What do you charge for aerial photos?

Discussion in 'Cinestar Misc' started by Tyler Olson, May 15, 2013.

  1. Tyler Olson

    Tyler Olson Member

    Apr 28, 2013
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    There was a thread a few days about asking what people charge. It seemed the consensus was, it varies so much from job to job it is impossible to give a good general quote.

    So, how about asking more specifically. How much would you charge to take 5-10 photos of a real estate property in a rural location taken with a 5D mark III? The photos would be delivered as high res JPG files ready for use.

    Where you are in the world obviously makes a big difference so if you feel like it and feel OK to share, add where you are from.
  2. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

    Oct 30, 2012
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    A good rule of thumb is to base your rates on whatever you'd charge if the copter was not being used. That's what I do. Basically I charge my day rate, plus a premium, depending on the circumstances...
  3. Nathan Reim

    Nathan Reim Member

    Oct 20, 2012
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    Hey Steve, what do you mean by "charge if the copter wasn't being used"?
  4. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

    Dec 24, 2012
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    Tyler have a taken a "few" pictures this year for clients. :D

    Here's the conclusion I have come to.

    Charge what you think its worth to the client- Let me give you some examples. I have shot homes that are listed as high as $7 million. The vast majority of the realtors know that the picture won't actually sell the home but it can help generate enough interest to help market the home for people out of state that maybe looking to relocate. In Western PA the value of this service seems to be worth about $180. I have tried going as high as $300 and realtors here simply will not pay it (including the ones selling the highest end homes). I also realized that by anything higher per location I get much more business than if I was I charging $180 and the cost of doing business is rather low (just depreciation on batteries and motors) so it makes business sense for me to get as many jobs at $180 as possible. Make sure you take all of your costs and your C.O.D.B. (cost of doing business) into account. If yours is higher, make sure you factor that in. I will also give repeat customers discounts and incentives to do multiple jobs. If a client can give me 3 homes to shoot in one day I will go as low as $300 for all 3 homes provided they are in the same area.

    Take your time into consideration. I usually will spend 2 hours to prepare, 1 hour on site, and 2 hours importing/editing/exporting/burning files/reviewing with clients. So I normally have 4 hours into a project of time for $180. I have had realtors make me offers of $75 for one session and I simply won't do it for the amount of time, effort, and C.O.D.B built in.

    Also don't think that you should only be taking 5-10 shots per session too. You should be taking a minimum of 40-50 shots per job. I usually take about 70 shots per job. I take shots from every possible angle, and every possible elevation even if the client doesn't request it. Why? I have found that a client may like 2-3 shots you take for every 50 or so shots so I try to give them as many options as possible. I have gotten comments like "wow I didn't know it would look like that at that angle". So I try to give them nice surprises. Even though a client tells you what they want, they usually have no idea of what they really want once they see how the pictures actually come out. You want to make sure you give a client as many options as possible because you will run into some difficult clients that are extremely picky but they are not up front with you for exactly what they want. This avoids having to reshoot on your dime.

    Another very important thing is to communicate with your clients before the shoot and make sure that they understand aerial shots will bring out the very best in what you are shooting but it can also magnify imperfections. I give my clients a check list of things they need to do before I go out like power wash as needed. Make sure the landscaping is trimmed, clean up as needed, make sure the pool's water is clean, put mulch where there's brown spots etc. Even if you don't shoot properties for realtors its important that cars aren't parked where they can be in the shot, all landscaping is trimmed, and everything is clean and neatly in order.e It makes a huge difference how a picture turns out. One time I shot a house for a realtor and gave her the checklist. When I confirmed that the check list was done she said yes. I went out and shot the property with a car in the driveway (nobody was home). When the realtor saw the pictures she was real upset about the car, but I quickly pointed out the checklist which covered my butt and she had me go out and reshoot the house on the sellers dime because they were the one's at fault.

    Hope this helps.
    John Butkus likes this.

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