What to Charge for Architectural Photography
Architectural photography presents different types of challenges to the photographer. Not only is a photographer usually on location when taking the photographs, but they are doing something that is very different than a studio photographer. For that reason, many new photographers in this domain struggle with what to charge for their services. Be sure to print this guide out when you are beginning to develop your price list. Here's what you need to do:
Step 1 - Know Your Client
There are many different niche markets you can enter into as an architectural photographer. Here is a list of types of professions and people you can consider working for:
- Real Estate Agents: Real estate agents are always looking to put their best foot forward when marketing and advertising a home. Many real estate agents today will hire a professional photographer to take the photographs of the interior and the exterior of the home. They also may enlist your services for professional virtual tours.
- Architects: Architects will look for photographers to take photos of their finished constructed work
- Contractors (building and home)
- Design Firms
You will need to decide which of these types of people or companies you are looking to work with. If you are starting out in this field, it is wise to pick one or two to start with. You can always expand your services and target markets at a later date.
Step 2 - Charge for Photos
Most architecture photographers will set a price for a package of photographs. This can range anywhere from 10 to 20 to many more. An average priced package for twenty photographs is approximately $300. Check what your local market can bear by speaking to other architectural photographers in the area. Most competing photographers are more than happy to lend their support and their advice to someone that is just getting into the business.
Step 3 - Charge for a Day
As the old saying goes, 'time is money'. So you need to appreciate your time and put a value on it. This means that you should figure out how much you are worth for a day of shooting. This is particularly important when you are working in the world of corporations. Average fees range anywhere from $1500 to $3000. Again, these fees really are dependent upon the local market and you will need to do some research by calling competitors.
Step 4 - Photo Retouching Services
If you are skilled in photo retouching, you need to decide how much you are going to charge for these services. You will need to have a menu of options that includes simple routine retouching and more extensive retouching work. There is usually not a one-fits-all approach to photo retouching. You will need to make exceptions from time to time.