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Commercial real estate photography is a key part of the overall real estate industry. Capturing high-quality images of office buildings, restaurants, malls, and retail venues helps sell these properties and can be both rewarding and profitable.

Outstanding photography sells properties. No single element of real estate marketing has the power to move a property better and faster than stunning, captivating images.

However, commercial real estate photography requires a slightly different approach than photographing residential homes. 

So, in this article, we will explore what is commercial real estate photography and how to get started. 

What Is Commercial Real Estate Photography?

What is commercial real estate photography?

First, let’s get a better understanding of commercial real estate and the photography involved. 

Commercial real estate involves the sale, purchase, or leasing of properties used exclusively for business-related purposes rather than a living space.

Usually, commercial real estate is leased to tenants to conduct income-generating activities. This broad category of real estate can include everything from a single storefront to an office high-rise, to a sizable shopping center.

Commercial real estate includes:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Spas and salons
  • Office spaces
  • Big-box retail 
  • And various public spaces

Commercial real estate photography provides property images that are used for the marketing and sale of these spaces. 

Professional commercial real estate photographers seek to present a property positively and appealingly as possible, making even the blandest building attractive to potential buyers or tenants.

Benefits of Commercial Real Estate Photography

So, now, let’s discuss the benefits of high-quality commercial real estate photography.

1. Beautiful Photography Provides a Powerful First Impression

commercial real estate photography

You have likely heard the phrase, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”. This is particularly true for real estate visual marketing.

Before prospective tenants schedule a tour of any space, they most likely search for properties online.

Your commercial property must be taken seriously and make a positive impression on potential buyers, therefore the absolute best photography is crucial.

2. Striking Photography Will Motivate Buyers to Visit the Property

commercial real estate photography

According to The Wall Street Journal, buyers spend 60% of their time on a commercial property’s listing page looking through the photos.

Consider the following:

  • Most commercial real estate markets are highly competitive
  • Strong, positive images of your property, will make potential buyers or tenants want to see the space in person
  • The more in-person showings, the more potential offers

Why lose out to competitors simply because they leverage better quality professional photography?

3. Professional Images Will Also Impress Current Tenants

commercial real estate photography

For multiple-unit properties, existing tenants will also notice and appreciate the property being showcased well.

Think about these benefits:

  • Commercial real estate investors and their property managers realize their highest income potential when there are no or few vacancies
  • Appearances and reputation are an essential part of the equation for retaining current tenants

Help your existing tenants feel proud and positive about the property by showing it at its best.

4. Stunning Images Get More Social Media Shares

commercial real estate photography

Potential tenants/buyers captivated by visually pleasing photos, are much more likely to share these images with others through email or social media. 

After all, the more market exposure a property receives, usually the more interest and offers.

Therefore, make sure you’re providing photos that potential clients will want to share.

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How to Get Started as a Commercial Real Estate Photographer

Now that we better understand commercial real estate photography and its benefits, all that remains is knowing what you need to get started in the industry.

1. Basic Equipment

How to get started as a commercial real estate photographer

To start, you’re going to need some specific pieces of gear:

  • You’re going to need a DSLR camera 
  • Nikon and Canon are the most popular brands of DSLR cameras available, but there are other brands to choose from 

Next, here are three core pieces of equipment required for almost any shoot:

  • A sturdy tripod for your camera
  • Wide-angle lenses that let you capture the scale of a room or location
  • Also, a wireless flash system that lets you illuminate any space

Of course, 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.

Additionally, one more piece of equipment you’ll likely need — a drone. Aerial and elevated shots are an integral part of commercial real estate photography. Research your options, there are many affordable, decent drones out there. 

In fact, check out this review of the best drones for real estate photography.

Make sure you do your homework and select equipment that fits your business needs, style, and other photography interests.

2. Marketing and Networking 

Marketing investments are a necessity for almost any business, large or small. And your commercial real estate photography business is no different. 

First, you will need a simple, intuitive website that showcases your business talents and allows potential clients to contact you.

Above all, the site should showcase your work, explain your professional skills, and provide some background about yourself.

A blog should also be a part of your website to attract more traffic. However, for this to work, you’ll need to write new blog posts about three times a week. 

Additionally, you will want to start networking with commercial real estate professionals in your area.

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3. Your Portfolio Is Crucial

Perhaps the number one best way to market yourself as a commercial real estate photographer is to make sure your portfolio is perfect and impressive.

In this case, you want to feature your best work and show examples that sell your skills and talents. You can easily create an online portfolio with PhotoUp’s custom websites.

PhotoUp's real estate photographer websites

Best of all, you can start building your website for free!

Even though building your portfolio may be the most time-consuming part of your business setup, it will certainly pay off if done right. 

For even more useful ideas, check out our premium and completely free online course on how to become a real estate photographer.

The Importance of Professional Partnerships

The importance of professional relationships

Creating the perfect portfolio should never be a project you face alone. Partnering with highly experienced photo editors will guarantee that your portfolio — and all your images — are simply the best they can be. 

If you’re looking for the best photo editing partners possible — work with PhotoUp.  

In the business for over 10 years and with several hundred skilled photo editors around the world, it’s hard to beat PhotoUp’s quality, service, and pricing. 

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We offer cutting-edge, affordable real estate photo editing and virtual staging — as well as single property websites and video editing

PhotoUp’s skilled editors can handle any commercial real estate photo editing job — big or small. Our expert photo editors can address the following issues:

  • Image correction and enhancement
  • Color and tone adjustments 
  • Lawn greening and sky replacements
  • Clutter and object removal
  • Line and angle corrections
  • And much more!

Best yet, our pricing is affordable, with most photo editing services starting from $1.50 per image. 

Sign up for a free PhotoUp account today, and let our expert real estate photo editors make every one of your commercial listings look superb. 

In today’s post, you learned what is commercial real estate photography and how to get started in the industry. 

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Gregory Gronbacher

Real Estate Sales Agent / Professional Blogger

Gregory is a real estate sales agent and a state-certified instructor of real estate licensing and law. Originally from New York City, he's called Grand Rapids, Michigan home since 1995.

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