Drone Photography Pricing [2023 Rates]


Are you a drone pilot interested in real estate photography or considering hiring a drone photographer? Then you must be wondering how much the new technology will cost you. Search no more for we’ve got you sorted!

So, how much does real estate photography cost?

Real estate photography costs $100 per hour, on average. It can cost you between $50 and $250 per hour or $400 to $800 for a single project.

That includes 10-20 high-resolution images and the property’s small B-roll video.

Nonetheless, the actual cost depends on your location and the photographer’s expertise, among other factors.

Average cost per hour$100
Low-end cost per hour$50
High-end cost per hour$250

This article provides everything you need to know about this technology’s charges to help you have a good start. Let’s dive in.

How much does drone photography cost?

Generally, drone photography has an average cost ranging between $200 and $750 per hour.

You can get a drone operator charging as low as $100 and as high as $10,000 per project.

The specific prices differ for the various packages depending on the photography shoot length, service performed, and resolution.

It’s also worth noting that if your shoot takes more than 90 minutes, it’ll cost you $50-70 more.

Moreover, charges also vary depending on the kind of work involved. For that reason, real estate drone pilots have different charges from other drone operators.

How are drone real estate photography prices calculated? 

Drone real estate photography prices are calculated on an hourly or square foot basis, but some photographers may opt for a fixed flat fee.

For that reason, consider your budget and choose the vendor whose pricing structure best suits your needs and pocket. Below are the specific drone real estate pricing categories on a square foot basis. 

Package Charges 
Up to 2000 sq. ft.$150
2001 to 3000 sq. ft.$200
3001 to 4000 sq. ft.$250
4001 sq. ft and above$300
5 exterior images$150 (flat fee)
10 exterior images$250 (flat fee)
Drone video$300 (flat fee)

Among the various real estate drone photography pricing options, most vendors prefer to charge per session, where each project takes 30-90 minutes. 

What is the drone real estate photography process?

The drone real estate photography process is a scenario where a real estate agent hires a private drone pilot to take aerial photographs, videos, or both of their property.

These shots give your footage an appealing and professional look. There are four key shots that drone photographers can take including the following:

  • Top-down shot 
  • High-Oblique/Angled Shot
  • Low-Oblique/Pole Shot
  • Nightfall Shot

Find an explanation of each of the above shots below.

1. Top-down shot 

It’s a vertical shot taken right above the property.

It gives the client a clear view of the layout, land size, boundaries, and any significant features around it. The photograph can color-fade the neighborhood to draw the buyer’s attention to the property of interest.

A top-down shot of a house

Additionally, this shot can include annotations like street access, dimensions, and boundary lines.

2. High-Oblique/Angled Shot

It refers to a shot taken when the drone camera is at an angle between 45 and 60 degrees, 200 to 300 meters from the property.

It provides a horizontal view, where the property takes the lower third.

An example of a high-oblique shot where there are buildings in the background

The remaining two-thirds carry the sky and land, allowing a clear view of the surrounding area and major points of interest.

These can include landmarks and amenities such as schools, hospitals, shopping centers, and more. 

3. Low-Oblique/Pole Shot

This shot is taken when the drone camera is at an angle slightly above the treeline, 15-20 meters off the ground.

The shot is taken straight-on or at a slightly low angle, focusing mainly on the key property which covers two-thirds of the frame. 

A low oblique or pole shot of a house

Ensure that you’ve more of the house in the frame than the roof. Additionally, have wide and close-ups shots at different angles, eye levels, and distances for exterior facilities.

4. Nightfall Shot 

This photograph combines the low and the high oblique shots.

It’s taken with the sun at or slightly below the horizon and all the area’s lights are on. Hence, it’s necessary to note the time that the lights go on, the previous night.

This type of shot works well under low light or at night.

An example of a nightfall shot of a real estate property

Factors That Affect Drone Real Estate Photography Cost

There are various factors that affect the photography cost including the following:

  • Location
  • Type of listing
  • Type of drone
  • Drone pilot experience
  • Set up costs
  • General expenses
  • Optional add-on services

1. Location

Some areas attract higher drone footage pricing than others.

Urban centers have higher market rates and therefore their charges are higher. However, if an area has highly competitive drone photography, the cost can be lower.

Additionally, if the drone pilot has to travel long distances to your property’s location, that may also increase the overall photography cost.

Charges may also go up if the photographer isn’t familiar with your location.

That is because they’ll have to conduct research on the area and familiarize themselves with its operating rules.

In a nutshell, every additional cost your vendor incurs in relation to the new location adds to the final charges. It’s advisable to compare different service providers’ quotes and pick the most suitable.

Real estate drone photography pricing at different locations:

Location Pricing per hour
Arizona $100 – $200
California $100 – $250
Florida $50 – $200
Idaho $85 – $180
Kentucky $50 – $120
Massachusetts$50 -$150
New York$100 – $200
Pennsylvania$50 – $150
Texas $50 – $180
Virginia $55 – $150

2. Type Of Listing

Even if a photographer would wish to have standard drone photography rates, that may be impossible. Why? The size of properties varies for different realtors and property owners might have special specifications.

For instance, residential homes, commercial properties like malls, and large pieces of land such as golf courses have different drone photography prices.

A aerial shot of a neigborhood

Also, if you have a luxurious real estate property, you need high-end shots which demand you to get deeper into your pocket.

Moreover, if your project is centered in a busy or crowded area, its shots are more demanding. Such a project requires more complex angles and that increases the overall cost.

3. Type Of Drone

Different drone photographers use different types of drones.

