How much money can an architecture photographer make? In this video, architecture photographer and educator Adam Taylor shares exactly what he made in 2022, along with a breakdown on where his revenue came from. He also describes the three most common pricing structures architecture and interior photographers use, showing real-world invoices. Lastly, Adam goes over typical photography business expenses that you can expect as a real estate or architecture photographer. Watch the YouTube video below and make sure to check out Adam’s other work through the links below!

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last year as an architecture photographer I made 148 123 and at the end of this video I’m going to show you exactly where that money came from but first i’m going to help break down the three most common pricing structures that architecture and interior photographers use then we’ll see how these prices play out as we dissect a

handful of invoices from real jobs that a d photographers from around the US have built their clients next I’ll show you some of the business expenses you can expect to encounter that will take away from your bottom line revenue each year and finally I’ll open up my personal finances and show a pie chart of the different income

streams that make up my yearly income so by the end of this video you should be able to determine how much money is possible for you to make as an architecture photographer if you choose to go down this career path most architecture and interior photographers price their services in one of three ways an hourly rate a day

rate or a creative fee and a licensing fee structure now it’s important to note that there are other price structures out there and there is no right or wrong way of billing a client for your work we also need to keep in mind that every photographer in scenario is different and these methods won’t work for every person

on every job there truly is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to pricing photography these are just three of the most common ways of going about it and some of my general thoughts on each so with all that said first we have the hourly rate an example of this would be if a photographer charges 250 per hour

and is on site for eight hours they would build a client two thousand dollars and deliver however many photos they shoot during that time maybe it’s 20 photos but maybe it’s 60 or more part of the problem with this is that it incentivizes your clients to rush through the photographic process which doesn’t allow for the best creative

work possible as a creative professional I strongly believe we should get paid based on the value we bring to a client not the time we give them and that’s why I strongly discourage photographers from charging this way next we have the day rate price method which almost always includes the subtext of a half day rate as well

in this structure a photographer will shoot for a full day usually up to eight hours but maybe up to ten for a flat rate so this might be two thousand dollars or they will offer a half day which is used up to four or five hours for a reduced flat rate so maybe twelve hundred dollars and for

each of these rates they may or may not put a cap on the number of photos produced during that time so one photographer might charge two thousand for a full day and cap the number of photos at 25 while another photographer might charge the same amount but will deliver 70 images from that shoot one of the big

differences here is that if you only shoot 25 photos of the over the course of eight hours you’ll most likely put more time and effort into composing styling and lighting each of those images whereas if you shoot 70 photos in eight hours there’s no way you can put the same amount of attention to detail into each image

because there’s just not enough time in the day and finally we have the creative fee plus licensing fee structure for example a photographer May charge one thousand dollars as a created fee which is the price to show up with their gear ready to get after it and then they would charge a hundred dollars as a licensing fee

per image so if they shoot 10 photos at 100 each that’s a thousand dollars add that to the thousand dollar created fee and the total for that shoot is two thousand dollars this is the way I structure my prices and typically the way I would recommend that most other photographers charge as well so let’s talk about why

first when explaining your rates and fees to your clients you allow yourself to be able to explain what the licensing fees are the fees to use the images this gives you the perfect opportunity to go over in detail what they can and can’t do with the photos and oftentimes equally as important what you can and can’t do

with them it also allows you to make a predetermined minimum amount of money for the job while allowing your clients to get what they pay for so if they want more photos they pay more and if they want less photos they pay less personally there’s a dollar amount that will get me excited enough to get up charge

and pack my camera gear load up the car kiss my wife and kid goodbye drive across town and give my absolute best effort on a job anything less than that dollar amount and frankly I may show up with really low energy that just doesn’t get me pumped up to do the work which isn’t fair to my clients

or myself so by setting the creative fee at a place where I’m all in on that job I know that I’ll at least make x amount of dollars and I’ll be able to be happy with that regardless of how many images I shoot that day and I go into that work day knowing that if I work longer

