cost. Please contact us to obtain an official quote if you are unsure of anything. Also, if you need deep etching please let us know as this is an outsourced service we offer so we will have to quote on it.