What is the solution to the high prices for professional car photography?

Prices for expert automobile photography can frequently astound you as a car dealer. Why not, then? Professional car photographers may demand up to $500 per hour of work. For more skilled photographers, the price per image might reach $300–$2,000.


It is understandable if the idea of receiving expert photographs of your inventory terrifies you.


Professional-looking photos are crucial, as any auto dealer wanting to improve their dealership’s internet presence is likely aware. For high-impact images for VDP, every component—from the background, exposure, and placement to window tinting and number plate masking—matters.


As a result, charging exorbitant charges for photographs is not actually unjust for automotive photographers. However, the goal of this text is not to assist photographers. You will have discovered a perfect, more workable approach to lower the cost of inventory cataloging by the time you have finished reading this article.


Let’s first examine the reasons behind the skyrocketing cost of automobile photo shoots and the difficulties they provide for dealerships.


Pricing for Car Photography Overview

Prices for car photography vary by location as a result of several factors. A professional car photographer will typically cost you roughly $300 for an hour in the US. The needs of auto dealers are not met by this one-hour car photography package.


Pricing for Car Photography


The cost of hiring a professional photographer to picture your car is as follows:


$300 on average per hour

An average 4-hour photo shoot costs $800.

The 4-hour vehicle photography package will cost you $800. Where you live in the United States may affect the cost of this car photography. For instance, cost for vehicle photography in Los Angeles is more than average by about $200 because there, car photographers bill about $1000 for a 4-hour package. A 4-hour shoot typically costs $840 in Princeton and $670 in Atlanta.


What are the prices for car photographers?

Photographers can bill by the day or the session, with travel and editing expenses included. Car photographers might charge anywhere from $50 and $300 per hour depending on their degree of training, expertise, and experience. When searching for a car photographer to hire, it’s important to consider both your budget and the photographer’s ability level in order to meet your needs.


The cost of car photographers


Here is a list of prices for vehicle photography, from amateur to professional.


1. Novice photographers ($50/hour)

The least expensive option is to hire a novice auto photographer, whose hourly costs hover around $50. You should review the applicant’s portfolio before hiring. Beginner photographers can be a fantastic option if your budget for automobile photography is tight. You should be aware that as a beginner who lacks experience, you might not receive high-quality photographs.


2. Inexperienced photographers ($25 to $100 per hour)

You might expect to pay an amateur photographer $25 to $100 per hour. Since they will be more aware of client requirements, amateur photographers with at least two previous clients can be worth hiring. An amateur photographer can capture cars at a moderate price, but they won’t be able to produce photos of a good caliber. Depending on your budget, this might be a nice offer.


Photographers who are interns ($50 to $100 or more per hour)

Since intern photographers frequently assist full-time photographers, they have experience collaborating with experts to produce high-quality car images. You can pay an intern photographer’s rates for vehicle photography if your budget is in the middle level. If the photo shoot lasts longer, the hourly charge might also be decreased.


Photographers that work in the semi-profession ($75 to $150 per hour)

A semi-professional automobile photographer with over a year of experience will charge between $75 and $150 for their services. Only a select few skilled photographers may demand more. Because they are well-versed in automobile photography, they can provide you with better results for both the interior and exterior of the car.


5. Expert photographers ($100 to $300+ Per Hour)

Professional automotive photographers will possess top-notch abilities, a ton of expertise, and the necessary educational background. They may showcase your car in the most appealing way possible by experimenting with angles and lighting to emphasize particular aspects. They must also be very knowledgeable about autos in order to do this. A professional photographer often charges between $100 and $300 for vehicle photography.


6. High-end freelance photographers ($250 to $500 or more per hour)

A top-tier professional car photographer will charge you between $250 and $500 per hour. So if you have a big budget, think about them. The majority of the time, reputable dealers and advertising firms are the ones hiring them, and the caliber of the photos is evident. The exorbitant fees are due to the fact that they handle every component of a photograph.


Why are the costs for car photography so high?

