Real Estate Photography Salary – How Much Should You Charge

Real estate photography services are always in high demand. Thus, many photographers want to know the average real estate photography salary. Nowadays, the average annual salary for a real estate photographer ranges between $40,000 and $62,000.

The fees of a real estate photographer can vary greatly depending on multiple factors. In this article, I to tell you what factors affect photographers’ earnings. Besides, I’ll share some tips that will help you increase your income.

Average Real Estate Photography Salary in Different Cities

real estate photography salary top cities

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary of a real estate photographer is $60,520 in 2023. This means nearly $5,043/month or about $29 per hour.

However, prices can vary greatly from region to region. According to the data, California-based real-estate photographers have the highest salaries. However, some photographers in other states have decent salaries as well. Below, you will see a list of 3 cities with the highest rates for real estate photography.

City Annual Salary Monthly Income Hourly Pay
San Mateo, CA $74,500 $6,200 $36.00
Berkeley, CA $72,000 $6,000 $35.00
Daly City, CA $71,600 $5,700 $34.00

A photographer can significantly increase his income by becoming a real estate representative, real estate salesperson, or senior real estate manager.

Your income might increase from $27,197 (44.9%) to $35,239 (58.2%). If you specialize in high-end real estate photography, your income will be higher than the profits that your colleagues get when shooting other real estate objects.

Average Salary per 1 Real Estate Photoshoot

real estate photography salary per photoshoot

Many people who are planning to get into real estate photography want to know to what fees they need to set. The real estate photographer salary is difficult to calculate since these professionals usually use hourly rates. The average price varies from $100 to $250 per hour. It depends on a photographer’s skills and the type of real estate.

As a rule, you can set a fee ranging from $55 to $65/hour for shooting lower and middle price range properties. For beginner photographers, the rate can start at $50 per hour.

For shooting luxury properties, an advanced photographer gets an average of $180- $200/hour.

A professional photographer who specializes in commercial real estate photography earns from $400 per hour. Thus, for one photo session, you can get an average of $800-1500.

Factors that May Affect Your Salary

A real estate photography salary depends on multiple factors. When setting the price for your services, it is important to consider several things besides your competitors' prices and location.


Your income directly depends on the location of a real estate property. The further you need to travel, the more expensive your services will be.

To understand how much you need to add to the basic cost, calculate the amount of gas you need to travel in both directions. Then multiply this amount by two since you never know what might happen on the road. Don’t forget to include extra expenses.

Keep in mind, one mile of fuel costs about 15.8 cents for a gasoline car and about 13.4 cents for a diesel one.

Don’t refuse to take orders when a location is challenging. If you take into account all the possible costs, you might get an income that will exceed your expectations. Besides, this is a great opportunity to expand the geography of your orders in the future.


real estate photography salary equipment

As the rule, the price for the services depends on the equipment costs. If you are interested in real estate photographer jobs, make sure to buy all the necessary real estate equipment.

Camera. When choosing the camera for real estate photography, select a model with a good zoom. It will allow you to take general shots and close-ups. Besides, it’s better to buy a camera with a tilting screen.

We also recommend considering the Canon EOS 90D. Most experienced photographers use this model since it allows you to adjust all the necessary real estate photography camera settings. The average camera price ranges from $1,000 to $1,500.

Lenses. You will need a wide-angle lens for this type of shooting. A wide-angle lens for real estate photography will come in handy when you need to shoot the exterior and fit the entire building in the frame. It also works for interior shots with a smaller viewing angle.

The Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens works great for both novice and advanced real estate photographers. It costs about $1,000.

Tripod. To avoid camera shake while shooting, you can buy a tripod for real estate photography. A stable tripod will allow you to keep the camera on the same level and simplify your workflow.

The Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB is a great value for money. You can get a worthy tripod for under $200.

Flash. You cannot always shoot with good lighting since it’s difficult to choose a perfect time slot. We recommend buying a professional flash to illuminate a large area if needed.

You should try using the Godox Photo Studio 80cm 31.5in Portable Octagon Umbrella Softbox. Many photographers use the lighting equipment of this brand. Besides, this softbox will cost you about $50.

Time on Post-Processing

real estate photography salary post-processing

Since real estate agents need to get images shortly after shooting, the photographer should have a flexible schedule to process the pictures.

I recommend preparing a real estate photography contract with terms of cooperation, including deadlines and the fee for urgency.

The real estate photography salary depends on how quickly you can send processed photos to a client. The more experience you have, the faster you can process real estate photos.

American photographers charge nearly $2–5 for editing. Prices vary depending on the quality, runtime, and extra services, such as object removal, image enhancement or virtual staging of homes.

If you need to quickly retouch many shots, you can contact the FixThePhoto experts. They will tweak colors, fix lighting issues, remove imperfections, etc.

real estate photography fixthephoto example real estate photography fixthephoto example

Professional photographers often create their real estate Lightroom presets that allow them to quickly enhance photos. If you are a beginner, you should improve your skill first and avoid using the wrong presets.

Additional Options to Increase Real Estate Photography Salary

Since the real estate photography business is a developing industry, many photographers nowadays specialize in photographing buildings. To stand out from the competition and raise the price tag, you can provide extra services to your clients.


Since many photographers create slideshows to view photos more comfortably, why not shoot a video to showcase a building? You can start your career with simple video clips and gradually improve your skills.

The price for a real estate video varies from $1,000 to $10,000 per minute. You can customize the cost based on the complexity of real estate video ideas.

Besides, you can learn more about 3D real estate photography. You can create 3D video tours with specialized programs. This service is becoming quite popular, as it allows realtors to sell properties more quickly.

If you do not want to spend much time on post-processing, you can entrust this task to professionals. The FixThePhotо video editors will process your video for an affordable price.

Aerial Real Estate Images

real estate photography salary aerial

Real estate aerial photography is an advanced type of service gaining popularity nowadays. Using drones for real estate photography, you can shoot the building from different angles to showcase the property and its neighborhood. Since the Federal Aviation Administration has imposed restrictions on the use of drones, you will need to fill out paperwork to get permission.

A drone photoshoot costs between $150 and $250 per hour. The price also includes video editing. If the shoot takes longer, a photographer charges an additional fee of $50- $70 per hour.

Virtual Tour

Creating virtual tours can be valuable addition to your services, offering the potential to increase your salary.

Virtual tours provide potential buyers or renters with an immersive and interactive experience, allowing them to virtually explore a property from the comfort of their own homes. This convenience can attract more clients and increase their engagement with the property listings.

It can set you apart from competitors who may solely offer static photographs. This added value positions you as a comprehensive real estate marketing professional, providing an all-in-one solution for clients looking to showcase their properties effectively.

Virtual tours have gained significant popularity, especially in situations where physical visits may be limited or restricted. By embracing this technology, you position yourself at the forefront of industry trends and cater to the evolving demands of the real estate market.

Bonus Tools

real estate photoshop actions

You can use these actions to enhance your real estate photos. With their help, you can tweak colors, make photos brighter, and emphasize details without distorting a picture. This bundle will come in handy for real estate photographers.