How to get into real estate photography, how much do real estate photographers charge, which real estate photography equipment to buy and what conventions to attend are described. If you decided to run a real estate photography business, do not hurry up and make a business plan. In 2008, when I started my business, I spent much time and money in vain. Today, I can advise you and share real estate photography tips & tricks you should know in order to start working successfully.
Property photography or real estate photography is a definition for a photograph of a building or interior that captures the appearance of the subject by using special lighting and real estate photography camera settings. Property photography can serve as photography for realtors and advertisement.
The average real estate photography salary in 2017 varies from $90 to $300. In terms of beginners, they may charge from $80 per a listing. Usually, this rate includes up to 25 pictures made in home of 3,000 square foot
I deliver 25 photos with 24 hours turnaround. During this period, I choose the best images in photo culling software and edit them. NOTE, the more photos must be delivered, the bigger amount of time is required and the higher real estate photography pricing will be asked
1. Video (Starting at $1000)
That is the most popular premium service where only real estate photographers wanted. It is not a slideshow. Usually it is done with the help of Steadycam, shows the house layout in the most beautiful way. To make the effect more influential, photographers add music. Notice that not all soundtracks are allowed to be used in commercial real estate videos. For this you should collaborate only with those music webpages that let you use music paid or free
Cinematic Real-estate video | Canon 600D + Kamerar SD1:
2. Photos Made With Drone (From $200/hr to $5,000 per Photoshoot)
This elevated perspective shows the bird view of the house together with the neighbourhood. Note that currently FAA dictates strict limits for using drones for real estate photography and that influences on how much do photographers make. To avoid problems I recommend just use a painter`s pole and a tripod
3. Architectural 3D Rendering (about $500)
It will become a great benefit, if you find a customer that is a home builder
Surely, the state influences how much do real estate photographers make. This is a short list of real estate rates in the most popular cities and states.
Bay Area, California
The average rate for standard photo session is $225 and for extended is $325. For premium services like drone photography you will be paid $275.
New York City
For standard photo shoot you will get $299 and for extended $379 in case you will work with Gotham by VHT studios. OLR digital charges $175 for standard photo session.
Los Angeless, California
The company Shooting LA offers standard service for $275-$400 and extended one for $350-$475. For virtual tour or drone photography minimum $300 are asked.
TK images offers photo session (up to 10 images) for $95 and up to 32 for $170. Photos made with drone cost $125 and tours $225.
Photographers charge $115 for standard and $175 for extended real estate photo sessions.
Depending on the budget, I decided to create a list of everything you need if you want to deal with the real estate photography business. Below you can see a list of Budget, Pro, and Trending levels of real estate photography equipment.
When buying a camera, I'm only interested in one thing - the best wide angle photos.
|Budget (About $500)|
|Nikon Coolpix B700||VIEW MORE|
|Panasonic Lumix FZ300 and Accessory Bundle||VIEW MORE|
|Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80||VIEW MORE|
|Pro (About $2000)|
|Nikon D750 DSLR||VIEW MORE|
|Canon EOS 6D Mark II||VIEW MORE|
|Canon 70D||VIEW MORE|
|Trending (About $4000)|
|Canon EOS 5D Mark IV||VIEW MORE|
|Nikon D5||VIEW MORE|
|Sony Alpha A9||VIEW MORE|
|Budget (About $500)|
|Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 (for Canon & Nikon)||VIEW MORE|
|Tokina 17-35mm f/4 (for Canon & Nikon)||VIEW MORE|
|Tokina 12-28mm f/4 (for Canon & Nikon)||VIEW MORE|
|Pro (about $1000)|
|Nikon 12-24mm f/4||VIEW MORE|
|Canon 16-35mm f/4L||VIEW MORE|
|Sigma 12-24mm f/4 ART||VIEW MORE|
|Trending (About $2000)|
|Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD||VIEW MORE|
|Nikon Nikkor 16-35mm f/4||VIEW MORE|
|Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM||VIEW MORE|
|Budget (About $100)|
|LED Lamp 250 Watt||VIEW MORE|
|Pro (About $200)|
|Flashpoint CL-500R LED Circular Light Kit||VIEW MORE|
|Savage 500W LED Studio Light Kit||VIEW MORE|
