Drone Photography Pricing – How Much Does It Cost?

drone photography pricing guide

Drone photography costs around $70 to $250 per hour. Or it can range from $250 to $350 per project.

The final result would contain up to 15 high-resolution professional aerial images. If you want to include a fully-edited drone video as well as the photos, then the prices could increase up to $500+.

Average Hourly Rate:

$160

Minimum Hourly Rate:

$70

Maximum Hourly Rate:

$250

My guess:

If you are reading this then you must be new at drone photography and don’t know how much you should be pricing yourself.

Or are you about to hire an aerial photographer and not sure if he is not overcharging you?

That’s why…

I’ve pulled everything you need to know in this drone photography pricing guide.

How Much Do Drone & Aerial Photography Services Cost?

average drone photography cost per 90 minute session

On average, a 60 to 90-minute drone photography session is going to cost around $250 – $350 (Source: Thumbtack). The price includes photo editing as well. If the photoshoot lasts longer, there could be an extra charge of $50 – $70 per hour.

Don’t forget that drone photography rates vary depending on various factors. There are two main factors to consider when hiring a drone photographer:

  1. Experience in taking pictures. The best decision is to check their portfolio to get a sense of their style and skills. It’s also useful to check the reviews and find information from their past customers.
  2. Ability to professionally control the drone. Make sure that they understand how to properly use the aerial device. Not only how to use one but also knowing all the local laws of flying because there are lots of zones where it‘s forbidden to fly a drone.

With the combination of both experiences, you guarantee that you are getting the best result possible. Expect to pay more for higher-quality photos because you can see the difference in the final result.

Drone Photography Hourly Rates

drone photography prices per hour chart

Hourly rates of drone photographers can range from $70 to $250 depending on their experience level. The average cost to hire a drone photographer is $160 per hour. Usually, 30-90 minutes is more than enough to shoot a real estate project.

Below you can see how prices can vary on different duration photography sessions:

1 hour

$70 to $250

4 hours

$280 to $1000

8 hours

$560 to $2000

However, it‘s important to mention that 62 percent of drone photography service providers do not charge by the hour. Instead, they each have individual pricing. Most of them choose to charge per session.

Real Estate Drone Photography Pricing

The average cost of real estate drone photography could range from $100 to $400 per project. Usually, the result should consist of 5 to 15 high-resolution images (sometimes a video included).

real estate drone photography cost

If you are hiring a drone pilot for your real estate project, look for one that specializes in the field and has previous experience. It is recommended to ask for their portfolio of previous work.

In most cases, freelance real estate drone photographers will have their fixed pricing packages. If a shoot is longer than expected, your drone pilot may set hourly rates of $50-$100 per extra hour, according to their pricing.

The higher-priced packages usually will also include aerial video clips.

How Much Does Drone Videography Cost?

A 1-2 minute length of drone video can cost anywhere from $150 to $900. The service would include fully edited and rendered video.

Let’s take a closer look at typical drone video service prices.

Rates per Project

Video projects are usually more time-consuming than photos. They could require more knowledge and expertise which makes them more expensive.

Such services are most needed at events such as weddings, private parties, public events or commercial videos. Therefore, prices can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars

For example, wedding videographers usually have fixed-price packages for drone video services.

Project TypePrice
Wedding video package$600 – $3,150
Aerial footage in wedding videography on requestFrom $200
60 to 90 second video clip (mostly ordered for real estate)$400 – $450
30-minute 4K video$5,000 – $7,000

Rates Per Minute of Finished Product

Fully edited high-quality drone videos can cost around $150 to $450 per minute of finished footage.

Finished Video LengthPrice
1 minute$150 – $450
2 minutes$300 – $900
3 minutes$450 – $1,250
10 minutes$1,500 – $4,500

The prices above are including video editing. The longer it takes to finish the final video product, the higher the total price is going to be.

How Much You Should Charge For Drone Photography?

There are 3 main things you should consider when setting prices on how much you should charge for drone photography. They are:

  • Skill
  • Experience
  • Type of drone you are using

On average, you should charge around $40 – $60 per hour as a drone photographer. Professionals that work with commercials, ads and another extensive work charge around $150 per hour or even more.

Also, if you are creating drone videos, you should consider the time spent post-processing. Everything from color grading, voiceovers, adding sounds and music or any special effects could affect your final price.

Factors That Affect Drone Photography Cost

Type of Drone

A professional quadcopter operator needs high-end gear for the best possible image and video resolution.

There is a massive difference between a $500 drone and a $5,000 drone. Meaning drone pilots that use professional gear usually charge more. 

Additional expenses can contain getting a special license which is required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Location

Location and type of project are very important factors to consider when talking about pricing. If the photographer is not familiar with the place he is going to shoot, he will need to research the place. Or he might add an hour or two to the final cost.

There are drone operation rules that vary from city to even state and country.

A tip would be to look for someone local around the area. Just remember that if you are asking your photographer to travel to the photography location, travel fees may add up to your costs. 

Experience

You are not expecting good results if you hire someone who operates a drone for the first time.

That said:

You are not paying just for the final images or videos. You are paying for their knowledge and time spent learning how to fly the drone. Also their photo and video editing skills, and creativity in finding the most eye-catching angles.

For example: If someone is capturing real estate sales pictures, they must know and have experience in finding the most selling points of view.

Other Factors

There are a few other factors to consider when pricing your drone photography:

  • Professional training and costs of CAA approval
  • External camera and lenses (optional)
  • Insurance
  • Safety and additional equipment
  • Computer and software for image editing software (Drone Safe Register, 2020)

However, it’s quite difficult to determine the final cost of each aerial photographer because of factor diversity. For example, real estate photography experts usually make more than those who fly drones at, for example, events.

There might be situations when a few revisions are needed or there is a short deadline for the project.

Final Word

It’s important to understand how much you are worth as a drone pilot. Low prices can make you look inexperienced and low-skilled.

On the contrary, prices that are too high could also scare away your potential customers. They could simply think that you are overcharging and they would look for a cheaper option.

You can always make your own pricing table or template according to these main factors:

Before drones, aerial footage was taken from a helicopter or other expensive aerial device at a very high cost and lower quality than what drones can deliver today.

So why not taking advantage of it and use this compact, low-cost and high-quality footage taking device.

About The Author

14 thoughts on “Drone Photography Pricing – How Much Does It Cost?”

    1. Hi James, the pricing is shown in US dollars. Make sure to keep in mind that all information is approximate, with the purpose of forming an overall picture, and can differ based on the location you live in.

  1. Thank you for creating this. It is very helpful as I just passed my part 107 knowledge test and would like to work in NH as it has the best scenery and people.

  2. Hello,
    Thanks for sharing! I’m interested in knowing where is everyone advertising their service?

    1. Karolis Kiniulis

      Hi Courtney,

      I believe each service provider uses different marketing and advertising strategies. But freelance marketplaces like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer could be a great place to start. Also, you can create Social Media ads and serve them around your location to get your first customers more quickly.

  3. Hi Karolis. I love your share. I would love to add some points about factor affecting the pricing of real estate drone photography. I think that Gear are very important, so it should be top 4 elements. And also, how about the reputation, I mean Brand Marketing fee which we can count on to charge. I know many agent are happy to pay a high fee as long as the quality is assured ^^ Just my personal perspective

    1. Karolis Kiniulis

      Hi! Definitely agree. Those 2 points you’ve mentioned are super important, and good reputation should be considered as a weighty element when talking about the pricing of the services. Thanks for adding additional points about these factors.

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