presumably I’ll shoot more and then I’ll get paid more based off the additional licensing fees and if I shoot less and work less I’ll make less money but I’ll also get home quicker another reason why this price structure is so beneficial is that it truly reflects the get paid based on your value philosophy of this business you

can adjust both the creative fee and Licensing fee depending on any Factor that’s thrown your way the type of client or the size of the client the intended usage of the photos and the list goes on and because you’re getting paid based on the value that your images provide you have an easy explanation as to why an

invoice you send a client might be different than another and one of the most important reasons that the creative fee and Licensing phase structure is beneficial to us as architecture and interior photographers is that it helps protect us when our images get used without permission and legal action has to be taken in order to get compensated for

that IP infringement now that we’ve seen a few ways to get a base price for our services what happens when more than one company wants to use our photos well remember we’re getting paid based on the value we bring to companies so if more companies use the images the more valuable those images are so that means we

get paid more the most common way of Licensing images from a shoot to multiple companies at one time is what we in the industry affectionately call cost sharing and no discussion about pricing would be complete without mentioning it just like base prices there are a number of ways we can do this but when most AMD photographers consider

to be the industry standard is a 30 markup or cost share surcharge per additional company or license so if a photo shoot is quoted at two thousand dollars and a second project partner says they will want to use the photos produced during that shoot you can add 30 or 600 to that quote bringing the new Total to

2600. now the two companies can split that bill down the middle and each only pays thirteen hundred dollars they both get a 700 discount and you get six hundred dollars more for doing the same amount of work everyone wins in this scenario and for every additional company that wants a license to use the images you just add

another thirty percent so if three companies want to share cost on that same two thousand dollar shoot you’d add twelve hundred dollars that’s the thirty percent surcharge times two which gives you a total of thirty two hundred dollars and if the three companies split that bill evenly they all only pay one thousand sixty six dollars each time

you add more licenses and companies to that bill their discount increases but so does your payment again everyone wins my personal policy for most cost sharing scenarios is that each party must agree to the cost sharing model before the shoot each party involved receives all of the photos from the shoot only one client directs the shoot only

one client provides feedback for retouching or changes and only one client is billed for the shoot meaning the original commissioning client will pay me one lump sum and they are responsible for collecting payments from the other companies based on however they decide to split that bill if we extrapolate on each of these price structures we can start

to get a general idea of what is possible when it comes to how much money and architecture and interior photographer can make in a year again these are General ideas and base prices they don’t include cost sharing or re-licensing of images after the fact which are both industry standards in this field that every architecture interior photographer should

be including in their business model so let’s go through some made up scenarios of things that could happen in real life and as we do this keep in mind that it’s totally up to you to decide if these kinds of prices and outcomes would fit your personal situation you can decide if you think the amount earned is

good or not and you can decide if you think the amount of work produced is realistic for you say a photographer charges 150 an hour and stays on site for an average of five hours per shoot a typical week for them includes two shoots so that’s 10 hours of billable time per week and let’s say they are

consistent enough to replicate these two shoots a week for 45 weeks out of the Year factoring in some time there for a vacation a week where they might be sick and a few slow weeks that would yield a gross income of sixty seven thousand five hundred dollars so that’s money before taxes and expenses are taken out let’s

say another photographer is just starting out so they only tried 100 per hour and their clients are relatively small so they only spend an average of four hours on site per shoot which brings our average shoe price to 400 dollars and because they are still building their client base they only average one shoot every other week so

that’s 26 shoots throughout the year at 400 each generating ten thousand four hundred dollars for the year now we’ll look at a photographer who charges fifteen hundred dollars for a full day and eight hundred dollars for a half day shoot they might average 66 shoots in a year about five or so every month and a third of

them are a half day shoot so out of their 66 shoots 22 of them are half day shoots and the remaining 44 are full days this wouldn’t produce a total yearly income of eighty three thousand six hundred dollars remember as we continue through this exercise start to think about how many shoots you think is realistic for you

to do in a week a month or a year and how much money you think you should charge and compare that to how much money you’d like to make and if you feel like you need some help figuring out these numbers in a way that makes a little more sense for you send me an email so we

