The construction projects are increasing all over the world. And so is the demand for top-notch professional quality photos set to rise.
Are you passionate about landscape photography? If yes, then you should think about starting a career in real estate photography. It has the potential to make you some extra cash.
But you can’t take a picture and send it to the clients right away. It’s like any other high paying job. The competition is pretty intense among real estate photographers.
Let’s discuss the questions on how to get into real estate photography that will make you stand out more.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Get Into Real Estate Photography
- 2 Real Estate Photography Jobs and Marketplaces
- 3 Background and Gears Needed In Real Estate Photography
- 4 All About Getting the Best Images
- 5 What is the Best Lens for Real Estate Photography That You Can Get
- 6 Using Drone for Real Estate Photography
- 7 Becoming A Real Estate Photographer in 8 Steps
- 8 Everything on Real Estate Photography Pricing
- 9 Pricing Guidelines That You Should Follow To Increase Income
- 10 Tips – You need to know:
- 11 Conclusion
How to Get Into Real Estate Photography
In the real estate business, you have to grab people’s attention within two seconds. Otherwise, you are going to lose the battle even before it starts.
Almost all online home buyers view the first photo of a home. 76% of them then continue to view property details. That’s why realtors are ready to pay more for photos that will make the house stand out.
But without strategies and guidelines, it will be tough to survive in this competitive industry. Before digging deeper into the steps of becoming a real estate photographer, you need to know some basic stuff.
Real Estate Photography Jobs and Marketplaces
Real estate photography is more than snapping pictures. You have to make your photo appealing and tell a story without saying anything.
As a photographer, you may need to prep the house according to your taste. If the realtors do it for you, that will be a cherry on top. But if they don’t, be ready to prepare the house.
That might include clearing toys or other essentials of current owners. Or even setting up the tables, cleaning the mirrors, and so on.
Besides, you should spend some time editing photos. However, it may take more time than shooting itself. But the result pays off big time.
Communicating with clients is another important task. After all, you are taking photos of them. It’s a good idea to get their vision and what they want.
Making contracts might look like it’s too much. But it is necessary to safeguard your time and effort. That also sets out the parameters of the job like all the requirements, duration, fees, etc.
Finally, you can also work as a freelance photographer. You market yourself on different marketplaces and become self-employed.
Background and Gears Needed In Real Estate Photography
You can’t go on boating without the right boat, right? That’s the exact same case in real estate photography. You’ll need the following things to get the most out of it.
A Good Camera:
You don’t have to buy the most expensive camera on the market. Real estate photography, unlike other photography niches, requires less.
Sensor size is the most important feature in a camera that you should give serious attention to. Down below are the four common sensors.
- Full frame
- Micro Four Thirds
- Medium Format
Full-frame cameras take in more light and are better. The Nikon D850 is undoubtedly one of the options you can try. It has the feature for high resolution and appealing sensors that help to take bright images in dark rooms.
Wide angle lens allow you to cover a lot of space and frame the whole room.
Tripod is another important equipment. It keeps your camera steady. Thus, you won’t have to deal with shakes. With a tripod, you can shoot images both in vertical and horizontal.
A photography Website:
Though it doesn’t look like equipment, you need it to promote yourself. In business, you need to influence people to purchase your products. An online website can be your platform to show off your skills and get hired.
Choose an attractive template and keep updating. A well-managed website is what clients look for nowadays to check your professionalism.
Photoshop, Enfuse, Lightroom are some renowned editing software. Those help to keep it as simple as it can go. (Less is more) Perfect editing can bring dramatic changes to your pictures and make them stand out.
Flash and Lighting:
Buy some extra flash units. In case the room is dark, these flashes will come handy. You can light the room as much as you want, and it gives you control over the images.
And finally, you may need a van to travel with all this equipment.
All About Getting the Best Images
You must be wondering what makes the houses look so beautiful. It’s not that hard of a task. You can take photos like that too. Follow the steps down below to improve your shots.
Prepare the room:
It is the key to any good picture. You won’t find stuff like kitchen appliances, utensils, personal belongings, etc., in these images. You should avoid them too. It also means staging the room.
Staging and decorating are not synonyms. Decorating means personalizing your room. But, staging means depersonalizing it by using artificial props.
Move everything out of the room that prevents it from looking spacious. And if you keep something, make sure they are well organized.
A wide-angle lens can fit more into the frame. This is the most common angle used in real estate photography. It makes a tiny room look spacious.
Focus on a feature:
Look for the room’s best feature. It can be a fireplace or patching or a wide window. Make it your main focus and emphasize on it.
Consider the weather before shooting. And never shoot under direct sunlight. The early morning or sunset is your ideal time. Because natural light during sunset can make dramatic changes to your shots, if the sky is cloudy, don’t hesitate to postpone your photoshoot.
Keep in mind that lighting can have a serious impact on your photography skills.
What is the Best Lens for Real Estate Photography That You Can Get
For photography, the lens is everything. But, the brand name is not very important when it comes to lenses.
You can get away with a 22-24 mm lens. If you need more detailing, opt for 50-70 mm. You’ll hardly need wider lenses like 16 mm, 14 mm, or 10 mm.
These wider lenses enable you to take interior shots when the room is small. But we don’t recommend you wider lenses unless you have experience with ‘normal’ ones.
Using Drone for Real Estate Photography
If you are shooting a very large property, it can be hard to take shots of each room. To solve this issue, you can use a drone to make videos of the property. You will have a fantastic bird’s eye angle that is lucrative to viewers.
