Recently Diane, who is starting out in real estate photography and had purchased my Business Of Real Estate Photography e-book was going over the spreadsheet that comes with the book that helps you decide what your target shoot price should be. One of the parameters you need to decide is what your target hourly rate is.
In my example spreadsheet, I use an hourly rate of $30 because the US Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the 2015 average hourly rate for professional and business services was $29.77. Diane seemed to be incredulous that I should suggest that a real estate photographer should have a goal of making $30/hour.
There are a number of things to consider when doing an exercise like this:
My point in all of this is: despite what your employment history is or what attracts you to being an independent real estate photographer, the key part of your job is managing your business in a creative and effective way and if you do that successfully you should expect to make the average salary for professional and business services or above ($29.77)! You may not make that when you are starting out but it should be your target to get there.