Pricing your drone pictures can be tricky. You want to be competitive enough that customers will pick your service over the others which are available.
Still, if you make your photography too cheap, then you’ll need to have more jobs to get a decent wage, which means you need to take less time on the quality of your image.
On average, drone photographers charge around $70 to $250 per hour or $150 to $350 per project.
Use these figures as a ballpark figure, but in reality, you need to focus less on what other people are charging and more on what the cost is for you.
Here are some average business costs you will need to include in your calculations. First of are the monthly payments your business will have to make:
- Drone Insurance – $45 a month
- Business insurance – $65 a month
- Salary – $2.5K a month per person (Average living wage)
- Business cost (travel, prints, edits, repairs) – $500 a month
This means you’ll need to be making at least $3,110 a month to break even with your monthly costs. However, there will be one-time purchases that you will need to make too. These purchases include:
- Drone license – $175
- Business License – $50
- Professional drone – $11K
Let us assume you used a loan to pay these one-time payments. To pay them off after 3 years, you will need to make around $400 repayments on a monthly basis. This bumps up your overall business earning to $3,510 a month.
There are, on average, 20 working days in a month, so you need to be charging at least $155.50 a day to break even. This figure is only an example, and depending on which state you are from, the month and one time costs could be dramatically different.
Depending on the type of drone photography you do, there might be additional costs that I have not included.
So does this mean that you should charge $155.50 for a day’s work? Well….. No. You haven’t accounted for days where your work isn’t possible.
If you are a wedding drone pilot, then you might be busier in the spring and summer than in the winter and autumn. If you are landscape photography, then you might be able to do your job when the rain comes.
There could be a myriad of reasons as to why you can’t work, so you need to charge more than the minimum amount to make sure you and your business stay afloat.
Let us have a look at some more specific drone prices to help you figure out how much you should charge.
How Much Can I Charge For Drone Mapping?
Drone mapping is when you take hundreds of images of a large area and “stitch” them together to create one large image that can be zoomed in to create incredible detail.
To create an accurate representation of price, you need to know how large the area is, the total time it will take you to take the photos and stitch the images together, and the payment for the program, which allows you to stitch the photos together.
The price of the stitching software will depend on the program you’ve chosen, but the time it takes for you to create the map, and the size of the area you are mapping, will change depending on the project.
First, you want to figure out your minimum wage. If you give yourself the average living wage in America, you should charge at least $15 per hour for photography and mapping.
That is just a payment for you, though, and doesn’t take into account the information we’ve already gathered above. To cover the charges above, you need to charge at least $21 per hour, not including mapping.
Depending on the size of the area, the hours it takes you to capture and stitch the map, and the other business costs that you need to pay, you could be charging between $100 – $500 per map. Use that figure as a guide because a larger or more detailed map could cost a lot more.
How Much Do Drone Pilots Charge For Real Estate Photography?
On average, the price of real estate drone photography ranges from $50 to $400 per project. And the images usually result in 5 to 15 high resolution images.
This price depends on how large the area is, if mapping is involved, and the number of images needed.
Again you should charge based on how many hours it takes you to complete the task and create these high quality images.
Average Drone Videography Pricing
If you want a quick and simple average pricing list, these are some price ranges for different project types:
- Aerial footage for small areas – From $200
- Wedding packages – $500 – $3,000
- Short Videos (60 seconds) – $400 – $500
- Long Videos (30 Minutes) – $5,000 – $7,000
These are all averages and don’t take into account the difficulties or intricate details that the drone videographer will have to work with.
How Much Do Drone Videographers Make?
Freelance and employed drone videographers can make wildly different amounts of money, but in general, they can make anywhere from $30k to $80k. This is due to the careful piloting of the expensive drone crafts, the skill to create beautiful images, and the software knowledge which makes maps and video collages.
Drone pilots who are just starting out might earn less, but capabilities and knowledge grow fast in this industry.