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USA What are your aerial rates for hire?

Discussion in 'Certified UAV Pilots' started by Dejan Smaic, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. Dejan Smaic

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    This is a hard one for many pros to answer because we tend to keep our rates to ourselves, and it is also an inexact science for what we charge. But, being new to the aerial side of photography and video work, I'm trying to figure out pricing within industry standards as to not drive pricing down...But, lets see who bites: What do you charge?
     
  2. World Media

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    What do we charge for what?
     
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  3. airbud

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    I'm curious as well. Let me try to be more specific but it's obvious each application and gig can be very unique...

    -Real estate - Filming an average sized home for a web video that's around 5 minutes, what I assume without travel is a half day flying and a half to full day with post production/editing.

    -Commercials/Marketing videos - A full day shooting for say a local small to average sized business for television distribution. A full day of post.

    News freelance - Covering a sporting or other event for the day. Full day shooting. Full day or more for post.

    Film production - daily rates for offering your services to professional film production.

    3D map making - A construction site or industrial complex requests a 3D map. I suppose this would call for a scout of the site, a full day filming, full day post.

    I assume some charge by project, some by hour.
     
  4. airbud

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    Oh and I'm interested in what people sell stills for.
     
  5. Dejan Smaic

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    Stills? Depends. Editorial vs commercial....nonexclusive vs exclusive. A couple of stocks for $1500 each with 3 yr license. Exclusive oil & gas 4x commercial rate$1600. Individual download from an cycling event: $10 low rez. $800/dy daily to $1000 /dy studio plus expenses. All depends. A cover on a magazine with 50k circulation around $400...all depends
     
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  6. airbud

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    Thank you sir!
     
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  7. Dejan Smaic

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    I know it varies and I've seen some low low balled rates on this forum. Like $75 by one member with a half ok website using a dji. Really? That does not even cover lunch. Just saying...what is true market value vs hobbiest looking for gas money.
     
  8. airbud

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    Yes, I can only imagine the low-balling this new industry is suffering and how that will complicate things. I'm going to throw in my hat by the end summer after some training. I've found my area doesn't have much competition as far as UAV aerial photography goes, but I'm concerned customers will expect it to be cheaper then it should.
     
    #8 airbud, Jan 3, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
  9. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    I have moved this thread to the Certified UAV Pilots section and also added the prefix 'USA' since you did not specify.
    Please have a search on the forum since this has been covered many many times before.

    What to charge for proffesional aerial services?

    How much does an aerial photographer cost?

    USA - UAS Operator Hourly Rate
     
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  10. licensed pilot

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    That's a difficult question to answer. Rates that will "fly" in Los Angeles will not be reasonable in Hicksville, Kansas. What's the competition like? Are you the only game in town? Search for websites in or near your are (Don't be fooled by those who advertise rates in the thousands of dollars as there's a lot of sandbagging in this business, many will negotiate their prices down once they get a bite) I began with a 333 but now every kid with a drone can get a 107 and thinks he's going to make a living with his Phantom. It is a tough market. Real estate is the worse, they tend to be cheapskates, photography costs comes off their pockets and want to pay as little as possible. Construction companies have worked best for me but every market is different.

    And this is not a full time job unless you first log tons of hours flying the big boys (Predators, Reapers and the like) in the military then get a job with one of the big boys (General Atomics, Grumman, Boeing..) all of which require commercial pilot certificates and instrument ratings. OR you go to work for an established operation with an established large customer base.
    If you are looking for a little extra cash this may be profitable, but prepare to devote a lot of time building your market presence. Don't expect to make a profit the first year. Just my 2 cents.
     
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  11. Dejan Smaic

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    Thanks for the info. My income is primarily doing stills, but experiance too many speed bumps in revenue stream. Aerial is just another revenue stream. I've worked with video guys on commercial shoots, and aerial is just another bullet in their belt.
     
  12. Jwffvm

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    We charge $2,200 a day for any kind of job whether it's stills or video, raw or H264. That's with pilot and DP dual control Inspire 1, multiple lenses from 12mm-45mm & with Phatom 4 as backup. Editing is $100 per hr.

    Jim Watt
     
  13. steve Reed

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    That's about what I charge $2,400/day and $100/hr editing. I am a good drone pilot but a mediocre editor and I prefer to farm out editing to a very competent Premiere Pro editor, He is $135 / hr but gets a much faster and better product to the client. I make nothing on him, just a happy client. The thing is that you have to stick to your guns and charge a descent wage. How else are you going to be able to afford the next Inspire 3 or 4 with their proprietary batteries? You have to keep the price up and don't be greedy and cheep out. Doing a job for $100 id patently absurd. No body wins in this scenario. Remember... Which doctor is better, the one who drives the Mercedes or the one who drives the Volkswagen? You are much more respected if you charge a good rate. If you cant do this then you should not be calling yourself a professional and doing it for money. Ive got a very big soap box on this subject I have been doing it for 40 years and you know what, the people who undercut and don't charge enough NEVER survive. Go big or go home...
     
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  14. 2nd2non

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    Very helpful conversation guys.
    Do you guys do mapping for clients? If so, are these the same rates you charge for mapping and processing?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. steve Reed

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    Mapping yes, processing, well I send that to a processor and mark it up 30% and 20% with volume of jobs. Unless you are just a control freak or a computer junkie or have no personal life there are just some things that are just better left to others to do. I'm a pilot and like to keep it to that and I'm a lot less stressed.
     
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  16. AerialZ

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    I wouldn't plan on going over 3 minutes in content (right around 2 minutes is my sweet spot.) Real estate shoots are more 'all over the place' in pricing than anything else I've seen. I offer realty professionals discounts based on volume - especially with aerial stills only. Your market will dictate what your pricing can be. In my case, offering a rate of $175 per property for a single shoot, or offering additional discounts in volume of 5 or more properties grouped relatively close together. This cut down overhead in logistics with travel times, etc. Of course, this is flying a Phantom with post processing on 8-12 images per location. Phantoms work better in my market area because we're heavily wooded everywhere.
    Video is completely property-dependent for me. An average sized home with interior/exterior video will bring about $450. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but there's no sandbagging here. The volume is the key and I've already knocked my competition out of the area with a higher quality deliverable at a slightly lower price (spoken by two of my clients.)

    I've never needed a full day to shoot for these types of projects. Unless you have a third party controlling the timing, these site times can be done in 1-3 hours with good planning. Post is always where your time gets locked-up. I've done numerous pieces for social media promotions for $400-$1000 a shoot. I'd love to get $100/hour, but that rate simply will not fly here (no pun intended.) Some simply provide raw footage as a deliverable. All my work goes through post in-house.

    Man, all I can tell you is get your foot in the door with your local media. They will market the hell out of you if you're feeding them amazing content. Once you've established your quality of work and flexibility, it's contract time. There are many more hidden opportunities behind the scenes where they will contract you to provide promotional shoots for their market clients that want the advantage of aerial footage in their pieces.
     
  17. airbud

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    Thanks a ton for your time. I'm starting to transition from producing on network reality and live television and moving out of Los Angeles back east to a much smaller market. I have A LOT of experience knocking out b roll at exotic properties all over the world and producing/writing segments for live events. I'm confident I can produce a much higher quality reel than the SUAV local competition in the smaller market if I focus on training with the bird. Your rates seem to be what people in my area would be willing to pay so it's very helpful.

    Definitely an industry where you have to reach out and show clients your worth and potential before you earn it.
     
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