Square, the payment platform you probably used to buy your latte this morning, is launching its own Photo Studio, where they’ll offer professional-grade “automated product photography” for the rock bottom price of just $10 per photoshoot.
The news is taking the photography world by surprise today—and no doubt angering at least a few professional working product photographers—but the service makes sense for Square. Until now, high-quality product photography is out of reach for most of the small businesses and online sellers that use its products and services.
Now, they can simply ship their product to Square’s new photo studio and choose from “a pack of three high-resolution, multi-angle photos for just $9.95 or an interactive 360 photo for $29.95.” Their product will be photographed and shipped back, and they’ll be able to access high resolution product photos within 14 days. “Special rates” of bulk orders of 30 or more products are available upon request.
These rock bottom prices are made possible by automation. As Square explains on its landing page:
We use a cutting-edge robotic camera to shoot your product from multiple angles. Then our eCommerce experts identify the best product shots to maximize your online sales.
If you want specific angles, or if you need to highlight a certain feature, you can point this out when you submit your order, and the Square Photo Studio promises to deliver appropriate shots. The only limitation is size: the maximum size the studio is willing to photograph is “84 inches in combined length and girth—meaning the length of the longest side plus the distance around the thickest part of your object can’t exceed 84 inches,” and a maximum weight of 20 pounds.
The resulting images are the property of the Square Photo Studio, but come with a “perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide copyright license to use the images for any use” as long as that use doesn’t violate Square’s Terms of Service or the specific Photo Studio terms they’ve drafted.
To learn more about the Square Photo Studio, check out the video up top or visit the Square Photo Studio website. And let us know what you think of this announcement. Does it further devalue photography and make life harder for professional shooters, or will this service only appeal to people who would never have hired a professional anyhow?