If you’re looking for a guide on how to become a real estate photographer, this article if for you.
Related: Real estate photography
How to Become a Real Estate Photographer
Get the right gear
The good thing about real estate photography is that you don’t need to spend a fortune on gear. A basic professional-grade camera and lens set-up will do, without the need for bells and whistles like speed tracking, infrared, high frame rates, and the like. Most beginner cameras have the basic features that you need including exposure bracketing and remote flash. Newer digital cameras in the beginner range even have multiple focus points allowing you to keep several areas in a photo sharp. Real estate photography also requires a basic wide or ultrawide angle lens. A wide-angle lens can make even small rooms appear big and spacious, making it the ideal lens for real estate photography. A tripod is also necesary for taking tack-sharp photos.
Learn how to take real estate photos
To ensure that the photos you take are usable, start by nailing down the basics: exposure, sharpness, contrast, and framing. Avoid over and underexposure, make sure that you use a smaller aperture such as an f/3.5 or higher to get all elements in the scene sharp. Avoid irregular or awkward framing such walls shot unevenly, doors cut off mid-frame, and the lack of a focal point. In real estate photography, it is easy to choose a focal point for your photos, like a cozy fireplace or mahogany living room t furniture. The trick is to look at a space, find out what makes it special and use that as the focal point for your photo. It is also important to know how to deal with natural light when taking photos of the property from the outside. When shooting under harsh light, be careful about overexposing your photos. To avoid overexposures you may want to shoot real estate exteriors in the early morning or late afternoon when natural light is most evenly distributed.
Learn how to edit your photos
The most important feature you need to have in a photo editor is the ability to edit RAW files. You don’t need anything fancy for real estate photography since you want your photos to be the most accurate representation of space in its best light. A basic photo editing suite that can adjust exposure, sharpness, contrast, and cropping can do the job well. Also, look for multiple image processing or batch editing features so you can cut editing time in half. Real estate photography clients often require a shorter turnaround time compared to conventional photography clients. You may be required to produce photos after 24 or 48 hours. It is important to use a batch-editor so you don’t have to edit each photo one by one especially if lighting, tone, and contrast in all your photos is the same.
How to Become a Real Estate Photographer Build a portfolio
If you are new to real estate photography, it is best to build a portfolio so you can get more clients. Start by practice shots of your own space or shooting your friends’ homes for free. This way you can have more freedom to style the spaces to make them look more photogenic. You can also collaborate with real estate agents who may be open to having you shoot for them for a discounted price. Another way would be to work as a photographer’s assistant where you can learn the basics of how to become a real estate photographer from someone who has had years of experience in the industry. Apprenticeship is also a surefire way to rub elbows with more real estate agents and property owners who might turn into future clients.
Learn how to price your work
Pricing involves multiple factors, from the time it takes you to take the photos up to delivery, the size of the home, whether you are working with a local real estate agent, or a big real estate company. Also take into account other costs, such as travel expenses. Higher-end homes may warrant higher rates, especially if these are bigger compared to most middle-class homes. You may want to charge higher for photos that the client wants in less than 24 hours, or more for clients that want certain inclusions such as video and professional digital layouts if you happen to offer these services. You also need to factor in standard rates for that market. You wouldn’t want to enter the market with prices that are markedly lower or higher than standard prices for that area. Working with real estate professionals is one way to get a feel for the current standard rates in an area.
Check out this guide on how to become a real estate photographer.