can set up a Consulting call okay let’s jump to a really experienced photographer who charges thirty five hundred dollars for a full day shoot and two thousand dollars for a half day and this person stays busy with 90 shoots throughout the year that’s about two a week for 45 weeks out of the Year again taking a few

weeks off for various reasons out of the 90s shoot let’s say that only 20 of them are half days and 70 are full days this kind of workflow would result in 285 000 for the year now let’s look at a few examples of a photographer that uses the creative fee and Licensing fee price structure pretend we have

a photographer that just started using this type of pricing and they set their creative fee at 500 per day and Tack on fifty dollars for each photo as the licensing fee now not that I should dictate what anybody else does at all but this is exactly where I set my prices when I started doing this in 2017.

we’ll say this person’s average shoot produces 15 photos so an average invoice for them is twelve hundred fifty dollars if they did a shoot about every other week for the Year this would result in thirty three thousand seven hundred fifty dollars of annual revenue and one final scenario to look at is a photographer who has a creative

fee of two thousand dollars a day and a licensing fee of 150 per photo if this person’s average shoot was 20 images and they shot 55 projects throughout the year their annual income could be 275 thousand dollars as you can see there is a massive sliding scale of what’s possible when it comes to how much a photographer

can make each year shooting architecture and Design I would encourage you to set really intentional goals for your life then reverse engineer those in order to come up with how many shoots per year you’d like to do and at what price point you can then play with and tweak the numbers to something that is realistic for your

own situation and work towards those goals tracking them each quarter or year my current goal is to shoot 40 projects for the year with an average bill of four thousand dollars each which would result in a hundred and sixty thousand dollars a year from photo shoots all right now that you have the foundational information needed to understand

how you can price a D photography let’s get away from the hypothetical situations and look at some real world examples of how this has played out for photographers from around the US what you’re about to see are actual invoices I’ve received from working Professionals in this industry the people locations and companies will remain anonymous but I can

assure you they are all legit and for the sake of time and keep you on topic we won’t go over the exact usage agreement or other terms and conditions on these we’re mainly just focused on the numbers here first up we have a pretty basic shoot of a residential home for a local architect this photographer charged 1250

as a creative fee and one hundred dollars per image for the licensing fees so after producing 12 images over the course of about six and a half hours on site the total bill for this project was twenty four hundred fifty dollars I said these would remain anonymous but since I’m trying to be transparent here I can tell

you that this one is one of my invoices and the next one is two this invoice was built to a National Construction company from a shoot of a medical facility I live in Hawaii and traveled to one of our neighbor islands for this shoot flying there and back in the same day so the bill included 470.77 worth

of travel expenses the creative fee on this one was set to 1750 and there were 13 licensing fees at a hundred dollars each the commissioning client brought on two additional companies that wanted a license to use the photos the development company and the Tenant of the building which again was a medical facility so the fees for those

additional licenses added eighteen hundred thirty dollars to the invoice and here in Hawaii we have to charge in general excise tax so after that was added it brought the grand total of this shoot to 5 580.72 cents this total was billed two and fully paid by the general contractor and they collected payments from each of the other

two companies so each company ended up only paying about eighteen hundred sixty dollars for their portion of their shoot next we have a two-day shoot of a luxury high-rise apartment building that yielded 22 finished images the shoe was a little more in depth and involved with the client arranging to have models on site during the shoot the

thieves were broken down into a five thousand dollar photographer create a fee for the two days and photo editing fees of 125 each there’s also a line item of a thousand dollars per day for an assistant that was brought on for the job the total bill was nine thousand seven hundred fifty dollars excluding a hotel that the

client also provided for the photographer Now we move on to an invoice that was billed with a flat day rate of twenty four hundred dollars this was a residential shoot for an interior designer and the photographer was on site for about eight hours and delivered 70 photos when all was said and done the last invoice we will

look at bills for a day rate with a cap of 25 photos and a maximum of 10 hours on site this shoot included interior and exterior images of a residential home and it was shot for an interior designer who brought on the Builder to help share the cost in return for a license to use the Assets in

