How do you price a drone wedding package?
There are at least three ways wedding photographers can price their drone services:
- No extra charge. You include drone photos in your existing packages, with no upcharge.
- Extra charge as part of a larger bundle of services. You include drone photos in a higher tier package, along with other higher tier services.
- Extra charge as an add-on. You sell drone photos as an add-on for an upcharge.
We’ll take a closer look at each option below.
But before we do that, we should note two things:
1. The first option seems to be the most common
The first option for how to price a drone wedding package—include drone photos in existing packages with no upcharge—seems to be the most common among wedding photographers who use drones in their work.
We say this based on:
- My personal experience—this is what I do as a wedding photographer who offers drone services.
- Conversations with other wedding photographers who use drones.
- Anecdotal information shared in a Reddit thread we started to see how other wedding photographers are pricing their drone services.
Check out the Reddit thread here. And leave a comment if you have any information to share.
2. Some wedding photographers just don’t use drones
If you don’t use them, you don’t have to worry about pricing.
Again, this conclusion is based on my personal experience talking to other wedding photographers and on what people shared in the Reddit thread.
Now let’s take a closer look at each of the three types of drone wedding packages listed above.
1. Drone Wedding Package—No Extra Charge
I personally don’t charge extra for drone photos when I shoot a wedding.
This is for a few reasons:
- Flexibility. I like the flexibility of not always feeling like I need to use the drone. If I’m not charging for drone services then I get to choose when to use the drone or not. Some days I use up all of my two batteries flying, and some days I don’t even take my drone out of the bag.
- It’s easy. I mainly shoot weddings with my DJI Air 2S, which is pretty small and easy to transport. For me, I see it as an extra lens more than a completely different type of photography. So I don’t mind pulling it out and getting some interesting shots, because it’s so easy to do.
- The value add is huge. This last point is a big one. When I do get good drone shots they add a huge amount of value to the services my clients are getting—and the fact that they didn’t have to pay extra for it makes them feel like they’re getting top notch services, and not getting nickel and dimed. And for me, using a drone makes me feel like I’m delivering a more complete and well-rounded final gallery of photos to my clients.
Another way to think about this is that you want to be a wedding photographer who can charge really high prices. And then deliver really high quality.
Instead of creating lots of add-ons and tiers, charge simply, and then deliver incredible work. The people who want to pay for higher prices will be delighted by your aerial services, and the free drone wedding package they got as part of their entire package will be one more way you make them feel like they’re getting the value they paid for.
Note: We do mention drone photos in our packages so that people understand we shoot with a drone when they’re weighing the value of the work they’ll get from us. If you want greater flexibility, you may not want to mention it.
2. Drone Wedding Package—Extra Charge as Part of a Larger Bundle of Services
If you do want to charge extra for a drone wedding package—or a package that includes drone wedding shots—then you may want to include drone shots as part of a higher tier package.
If you fold drone shots into a higher tier you’ll still have a little flexibility in case bad weather, venue rules, or other circumstances make it so you can’t fly.
Pro tip: Make sure you write something on your contract that protects you from delivering any particular photo, and also drone photos.
3. Drone Wedding Package—Extra Charge as an Add-On
Creating a specific drone wedding package is of course another way you can go.
And this could be a really solid pricing strategy. Two reasons you might want to create a separate drone wedding package or price drone shots as an add-on are:
- You want to have multiple pricing tiers and options to attract a range of budgets (higher end clients can get all the bells and whistles, while those who can’t afford them can still hire you).
- You work with a drone pilot who requires additional pay.
How to Price Your Drone Wedding Package
Here’s one way to think about pricing your drone wedding packages:
- Get a base rate. Look at how much drone pilots in your area are getting paid per hour for other types of aerial photography and use an average of that hourly rate as a baseline.
- Estimate your hours. Estimate the amount of time you’ll be flying and the amount of time it will take you to edit those aerial photos to get a full estimate of your hours.
- Include training time. Feel free to include some calculation for the time it will take you (or has already taken you) to become proficient in flying a drone. Most likely this will be accounted for by the hourly estimate you already did, but if you feel like it’s going to take you 100 hours to get good enough to take high quality photos, you may want to pay yourself for that time, too (or at least some portion of it).
- Do the math. Calculate your package rate based on the hours x the hourly rate.
Of course, this is just a back-of-the-napkin way to think about it.
We also recommend talking to other drone pilots who charge for their aerial services, and doing research online and on sites like Indeed.com to get a sense for what people are charging for aerial services—and what clients are willing to pay.