A Detailed Guideline About How Much To Charge For Real Estate Photography

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A Detailed Guideline About How Much To Charge For Real Estate Photography

By Keila Ngo 20/11/2021

It must be a challenge for any photographer to price their services appropriately, and it is even more challenging to structure real estate photography pricing lists. If you are seeking a clear explanation and instruction on how much to charge for real estate photography, this concise article is on the way to help. 

We will walk you through a comprehensive guideline from popular ways to set your real estate listing photography pricing to relevant elements affecting the rates and more. Let check it out!

Common Real Estate Photography Pricing Structure  

Real estate photography pricing dramatically varies from region to the level of real estate photographer. In the market, four standard methods, which real estate photographers apply to set their price, are per hour, per square foot, per package, and square feet tires. Each method has its pros and cons, which we are going to analyze below. 

1. Charge Real Estate Photography Per Hour 

Hourly pricing is popular in real estate photography. If you prioritize quantity over quality, you likely prefer an hourly basis. This pricing model is suitable for property, which is ready to shoot. Ideally, photographers have some time to look around the property to find the best composition. Furthermore, both homeowners and photographers discuss the property features they want to capture. Real estate photography pricing per hour is more convincing with the homeowners while worthing about the photographer’s efforts with a well-prepared plan.

According to Thumbtack, the average hourly rate is US$ 100 – US$ 125, while high-end property photography can cost anywhere from US$ 180 – US$ 200. 

To set the correct price for shooting, it is necessary to count on how many projects you work on in a one-year and many factors affecting real estate photography pricing, which we shall cover in the next part. 

2. Charge Real Estate Photography Per  Square Feet Tires

Charging fixed prices for a square feet range is the second method to determine the pricing. The larger the property is, the more photographers can earn. The more luxurious it is, the higher the real estate photography pricing is. 

Capturing a luxurious house requires more time in set-up and more techniques along with more expensive equipment. That’s why if you only lean on the standard rate property size without caring about the type of property to make a price, you will lose your money.  

In general, the pricing model of per square feet tires is US$ 200 for homes less than 1,000 square feet, $250 for homes between 1,000 and 1,999 square feet, and so on. For a 3,000 square foot home, this would equal $270.

3. Charge Real Estate Photography Per Package 

Pricing per package like the Laceywoodphoto.com or propropertyshots.com are two examples of the pricing per package method. Their package considers many essential factors such as the type and size of the property, shooting time on site, delivery time, and types of photography such as Twilight, Drone, Day Time. 

A comparison of the three methods above, package price presents the best value-based method for real estate photographers’ efforts. 

4. Charge Real Estate Photography By Number Of Images

In case clients do not want to pay for a full-priced real estate photography package then only need a few extra photos for rush work, you may use real estate photography pricing per image. The more images clients order, the more you can earn obviously. Nevertheless, this method is fairly confusing and complicated as it requires clients to whip out a calculator to figure it out. Whereas, it is much appreciated if you let your clients know what you are going to charge and they can immediately be able to understand.   

It might stress you out a bit when starting to set your real estate photography rates. Yet, we hope that you will find out the best strategy after consulting the common pricing structures provided.  

Elements Affecting Real Estate Photography Pricing

In this second part of the post How much to charge for real estate photography, we analyze essential factors to determine your service prices: 

Real estate property: Type, Value, and Size 

Property’s size and value have a high impact on the pricing. The high value of property requires more efforts to capture the unique beauty of the house or create good storytelling about it. Additionally, you probably have to use the latest gadgets like the best camera for real estate or the best Canon lens for real estate photography, the best tripod for real estate photography, and a lighting kit to create the most stunning images. 

Furthermore, pricing will vary greatly depending on the area you are going to shoot the property. Obviously, in a big city, a real estate photographer gets a well-paid job rather than in a rural area. However, you should not undervalue yourself just because you come from a small town. 

how-much-do-real-estate -photographers-make

Markets and Competition 

 It is essential to be aware of which price your competitors are offering in your area to price yourself accordingly. The more you know about current real estate photographers’ pricing in your local market, the better you can set the most competitive price. Let’s check their portfolio and compare their works with yours. 

If it is the first time you offer your real estate photography price, we advise you to start a number in the middle of the price range. Make sure that you are confident with the pricing once mentioning it to clients. Let’s present some listings you captured before and point out what makes you stand out from the competitors. 

Your Profile 

Experience and reputation 

The photography portfolio is a snapshot, which tells a story about your creativity, vision, specialties and showcases your best works. It is a powerful marketing tool to build up the ladder of your photography career and make you stand out from the amateurs. The more impressive your portfolio, the better value you can offer to customers. 