this instance both companies were built separately so we’re just looking at one of those two bills here which shows a day rate of 3200 and a 30 percent cost sharing discount after adding the local sales tax each client paid 2432 which gave the photographer a total of 4 865 dollars for this work it’s always fun to see

what kind of money people make but what about how much money people spend I’m a very frugal person and try to pinch pennies whenever possible but in 2022 I still spend more than 23 000 on business expenses and paid more than twenty six thousand dollars in taxes so with more than fifty thousand dollars leaving my bank account

in the year you can see that takes a big chunk out of the money I bring in from the kinds of invoices you just saw I’m not an accountant and this is not five Financial advice but I saved 20 off the top of every paycheck I received to set aside the taxes so a two thousand dollar paycheck

very quickly becomes just sixteen hundred dollars as a side note I also put ten percent into a retirement type investment account and another 10 percent into a general savings account for things like traveling and general backup funds so for me personally a two thousand dollar paycheck actually only puts twelve hundred dollars into my checking account that goes

towards my monthly bills and regular business expenses anyway where do these expenses come from and how do you know if you’ll have similar business expenses well here’s a short list of some of the things you can expect to pop up throughout any given year random pieces of camera in lighting gear Seventeen hundred dollars and that’s if you

don’t have any major upgradings which for me tends to happen every four years or so if you purchase a new camera body or lens then obviously that number will shoot up much higher very quickly then you have hard drives and other random bits of computer equipment 650 bucks again that’s if you don’t have to upgrade your entire

computer setup business insurance that’s 700 the Adobe Creative Suite another 600 for the year Dropbox or different file delivery service 125 for the year Microsoft Office that’s 100 bucks pixie or another photo tracking service to monitor if your images have been stolen 430 dollars printing portfolio books business cards and other promo materials that’s 500 accounting registering your

photos with the copyright office and other legal fees let’s call that 1700 then we have memberships to Industry organizations and the events they hold that’s thousand dollars and then there are countless other little odds and ends that accumulate over time like Postage and shipping parking meals and client gifts and random office supplies now as promised this is

the part of the video where I give you an in-depth look at how much money I personally make as an architecture photographer and where exactly that money comes from the reason I’m opening up so much here and being so vulnerable is because I know it’s so difficult to give straight answers about money and finances and I want

to break that wall down as a way to help educate people who are working in this field or who are considering this kind of work I want to make it very clear here that I’m not trying to brag well I’m proud of what I made honestly I didn’t reach the goals I said for myself and I’ve said

higher goals for this year in saying this I’m not suggesting that you strive for anything more or less than I made and I’m not suggesting that any particular dollar amount equals any type of success money is very personal to everyone and we all have different desires goals living expenses personal situations and so on so what you make

or want to make or how you define success is totally up to you the only thing I encourage is to be very intentional about how you define your terms and how you design your life and what goals you set for yourself I promise I’m not intentionally trying to drag this out but I do feel I need to

preface this with one more very important Point most people I know that consider themselves professional architecture and interior photographers have multiple income streams some still generate revenue from a previous industry they worked in some have a real estate Media company in addition to their AMD clients some do video work either for the same kinds of a d

clients or from different types of clients and I know photographers that do branding portraits headshots or other types of Photography as well and others like myself sell educational content and of course there are many reasons why people don’t just stick to one thing they enjoy other types of Photography they have passions for other things but let’s not

try to hide the elephant in the room here building up an architectural photography business takes time and if you don’t have multiple sources of income while you’re working on building your portfolio clientele and business there’s a good chance you won’t make it in the long run at the time of this recording I’m less than three years into

the new market I moved to back in November 2020 and I’m still working on building up my client base here so currently I have three main income streams that I consider to be an integral part of my business shooting licensing and education shooting is pretty self-explanatory clients hire me to shoot photos and I get paid for it

licensing has two parts first I’m very proactive in re-licensing my existing photos so if an interior designer hires me to shoot a residential home I’ll try to relicense the kitchen photos to the cabinet company or the faucet company or both or if an architect hires me to photograph a high-rise I’ll try to re-licens some of those images

to the structural engineer and for whatever reason I got really good at this whole licensing thing spotting which products stayed out in a photo figuring out who made those products finding the right person to contact at that company and knowing exactly what to say to them in an email are weird little niche skills that I’ve developed so

now I work with other photographers from around the country as a licensing agent they send me their photos so I broke her licensing deals with product vendors for them and then we split the money so licensing of my second stream of income my third income stream is education and this came as a direct result of that weird

