One of the main questions when starting out as a travel videographer is how much should you charge.
This will depend on many factors—including how much the client is willing to spend, what level of expertise you are at, what kind of equipment you use, how much time you’ll spend on creating a video, and how much travel is involved for you to get the footage you need.
Depending on the answers to those questions, you can charge anywhere from $400 to $4,000 for a video.
As you start to experiment as a travel videographer, I suggest that you begin at the lower end of the price spectrum. In fact, your first video should be a free video if you have never created a commercial video before.
Once you know how the process works and you feel confident in your skills, you can begin to make money with your travel videos. Let’s say you start charging $400 for a video, what would that actually look like?
Even though I make up to $4,000 for some projects, I still create videos for just $400, because they’re so simple and quick to make and you can easily convince clients to create one or even more.
This particular client I work for below has given me hundreds of little projects like this, and I love them because they are so easy to do.
Most of the time, they are hotel videos or resort videos. All I have to do is arrange a day with the hotel, make sure that a room is available and clean, and that someone at reception knows that I’m coming.
I will then film inside the hotel or accommodation and the facilities available for about 30 to 45 minutes, and voila, that’s most of my work done.
Later I will sit down and edit. Because I have done it so many times, it takes no longer than 30 minutes to do. I just select my favorite clips, add some music and some captions, enhance the colors, and I have a professional-quality video ready to go.
For just over an hour of work, $400 sure isn’t bad.
You could do the same in your area with local hotels and restaurants, and even realtors. I explain how to do this step-by-step and include samples of letters and contracts you might use to contact the hotel in the Travel Videos for Profit program, here.
Here is an example of what that $400 video would look like when it’s finished:
Now if we move up one step and make a short destination video, you could charge about $1,000 per video.
This will involve a bit more organization, since you have to travel to that destination and film on a day that is bright and sunny. If it involves a commercial operation, then they will also need to know about your filming plans.
You’ll need much more footage, so you’ll film for much longer. You may also need to hire someone to create a voice-over for you and it will take a bit longer to edit.
This work is much more rewarding and creative, but may not be as easy to sell as a low-cost video.
Here’s an example of what a short $1,000 destination video may look like:
And, here’s another sample:
If, however, you would like to earn up to $4,000 for your video, you will have to seriously step up your game.
This kind of video will probably be a larger destination, like a region or a city. It means you’ll have to film for several days to cover most of the attractions and activities that can be enjoyed in that city or region.
You should try to do most of your filming on sunny days, so you might have to stick around for some time. As you’ll have to travel there, you may need to book a hotel room if it’s far from your home. You may also need interior shots from museums and restaurants, so you have to arrange times and filming permits with those operations.
You could also use a drone to gather aerial shots and buy a slider to make your footage look more professional.
Editing will take a bit longer, too, as you have more footage to go through. But with more time and effort invested, you could earn ten times what you made only a few months earlier.
Here is an example of a destination video that earned around the $4,000 mark:
If you’re interested in having fun with video, you could definitely do this. But I do suggest you start in stages. Offer your first video for free. Then pitch a $400 video like I explain in the program. Move up to the $1,000 videos and take your skills up another notch (again, all this is in the program which costs less than what you’ll make on your first sale), and then pitch one of these large $4,000 deals (maybe after you’ve got 2-3 $1,000 deals under your belt).
It sounds like a lot but, remember, it’s fun, too. You’re not sitting behind a desk all day. You’re out in the sun, enjoying something everyone else is paying to enjoy.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can fund your travels and make an extra income with photography in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Profit from Your Photos: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]