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Drone Photography Pricing: Get the Best Shots Without Breaking the Bank

Are you a drone pilot interested in real estate photography or considering hiring a drone photographer? Then you must be wondering how much the new technology will cost you. Search no more for we’ve got...

Are you a drone pilot interested in real estate photography or considering hiring a drone photographer? Then you must be wondering how much the new technology will cost you. Search no more for we’ve got you sorted!

Real estate photography costs $100 per hour, on average. It can cost you between $50 and $250 per hour or $400 to $800 for a single project. That includes 10-20 high-resolution images and the property’s small B-roll video. Nonetheless, the actual cost depends on your location and the photographer’s expertise, among other factors.

A top-down shot of a house

Understanding the Pricing Categories

Among the various real estate drone photography pricing options, most vendors prefer to charge per session, where each project takes 30-90 minutes. Here are the specific drone real estate pricing categories on a square foot basis:

1. Top-down shot

It’s a vertical shot taken right above the property. It gives the client a clear view of the layout, land size, boundaries, and any significant features around it. The photograph can color-fade the neighborhood to draw the buyer’s attention to the property of interest. Additionally, this shot can include annotations like street access, dimensions, and boundary lines.

2. High-Oblique/Angled Shot

It refers to a shot taken when the drone camera is at an angle between 45 and 60 degrees, 200 to 300 meters from the property. It provides a horizontal view, where the property takes the lower third. The remaining two-thirds carry the sky and land, allowing a clear view of the surrounding area and major points of interest. These can include landmarks and amenities such as schools, hospitals, shopping centers, and more.

3. Low-Oblique/Pole Shot

This shot is taken when the drone camera is at an angle slightly above the treeline, 15-20 meters off the ground. It is taken straight-on or at a slightly low angle, focusing mainly on the key property which covers two-thirds of the frame. Ensure that you have more of the house in the frame than the roof. Additionally, have wide and close-up shots at different angles, eye levels, and distances for exterior facilities.

4. Nightfall Shot

This photograph combines the low and the high oblique shots. It’s taken with the sun at or slightly below the horizon and all the area’s lights are on. Hence, it’s necessary to note the time that the lights go on, the previous night. This type of shot works well under low light or at night.

Factors That Affect Drone Real Estate Photography Cost

There are various factors that affect the photography cost, including:

1. Location

Some areas attract higher drone footage pricing than others. Urban centers have higher market rates and therefore their charges are higher. However, if an area has highly competitive drone photography, the cost can be lower. Additionally, if the drone pilot has to travel long distances to your property’s location, that may also increase the overall photography cost. Charges may also go up if the photographer isn’t familiar with your location. That is because they’ll have to conduct research on the area and familiarize themselves with its operating rules. In a nutshell, every additional cost your vendor incurs in relation to the new location adds to the final charges.

2. Type Of Listing

Even if a photographer would wish to have standard drone photography rates, that may be impossible. The size of properties varies for different realtors and property owners might have special specifications. For instance, residential homes, commercial properties like malls, and large pieces of land such as golf courses have different drone photography prices. Also, if you have a luxurious real estate property, you need high-end shots which demand you to get deeper into your pocket. Moreover, if your project is centered in a busy or crowded area, its shots are more demanding. Such a project requires more complex angles and that increases the overall cost.

3. Type Of Drone

Different drone photographers use different types of drones. These models vary in price and so are the hiring costs of each drone vendor. The more expensive a drone is, the higher the amount the photographer charges.

4. Drone Pilot Experience

The photography skills of the drone pilot also contribute to the cost of the services they offer. A more experienced real estate drone photographer will charge more than a less skilled one on the same task. A perfect drone pilot should have good photo editing skills and know-how to capture the most appealing sections of the property. The photos taken should easily convince potential buyers to make a purchase by highlighting major selling points. After all, that’s the main aim of every realtor!

5. Set Up Costs

Drone photography set-up costs include the price of the drone, the pilot’s training charges, and the cost of obtaining an operating license. A drone photographer must also be Part 107 regulations compliant to operate commercial drones. Professional photographers charge more. For instance, a starter drone like the DJI Air 2S costs about $2000 including extra batteries and ND filters, while the Part 107 costs roughly $150. As a result, you can expect a fair price from such a pilot. But premium drone users, like those with a DJI Mavic 3 Cine, and other high-end equipment, including ground photography equipment, are expected to charge more.

6. General Expenses

Like in any other business, the expenses incurred by the aerial photographer are passed on to you. These costs vary from one vendor to the other, causing their different service pricing. The expenses may include marketing costs, web hosting, software subscription, SEO, and labor. There are also drone insurance charges which may be transferred to you indirectly.

7. Optional Add-On Services

Drone photography is more than just shooting photos. After taking shots, a photographer can do editing, transcription, or translation to enhance the quality of your photographs. That also increases the final drone photography cost.

Other Types of Drone Photography

Besides real estate, there are other projects a drone photographer can handle:

Wedding Drone Photography Cost

A wedding drone photographer can cost you between $500 - $2000. A starter can charge you $500 - $600 on average, but for more professional photos, you’ll have to increase the pay. Moreover, the cost of the project depends on the length of the shoot. It could be a full or half-day, where the vendor can take photos of the venue, the neighborhood, guests arriving and interactions, the ceremony itself, behind the scenes, and more.

Agriculture Drone Photography Cost

The average cost of agriculture drone photography ranges between $450 - $1200. The pricing of agricultural projects can be done on an hourly or daily basis. A drone photographer can charge you $450 - $600 per hour or $800 - $1200 per day, on average. The actual cost depends on your preferred type of agriculture drone photography. The various options include mapping, 3D/Volumetric Models, Topographical images, and Thermal/Infrared imaging.

Advertising Drone Photography Cost

This type of drone photography may cost you between $100 and $800 on average. For every hour, a vendor can charge $100 - $450 or $500 - $800 per project. The specific cost of the project in either of the packages depends on the photographer’s expertise, the number of drone photographers, hiring location, and model of the drone. Advertising is used by international brands for major campaigns and small businesses for promotional photos.

Automotive Drone Photography Cost

It’ll cost you $40 - $500 for automotive drone photography on average. If you prefer an hourly rate, you may pay between $40 and $150 per hour, but if you opt for a flat rate fee per project, the cost ranges from $350 to $500. In either of the packages, you get 10 - 15 high-resolution edited photos. Nonetheless, the actual cost per session depends on factors such as the specific drone model used for the task.

How To Become A Real Estate Drone Pilot

You become a real estate drone pilot by training for the job and marketing your service to potential clients.

Train For The Job

This is the first step where you need to learn the basics such as flying a drone, getting a license, and taking high-quality photos. The right flying skills include operating a drone around buildings and objects comfortably without causing any damage. You should also be able to get a shot of your property or area of interest. The other requirement is the license you obtain from the FAA after passing the Part 107 test. This remote pilot certificate gives you the legal right to fly commercial drones. Finally, you need to take high-end photos. This involves using the correct camera settings and editing your photos to have polished final copies.

Market Your Services

Once you’re content with your skills, make your services known to potential clients. One of the best ways to do this is to create a strong social media presence on all platforms. It’s cheap, but time-consuming, and totally worth it. After that, consider having an SEO-optimized website, asking for referrals, advertising to local real estate companies, and signing up on Google My Business to make it easier to rank locally.

Don't miss out on capturing stunning aerial shots for your real estate projects or other photography needs. By understanding the factors that affect pricing and knowing your options, you can find the right drone photographer for your budget. Remember, it's all about showcasing your property in the best light to attract potential buyers!