Architectural Photography Pricing in 2023
This article will layout how to competitively price your architectural photography services. Architectural photography pricing all comes down to knowing your market and properly valuing your skill set.
If you can account for both of those factors, you’ll be able to price your services competitively and land architectural photography jobs with ease.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Architectural Photography Pricing
Unlike real estate photography where it’s better to use packages to create a pricing structure, architectural photography pricing works better if you charge by the hour or by the day. Additionally, architectural photos are likely to be used for multiple different purposes.
Here are some things to consider that will outline the need to have your architectural photography pricing model be different from your real estate pricing model:
Hourly/Day Rates vs Packages
There are several reasons that an hourly or daily rate makes more sense for architectural photography pricing:
- You many only be delivering a small number of photos
- Architectural shoots tend to take longer than real estate photography shoots
- Many times you’ll be working with someone while on site in a collaborative type process
Real estate photography is a much more run-and-gun type photography where you don’t have to collaborate too much. Architectural photography tends to be more of a team effort.
You might be working directly with the architect or someone from the architectural team that has an idea of how they’d like the photos to look.
All of this leads to much more time spent on site for a smaller amount of photos that are likely more difficult to capture. This means an hourly or even daily rate is the way to go.
Architectural photography pricing needs to reflect the worth of what the photos are going to be used for. I commonly find that this is where we as photographers constantly undervalue ourselves and our work.
If you’re photographing a new hotel and the images are going to be used to market the hotel either nation or world-wide, then you’re going to charge more than if they’ll simply be portfolio images for the architect.
If your photography is going to appear in an outlet like Architectural Digest or Dezeen, the architect and architectural firm stands to get some serious publicity. Additionally, your photo(s) is going to be printed thousands and thousands of times. You want to make sure you’re paid accordingly.
During the beginning of the quote process you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions about how the prospective client plans to use the photos. You’ll then be able to include what you think is a fair rate into your quote, which will be discussed later in this article.
Understanding Your Market
The first step in figuring out how to set up your architectural photography pricing model is researching your market. The amount of money charged per hour in Los Angeles, California is going to be quite a bit more than an hour in Lexington, Kentucky.
You need an understanding of your market which you can learn with these 2 easy tips:
- Research your competition
- Ask any architectural industry professionals you might know
Research Your Competition
A quick Google search for “Architectural Photographers Near me” can help to get you started. It’s likely that a lot of the competition in your area will have a “contact for a quote” type answer on their site, but some may have their prices listed.
If you can find a few photographers that have their prices listed, then take note of the prices and judge their skill level. You’ll need both in order to properly create your own architectural photography pricing model.
If you can’t find photographers in your area, then expand your search to include a nearby city or town of a similar size. You only need a handful of prices and corresponding skill levels to start to get a good idea of the going rate in your market.
Ask Industry Professionals
If you happen to know any architects, people that work for an architectural firm, or even a fellow architectural photographer, it doesn’t hurt to ask them about architectural photography pricing and if they have any idea about the going market rate.
A word of caution though, make sure you know this person well enough to ask the question. If you reach out to someone in the industry that you don’t know that well, it could come off as quite intrusive and backfire.
Between these two market research tactics, you should be able to figure out a relative price range. If you can’t seem to find any information at all, then it’s probably safe to assume a daily rate of between $600 – $2000 depending on how large your market is and the quality of your images.
The daily rate is only the cost of having you come out for photography. You can still add additional charges for the type of photo usage, an editing fee, or any other licensing fees that might come with the job.
Providing a Competitive Quote
Providing an accurate and competitive quote is just as important as understanding your market. You’ll need to send quotes out to prospective clients whether they are reaching out to you or you’re actively searching for jobs.
Before you name a price and send a quote it’s a good idea to figure out exactly what the prospective client needs from an architectural photographer. You can figure this out by asking the following questions:
- Do you have an idea of how many photos you would like delivered?
- What do you plan to use the images for?
- Will you be needing any other services like drone photography?
The answers to these questions will help you put together a more accurate quote and give you a better shot at landing the job. The more specific to the exact needs of the client your quote is, the more likely you are to landing the job.
It’s common to send multiple quotes with different services provided. For example, you can send one quote that is just for photography and another that includes drone as well. This gives the prospective client a better idea of your services as opposed to if you included everything on one quote.
Finally, check out our article Free Quote Template for Real Estate and Architectural Photography which not only provides a free downloadable quote template, but also explains how to fill it out properly.
Additional Resources on Architectural Photography Pricing
Check out our articles, Comprehensive Guide to Architectural Photography and The Differences Between Real Estate Photography and Architectural Photography, for more information on architectural photography.
If you’re just getting started in real estate photography, check out our Beginners Guide. It’s full of helpful articles and tips that will guide you in the right direction as you begin your real estate photography journey.
You can check out our Gear section as well to see reviews and recommendations on the latest real estate photography gear.
If you’re more interested in other resources that can help your real estate photography business, check out our Business Resources page.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do architectural photographers make?
On average, an architectural photographer makes about $70,000 per year. This number is just an average though and the amount an architectural photographer makes greatly depends on their market, skill level, and their expertise.
How do architectural photographers work?
Architectural photographers work by providing quotes to possible jobs and then fulfilling the quote. Meaning if they quote a job at $5000 for 2 days of architectural photography and 20 delivered images, they must fulfill the quote.
How much should I charge as a beginner photographer?
As a beginner it’s important to figure out what you can charge in your specific market. Once you have an idea of the going market prices, you should should charge in the bottom 25% of prices and raise them as your business grows.