Architectural Photography, is it really that expensive?

The short answer is, no! Not when we look at the value the photographs bring to your business. But what is their value? How do I justify the cost? Where is the value in paying an Architectural photographer to photograph my project?

To answer those questions instead of taking it from a photographers point of view, let’s look at it from a business perspective:

To know if something is costly, we need to understand its value first. If the value of the product or service delivers you positive financial results, then it is no longer expensive but a justified investment into your business, right? I try to keep this in mind often in my own business regarding the products or services I use to help make my business more profitable. 

For example; what is the number one reason people book a hotel over another hotel, especially when travelling overseas? The photographs, why? Because the photographs show them whether the hotel is clean, whether the hotel looks modern and up-to-date, and most importantly, is it worth the price? Clients will always be happy to spend more if they feel they’re getting their monies worth.  So, when we look at how many ‘bums in beds’ you’re going to get, it is easy to see the value in having quality architectural photography.

The following example is by photographer, Don Giannatti, who drives this point home. The figures and licensing terms are made-up to illustrate how we can work out the cost and, most importantly, the ROI (Return On Investment) of having great imagery.

Okay, let’s say a hotel owner wants 16 images of his or her hotel and is quoted £2,000 for 16 images, with a two-year usage license. With the hotel’s current imagery they are not booking enough rooms per-week and need to book more to meet their targets – they believe with higher quality imagery they have a better chance to increase their numbers.

At £2,000 for two years, the cost of the photographs are a rounded total of £2.70 per-day at £0.17 per-image. Their profit of per-room per night is £30. That’s £2.70 a day for 16 images that will help the hotelier book a room for £30. A net gain of £27.30. If the images bring in one additional booking per day the cost of the photographs will be paid in two and a half months, and then it is pure profit after that. Even an additional two bookings per week will cover their costs. 

Take a look at the below figures:

  • Total Cost for 16 images (rounded up): £2.70 per day / £1,000 per year / £2,000 for 2 years.
  • Total Profit for 2 extra room bookings per week (£27.30 x 2):  £54.60 per week /£2,839.20 per year / £5,678.40 for 2 years.
  • Total Profit for 6 extra room bookings per week (£27.30 x 6):  £163.80 per week /£8,517.60 per year / £17,035.20 for 2 years.

So, make sense? Pretty amazing hey?! When we break down the numbers and look at the benefits, high-quality imagery is a cost-effective necessity for your ROI (Return On Investment) and are an essential investment in your business which pays for itself!


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