When examining automobile photos, it is simple to conclude that a professional-quality car photo is simply the product of a DSLR camera and the appropriate exposure. The task is, however, much trickier than it seems.


 pricing for car photography


The fact that there are additional hurdles and that mistakes can be expensive is one of the main factors contributing to the high cost of automotive photography. Therefore, hiring photographers with greater experience and better equipment virtually becomes a must.

Cars are pricey and difficult to film large objects. Consequently, there are more obstacles to overcome and more expensive equipment. The photographers must pay the manufacturing costs in order to retain the profit margins.

In the end, this raises the cost of car photography.


The difficulties of photographing auto dealerships and the causes of their high prices

Photographing at Auto Dealerships: Challenges


When shooting for auto dealerships, the automotive photographer must overcome the following three difficulties:


1. Too many cars at once to handle

Contrary to life, professional automotive photography does not lend itself to the maxim “the more, the merrier.” Because there are so many automobiles, it might be difficult to get good photographs of each one from both the interior and outside.


You have to consider the lighting, angles, and numerous edits for these autos.


2. Pay attention to lighting

Lighting is king when it comes to great automotive photography! For photography in auto dealerships, managing reflections during lighting setup is essential.


A photographer must modify the lighting in accordance with the style and color of the car in order to capture the best images of the vehicle from every aspect.


While lighting may seem like a straightforward problem to solve, it is actually a challenging one that demands professional skill to get properly.


3. The crucial element is the location

It’s crucial to choose the best place when taking pictures of automobiles. It could be difficult to locate a picturesque area nearby to take expert car pictures. Because of this, dealerships frequently favor studios for car photography, which ultimately drives up prices and costs.


When photographing auto dealerships, this is still another difficulty that dealerships must overcome.


How can dealerships lower the price of photography?

Low-quality new and used automobile photos can result in fewer clicks and expensive advertising for the dealership. It’s time for a fix now that we are aware of just how expensive car dealership photography is as well as the factors that contribute to this.


How can dealers cut the price of photography?


Deep-tech startups like AIi are assisting automakers and dealers in creating high-impact catalog images with just a few clicks and at a cost that is 75% cheaper. The traditional approach to automotive photography is evolving thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, saving money on expensive equipment.


AI’s car dealership photography, editing, and publishing software is the answer to your pricey photoshoot.


Cost per shot on average in the US (Atlanta)AI Cost

1 Hour $240 $50

2 Hours $384 $100

3 Hours $527 $150

4 Hours $671 $200


You don’t need to reserve a studio, hire a photographer, or move your vehicles while using AI.


What AI does is as follows:


smartphone-based, professional-looking automobile photography

Dealers and sellers can capture photographs of cars using a smartphone and an in-app AI camera. The photography is guided by AI technology, which suggests the ideal perspectives, lighting, exposure, placement of the automobile, and much more.


This lowers the expense of hiring a photographer and eliminates the need to purchase an expensive camera in order to take quality pictures.


Your smartphone will carry out the action thanks to this AI technology!


AI editor for studio-quality results

Once your raw photographs are prepared, the AI image editor can begin doing its magic.


Shouldn’t editing these pictures take forever as you take so many pictures with so many clicks? Yes, in theory, but not with the virtual studio. No manual retouching is required.


With a few clicks, you can instantly produce high-quality output similar to what you’d see in a studio. To avoid paying for expensive automobile photography without sacrificing image quality, schedule a demo.


Affordable costs for high-quality automotive imagery

For small and medium-sized dealerships and marketplaces, AI offers subscription plans – starting as low as $120. Depending on your needs, you can select between our annual and monthly options. Instead, large-scale and franchise dealerships can buy credits directly. View our pricing options here.

A Conclusion

Contrary to common belief, spending more does not always guarantee good quality. We help you get the best results at a lesser cost with the help of AI. So, invest your time focusing on your customers and increasing your revenue, while we take care of your making a top-notch automobile catalog for you!

No leads were lost. reduced overhead.
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