|Trending (About $500)|
|Bescor LED-500KB Twin 500W||VIEW MORE|
|Nflash 680w||VIEW MORE|
|Budget (About $150)|
|Zomei Z888C Carbon Fiber Tripod||VIEW MORE|
|Manfrotto MK290XTA3-3WUS 290 Xtra Aluminum Tripod||VIEW MORE|
|Sirui T-025X 52" Carbon Fiber Tripod||VIEW MORE|
|Pro (About $300)|
|Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 Carbon Fiber Tripod||VIEW MORE|
|Manfrotto 410 Junior Geared Head||VIEW MORE|
|Trending (About $500)|
|Manfrotto 161MK2B Super Professional Tripod Mk2||VIEW MORE|
|Budget (About $50)|
|Hoya 58mm Alpha||VIEW MORE|
|Pro (About $100)|
|Hoya 77mm NXT||VIEW MORE|
|B+W 77mm XS-Pro Kaesemann High Transmission||VIEW MORE|
|Trending (About $200)|
|LEE Filters 105mm||VIEW MORE|
The difficult thing for me was to create a cool portfolio, so that the client realized that I am the photographer he/she is looking for. But how to make a good portfolio in a short time and without spending much money? Ask your friends, local businessmen to take photos of their houses, rooms, etc.
TIP: Visit a real estate office near you and offer them your photography services. Tell that you are ready to photograph any present listing for free but If they want to use your photographs they have to pay (at least 1$). They have to pay something. Only risking will show you how to get into real estate photography.
1. Take photos of the same building in a daytime and nighttime. Show that you know how to set your gear to make both types of photoshoots professionally.
2. Take interior and exterior photos in HDR
3. While photographing real estate interiors, make a photo composition – use a book, a carpet, blankets, pillows, your pet
4. Photographing real estate interiors is recommended in natural light – more windows, less louver shutters.
5. Photograph public places our local sights from the best angle you will find
6. Let nature help you to compose the exterior photograph (take photos of gardens, parks, lakes, etc.)
7. Café & bars in grunge style.
8. Fashionable restaurant with refined atmosphere
9. Cozy and clean fast food cafe to show you can do any kind of real estate photography professionally
10. Add several before and after photos with and without real estate photo editing. Pay your potential client’s attention to the skills you have and understand how to take good real estate photos.
Don’t neglect this procedure. Exposure, white balance and light editing, work with colouring and sharpening will increase your sales. Apply day to dusk technique, remove or add objects for additional price. But if you are a fresher in Photoshop or Lightroom, you can use Lightroom presets or Photoshop actions and install them in 1 click. Choose the design and style you like. You can try Exterior, Interior, and HDR Lightroom presets.
There are millions of lectures, events, real estate photography classes and tutorials, which you can view online and FREE on YouTube. Another variant is to buy a pack of tutorials (from $10 to $100) from a prof whose real estate photography business provides huge incomes. I won’t recommend anybody because I found this variant useless. Practice makes perfect
To my mind, the most helpful ways to get customers is to distribute your real estate photography business cards and to find real estate photographer jobs on full work sites or on special sites for freelancers and real estate fairs.
The jobs here are divided into groups, which allow you choose the proper direction easier. Moreover, there are three levels of services, which support you during the long way of finding your job. “Upwork” level is free for singing up
This site has its offices all over the world. The job departments help you to orientate yourself on the website. To find the proper position quicker, use the special filters with keywords and location name.
This is a social net, which helps with the establishment of a business connection between the specialists from different countries. The site offers you to sing up without any problems, and have tips about how to get real estate photography jobs.
On this website you can create an account with your real estate photography job description and resume.
Here you have the possibility of finding a job and getting useful career tips. By the way, the site offers special education programs and even is ready to help you with your resume. Creating an account takes few minutes
If real estate photography is a part-time work for you, I suggest you to sing up on the sites for freelancers
Use the menu art/media/design in the job list, or the filter in the left to find the real estate photographer part-time job.