Niche skill I just described back in 2020 I released an online course where I teach you how to do all the things needed to license your photos and bring in extra money just like I do after that course had been out for a while I started getting other ideas for things I wanted to teach so I began

hosting online workshops which led to releasing other downloads for sale and doing one-on-one Consulting calls with photographers who are looking for specific help either with their skills or in their business so selling educational resources is my final method of making money in 2022 I made sixty nine thousand one hundred fifty dollars from photo shoots forty six thousand

two hundred twenty seven dollars from licensing sales and thirty two thousand five hundred twenty five dollars from the educational stream now let’s break these down even further in 2022 I did 16 architecture design photo shoots at an average price of 3875 each six of those were commercial and ten of them were residential nine of them involved cost

sharing with additional project partners I also built 1250 for some raw Drone footage that a client asked for even though I don’t typically offer video Services I also reluctantly agreed to five short-term rental shoots at an average of eight hundred dollars each which gave me an extra four thousand dollars in the photo shoot category I keep swearing

I will not shoot rentals or real estate but every once in a blue moon I agreed to a shoe for one reason or another and usually end up regretting the decision for example I would have had another thousand dollars of income from a real estate shoot on this list but the homeowner wasn’t happy with the photos so

I gave her a full refund and told her she wasn’t allowed to use them anyway I digress to cap off my photo shoot income for 2022 I did two shoots that I would classify as random one for a yoga studio that my wife was doing social media for and these were action shots during the classes and not

architectural shots of the space and one corporate headshot session for an Architecture Firm that I was trying to build a relationship with I also regretted that one the whole shoe was a complete cluster muck I had one flash with an umbrella on it just Mary Poppins it straight off a three-story roof and another flash that was thankfully

weighted down better broke the life stand in half due to the wind so just like with that real estate shoot that I refunded with this headshot session I was reminded why I should always say no to the kinds of jobs that I know I don’t want to do anyway stay in your lane Adam stay in your lane

again I digress getting back on track when it comes to the licensing sales ten thousand fifty eight dollars was from my own photos I licensed 41 of them at an average price of about 245 each the other thirty six thousand one hundred sixty nine dollars of license the income was my cut from the other photographers I work

with which means they also got paid pretty well too and that always makes me happy together we licensed 206 images with an average payout of 350 per image the reason my own photos were priced less to my clients is because a lot of what I license for myself were to local project Partners like contractors and Architects and

not national product vendors and remember we get paid based on value so companies with larger reaches pay more if you want to learn all the tactics and techniques that I use to license all of these photos sign up for my learn to licensure photos course I literally teach everything I do exactly as I do it to make

these sales and Licensing just one photo to a product company usually pays you back for the entire course moving on to the education component of my income five thousand one hundred sixty nine dollars of that was through one-on-one Consulting calls and thirteen hundred dollars was from helping people design their printed portfolio books then another ten thousand three

hundred forty three was from my licensing course and fifteen thousand seven hundred thirteen dollars was from the workshops I hosted and just to be super accurate here I had another 550 of income from Old Stock photos and videos I had given to other platforms a long time ago I really wrestled with the idea of charging for this

video or making it a pay what you want donation kind of thing or at least putting it behind an opt-in curtain so you had to put in your email address to access it but after it was all complete I truly just felt like this kind of information pricing transparency would help a lot of people so when I

reflect back on my goal and intention of this video it was clear that it needed to be just out there for everyone to see so I hope you got a lot out of it and I hope you consider subscribing to my YouTube channel signing up for my email list or jumping on some of the paid content that

I offer links to all of that are in the description below thanks for watching and best of luck to you as you navigate this challenging but rewarding and super fun career path