How to get into real estate photography? Real estate photography is a difficult, enjoyable, and possibly successful field of labor. It can be a full-time job or a fantastic side hustle!
At first glance, it would appear easy: you must take pictures of homes and rooms to get compensated. But there is undoubtedly a lot more that goes into it—from planning and shooting to locating customers, getting in touch with them, and making sure they are happy with the stunning results.
We have developed this brief yet detailed guide to assist you in getting started.
This post will cover how to become a real estate photographer and whether it is worthwhile for you to do so.
How to get into real estate photography?
You’re lucky because we’ve all the information you need to launch a real estate photography business. Let’s get going!
Purchase the Proper Equipment
Although there are a few specific pieces of camera equipment needed for real estate photography, none of it is particularly unusual or pricey. This is because you are capturing a still subject which means that you have perfect control over photography subjects like interior rooms or outside property shots. You don’t need a camera with expensive capabilities like action-tracking autofocus or high frame rates, etc.
The capability to bracket several exposures and activate a flash are two camera capabilities that will be useful. Fortunately, all professional/advanced cameras (and even most entry-level versions) include both capabilities.
Get Photo Editing Software
You must learn how to edit your photos even if you have a sturdy tripod, a top-notch camera, and the ideal lens for the task! For practically all professional work, a raw processing program is required; however, real estate photography will also require advanced Photoshop processing and an HDR (High Dynamic Range) processing program. For some tasks, you might even need to batch-process several HDR photos.
Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop can do a lot on their own. At the same time, HDR software like Photomatix Pro provides very effective batch processing features and high-quality and sophisticated tone settings for editing bracketed photographs.
Study and Master Photography
Before filming a paid project, you must rehearse and be certain of your camera equipment’s capabilities. It will not only make you more productive on “real” jobs, but it will also help you deliver outcomes that are of the highest caliber.
Here are a few key ideas to get you going:
- Determine which photos to take
Start by being aware of the appropriate photos to take. Practice and careful study of current real estate listings and photographs of the kinds of things you’re most likely to capture are your greatest options. In general, take one or two photos of each interior room (or ask the client to provide a list of the precise rooms they wish to be photographed); moreover, take three to five photos of the house’s exterior, including the front and back yards.
- Observe your angles
Vertical lines should typically appear as close to absolutely vertical as possible, so take care not to tilt your camera too far upward or downward. In post-production, this can be fixed, but only to a certain extent.
- Evaluate Your Camera’s Dynamic Range
In the last ten years, the dynamic range of digital camera sensors has advanced significantly, yet it is still finite. You should never persuade yourself, “Oh, I can restore those shadows in post-production! “; rather, you should always be aware of what your camera is capable of! ”
You should still run a test even if you recently purchased a high-end new camera that everyone claims have great shadow recovery. Start by preserving your highlights when shooting a stunning sunset with a building or other subject that is completely in shadow, then count how many stops (EVs) of brightness you need to add to the exposure until you can see into the shadows.
When you’re on the job, always catch the complete dynamic range of a picture because outdoor property photos are almost always the greatest at sunset or twilight. Sadly, the configurations for exposure bracketing vary greatly between cameras, so practice with it before you take on paid work to ensure you know precisely how to do it!
Real Estate Photography Essentials
Technically, an ASP-C body (with the appropriate lens) should operate just as well as a full-frame camera. Here is a list of everything you’ll need to get by:
- A mostly modern camera body
- A wide-angle lens
- External wireless flashes
- Some light modifiers
- A steady tripod
The sole necessary piece of gear in this job is a good wide-angle lens, so ideally, the majority of your spending should go toward that. A lens with the best clarity, the least amount of chromatic aberration, and the least amount of distortion are what you need—not the quickest lens available. You can get lenses with real focal lengths ranging from 16 to 24 mm full-frame.
What Characterizes a Great Real Estate Photo?
Your photographs should emphasize the nicest qualities of the property because they are used to sell homes. These pointers can help beginners avoid some common errors when it comes to home photography.
- Use a wide-angle lens at all times
Have you ever noticed how well-done real estate photography can enhance the sense of spaciousness in even the smallest of rooms? The secret to that, though, is a wide-angle lens. Wide-angle lenses feature a short focal length, increasing the viewpoint by allowing more background in the picture.
- Highlight the Room’s Best Qualities
Every area will have a focal point, a stunning picture window, or a cozy fireplace. Focusing on what makes each room unique and making that point clear to the spectator distinguishes professional real estate photography from “amateur hour.”
- Don’t Shoot During Poor Weather and Lighting
Dealing around mother nature’s irregular schedule can be frustrating; for example, if it’s extremely foggy or muddy outside, your real estate photography might not turn out as well as you had intended.
If you’re good at photo editing, you might be able to consider unforeseen weather predictions and transform overcast skies into stunning sunsets. This ought to be reflected in your real estate photographer fee as a competent editor.
- Benefits from modern technology
Real estate drone photography is a fantastic choice if you’d like to increase your earnings or make your real estate pictures stand out.
Real estate drone photography may produce stunning, captivating images to help a home stand out online. Drone cameras can be used to create virtual tours of properties by traveling through each room as they are being viewed online.
- Make a list of standard shots
Creating a list of the pictures you’ll need for the house will help you accomplish all you need to present to your customer while you’re on location and save you time.
Here is an excerpt of a shot that you might put on your shot list:
- Front and outside (at various angles and distances)
- Photos from a distance of the family area, kitchen, den, and bedrooms
- Images of specialized rooms (garage, basement, pantry, laundry)
- Deck or backyard images
Every property will, of course, have its own distinctive qualities, but agreeing on the necessary photos with your consumers can assist speed up your working procedures when it comes time to photograph and ensure a smooth client experience.
How much money is made by real estate photographers?
One of the queries that are challenging to answer accurately is this one. Although it is simple to uncover the average salaries of real estate photographers, doing so is unlikely to provide you with any insight into your own earning potential. As a real estate photographer, your revenue will mostly be determined by location, skill level, knowledge, contacts, luck, and personal traits.
However, I won’t abandon you here. According to actual data, a real estate photographer’s annual salary ranges from $42,093 to $62,205. There will undoubtedly be exceptions, but generally speaking, the more costly the homes you picture, the more cash you earn.
I just shared real-world information with you on becoming a real estate photographer. There’s the good, the bad, and then the somewhat ugly. It’s not all sunshine and roses, but if you have the passion and the drive to do it, you’re likely to make a successful career in real estate photography. I wish you all the best.
FAQs on How to Get into Real Estate Photography
Where can you learn real estate photography?
Online resources like Udemy or Coursera provide a ton of real estate photography courses that can assist you in learning the fundamentals of both the craft and the business.
A great approach to training with your equipment and camera and gaining real-world experience is to look for online photography clubs where you can learn from peers. Find local photographers in your region to interact with and grow from by searching for Facebook or Meetup groups.
How do I promote my real estate photography business?
Establishing a great online photographic portfolio is the best approach to advertising your real estate photography business. This way, potential customers can access your real estate photography pricing page and all your real estate images and real estate drone photography in one convenient location.
What background do I need to build a professional real estate photography business successfully?
To succeed as a real estate photographer, you don’t need a specific background, but having prior experience as a photographer and freelancer helps.
There is much more to operating a real estate photography business than taking expert real estate images. Real estate agents come to you for your professional judgment and deliverable photos since you are the one fixing their problems.
Along with setting up an invoice system and photography contracts, you’ll also need to put time and effort into finding new freelancing customers. Creating a social media plan to promote your work is a huge component of being a real estate photographer.