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!

Accommodation and Traveling Expenses:

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

Many international photographers travel for their clients to bring top quality images that translate into revenue for the properties.

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

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

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

Our studio is typically do not charge for airfare as we travel to most main city and tourism destinations frequently.

Photography Equipment for Architectural Photography
Photography Equipment for Architectural Photography

Gear and Equipment:

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

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

In our studio we prefer to work with our certified gear to make sure there is 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.

Experience and Know-how:

Before we dive into pricing, it is crucial to understand that ultimately what you are paying for is the vendors experience, know-how and expertises 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, increase engagement and booking conversions.

As many Resorts and Hotels uses 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 reputation, visuals and revenue.

If a better professional would bring a higher booking rate of 1% as their images impact the decision makers to book with you, how much does it worth for you?

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

Pricing Structure:

The 3 most common pricing structures is 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 photographers skills you can expect 8-12 photos per working day.

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

It might be a good time to remind that quality always takes quantity, as your potential guests have 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 have a need for 10-30 visuals that you need and the professional need different time of the day to capture different images.

Per day pricing ranges between $5,000-$10,000 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, 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 a 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 is most often fits a lifestyle shoot and/or small amount of high-end visuals for luxury rooms, suites or hero exterior shoots.

It is also common due to 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 $750-$1500 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 include many different photos and require multiple days / weeks going for a project based pricing would make the most sense for you.

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

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

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

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

Photo Licensing

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 vendors 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 talk with your pro about the actual need for use of the images as sometime you only need them for social and website and not for mass advertising and campaign ads.

But we always recommend to include all usage without limitation.

Our studio prefer 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 own 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 of time, any type of usage and transfer the rights / visuals to 3rd party vendors.

While the photographer always have 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 cost more as you agree to revoke the pro future royalties for their work.

If you are planing 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 precent on those 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 alway important to remember that you are paying for results and not for images.

Your potential guests have few seconds to choose form many other great options both cheeper and more expensive, closer or further away, with or with out some of your amenities, and the first thing they notice is only the pictures.

Only after they are captured by those images, 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.

Summery:

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

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

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

Keep in mind your photographer is in your side and want 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 visuals consultation about current portfolio and future needs, the amount 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 working with you.

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