Why Real Estate Photography?
With Google searches for “the process of buying a house” going up 950%, according to CNBC, now might be a great time to think about Real Estate Photography.
The Global Pandemic has been a catalyst for migration and a booming housing market. And there simply aren't enough capable photographers right now to meet the deman.
An excerpt from Real Estate Photography with Barry MacKenzie.
Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin, Ryan Weichelt, said in an interview with Forbes Magazine, “The pandemic accelerated a national housing migration that’s been gradually occurring for a decade.”
What does all this mean for photographers and the future of Real Estate Photography?
What is Real Estate Photography?
Real Estate Photography is a genre of Architectural Photography that specializes in creating imagery of homes and other properties entering the marketplace. These photographers most often work with sellers or Real Estate Agents to create photographs that showcase the property and highlight areas most likely to facilitate sales.
Real Estate Agents who sell houses with professional photos get a higher commission and sell their properties faster than those without, according to statistics gathered by Real Estate Photographer Tony Calongelo of photographyforrealestate.com. And with home sales reaching their highest point since 2006, photography is an incredibly important and lucrative part of the real estate market.
t could also become either a valuable secondary stream of income or a full-time specialty.
If a photographer can streamline a workflow that allows them to shoot 3-4 homes per day, they may earn upwards of 100k per year, particularly in hot markets. Of course, it will take some time to build a body of work that commands those prices, but even photographing real estate as an additional stream of income can put some much-needed money in your pocket.
GETTING STARTED WITH R.E Photography
Like any other photographic pursuit, it takes persistence and time, but the best place to start is a solid portfolio. First, spend some time on real estate sales sites to find out what sorts of photos sell homes.
Look at the work of successful Real Estate and Architectural Photographers to find out what the standard of work is. Pay attention to composition and lighting, as well as what details the photographers focus on. Notice how they treat horizontal and vertical lines, whether they use wide-angle lenses for shooting interiors, and how the spaces are styled.
Reach out to Real Estate Photographers in your area, or find related groups, and ask questions about technique.
Next, find properties to photograph and practice on. Practicing in your own home will allow you to make mistakes before you move on to other spaces. You might graduate to the home of a friend, or even model homes in your local area. In the tutorial Real Estate Photography with Barry MacKenzie, Barry talks about getting his start with model homes by asking the builder for permission to photograph the property. In return, he offered them the finished photos. This approach helped him build his initial portfolio.
NEXT STEPS TO GET STARTED
Once you’ve built up a solid portfolio, use MLS to research local real estate agents who sell a lot of homes and make contact with the agents you’d like to work with. Real estate agents want to work with photographers who can help them showcase homes in the best possible light, paying attention to composition, lighting, and the details home buyers want to see. Find out if you can show them your portfolio so they can see what an asset your photography would be to selling properties.
In this video, you can watch how photographer Barrie MacKenzie lights and photographs an interior space, and learn how he approaches making a room look inviting. Paying attention to the compositions that create visual interest. Notice where the natural light is and what aspects of the room need to be highlighted. Pay attention to where you need to add extra lighting, and file away those real estate photography tips and tricks. That will go a long way in helping you create compelling real estate photos of homes that draw potential buyers in.
And, since Real Estate Photography doesn’t require working with large groups of people, it’s a relatively safe working environment in a pandemic that lets you exercise your creative eye without the added stress of working with a crew.
Make sure you think through pricing and contracts. There are several ways to build pricing for Real Estate Photography, from square footage models to day rates and even packages. Remember, image licensing and usage is an important consideration, too. Real estate images have significant value to both the buyer and the seller.
GET STARTED NOW
If you love architecture and interiors, if you find beauty in the play of light across a room, and love textural elements and those little details that make a building more than just 4 walls and a door, then this may be the perfect time to jump into Real Estate Photography.
If you want to learn more about Real Estate Photography, watch the free video above from the tutorial Real Estate Photography with Barry MacKenzie. Barry explains how to combine natural light with practical light sources and flashes on light stands to create high-quality interior photos for any real estate photography business.
You’ll see his settings, including shutter speed and white balance, and learn the lighting tips and tricks Barry uses to light an interior.
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All photographs by Barry MacKenzie