These models vary in price and so are the hiring costs of each drone vendor. The more expensive a drone is, the higher the amount the photographer charges. 

4. Drone Pilot Experience

The photography skills of the drone pilot also contribute to the cost of the services they offer.

A more experienced real estate drone photographer will charge more than a less skilled one on the same task. 

A perfect drone pilot should have good photo editing skills and know-how to capture the most appealing sections of the property.

The photos taken should easily convince potential buyers to make a purchase by highlighting major selling points. After all, that’s the main aim of every realtor!

5. Set Up Costs

Drone photography set-up costs include the price of the drone, the pilot’s training charges, and the cost of obtaining an operating license.

A drone photographer must also be part 107 regulations compliant to operate commercial drones.

Professional photographers charge more.

For instance, a starter drone like the DJI Air 2S costs about $2000 including extra batteries and ND filters, while the Part 107 costs roughly $150. As a result, you can expect a fair price from such a pilot.

The DJI Air 2S

But premium drone users, like those with a DJI Mavic 3 Cine, and other high-end equipment, including ground photography equipment, are expected to charge more.

6. General Expenses

Like in any other business, the expenses incurred by the aerial photographer are passed on to you.

These costs vary from one vendor to the other, causing their different service pricing. 

The expenses may include marketing costs, web hosting, software subscription, SEO, and labor. There are also drone insurance charges which may be transferred to you indirectly.

7. Optional Add-On Services

Drone photography is more than just shooting photos.

After taking shots, a photographer can do editing, transcription, or translation to enhance the quality of your photographs. That also increases the final drone photography cost. 

Non-Real Estate Drone Photography Costs

Drone photography is an interesting field with diverse job types. Besides real estate, there are other projects a drone photographer can handle. The major ones include:

  • Wedding photography
  • Agriculture photography
  • Advertising photography
  • Automotive photography

Wedding Drone Photography Cost

A wedding drone photographer can cost you between $500 – $2000.

A starter can charge you $500 – $600 on average but for more professional photos, you’ll have to increase the pay. 

Moreover, the cost of the project depends also on the length of the shoot.

It could be a full or half-day, where the vendor can take photos of the venue, the neighborhood, guests arriving and interactions, the ceremony itself, behind the scenes, and more. 

Package Cost 
Starters pricing$500 – $600
Half-day booking$500 – $1000
Full-day booking$750 – $ 2000+

Agriculture Drone Photography Cost

The average cost of agriculture drone photography ranges between $450 – $1200. The pricing of agricultural projects can be done on an hourly or daily basis. 

A drone used in agriculture

A drone photographer can charge you $450 – $600 per hour or $800 – $1200 per day, on average.

The actual cost depends on your preferred type of agriculture drone photography. The various options include mapping, 3D/Volumetric Models, Topographical images, and Thermal/Infrared imaging.

Advertising Drone Photography Cost

This type of drone photography may cost you between $100 and $800 on average. For every hour, a vendor can charge $100 – $450 or $500 – $800 per project.

The specific cost of the project in either of the packages depends on the photographer’s expertise, number of drone photographers, hiring location, and model of the drone.

Advertising is used by international brands for major campaigns and small businesses for promotional photos.

Automotive Drone Photography Cost

It’ll cost you $40 – $500 for automotive drone photography on average.

If you prefer an hourly rate, you may pay between $40 and $150 per hour, but if you opt for a flat rate fee per project, the cost ranges from $350 to $500. In either of the packages, you get 10 – 15 high-resolution edited photos.

Nonetheless, the actual cost per session depends on factors such as the specific drone model used for the task.

How To Become A Real Estate Drone Pilot

You become a real estate drone pilot by training for the job and marketing your service to potential clients. 

Train For The Job 

This is the first step where you need to learn the basics such as flying a drone, getting a license, and taking high-quality photos.

The right flying skills include operating a drone around buildings and objects comfortably without causing any mess around. You should also be able to get a shot of your property or area of interest.

The other requirement is the license you obtain from the FAA after passing the Part 107 test. This remote pilot certificate gives you the legal right to fly commercial drones.

Finally, you need to take high-end photos. This involves using the correct camera settings and editing your photos to have polished final copies.

Market Your Services

Once you’re content with your skills, make your services known to potential clients.

One of the best ways to do this is to create a strong social media presence on all platforms. It’s cheap, but time-consuming, and totally worth it.

After that, consider having an SEO-optimized website, asking for referrals, advertising to local real estate companies, and signing up on Google My Business to make it easier to rank locally.


– Do I need a license for real estate drone photography?

Yes, you need a license for real estate photography.

It’s a Federal law requirement for commercial drone operators to be FAA certified. 

– How much should you charge for drone photography?

You should charge between $70 and $250 per hour or $150 to $350 per project for drone photography.

These price ranges are for up to 15 high-resolution aerial images.

However, for fully-edited photos, you can charge up to $500 or more.

Bottom Line

Drone real estate photography pricing varies from one photographer to the other.

The actual cost for a project depends on your property’s location, the type of drone used, the vendor’s expertise, the type of listing, and set-up cost among other factors.

If you want to hire a drone photographer, go for the experienced ones as they take high-quality shots that can easily attract clients. Though they’re pricey, their services are worth the cost.

On the other hand, charge reasonably if you’re a vendor. Not too high to ‘scare’ away the clients but don’t undercharge to get a loss or to undervalue the industry.

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DroneSourced is a drone blog covering the latest advances in UAV technology, the best drones you can buy for your budget, and everything else to do with remote-controlled flight. We're a team of drone enthusiasts that want to spread the word about drones!

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