There a few ways to become a job here: 1. find the position in the search menu; 2. choose Video & Animation or Graphic & Design category and take decide on the photographer job. If you need, the site has an effective guide about business building and development
It is the best place for designers and software developers. The procedure of applying as a freelancer is very quick
This is a place for creative people, where you can present your portfolio and post your project either without charging or for a fee
The clients post their projects and search for freelancers, who can give them a helping hand. Go to Photography/Videography department to find the list of realtor photography jobs
One more good advice is taking part in real estate events that are organized in your area. Just communicate with the target customers and leave them your portfolio and contacts.
Professional advertising for real estate photography is very expensive. I spend about $3000 per a month to receive the first orders. If you are only thinking of becoming a real estate photographer and do not have enough money, these 3 strategies for expanding your business with minimal investments are for you
Your website must be concentrated on two components, which are functionality and aesthetics. Make sure that the navigation is easy, photos are sharp, all content is of high quality and there aren`t too many advertisements
Design Makes Much Traffic. For this you don`t need to pay much to web designers. On websites like PhotoFolio or Photoshelter you will find everything you need for free. To raise traffic you should also use these key words:
Google Analytics. You should track how metrics relate to you website content. You will understand whether your efforts bring you success or not.
Free Offer. Remember that discounts and free offers are used to collect email addresses. Remember: to do that effectively you should have a good offer and established authority
Add Watermarks. If you have watermarks on the photos that are uploaded to your website, customers will easily find your site in Google search. So, add your name and contact information to any picture you post.
Bonus TIP: Use email marketing campaigns like Adveber or LeadPages.
It will explain how to do real estate photography in articles. Discuss any topic that you find useful and make sure that your articles are added on the regular basis. To make your content more interesting, use videos and other media files
Create a Photo Blog. There are many websites that will help you free. In case you are ready to spend a bit of money, consider Squarespace as the most effective variant.
RSS Feed. This program will let your clients subscribe to the blog you run and receive the latest news from you.
Regular Basis. Notice that the most popular websites have fresh content. Have a strict plan, for example to refresh your blog twice a week.
ALT Tags. Use the tags with key words on your photos in order to receive more traffic
Sections. Divide your blog into theme sections. Here is the approximate variant of topics for your blog:
Nowadays almost all social nets become a powerful tool of promoting property photography business. According to Social Media Examiner’s statistics, Facebook posts with photos get an 95,8% interaction rate.
1. Once you become active in Facebook, make sure that your posts deliver valuable information and do not contain spam.
2. Design a landing page for the comfort of mobile users
3. Join groups of the same topic as Real Estate Photography, Flow Real Estate Photography or Real Estate Photography with Lights, etc. Post your photos in the groups, comment other’s posts, communicate with the users
4. Have right photo size. For example, 180x180 for profiles images and 1200x900 for shared images.
1. Use popular real estate hashtags like #dreamhouse, #properties, #homeforsale. To attract new international customers, notice that every city and country has unique hashtags. So, learn them and use.
2. The limit is 30 hashtags per a photo, I recommend using only 15.
3. Have optimal photo size.
4. Use Instagram stories.
1. Avoid having generic links that do not attract attention.
Prefer individual photos instead, write interesting comment.
2. With the help of Twitter`s search tool you will find the most popular hashtags.
3. Follow all popular pages like @500px, @ETRealEstate or @DHVastgoedfoto devoted to real estate photography.
Make an interesting “pin” with description of your brand and have access to more than 150 million of Pinterest users.
Create your portfolio and upload the most amazing real estate photos.
It is great for beginning photographers that want to establish a personal portfolio. Be ready to critics.
This website allows promoting photo works taking into consideration the number of likes.
The next websites suits ideally for micro-blogging. So, don`t be afraid to share your thoughts there.
This website is known as the best sharing application.
This is just the basic info you should know starting a real estate photography business. These are useful and practical tips that I would like to read when I started, and didn’t know how to get into real estate photography business.