by Devon Higgins
Professional photography is a stable revenue stream for real estate photographers who understand the marketing needs of realtors and real estate agents.
Great photographs sell houses. No single element of real estate marketing has the power to move a property better and faster than beautiful photographs. For photographers, real estate photography is a surefire way to build up a reliable income stream while still being a creative, fun, and stimulating profession that uses your full skill-set.
How do you get into real estate photography? The market is quite competitive, and you are going to have to work hard to stand out.
Let’s go through a few of the things you need to think about before jumping in: the equipment you need, real estate photo editing skills, and what you can charge for your work as a real estate photographer.
Make Sure You Have The Right Real Estate Photography Equipment
First things first. You’re going to need a DSLR camera. Nikon and Cannon are the most popular brands of DSLR cameras available, but there are other brands to choose from. Do your homework and choose a camera that fits your business needs, style, and other photography hobbies.
Next, there are three fundamental pieces of equipment that you can’t do without when you’re out on a shoot:
- A sturdy tripod for your camera
- A wide-angle lens that lets you capture the scale of a room
- A wireless flash system which will let you illuminate different aspects of a room
The first two are essential (tripod and wide-angle lens). If you don’t have the flash, then consider investing in a set of reflectors so that you can manipulate the light for your needs. Of course, it goes without saying that you’re going to also need spare batteries, storage space on your flash drives, an extension cable, a step ladder, and all the other things that a photographer needs to do the work. But a tripod and a wide-angle lens will get you in the door and let you showcase what you can do.
Chances are that there will be a reasonable amount of travel involved. Make sure you have a full tank of gas, a charged phone with a working GPS system, the correct address, and a couple of contact numbers so that you can find the property and gain access to it.
Real Estate Photography Products and Services
Practice identifying the best features in a room and using them to inform your creative decisions. Make sure you get enough coverage of every room in the house so you don’t have to go back later to make up for missed shots. It may also be helpful to review the home with the real estate agent before the shoot to make sure that you capture everything they are looking for.
Once you have the shots, there are a number of products and services that are really valuable for a real estate photographer. Editing is probably the most difficult and time-consuming aspect of being a real estate photographer. But it’s vital. A well-edited photograph breathes new life into an image and can mean the difference between getting paid by the realtor or being asked to reshoot a room.
Real Estate Photo Editing
Seeing as most photographers take hundreds of pictures during a shoot, it makes sense to use a real estate photo editing service to do the behind the scenes work of editing. They have the equipment and a well-oiled workflow to edit your work, provide a consistent look and feel to your portfolio, and deliver photographs in any format that you request, usually within a 24-hour period.
Using a photo editing service lets you dramatically scale your operations and focus your efforts on getting new clients and taking more great photos.
Virtual staging is another service for real estate photographers that is a game-changer. It allows you to digitally furnish an empty room in a wide range of styles, and create realistic photographs that are perfect for realtors’ digital marketing needs.
When you work with a virtual staging service, you get access to incredible interior designers and editors who guarantee you finished photographs in under 24 hours.
Visit this link to find out more about virtual staging.
Single Property Websites
Using the right single property website builder, you will be able to offer your clients an entire website dedicated to showcasing their property. That’s a powerful proposition and takes a lot of pressure off the realtor. The website you build will have its own URL, and you can add as much detail as you want to make it appealing. This includes photos, videos, a detailed list of amenities, floor plans, and virtual tours.
Single property websites are very popular when it comes to exclusive, high-end properties with lots of interesting features. They are becoming even more popular as real estate agents are looking for alternative ways to showcase their listings online after the COVID-19 pandemic.
How Much Should I Charge For Real Estate Photography?
That’s a tough question to answer.
It all depends on what market you’re operating in, the size of the property you’re shooting and editing quality, and what/when you’re expected to deliver. Be aware that urban photographers usually charge more than small towns. It’s also reasonable to calculate your pricing based on the square footage of the property or by the number of photos you are delivering per shoot.
Take into account the time that you’ll spend traveling back and forth, the transport costs, and the cost of employing a photo editing service to finish. If you’re going to add services like drone photography and floor plans, then those can add significantly to your bottom line.
At the end of the day, real estate photography can be an extremely rewarding and lucrative way to make it as a photographer. When you set up a relationship with a service provider like PhotoUp that can take care of your editing and virtual staging needs, you’ll be able to dramatically scale up the number of agents you can service, and the amount of money that you make.
If you’re ready to take your photography business to the next level, then start a trial account with PhotoUp today!