Besides, drone videos enable viewers to understand the space. But, it is more time consuming than traditional photoshoot as it needs more effort to set up. You will also need a 3-axes gimbal to gain more power over the drown.
It’s not cheap, either. You may have to spend over $1000 on buying it. There are other drawbacks too. In the USA, you can’t operate a drone without an operator’s certificate.
Becoming A Real Estate Photographer in 8 Steps
Let’s go over 8 simple steps to become a real estate photographer.
Identify your level of skills:
The first step is evaluating yourself. Identify your level of skills and then meet the gaps. How do you do that?
Choose a photo by any of your favorite photographers. Try to take a shot like it more like copying it. Then, compare the final results and see what you lack. It can be your camera or angle or anything.
For better evaluation, ask any expert photographer to check it.
Consider Taking Classes:
Learn now angles, techniques every day. Nowadays, youtube provides hundreds of photography tutorials. Taking a good photography course will help a ton.
Classes are crucial for building up a strong foundation for real estate photography.
Invest in Good Gears:
Good cameras and gears are a necessity for real estate photography. You might have to spend a little more, but get yourself better gear. That will help you achieve your goal much faster.
Should I Use Editing Tools?:
To survive in this high-competitive industry, learning and applying new skills is a must. Editing makes your photos stand out from others.
An eye-catching edited photo can convince the client to stop and take a look. Here are some amazing things to do with editing software:
- You can color correct your photo. Color correction is the key to a top-notch image. It has the potential to turn a boring and simple photo into bright and appealing.
- If there are some distortion and alignment issues, you can fix it too. It helps your photo to appear more natural.
- A gloomy and cloudy sky can be a serious threat to your image. But with modern editing tools, you can replace a gray sky with a sunny and bright one.
Building a portfolio:
This may seem confusing. How can you build a portfolio if you are starting? But actually, you can.
You can address local real estate agents and offer them some free services. Take the help of your friends and photoshoot their houses. It is important to have both day and night images of the same building in your portfolio.
Next, you can go to your nearby real estate agency and show them your work. Remember to ask for lower money than usual. If your photos are unique and high-quality, it’s not going to be disappointing for you.
Promote Real Estate photography Business in the begining:
After you have gained a little experience, it’s time to show the world what you have got under your sleeves.
You can use your social media account to promote yourself. Facebook has become an influential platform for interacting with new people. Besides, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Behance, etc., can be your promotional channel.
Blogging is another great way. Write your experience and teach others about your journey as a real estate photographer. There are many websites to start a blog. Keep in mind to update daily and make it popular. This platform can bring you many potential clients.
This is the trickiest part. It sounds simple, but it is not actually. Getting clients, especially those who will pay you well, is tough.
If you are lucky enough, during the promotion period, you will get clients. But most of them will pressurize you to work for less money because potential clients look for photographers who have some expertise.
Never Give Up:
Your path to becoming a real estate photographer is going to be very frustrating. You have to push through all the frustration and get to your goal.
Keep on practicing. That will ensure that you get to the top in no time. And never give up your dreams.
Everything on Real Estate Photography Pricing
Since real estate photographers get paid in hundreds and not in thousands, thus, startups keep asking, “Is real estate photography profitable?”
It’s going to be very profitable if you have a decent workflow to go with. The faster you finish a project and turn around, the more you can earn.
Some factors that affect your pricing:
- If you don’t have real estate photography training, you should offer free services for a while.
- If you have a decent skill and you are confident, go for a reasonable price. If a professional would take $100 for $25 photos, you offer them the service at $80.
Other than that, where you live plays a big role there too. The duration of the project, the size of the property, how far you have to travel, etc., are important factors to keep in mind while setting the price.
Pricing Guidelines That You Should Follow To Increase Income
You should follow a steady guideline to maintain and increase your real estate photography salary. One or two projects for free is fine. But make sure not to let anyone take advantage of you.
Also, change your price from time to time. And always make a contract first. Singing a contract that describes all the parameters, will safeguard your time and hard work.
Consider the following things while changing the price.
- Charge according to the size of the property. The larger the property, the more hard work you need. So, don’t set prices before knowing the size.
- Know your competitors’ pricing policy. Real estate photography industry is competitive. Try to offer a more reasonable price than your competitor.
- Charge according to the duration of the project. It is important to know how long the project can take. For longer projects, demand a higher price.
Tips – You need to know:
- Avoid including the current resident’s photos, pets, belongings in the photos.
- Use objects to add ambiance such as a flower vase
- Clean the house and set up.
- Use tripods with more flexibility fetter results
- Don’t take incomplete pictures. Try to keep those vertical edges checked and straight,
- Wide-angle lenses help to make space look bigger
- Don’t stick to a certain angle always. Play a little with your shots. Move around the room and try different positions and angles.
- It’s a good idea to walk around the property before a photoshoot.
The demand for a professional real estate photographer is getting very high. And as a bonus, you get exciting work opportunities with a flexible schedule. Dream job, right?
Make sure not to waste any time. Follow the steps and be consistent in your work. It doesn’t matter if your initial photos turn out to be a disaster at first.
Remember, practice makes progress. And there is no other phrase that better suits this job. Who knows where you may end up.
You might get a chance to quit your boring job and start a career as a professional real estate photographer.
You may also like to read our other Photography Genres Guide here.