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December 1, 2021

Real Estate Photography Pricing Made Simple: Finding the Right Photo for Your Budget

Why pay for real estate photography?

Real estate photography is a helpful addition to any realtor, client, buyer, and seller. Real estate photography can help to sell a property quicker and at a higher price. Like any good, real estate photography pricing is critical. This price is standardized based on a variety of circumstances.

Real estate photography rates vary based on location, needs, and the experience of a photographer and or the real estate photography company. It is a real estate agent’s task to help promote and sell a property and one of the easiest ways to do this is through high-quality images. This moves a listing beyond the confines of its residential neighborhood to a wider audience of buyers and sellers. These property images create a representation of a home that can be showcased on a variety of platforms.

Photography in real estate can be one of the most important and helpful factors in selling a listing. The days of driving through neighborhoods and hunting for a for-sale sign are gone, now it is up to the digital footprint of a listing to sell itself. 

Professional real estate photographers help to enhance the beauty of a home in order to properly showcase a space. A real estate photographer is trained to assess a space and utilize camera techniques and angles to create a high-quality image. Hiring a real estate photographer brings in a wider clientele when creating a visual portfolio online. It is important to remember that hiring a photographer pays for the skills of a photographer, not just the technology of the camera.


What is the average real estate photography cost?

Real estate photography pricing and real estate photography cost depend on a variety of factors. Real estate photography can be dependent on location, a photographer’s experience, and any additional needs in packages. On average, real estate photographers charge around $100 an hour but this can range depending primarily on your location. 

Some photographers charge based on packages that begin with basic photos and then expand to packages that add additional features like video, marketing aerial footage, etc. Other photographers may use a real estate photography pricing list that depends on the square footage of a home. Homes that are smaller will have lower prices than homes with more square footage. 


A good real estate photographer will have a vast portfolio that reveals extensive experience. Photography is a trained skill and craft that grows with practice. The experienced photographer will then create a higher quality product, which then will be a higher cost. Typically, a real estate photography company will have their more experienced photographers priced higher than photographers working toward that experience. A more experienced photographer has the potential to offer more depth in style and creativity. For example, a senior photographer may be priced at a higher cost over a junior photographer because of the experience and skills they possess. 

Additional Needs

The cost of real estate photography varies on the needs of a client as well. A more basic package, with basic needs, will cost less than a package with additional bells and whistles. Additional features that go beyond a basic package may include video, marketing, a video assistant, drone footage, etc. Depending on the company, these additions may be added as another fee on top of the shoot or it may be part of another designated package.

Additional Real Estate Photography Fees, Costs, and Rates

  • Virtual Staging on the Photos

Virtual staging is the process of taking an image and creating a digital workspace that seamlessly redesigns a listing. A photographer begins by taking an image of an empty or visually unappealing location and then sends it to an editor. The editor takes these images and virtually stages the space with furniture, decor, and pieces. Virtual staging eliminates the hassle and price of in-person staging. This normally ends up costing an additional fee in regular real estate photography rates because the editing process becomes more tedious.

  • Additional Photos A La Carte

Photos “A La Carte” in real estate photography, are images paid for individually versus in a package. The shoot is initially paid for by the client and the a la carte images occur when individual pictures are selected by the client to purchase. These images are additional pictures to the ones included in the package, so they come at an additional price. 

  • Exceeding Edit Limitations

Real estate photography packages come with a standard editing procedure. This procedure is a result of companies and photographers needing to ensure clients receive the same services consistently. The editing of an image usually comes with a common number of re-edits on an image. For instance, a company that only allows an image to have two re-edits on an image will most likely charge more for the third edit of the photo. Another additional fee that may come with editing happens when the editor has to go beyond fixing small imperfections. Real estate photography’s rates on editing vary with different companies and photographers.

  • Transportation

When creating a real estate photography pricing list, it is important to account for the cost of transportation within the prices. A photographer’s means of travel to and from a location can become expensive when they move from different shoots across the day. Some packages are created with the transportation costs in mind, but others require a client to give a reimbursement for any transportation costs acquired.


Possibly, the most important factor in real estate photography rates is location. Location impacts the cost of real estate photography in a deeper way than any other factor. In areas like New York City, Washington D.C, Seattle, LA, etc., the pricing for a real estate photographer will be a bit steeper. Real estate photography pricing New York will have a higher cost and a higher need than a small town. States or cities with high real estate sales volume will typically have higher real estate photography costs. In a location with more competition in skill, prices can reflect a level of experience that intends to sway a client to work with their company or photographer.