Drone Photography Pricing — How Much Does It Cost?

Voight Thornton
6 min readAug 18, 2021


Drone photography costs around $70 to $250 per hour. Or it can range from $150 to $350 per project.

The final result would contain up to 15 high-resolution professional aerial images. If you want to include a fully-edited drone video as well as the photos, then the prices could increase up to $500+.

Average Hourly Rate:


Minimum Hourly Rate:


Maximum Hourly Rate:


My guess:

If you are reading this then you must be new at drone photography and don’t know how much you should be pricing yourself.

Or are you about to hire an aerial photographer and not sure if he is not overcharging you?

That’s why…

I’ve pulled everything you need to know in this drone photography pricing guide.

Average Drone & Aerial Photography Cost

According to Thumbtack, a typical 60 to 90-minute real estate drone photography session is going to cost around $150 — $250. The price includes photo editing as well. If the photoshoot lasts longer, there could be an extra charge of $50 — $70 per hour.

Don’t forget that drone photography rates vary depending on various factors. There are two main factors to consider when hiring a drone photographer:

  1. Experience in taking pictures. The best decision is to check their portfolio to get a sense of their style and skills. It’s also useful to check the reviews and find the information from their past customers.
  2. Ability to professionally control the drone. Make sure that they understand how to properly use the aerial device. Not only how to use one but also knowing all the local laws of flying because there are lots of zones where it‘s forbidden to fly the drone.

With the combination of both experiences, you guarantee that you are getting the best result possible. Expect to pay more for higher-quality photos because you can definitely see the difference in the final result.

Drone Photography Hourly Rates

Hourly rates of drone photographers can range from $70 to $250 depending on their experience level. The average cost to hire a drone photographer is $160 per hour. Usually, 30–90 minutes is more than enough to shoot a real estate project.

Below you can see how prices can vary on different duration photography sessions:

1 hour

$70 to $250

4 hours

$280 to $1000

8 hours

$560 to $2000

However, it‘s important to mention that 62 percent of drone photography service providers do not charge by the hour. Instead, they each have individual pricing. Most of them choose to charge per session.

Real Estate Drone Photography Pricing

The average cost of real estate drone photography could range from $50 to $400 per project. Usually, the result should consist of 5 to 15 high-resolution images (sometimes a video included).

Note: this is the average cost (as reported by freelance sites and some drone services providers), it may be higher and vary according to your needs and the experience of your drone pilot. It also depends on the number of photos and aerial videos.

If you are hiring a drone pilot for your real estate project, look for one that specializes in the field and has previous experience. It is recommended to ask for their portfolio of the previous work.

In most cases, freelance real estate drone photographers will have their fixed pricing packages. If a shoot is longer than expected, your drone pilot may set hourly rates of $50-$100 per extra hour, according to their pricing.

The higher-priced packages usually will also include aerial video clips.

Drone Videography Pricing List

  • Aerial footage added into one of the wedding videography packages: from $200
  • Wedding video packages: $600 — $3,150
  • 60 to 90 second video clip: $400 — $450 (mostly ordered for real estate sales)
  • 30-minute video at 4K resolution: $5,000 — $7,000

These services are mostly needed at events such as weddings, private parties, public events or commercial videos.

The prices above are including video editing. The longer it takes to finish the final video product, the higher the total price is going to be.

Video projects are more time-consuming than just photos. They require more knowledge and expertise which makes it more expensive.

Factors That Affect Drone Photography Cost

Type of Drone

A professional quadcopter operator needs high-end gear for the best possible image and video resolution. It can cost them from approximately $1,000 to over $12,000.

There is a massive difference between someone who uses DJI Mavic Air and someone who uses DJI Inspire 2.

If you are new to the field, there are also many great value drones at a cheaper price. If you photographer or videographer uses, for example, Fimi X8SE, in most cases it’s ok as well.

Additional expenses can contain getting a special license which is required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).


Location and type of project are very important factors to consider when talking about pricing. If the photographer is not familiar with the place he is going to shoot, he will need to do research about the place. Or he might add an hour or two to the final cost.

There are drone operation rules that vary from city to even state and country.

A tip would be to look for someone local around the area. Just remember that if you are asking your photographer to travel to the photography location, travel fees may add up to your costs.


You are not expecting good results if you hire someone who operates a drone for the first time.

That said:

You are not paying just for the final images or videos. You are paying for their knowledge and time spent learning how to fly the drone. Also their photo and video editing skills, and creativity in finding the most eye-catching angles.

For example: If someone is capturing real estate sales pictures, they must know and have experience in finding the most selling points of view.


There are a few other factors to consider when pricing your drone photography:

  • Professional training and costs of CAA approval
  • External camera and lenses (optional)
  • Insurance
  • Safety and additional equipment
  • Computer and software for image editing software (Drone Safe Register, 2020)

However, it’s quite difficult to determine the final cost of each aerial photographer because of factor diversity. For example, real estate photography experts usually make more than those who fly drones at, for example, events.

There might be situations when a few revisions are needed or there is a short deadline for the project.

Final Word

It’s important to understand how much you are worth as a drone pilot. Low prices can make you look inexperienced and low-skilled.

On the contrary, prices that are too high could also scare away your potential customers. They could simply think that you are overcharging and they would look for a cheaper option.

You can always make your own pricing table or template according to these main factors:

  • Experience
  • Type of drone
  • Location
  • Deadline
  • Time spent
  • Taxes
  • Other complexities

Before drones, aerial footage was taken from a helicopter or other expensive aerial device at a very high cost and lower quality than what drones can deliver today.

So why not taking advantage of it and use this compact, low-cost and high-quality footage taking device.