What makes a professional real estate photographer stand out from others? You may have the same or superior photography skills, but is that enough?
To succeed in being a professional photographer, you should have a plethora of different skills, from real estate photo editing to know how to deal with different kinds of people.
More than any skill, you need to be passionate about your business. Do you really love taking photos of property interiors and exteriors? Despite the countless hours of hard work, would you still strive to take beautiful photos of properties, fueled only by your love and interest in this field of photography?
2. Top-quality equipment
Having basic photography equipment is adequate if you are a plain hobbyist. But even hobbyists will one day upgrade to better equipment as their skills progress. If you decide to turn your passion into a business, then having professional-grade equipment can really help you produce images that show off your skills as a photographer. Remember that you are not trying to impress yourself this time; you are now trying to convince clients that you are the right choice for their needs.
Owning and knowing how to proficiently use state-of-the-art photography equipment allows you to take exceptional images that will surely satisfy your clients.
3. Post-processing skills
No matter how excellent your skills are, it is very rare that you will get the exact image that you’ve envisioned in-camera. This is where post-processing comes in. With sound judgment and the right skills, you can enhance real estate photos using Photoshop, Lightroom, Enfuse, and other similar software without making them look artificial and over-edited.
4. Visual skills
As a visual artist, you should have extensive knowledge of visual cues, composition rules, and other photography rules that make up a stunning image. For example, do you maximize the use of lines to lead your viewer to your intended subject? Do you know how to utilize the interplay of light and shadow to emphasize textures? Are you familiar with forced perspective? These are just some of the visual skills that you need to know.
5. Innovation and creativity
Many rooms, halls, dens, offices, and other places are too small, too long, too dark, and so on. These physical characteristics may slightly or severely hinder you from taking the shots that you want. These limitations are actually opportunities for you to impress your client by showing your innovation and creativity to get around the problem. Shoot from above, outside the door, above the stairs, and so on. You can take photos from unusual angles to counteract the physical hindrances.
6. Social interaction
Some prospects will be inquisitive while others will be demanding. Some will be shy while others will tell you their whole life story. Some will go with whatever you suggest while others want it their way to the last detail. In this business, you will be dealing with different kinds of clients. Thus, you should understand and empathize with different kinds of prospects while being flexible enough to acquire a win-win situation. Polishing up your people skills is extremely important so that you can successfully close a deal.
7. Awareness of limitations
While you definitely want to give your prospects what they want so you can get their business, it is also important that you benefit from the transaction. That is why in your real estate photography business, you should have a contract that details the scope of the project, from the duration of work to the rate for extra hours rendered. The more comprehensive your contract is, the better.
It is also advisable to have insurance. As a real estate photographer, you will be moving and arranging things in the house. What if you break a client’s valuables or scratch their antique furniture?
Now, sit back in a quiet nook, make yourself a hot cup of coffee, and ask yourself if you have these basic but necessary skills. If you do, then congratulations! You have what it takes to be called a professional real estate photographer.