The national average cost for aerial or drone photography is $250–$350. Length of the photography shoot, resolution, and services performed all affect the total cost of aerial photography and videography. A shoot longer than 90 minutes may add $50 – $70 per additional hour.
Aerial photography allows you to capture a truly unique moment or perspective. It can be used for real estate photography, weddings, parties, events, and much more. An aerial photography business may provide photographers to shoot at one or multiple locations. Aerial platforms include drones, blimps, helicopters, kites, fixed-wing aircraft and planes, though drone aerial photography is most common. Clients request photos, video clips and fully edited videos from their aerial photographer or videographer. This is definitely not something you can DIY, so if you're planning a special event or need commercial or real estate property captured in a unique way, call a pro for help. Let’s look at the factors that affect costs for aerial photography and video, along with some information to help you plan your shoot.
What’s in this cost guide?
Aerial Photography Flat Rates
Flight 1 Aerial Photography in Denton, Texas, charges $150 for a 60- to 90-minute drone photography shoot at at any location within a 20-mile radius. After 90 minutes, the company charges $50 – $70 per additional hour. Rates vary depending on variables such as geographic region, the photographer’s equipment, the company’s reputation, and the competition in the local market. This rate usually includes photo editing as well as access to all photos taken during the shoot.
Drone Videography Costs
Like aerial photography, rates for aerial video vary based on region, the photographer’s equipment and reputation, and local competition, as well as length of the finished video and length of the shoot. Aerial video footage can be captured for weddings, corporate events, private parties, or real estate sites for use in marketing materials or social media. Video editing also contributes to the cost. The longer the finished video product, the higher the total price. Here are some pricing examples:
Steady State Studios in Portland, Oregon:
- Aerial footage added into one of the company’s wedding videography packages: $200 to start
- Wedding video packages: $600 – $3,150 before add-ons
Flight 1 Aerial Photography:
- 60- to 90-second video clip: $400 – $450, including video editing (typically for real estate sales)
- 30-minute video at 4K resolution: $5,000 – $7,000, including editing.
What Affects Aerial Photography Prices?
Aerial photography prices vary based on location, equipment, competitors, and the services and finished products you want. An aerial photographer can capture and edit high-quality, high-resolution photos and video. Prices will also vary based on whether your goal is to capture an event, create images of a special view, or produce commercial images.
How Does Equipment Affect Aerial Photography Costs?
Equipment affects the overall cost of aerial photography services. According to Flight 1 Aerial Photography, professional drone gear can cost from approximately $1,500 to over $12,000, depending on the make and model of the equipment. Higher-end gear often produces a higher-quality and higher-resolution project, at a higher cost to the customer.
Special Requirements for Aerial Photography or Aerial Video
The use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) is heavily regulated. Aerial drone photography requires special licensing by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Licensed drone operators must pass a test to receive a card, similar to a driver’s license, and must also register their aircraft. These safety precautions are designed to keep people safe on the ground and to keep planes safe in the air.
To photograph a wedding, aerial photographers must get a waiver to fly the aircraft over people. The waiver can take anywhere from 14 to 90 days to process and receive, so be wary of anyone who claims they can take the job the next day. When scheduling an aerial photography shoot, confirm that the business has the appropriate liability insurance in place.