In real estate, a picture is worth a thousand words. It conveys the unique beauty and value of the house. That’s why realtors and home sellers are ready to give you a well-paid job as long as you can convince them through the relevance of your work. Certainly, the photography portfolio can act as a solid background for you to represent the relevant work and build your reputation. Local reputation is particularly valuable. You can even create a demand for the person, which can allow you to charge more and get more work.

Quality of work and service delivery   

The latest camera or even smartphones are making it easy to capture basic shoots to show the house. Furthermore, real estate photo editing apps can turn normal pictures into nice ones just through a few mouse-click. So, what really makes home sellers and realtors ready to pay you more? Well, quality photography and service are the right influences on how you can price your photography. 

Your extensive experiences and artistic vision can capture well-composed images, and use the interplay of light and shadow to emphasize textures. As a result, you are creating an alluring house. 

Perceived quality and service stay true to set pricing for real estate photography. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and exceptional customer service makes brokers and home sellers comfortable and unhesitant to buy. If you obtain two elements successfully, you are fully able to earn more profits through every shoot you do.    

Post-Processing and Editing 

Real Estate Photo Editing isn’t only an essential post-production step for color correction but also to create a sense of depth in your photos. It makes the listings always stay on top of the potential home buyers’ minds. If so, you definitely can add an extra fee for such high quality.
While taking photos can take 3-4 hours, editing them lasts even double time. Especially relating to real estate retouching, for example, the front or back yard is dug up during construction so you can’t use the raw exterior shots to advertise the property. In this circumstance, by applying multiple tools on real estate photo editing software, photographers can make a magical transformation like lawn replacement, cleaning out driveways, or even slightly improving the landscape and view outside the window.


Gear and Equipment

Real estate photography gears are the big initial investment. As time goes, it is also necessary to upgrade equipment and invest in different kinds of equipment to enable the capture of many types of houses. These real estate photography gear are long-term investments so you should have the most correct calculation to divide this cost into a certain amount of years you are going to use them.  Then, let’s estimate the number of shooting you will capture per year to define the correct amount for equipment fee per shot. 

Gear and Equipment

Normally, the basic real estate photography gears include: 

  • Main camera body and a spare one
  • Wide-angle lenses
  • Tripod
  • Drone
  • Batteries for camera and flash
  • Chargers and cords
  • Computer or laptop for editing
  • Editing Software

An example: the total fee for equipment maintenance or upgrading your gears in one year is  US$ 3,500 per year. If you have 400 sessions per year, that means you need to get $8.75 per photoshoot for the equipment budget. You might not notice it immediately, yet your equipment would make much difference in pricing.

Different Tips For The Best Real Estate Photography Pricing

Interpersonal skills

Client communication is a small expense, which you may skip from real estate photography costs. However, let’s take advantage of accumulated experiences to give them valuable information to stage the house or consult them about premium services like virtual 3D Home tours, aerial photography, or virtual staging to showcase the property appearance nicest. Under this aspect, it is totally fine to use your expertise and service as an element in real estate photography rates.

In other circumstances, you also deal with tough customers. Despite the communication being written, via telephone, or face-to-face, it takes a lot of effort and time to consult while being flexible enough to acquire a win-win situation. So, in another perspective, your interpersonal skills could play a crucial role in closing a deal. It can possibly be a fee worth considering if necessary.

Offer additional services

Expand the real estate photography services offered to your clients to save your clients more time and make yourself more money. The most obvious premium service is videography. It is usually done with a Steadicam, walking throughout the home so that the video feels buttery smooth and very easily shows the layout of the home to potential buyers. 

Another potential service is drones for the aerial view, which allows for an elevated perspective of the outside of the home and the neighborhood which gives the potential buyer a better sense of the home.  

Drone Image

Virtual staging is also a good option to include in your additional service list. More advanced services, like BeatColor’s virtual staging, will edit, place your wanted furniture and even remove clutter from the original photos, to make them look much more stunning and upmarket. 

Virtually Staged images edited by BeatColor

And there is so much more you can do! Think outside the box and start to offer these services to your clients as well as add significant additional revenue to your business.

Always seek improvement in efficiency

After dealing successfully and acquiring certain customers, it is vital to continuously enhance your workflow efficiently time by time. Quick turnaround times and attention to detail are very important to keep your clients. If you commit to delivering photos to the client within a specific time frame, be sure to follow through. Keep putting your best foot forward, it is the key to remaining competitive in real estate. 


We hope the post “How Much To Charge For Real Estate Photography” is not hard to answer at all. Through the concise analysis of the  4 common pricing structures, we believe real estate photography pricing per package works best. You can offer a basic package then give clients multiple options to upgrade services if needed. 

Related post: BeatColor | Should Real Estate Photographers List Their Price On The Website?

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