The old adage that time is money is as true for professional real estate photographers as it is for anyone else. The more images you shoot, the more of your time it takes, both on location and during the evening of photo editing that follows.
Shooting and delivering 40 images is going to take you a lot more time than delivering only 10 images. So if you’re going to stay in business, you’re going to have to find a way to charge your clients based on the number of images you intend to deliver.
So how many images are required for an average house?
As a real estate photo editing company, we have unique access to a cross-section of photographers from across North America and elsewhere in the world. Using the number of photos uploaded per batch to our system as a guide we can, therefore, approximate the number of images delivered for an average house. In order to minimize outliers, we only used members who uploaded more than 100 batches to our system to compile this data.
Based on our data, the average number of images delivered in North America ranges between 15 and 30 images for 74% of the photographers who upload to us with the average being 22 images per home. Almost half, 42%, deliver between 18 and 25 images per home.
Of the 14% who deliver more than 30 images per home, 70% deliver under 35 images and the remainder often works with builders who require images of the development’s amenities as well as the home itself – increasing the total number of images required.
The 12% who deliver under 15 images per home are more often than not photographers that shoot in large cities like New York where apartments and condos are more common or photographers that only deliver to us interiors and either don’t shoot exteriors or process the exteriors themselves.
The average number of images delivered per home in Australia and New Zealand tend to be much smaller, with most photographers delivering around 15 images per home. In Scandinavia, where there are a lot of apartment-sized units, the number is even smaller, with around 10 images per home being the norm.
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So, how can you use this data in your business?
While there are many possible ways to structure your pricing, we suggest you base your pricing first and foremost on the number of images you intend to deliver. You might consider packages, for small, medium, and large houses or have a base fee for a certain number of images and then additional charges beyond this base.
Based on the data compiled here we suggest that for your base fee or your middle package if you go that route, you should promise to deliver between 18 and 25 images if you’re in North America and 5 to 10 images elsewhere in the world. If realtors require more images than this, we suggest that you charge them for the additional work.
Additionally, we suggest that if you’re routinely delivering more than 30 images per home, you should structure your pricing so that you are compensated for the additional time you spend shooting and editing additional images beyond the “industry standard”. Alternatively, photographers who currently shoot over 30 images per home may consider reducing the number of photos delivered to clients.
In addition to charging extra for additional images, you should consider add-on fees for additional editing services such as adding blue skies on cloudy days, touching up the grass, or cleaning up messy cords or garden hoses in post-processing. Not all houses will require these improvements and not all agents will want them, so charging extra will ensure you are not doing extra work when you don’t have to. Many of these enhancements are included for free in PhotoUp’s basic photo editing services and can be a great way to add to your bottom line.
Lastly, if you’re tired of processing this many images for every home, using a photo editing service like PhotoUp can be a great way to gain back your evenings. A scalable editing platform like PhotoUp even allows you to grow your business while spending more time with your family and less time sitting at the computer. If you’re interested in finding out more about what PhotoUp can do for you, check out our pricing page or sign up for one of our trial accounts by clicking on the create account link at the top of this page.