Luxury Hotel Photographer - Modern Villa

Hotel Photography Pricing

When it comes to Hospitality (Hotels and Resorts) there are many elements that ultimately will determine the final price.

There are few main methods to estimate a job and I will try to review them in this article.

Have in mind that what you are paying for is not just photos, you are paying for experience, know-how, licensing, studio equipment and most importantly results!

Table of Contents

Accommodation and Traveling Expenses

While you might be looking for a local hotel photographer, results are what matters when we look at the bigger picture.

Many international photographers travel for their clients to bring top-quality images that translate into revenue for the properties and we are doing the same.

While accommodation is less an issue when your property has spare rooms if your professional is not local and sometimes even if they are, it is important to accommodate their stay.

It will be worth your while when you have short delays and they have easy access to your property.

Otherwise, a typical vendor would price their accommodation based on the average price Within a walking distance from you.

Our studio typically does not charge for airfare as we travel to most main cities and tourism destinations frequently.

Waldorf Astoria Residential Suite (former Mandarin Oriental)
Waldorf Astoria Residential Suite (former Mandarin Oriental)

Gear and Equipment

It is common that many professionals to price equipment and gear depending on the task.

A typical gear would be two cameras, two lenses, studio equipment, and communications.

Our studio, prefers to work with our certified gear to make sure there are no delays in rental equipment and we work with the most current high-end architectural photography gear, therefore we do not charge any extras for gear unless it is a major production and extra gear is needed.

Experienced Hotel Photographer

Before we dive into pricing, it is crucial to understand that ultimately what you are paying for is the vendor’s experience, know-how, and expertise in capturing selling photos.

Although photography is a form of Art, in hospitality we focus on the right type of photos that sells your property and increase engagement and booking conversions.

You will use those photos for dozens and hundreds of rooms, no matter how much you will pay, a good professional will always deliver a higher return both in brand awareness, visuals, and revenue.

If a better professional would bring a higher booking rate of 0.5% as their images impact the decision-makers to book with you, how much does it worth for you?

Understanding Price Range

Before we can even talk about the pricing, it’s so important to understand why prices range so drastically. 

First, even before licensing, it’s important to know that you can take a picture in 1 min or 1 hour, the results are what matter.

Second when it comes to licensing you usually calculate:

  • Usage Time – period of 3-5 years (some have less some have more).
  • Use Location – Local / National / International 
  • Buy-Out – Own the copyright and  usage in time or location unlimited and transfer the rights to another party (vendors)

We want to allow our clients a hassle-free environment, therefore our standard license includes up to 5 years of usage, not limited in region or media, however, it’s not transferable to the usage of 3rd party.

Hotel Photography Pricing Structure

The 3 most common pricing structures are based on Per Time / Day, Per Photo, or Per Project.

There is no right or wrong, it depends on your project scope, budget, usage, time, and needs.

Price Per Day / Time

When pricing per day/time and depending on the photographer’s skills you can expect 8-12 photos per working day.

We are talking about high-end commercial visuals that sell.

It might be a good time to remind you that quality always takes quantity, as your potential guests have a few seconds to be captured.

Per-day pricing would include 5-7 hours of work, including gear and studio equipment for those 8-12 images.

This is a great way when you need 10-30 visuals that you need and the professional need at different times of the day to capture different images.

Per-day pricing ranges between $4,000-$8,000 and €3,000-€7,000 depending on the complexity of the visuals needed and the amount of work and equipment need to be done.

This may include editing/post-production depending on the overall price, but extra retouching would probably be an extra.

Don’t forget that creating an impactful interior visual may take up to 30-45 minutes per visual, the exterior may take even 60-120 minutes for a single image.

Price Per Photo

This is a great method when you have different locations (interior and exterior) and limited access that might require a short period of waiting time like to turn over a room or a suite.

You will pay more per single image but you know that the professional will take the time needed to complete the task.

This method most often fits a lifestyle shoot and/or a small number of high-end visuals for luxury rooms, suites, or hero exterior shoots.

It is also common due to the high rate per single image that a license and the post-production will be also included in this rate (I will elaborate more in the license section).

Typical pricing per photo is $650-$1,300 or €500-€1,000 depending on the license agreement.

Price Per Project

If you are aiming for a full photoshoot of a new construction or remodel of a resort or a hotel that includes many different photos and requires multiple days/weeks going for project-based pricing would make the most sense for you.

As we know that the day rate may stack we always offer a discount on multiple day projects.

This will allow us to have the necessary time to perfect every single shoot you need now and may need in the future.

Braking up a photoshoot for different times is not a good idea as your pro might not be available for the next shoot and you will be with different types of images through your portfolio.

Also once the property will not be available or already active during the busy season it will be much more time-consuming.

Luxury Hotel Photographer capture Light Fixture Chandelier In Hotel Loby
Light Fixture Chandelier In Hotel Lobby
Luxury Hotel Photographer capture Light Fixture Chandelier In Hotel Lobby
Light Fixture Chandelier In Hotel Lobby

Hotel Photo Licensing

We talked briefly about licensing, and this is the place to explain a little bit more about what types are most common and how they impact the final pricing.

As we are talking about visuals that can impact deeply on your conversions and revenue and the long-term use of those images a photo license is required both from your and the vendor’s side.

This will allow the pro to price their work based on your actual needs and not “hypothetical ones”.

Most companies prefer to go with a buy-out license pay once and have full access to the images with no further compensation to the vendor while some will prefer to pay a lower rate and re-license in the future if they need to use the images for further use.

Usage / Time

This is the most cost-efficient way, typically 3-5 years usage of the photos by your property not including 3rd party.

This means you can use the images in any media and for any use for the period agreed with the professional.

Even here you might want to talk with your pro about the actual need for use of the images as sometimes you only need them for social and website and not for mass advertising and campaign ads.

But we always recommend including all usage without limitation.

Our studio prefers to give our clients the freedom to leverage our award-wining images for future collaboration.

Also, you don’t need to pay extra for your vendors to use those images as they can reach out to your vendor and negotiate their terms depending on the usage and time.

Buy-Out

This license is pretty simple, you are buying out the right for the photos from your hospitality photographer.

You can use it for any period, any type of usage, and transfer the rights/visuals to 3rd party vendors.

While the photographer always has the right to use the images in their portfolio, you will not need to reach out in the future for any reason of extending or using those visuals.

This option costs more as you agree to revoke the pro future royalties for their work.

If you are planning a renovation or change of visuals every 2-4 years you might want to stay with the Per Usage / Time license. As you can save 30-40 percent on that license you might never use.

Results:

No matter which licensing or pricing structure you may choose. That fits best for you and your company, it is always important to remember that you are paying for results and not for images.

Your potential guests have a few seconds to choose from many other great options both cheaper and more expensive, closer or further away, with or without some of your amenities, and the first thing they notice is only the pictures.

Only after they are captured by those images, do they go towards the second stage of pricing and other criteria.

Many would upgrade and spend more on their booking if the visuals represent a well thought and impactful image.

Summary

Results, experience, and knowledge of your pro come first to pricing.

Always reach out with a summary of your project, timeline, needs, amount of visuals, locations, and budget (if you have one).

Be open to suggestions on how would be best to answer all your needs.

Keep in mind your photographer is on your side and wants to bring the most value to you.

Discus the licensing types and pricing structure and ask about per project package.

Ask for a consultation, our company provides visual consultation about current portfolio and future needs, the number of photos needed per space, the order and the correction of the right type of photos that sells.

Feel free to reach out and we look forward to working with you.

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