Pricing for Automotive Photography: Costs & Factors Involved

Michael • January 20, 2023 • 5 min read

Pricing for Automotive Photography Costs & Factors Involved

When it comes to automotive photography, there’s a lot more to consider than just pointing and shooting. The truth is, pricing for this specialized form of photography can be a tricky business.

And just like the cars themselves, there’s a delicate balance between art and science when it comes to determining the cost of a shoot.


1. Factors that Affect Automotive Photography

Pricing is a key factor in determining the cost of a shoot. Urban areas tend to be more expensive than rural areas, as the cost of living is higher.

This also means that photographers based in urban areas will often charge more for their services. Additionally, if a shoot requires the photographer to travel to an on-location shoot, that’s going to add to the overall cost.

The quality of the equipment used is another important consideration.

Cameras and Equipment

Professional-grade cameras and lenses can cost tens of thousands of dollars. And that’s before you factor in the cost of lighting and rigging equipment.

So, it’s no surprise that photographers who have invested in top-of-the-line gear will charge more for their services.

Experience and Reputation

The experience and reputation of the photographer are other crucial elements in pricing. A photographer who has been in the business for decades and has a solid reputation is going to command higher rates than a relative newcomer.

And that’s for good reason – a seasoned pro has the skills and experience necessary to deliver the kind of high-quality images that clients demand.

Post processing and Retouching

Post-processing and retouching are additional services that can affect pricing. These are the steps that a photographer takes to edit and enhance an image after it’s been taken.

The more extensive the retouching required, the more it will cost. And if a client wants multiple images retouched, that can add up quickly.


Finally, the volume of images needed is another factor that can affect pricing. A client who wants a single image is going to pay less than a client who needs a large number of images. This is because the photographer’s time and effort increase as the number of images increases.

2. Different Pricing Models for Automotive Photography

There are a few different pricing models that photographers use when it comes to automotive photography. An hourly rate is a popular option, where the client pays the photographer a set amount for each hour of work.

The day rate is another option, where the client pays a set fee for a full day of shooting. A per-image rate is a third option, where the client pays for each image separately. Finally, some photographers offer package deals that bundle together a set number of hours or images for a discounted rate.

3. How to Choose the Right Pricing Model for Your Project

Choosing the right pricing model for your project depends on your budget and your needs. If you’re on a tight budget, the hourly or day rate may not be the best option.

But if you need a large number of images, the per-image rate may end up being more expensive in the long run. It’s essential to do your research and understand the different pricing models available before making a decision.

And don’t be afraid to negotiate with the photographer – after all, they want your business as much as you want theirs.

4. Price ranges for Automotive Photography

Automotive photography prices and rates can vary widely depending on the location, experience, and reputation of the photographer, and the specific needs of the project.

  • Hourly rate: $75 – $250 per hour
  • Day rate: $500 – $2000 per day
  • Per-image rate: $75 – $300 per image
  • Package deals: $1000 – $5000 for a set number of hours or images

It’s important to note that these are just estimates, and prices can vary significantly depending on the specific needs of the project and the photographer’s level of experience and reputation.

Some experienced and well-known photographers may charge higher rates, while those just starting out in the industry may charge lower rates. Additionally, post-processing and retouching services may add extra costs to the final bill.

5. Tips for Saving Money on Automotive Photography

There are a few ways to save money on automotive photography. One is to choose the right location. Urban areas are more expensive than rural areas, so if you’re on a budget, consider shooting in a less populated area.

Another way to save money is to minimize post-processing and retouching. And if you already have your own equipment, use it. Finally, consider shooting during non-peak hours.

Photographers typically charge more for shoots that take place during the evening or on weekends. If you’re flexible with your schedule, you may be able to save money by scheduling a shoot during off-peak hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common challenges faced by automotive photographers during a shoot?

Let me tell you, shooting cars is no easy feat. There are a lot of moving parts – both literally and figuratively. One of the biggest challenges is getting the lighting just right. Cars are shiny, reflective beasts, and getting the right balance of light and shadow can be a real pain in the ass.

Another challenge is dealing with the weather. If it’s a bright and sunny day, you’ll have to contend with harsh shadows and glare. But if it’s overcast, you may struggle to get the right amount of light. And don’t even get me started on shooting in the rain.

How can a client ensure that they are getting high-quality images from an automotive photography shoot?

The key to getting high-quality images is to work with a skilled and experienced photographer. Do your research, check out the photographer’s portfolio, and make sure they have a solid reputation.

And don’t be afraid to ask questions. Find out what kind of equipment they use, and ask to see samples of their work. And remember, communication is key. Be upfront about your expectations, and make sure the photographer understands exactly what you’re looking for.

Are there any legal considerations for automotive photographers when taking pictures of cars?

Yeah, there are definitely legal considerations to keep in mind. For starters, you need to be aware of copyright laws. If you’re taking a picture of a car that’s not your own, you need to make sure you have the right to use that image.

Additionally, you need to be mindful of trespassing laws. If you’re shooting on private property, you need to get permission from the owner before taking any pictures. And if you’re shooting on public property, be aware of any restrictions that may be in place.

How does shooting on location versus in a studio affect the cost of an automotive photography shoot?

Shooting on location can be more expensive than shooting in a studio. When you’re shooting on location, you need to factor in the cost of transportation, as well as any permits or fees that may be required.

Additionally, shooting on location can be more time-consuming than shooting in a studio, and that can drive up the cost. But on the flip side, shooting on location can also add an extra layer of realism and drama to the images. So it’s a trade-off, and ultimately, it depends on the specific needs of the project.


Automotive photography is a unique blend of art and science, and the same can be said for determining the cost of a shoot. It’s important to consider the various factors that can affect pricing, such as location, equipment, experience, and the volume of images needed.

And with different pricing models available, it’s crucial to do your research and understand which one is the best fit for your project. But don’t be afraid to negotiate and remember that there are ways to save money, such as choosing the right location and shooting during non-peak hours.

Further readings:
5 Pricing Challenges: What you need to know to improve outcomes
A good professional reputation is in the eye of the beholder

What is your take on Automotive Photography pricing? Let us know in the comments.

By Furoore team member Michael
Furoore Team is here to assist you in capturing the most significant moments in your life. To create exciting photographs, discover photography guides, find unique photo ideas, and limitless image inspiration.


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