Frequently Asked Questions

Can we courier our items to you if we are not in Durban?2022-03-12T05:19:03+00:00


We have clients from all over the country who do this on a regular basis. Obviously it only makes sense for smaller items that don’t attract large courier fees, but these days couriers are very competitive so shop around until you get a good deal. If you’re not in a hurry we’ve had some large boxes sent to us via The Courier Guy’s Economy service. This uses road freight and is very reasonably priced.

If you would like to make use of our service and send your products via courier please make sure that you confirm a delivery time with us.

What types of products are “Easy”?2022-02-17T16:38:40+00:00

An easy product is something that requires very little tweaking for us to photograph. It will have no highly reflective surfaces, it won’t have any see through bits and it won’t require any assembly or blend into the white background we photograph most of our products on.

Some examples of easy products; a box of matches, unfinished wooden product, a computer keyboard, a roll of painter’s tape, anything with a matt finish, most sneakers & non-patent leather shoes, handbags (without large shiny bits).

What types of products are “Complex”?2022-02-17T16:38:46+00:00

If it is shiny, see-through, mostly white (or has white edges), glass, has any surface that will reflect light, or requires assembly or special arrangement it will be considered complex.

Examples of complex products include; bottled goods, cosmetics, flat-lay clothing or arrangements, most consumer electronics, jewellery, eyewear, glassware, silverware, etc.

What are “Grouped” Products?2022-02-18T07:24:34+00:00

Let’s say you have a product that comes in a range of different colours and you would like to show the entire range as a family in one shot. This is what we call a “Grouped” product type.

Because it takes more time to arrange and shoot these groups (the lighting has to be adjusted) we apply a 50% surcharge to this type of photo.

Do you photograph jewellery?2022-03-29T07:35:45+00:00

It depends on what sort of jewellery it is and whether you need extreme close ups of the pieces or not. Please note that we can’t offer jewellery as a “per photo” service, we will have to bill for it in terms of the amount of time it takes us to do. Jewellery requires the most amount of time to photograph when compared to any other type of product. It is shiny, the high magnification lens picks up all manner of imperfections that can’t be seen with the naked eye, it mostly requires focus stacking (taking several exposures of the same item at different focus points and then combining them in Photoshop) and it also needs special grips to stand it in a certain way.

Please get in touch with us if you would like to get a quote on your job.

Is there a limit to the number of items in a group pack shot?2022-02-18T11:26:59+00:00

This is a difficult one to answer as it is entirely dependent on the amount of space we have available to display your products relative to the angle of view that we work with (how much of the set we can see with the lenses we use).

Our shooting table has a maximum background area of 1m and the furthest we can move away from the background is about 1.5m. If your products can fit into the angle we use then we can make the shot, but if there are too many items we will let you know.

Please bear in mind that grouped items are billed at 50% more than single items and if there is a lot of arrangement time required this might be higher. We will confirm with you before proceeding.

What is “Deep Etching”?2022-03-12T05:18:28+00:00

The pack shots that we create in studio will come to you with a pure white background that matches the standard white background of most online shops. However, if your online shop has a non-white background you may want your products to appear with the same colour background as your web page.

To achieve this the product has to be “deep etched”. What this entails is tracing an outline (clipping path) around the product in Photoshop and then knocking out the white background entirely. The final image, when saved as a .png file will not have any background at all and will appear to float on whatever the background colour of your web page is.

What does “Deep Etching” cost?2022-02-18T07:24:12+00:00

Pretty much the same answer as “how long is a piece of string”? :)

Seriously though, as of 2022 most of the images we send for deep etching will cost around R50 each depending on the complexity of the edge of the product. Best to check with us before assuming that your product will be similar in cost to DE.

Do you provide “Deep Etching” as a service?2022-02-18T07:24:57+00:00

Yes we do, but we outsource this to people who are far more efficient at it than we are.

Typically it will take 1-4 days to complete the deep etching process for standard items, depending on how many products come to us in any one job. When we get the files back from our editing teams we will supply you with multi-layered Photoshop files. Please note that if your job is high volume there may be additional costs involved if you want the final output to be .png without the background as this involves turning off the unwanted layers in Photoshop and exporting only the product layer.

The costs will vary between product types and can sometimes get much higher than the cost of the photography when there are complex edges to trace along (e.g. chains in jewellery, multiple perforations, etc).

Do you offer high volume discounts?2022-02-18T08:45:32+00:00

Yes we do.

Our threshold for high volume discounts is 200 products in one job. At that point we will offer a better rate per image. This varies depending on the type of product and the urgency of the job. If you are not in a hurry the discount will be higher, but for urgent work the discount will be lower.

How does your “upfront payment discount” work?2022-02-18T08:50:55+00:00

If you book a job in and opt to pay for it in advance we will give you a discount off the photography portion of the job (we can’t discount outsourced deep etching or retouching).

Initially we will provide you with a pro-forma invoice showing the discount amount for your job. If you would like to make the payment for the job in advance the discount will be applied to the final invoice which is system generated.

Can we make changes to the job after advance payment is made?2022-02-18T09:04:59+00:00

We will accommodate reasonable changes to your job where needed and will honour your upfront payment discount, provided you aren’t suddenly doubling the workload. We will issue a second invoice for the additional images immediately and expect that it will be settled before the job is completed.

What are “Hero Shots”?2022-03-12T05:04:42+00:00

A hero shot is a highly engineered creative image that is used in print (glossy magazines) or other advertising imagery.

These kinds of shots are technically challenging and as such require a lot of time to set up. Typically they will involve props, multiple lighting setups and compositing of different images in Photoshop to arrive at a final image. The top advertising photographers usually spend days planning, executing and delivering these kinds of images to their clients. They charge a day rate (or creative fee) for their time, plus assistants, props, research, etc. Ergo the budgets for hero shots are usually very, very high.

As we work mostly with small businesses we don’t offer this sort of high end imagery, however, if it is something not too hectic and you provide a very strong brief, we’d be happy to work out a quote for you.

If I am not happy with the shot will you re-do it?2022-02-19T10:25:17+00:00

We need to know before we begin, exactly what you are expecting from your pack shots, from the angle to the height of the shot and if group shots are required how they should be arranged. This is why the brief is extremely important.

If we miss the brief entirely we will happily re-shoot at our own expense. However if you are not happy with a shot that is on brief but didn’t turn out the way you envisaged it we will reshoot with your changes at the cost of a new shot.

Very important to make sure your brief is as accurate as possible.

Can You Shoot Our Products At Our Premises?2022-03-12T05:18:56+00:00

Yes we can, but this is billed differently. You have to commission us on a day rate or a half-day rate, plus there will be portable studio rental costs for some of the gear we need to use.

Typically we will need a minimum space of approximately 4m x 2m for small products and a 220V a/c power supply. For larger products we’d need to discuss how you want them photographed and also who will be moving the products on and off the set.

What Is Your Copyright Policy?2022-03-12T05:19:09+00:00

We follow the South African Copyright Act of 1978 and its amendments.

According to the act copyright for any commissioned work rests in the commissioning party, so if you have asked us to make photos of your products and you have paid for them, then the copyright to those images is 100% yours. We may however use the images on our social media feeds or in our portfolios.

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