Capturing Value: Your Guide to Real Estate Photography Pricing

Let’s delve into the realm of real estate photography, comparing the benefits and costs of standard photos, 3D virtual tours, drone photography, and more.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a professional real estate photo should be worth a thousand offers!

Let’s delve into the realm of real estate photography, comparing the benefits and costs of standard photos, 3D virtual tours, drone photos, and more.

8 factors affecting the average real estate photography rate

Let’s start by running through some common pricing models and what factors can influence how much real estate photography can cost, so that you can select the best option for your needs and budget.

1. Square footage

The size of the property is responsible for much of the real estate photography cost, as larger properties require more time and effort to capture. Real estate photographers charge a base rate for specific square footage and then add fees for additional sq ft.

2. Time spent shooting

Some photographers charge an hourly rate, which includes the time spent on-site taking photos, as well as travel time. 

3. Number of photographs 

Some pricing models are based on the number of photos delivered. The more photos you want, the higher the cost.

4. Post-processing and photo editing

Professional real estate photography often requires Photoshop editing and retouching to enhance the images and videos. The cost of editing services will depend on how much post-production is required.

5. Timing and weather

Seasons and climate may affect real estate photography pricing, since some photographers may charge extra for photoshoots during peak seasons and times (when there’s likely to be better lighting, for example) or in challenging weather conditions.

6. Location

The cost of services may vary based on the geographic location, with photographers in urban areas or regions with high demand often charging more. Alternatively, if the property is located far from the photographer's base, additional travel fees may apply.

7. Experience of the photographer

Experienced photographers with a strong portfolio and reputation may charge more for their services, reflecting demand for their services and expertise.

8. Virtual staging service

Some photographers offer extra services such as staging or virtual staging, which help to foster the kind of atmosphere you want to welcome your buyers with, but which can also add extra charges to the final bill.

Last but most certainly not least, the types of content (e..g, standard photos, virtual tours, 3D tours, drone photography, etc.) can definitely impact the cost.  

So much so that we’ve decided to dedicate the next part of this article to them.

Determining real estate photography cost by content type

Let’s see what you have to shell out for each type of content, and why.

Standard real estate photography

What it is

Standard photos involve capturing a property's interior and exterior shots using a high-quality camera, often with a wide-angle lens to showcase space and depth. 

How much it costs

The cost of standard real estate photos can range from $150-200 depending on the market (source: Zillow) and many factors we just discussed, especially property size and a photographer’s experience.

Real estate photography cost blog image 1

3D tours & digital twins

What it is

Digital twins and 3D virtual tours, like the ones offered by Matterport, provide a photo-realistic, immersive experience for prospective home buyers, allowing them to navigate a property from anywhere, at any time. It involves using 3D scanning equipment to create a digital replica of the property, offering a more interactive experience compared to standard photos.

How much it costs

The average cost for Matterport or similar 2D and 3D photography services ranges from as little as nothing to upwards of several thousand dollars, depending on the gear you plan to use, whether you’d like to outsource the shoot to a vetted technician as part of Matterport’s Capture Services, and the real estate photography package you go with.

Real Estate Drone Photography

What it is

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more commonly referred to as drones, can be used to capture aerial photography and videos of a property from a bird’s eye view.  As a result, drone videos\photos can offer unique perspectives and are ideal for showcasing large properties typically in the luxury category, with their scenic views and landscapes.

How much it costs

The pricing for drone footage can range from $50 to $400 per real estate project (source: Peerspace) but will also depend on many of the previously mentioned factors, such as property size, location, number of aerial photos, as well as the type of drone needed for the job - and especially if it needs to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration.

How to choose a real estate photography service?

The next leg of your journey involves finding the perfect real estate photography service that suits your needs:

Find experts who specialize in real estate

Look for photographers with a proven track record in real estate photography, and who have the necessary skills to capture the unique aspects of your specific property type effectively.

Inspect previous work

In the same vein as the step above, review the photographer's portfolio to gauge their style, quality of work, and their ability to showcase your type of property specifically.

Check reviews and contact references

Look for client testimonials and ask for references to get an idea of the photographer's reliability and the overall satisfaction of their clientele.

