Architecture Photography Vs. Real Estate Photography

Understanding the difference between architectural photography and real estate photography is also key to understanding the large gap in pricing you might have noticed when requesting quotes from photographers. On average, real estate photographers are spending 1 – 2 hours in a space, and photographing each room within a home in a quick documentary style. They will process images with basic edits however there are often adjustments left undone to keep pricing as low as possible, falling in an approximate budget of $200-$500. The expected usage of these images is for a limited short term posting to MLS to aid in the sale or rental of a property and would require additional fees to use the images long term. The goal of these images is purely informational and to entice buyers to view the home in person.

How architectural images differ is largely in the lifespan, quality, and purpose of the images. While MLS is associated with a limited lifespan, architectural images are intended to continually represent the work your company is capable of delivering, in it’s best light. This is the portfolio, your representation of yourself and company in this vast, rapidly developing digital business era. Much like a classic suit or little black dress, these images work to make you look your best and stand up to the test of time as long as you properly invest in their quality from the start.

Architectural photographers take the time to understand the full story and to show the true intention behind the design and functionality of every space. They express this story through thoughtful composition, light and colour evaluation. Sometimes incorporating human presence into the image series to provide a sense of scale and naturalism. The images are processed so that your audience is not distracted by any oddities and can focus on the quality of the work itself. This type of Architecture Photography work usually requires at least a week of focus from our team, including planning, communication, 1-2 days for scouting and shooting which often ranges between $1500-$5000 per day on-location + per image retouching/usage rates. The per-day photographer’s rate is typically designed to cover multiple days worth of working behind the scenes in order to create the final images. All rates provided may vary based on your geographic location, qualifications and experience level of your photographer.

How Much Does an Architectural Shoot Actually Cost?

You might be surprised how often I have been asked this question, and the answer is shockingly more complex than you would expect. A photoshoot has many different elements to consider when building an accurate quote, things that will influence the time, as well as the overall scope of the project. As professionals, we try to collect as much information as possible in order to cater to the best interests of every client. So let’s start with the questions I will typically ask every new client and why:

  1. What does your company specialize in?

    There are many different types of clients who require architectural photography services, such as architects, interior designers, contractors, consultants, product manufacturers, engineers, landscapers, hotels, homeowners, business owners, etc. All potential clients have very different photo needs. Depending on the situation, some clients may be able to cover 2-4 locations in a day, while others may need a full day or more to complete. This is why the purpose is important when determining how much time our team will need.

  2. What is the location of the project?

    This seems like a pretty obvious question, but sometimes, it can be a bit of a mystery. We are open to projects worldwide, but travel with 6 bodies (2 humans, and 4 cameras), as well as other gear requires sufficient time, planning and budget approval. We want to ensure we are available to complete a project within the required timeline before investing too much time into creating a detailed project outline.

  3. What is your project’s timeline?

    Is there a specific due date we are required to meet? With client satisfaction at the top of our priority list, we address this information as early as possible so that there are no surprises if rush processing fees are required or can be avoided with a little strategic scheduling.

  4. What is the scope of the project, or what is the main focus of the images needed?

    Bonus points for any photo request lists or photo references! This helps us to determine what we need to achieve, and how long each composition will take to properly capture. Some images can be captured in a single frame while others require several photos to be merged together to create a more polished final composite image. As you can imagine, the more images in the equation, the more editing time is required.

  5. Where are the images being used?

    We ask this to know what we are shooting, what size, crop, and format the final images should be submitted in. The usage will also typically have an effect on the pricing of the images.

  6. Approximately how many images will be required?

    This will allow us to gauge the time required at each location. At Brandon Marsh Photography, it is our philosophy to deliver the highest quality of images and we strongly believe that 10-15 amazing photos will do the job that 50-75 mediocre images can’t. The key to a strong portfolio is to be consistent, clear, and true to your best work. It is our job to help you assess the space, and adjust the shot list, and ensure we are getting the best possible images.

  7. What is your budget?

    It’s important for us to understand your expectations and help to achieve relevant quotes that suit your priorities. We want to ensure we are making the best use of your time and ours.

  8. Are you working with other vendors who would like to use the images?

    If you are, you might be eligible for a cost-sharing agreement which could save you substantial costs in the photography process. Contact us to learn more about cost-sharing. 

What Should Your Budget Be? 

The hardest, or simplest question of all. How much should be spent on photography? This is a personal question that is hard to give a firm answer on. According to The Business Development Bank of Canada, “B2B companies should spend between 2 and 5% of their revenue on marketing.

For B2C companies, the proportion is often higher—between 5 and 10%. This is because B2C companies typically need to invest in more marketing channels to reach various customer segments.”

To be Simple, your budget should consider travel cost + photography & styling time + processing time + image count + usage in addition to what your company can afford and what your profit/investment level on the build itself was.

When it comes to building a project with BMP, the best possible move for you to make is to reach out and start a conversation today. Our team is happy to walk you through our process (or you can read about it here – Architecture & Interiors | Our Process) to ensure we create the best possible work for your individual needs.

Prefer a call, or in-person meeting? Reach out to us on our Contact page and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We look forward to connecting with you!