Are you in the market for some new drone photography for your business or real estate listing? Have you ever wondered how much drone photos cost? Maybe you’re a new drone pilot and want to know how to get into real estate drone photography by pricing competitively. At Pelican Drones, one of the most common questions we get from clients is how much does it all cost? The truth is, there are several factors that go into drone photo prices. In this article, we will review what determines the cost of drone photography, what to expect when hiring a drone photographer, and some average hourly pricing to expect across the industry.


5 Factors That Affect Drone Photo Pricing

No two photo sessions are the same when flying a drone. That makes it difficult to pin down or estimate exactly how much money you should expect to invest in your drone photography. However, there are some key factors to consider that should give you a much better understanding of your upcoming project’s scope.


Session Duration 

Time is without a doubt the biggest factor that will drive price. Most drone pilots charge an hourly rate or a flat day rate for projects. Your drone photographer will work with you to determine the needs of your upcoming shoot and the desired number of photo deliverables. From there, he or she will be able to give you a project scope that will include the number of estimated hours the work should take. Keep in mind that the on-site capture is only one part of the project. Post-production editing, meetings, and extended communications are all subject to billing in the final invoice.


Experience Level of the Pilot

Like all things, drone pilots all have varying degrees of experience and applicable skills, including access to equipment. Finding the right drone operator for your photos is entirely based on the project. Are you a hotel marketer who needs top-notch hero shots for your booking engine? You will want to make sure your drone photographer is experienced in architectural photography and familiar with working within brand standards. Are you in the market for a fun photo during a company outing? You might be able to get away with an entry level drone operator to save some money. It’s important to know what your expected ROI is and hire your photographer accordingly. 


Location of the Shoot 

Location. Location. Location! It certainly matters. Pragmatically, if your photographer has to travel a great deal to get to the site of your shoot, you should expect that travel time to be reimbursed in some way on the back end of the invoicing period. In some cases, operators doing overnight stays will require room and board accommodations. In other extreme cases, if the site is located in a hazardous or remote location, drone pilots may add a one-time fee in addition to their hourly rate. 


Rush Projects 

It happens to everyone. You get word from above that you need professional grade photos done yesterday, and you have to scramble to find a local vendor who can squeeze you in his or her busy schedule. While there are drone operators who are happy to jump on a project in short order, you should not be surprised if a photographer applies a rush fee on either the schedule or post-production editing side of things for expedited turnaround times. Always communicate with your service provider to determine the average length of time it takes to deliver finished assets before starting to avoid confusion or missing deadlines. 


Local Cost of Living

This is one of those areas that should come as no surprise. Densely populated areas and major metropolitan locations will have a higher cost of living that will drive the price of goods and services up, drone photography included. When you are pricing different providers and gathering quotes, be sure to take into account geographical factors that might be impacting your final invoice. 


So, How Much Does Drone Photography Actually Cost?

According to a 2024 aggregate from Thumbtack, the national U.S. average hourly rate for drone photography ranges from $250 to $350. However, as previously mentioned, you will need to adjust up or down on that average depending on where in the United States you are located. Hourly rates for drone photographers vary drastically outside of the U.S. 


How Much Does Pelican Drones Charge for Drone Photography? 

At Pelican Drones, we offer a wide range of photography services. Although all of our services are subject to change and can vary on a case-by-case-basis, you can reference the prices below to gain a better understanding of how much you can expect to spend on your upcoming project. (Note: all projects greater than 30 minutes of driving time from Downtown Pensacola are subject to an additional travel fee.) 

Light Drone Photography – $195: This includes basic photography from a single elevation with north, south, east, west, and straight down views. This is perfect for construction updates or a single real estate listing. 

Standard Drone Photography – $250: This takes the light drone photography a step further and covers all points of interest of a single family home or small building, yielding about 20-30 photos. 

Large Property Drone Photography – $350: This is for resorts, larger neighborhoods with amenities, commercial properties, and civil engineering sites. (This price can fluctuate depending on the desired level of detail.)

360 Aerial Images – $100: Added to any of the above photo packages for an interactive 360° view of any existing or future site location.  

Overlay Info & Indicators – $15/image: Added to any of the above packages as needed to your preference.  


Partner with Pelican Drones

Pelican Drones is the premier provider of drone services, videography, and 360 imaging in Pensacola, Florida, and Alabama. To learn more about the services we offer and how we can support you on your next project, visit our About Us page or call (850) 359-2602 today to learn more!