Opt for fast turnaround times

Pick a photographer who can deliver the final images quickly, ensuring that your property can be listed in a timely manner.

Ask about the equipment

Professional real estate photographers should use high-quality cameras, lenses, and lighting equipment for the specific types of content you’re asking for.

Camera lineup

Evaluate price ranges

Just as buyers benefit from shopping around for different properties that fit their needs, so should sellers compare pricing and value among different photographers/videographers, making sure to consider the number of images they’ll deliver, the content types they can support, and any add-on services like virtual staging in the process.

If you're considering a combination of 2D and 3D photography, then look no further than Matterport's Capture Services, which is a convenient solution for home sellers and realtors. With access to a network of vetted photography professionals and technicians ready to create digital twins for your property, you can have someone worry about the ins and outs of the shoot so that you can get back to focusing on the strategic matters at hand: selling and marketing your home.

Build immersive virtual experiences with Matterport

Matterport offers exceptional value for your investment, providing state-of-the-art real estate photography equipment, access to a network of qualified technicians with its Capture Services, and digital twin technology that combine to create immersive, 3D property presentations.

With cutting-edge technology and professional service at your fingertips, you can partner with Matterport to cater to home sellers. Let’s start by discussing the right equipment for your goals and budget:

Smartphones and mobile apps for DIYers

Download Matterport's mobile app to easily create 3D digital twins using your iPhone or Android mobile device and follow these tips for real estate photography. When paired with the new Matterport Axis motorized mount, just about anyone can produce high-quality photography in no time.

360° cameras for the semi-pros

Choose a 360° camera from a lineup of Insta360 or Ricoh cameras for home sellers or real estate professionals willing to splurge a little more (from $400 to $1200) for a boost in quality and professionalism. These are just perfect for small to medium-sized properties like homes, condos, and apartments.

The Pro2 and Pro3 for the gold standard

Pick between the professional-grade Matterport Pro2 or Pro3 camera for the highest-quality visuals. Pro2 offers fast 3D capture, while Pro3 adds LiDAR for improved accuracy in open spaces. Suitable for professional photographers or real estate agents looking to capture properties in detail for both indoor and outdoor areas, these cameras offer ultra-high resolution and, for the Pro3, enhanced outdoor capture capabilities. 

Or, if you’d rather have someone else operate the high-tech machinery, look no further than Matterport’s Capture Services, a network of fully vetted and skilled local capture technicians at the ready to help you with your real estate photography needs.

Now that you’ve picked the right tool for the job, your Matterport photography comes with a myriad of benefits:

24/7 open houses

Allow potential buyers to explore the property at their own pace with 3D virtual tours, at any time and from any place - essentially, an open house that’s always open. This increases accessibility and makes it convenient for potential buyers in different time zones or with busy schedules.

Guided tours

On the other hand, if you want to present a specific story about a home or property, you can also offer personalized walkthroughs with a digital twin’s Story mode, which enables you to structure a viewer’s virtual visit and highlight specific features as they go. 

Helpful tags

Add tags within the digital twin to provide additional details or context. These tags can highlight recent updates and renovations or appliance brands, things you might call out during an in-person tour or open house.

HDR photos

Capture stunning high-resolution images for use in your digital and print real estate marketing materials. High-quality visuals attract more attention and can improve lead generation by making a great first impression.

Preview videos

A short but engaging video of your real estate listing can be useful for social media marketing, especially on video-centric platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.

2D floor plans

Generate schematic floor plans to help buyers understand your property’s layout and flow, making it easier for them to envision living in the space.

Google Street View integration

Embed your 3D tour in Google Street View to increase its reach when people are searching online, especially about the neighborhood and its local shops, restaurants, schools, and other highlights.

Start reaping these benefits today and learn more about Matterport's Digital Pro package, which offers a comprehensive property marketing solution, including a digital twin, 25 HDR photos, a 2D floor plan, and an intro video – a one-stop-shop for all your visual needs

Pricing for your visuals will, of course, be based on the type and size of the area you want to capture (whether it’s interior only, interior and exterior, or interior, exterior & surrounding property) and the total square feet. If you want to get a sense, just fill out some basic information in the first part of this form by entering your property’s address, what you want to capture, and the square footage.

We can’t wait to see what you’re going to capture.


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