The fact that real-estate photographers are making a lot more than their fellow photographers practicing other mainstream niches might surprise you. It is a business of roughly 1 Billion dollars. It is not as glamorous as popular niches, yet it is part of our day-to-day life somehow. It is an essential part of the real-estate business now.
As a hobbyist or professional, real-estate photography is a fun genre to explore. And if you have skills, you can generate a perfect stream of income by working as a freelance real-estate photographer and providing your services once in a while.
This mini-guide is your insight into this world. Especially for beginners and amateurs, we will cover how you can enter into real-estate photography and polish your existing skills.
What is real-estate photography?
Real-estate photography is full of responsibility yet an amusing type of photography. Above all, it can help you generate an excellent active or passive income.
Real estate photography is a combination of business and arts. As the name shows, it takes photos of commercial and residential properties, mainly to sell them. Real-estate property can or cannot be just for listing, but commercial reasons are usually associated with it. That’s one of the reasons it offers good earnings.
Photography is a crucial part of the world of real estate. Its demand especially sky-rocketed ever since the internet started impacting businesses all across the globe.
How to become a real estate photographer?
When someone intends to list their property for sale, taking images of the real estate is one of the most crucial steps of the process. When most of these business leads are generated online, or even complete sales/purchases are conducted online, good real estate images are more important than ever.
Amateur photography techniques can ruin photos leaving a wrong impression on prospective clients despite the excellent property. That’s one of the reasons most usually a property agent is in touch with professional real-estate photographers to shoot the property.
Okay, so it is established that real-estate photographers are in demand. But how to become one? Well, the good news is that if you have a DSLR camera and some essential photography equipment, you can start your real-estate photography business.
Essential equipment for real-estate photography:
For casual real estate shooting, just a DSLR and tripod can do the job, but some equipment is required on a professional level, either freelancing or full-time. But the pro of investing in this equipment is that this equipment falls in a general category. Most of this gear can be used in almost all niches of photography.
Also, these gears are not very expensive. Most of them start from as little as a few dollars.
Here are the basic things you will need as a real-estate photographer
A digital camera
The most important part of a real-estate photography kit is a digital camera.
If you are an aspiring beginner photographer, a basic-level digital camera will do the job.
If you are buying a new camera <– Affiliate link 🙂 make sure it is wide-angle, has a sizeable full-frame sensor, exposure bracketing feature, and 1::1 aspect ratio. Especially check the details about the camera sensor and select the one with the best sensor in your budget bracket.
Which camera you get is totally up to you, but spend as much money as you can if your budget allows. The digital camera is one thing that will be with you for years and years, so it’s worth spending your money when you are getting one.
Usually, real-estate photography includes shooting an entire space. That’s where a photographer needs a wide-angle lens.
12-24mm or the 10-22 mm are good options to shoot the whole perspective, especially interiors.
A tripod is a must in professional photography because of multiple reasons.
When shooting for an assignment, a photographer has to take dozens of images in the exact location. It isn’t humanly possible to hold a camera in hand all the time while maintaining quality in every photo.
Real-estate photography involves shooting interiors as much as shooting outdoors. Low-light shooting requires high exposure settings and slower shutter speed. This often leads to blurs. A good tripod will ensure that the camera doesn’t move and results turn out sharp every time the shutter is pressed.
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- These can enhance the picture quality by increasing color saturation and by adding different effects. Moreover, a filter costs a few bucks, but it protects the camera lens from environmental damage, dust, UV light, and scratches.
- Remote trigger. It allows you to click the camera shutter without physically touching it.
- External camera flash for indoor shooting
- Camera drones for aerial shots
6 Tips for real-estate photography:
The purpose of real-estate photography is to highlight the property and its features to potential buyers. Cluttered homes/properties appear very bad in photographers. Items that are “cluttering” property can appear appealing in real life, but in images, they can kill the purpose of real-estate photography.
As we talk about preparing beforehand in every photography article, this tip is also part of shoot preparation. Get in touch with real estate agents or property owners and tell them about your requirements.
Go for a minimalistic approach and make sure that floors, countertops, cupboards, et cetera are clean.
A standard shot list is a must!
The standard shot is the must to cover in every shoot. You can also use this definitive list as your basic package.
The standard list must contain:
- Two wide-angle shots of all principal rooms, i.e., bedrooms, living room, drawing room, and terrace.
- 2 to 3 wide-angle shots of the front of the house
- Two images of the backyard
- At least one image of the laundry room, garage, and car parking area
- Wide-angle shot of kitchen space. If the kitchen is attractive, 2-3 pictures of cabinets and countertops.
Use Manual Settings
Both interiors and exteriors require different camera settings. Auto mode can work fine, but the final result can vary significantly to the photographers’ expectations. Auto also doesn’t appear to be a massive window of creativity and experimentation.
Use manual mode for your real-estate photography, especially when it comes to the exposure settings. Outdoors, over-exposure, and indoors, under-exposure can be prevalent issues. Semi-auto and auto cannot deal with it every time.
If you don’t know how to operate a digital camera manually, learn this skill. It will come in handy in all sorts of photography and refine your work.
Flexibility in your work
Every professional photographer has a particular style which is usually his professional identity. It is always good to use tips and techniques, but strictly sticking to one type of photography is not ideal for real-estate photography.
Every property is different. Be a flexible shooter and adapt as per your surroundings. Your end goal is making real estate look good. Stay open to trying new ideas and techniques.
Let real-estate agents know about your services
One agrees or not. Real estate agents are the ones who can get you the most work. Either you are an aspiring photographer or have been working for years, at least get in touch with property agents in your locality and let them know that you are offering your service.
They get real-estate projects daily and need photographers. Recognition in this community can bring you projects continuously.
Posting about your services on online forums of this niche, especially in Facebook groups, can also get you to work.
Your work needs post-production
Moderate post-production can perfect your work. Even professional photographers who have been working for decades, their work needs editing and retouching.
Real-estate photography involves lots of wide-angle shots. Usually, corners appear off in them, but this can be easily corrected using any editing software.
Do not shy away from using editing software to enhance your work, but the key is moderation. Too much editing or adding effects can ruin a photo and your credibility as a photographer.
Shoot in RAW format. RAW images contain maximum data and offer a comprehensive window for editing.
If you are not good with editing, you can also hire an editor. These services are available for as low as $2 on freelancing platforms.
In the real estate industry, photographs speak the loudest. Real-estate photographers are always in demand as every minute houses are going on and off from the market.
Real-estate photography is full of responsibility yet an enjoyable niche to explore. It doesn’t demand any refined skills or equipment, but a single impressive photograph can make houses sell. It can cater to your passion for photography as well as offer good opportunities to make good money.
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