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View Full Version : Real Estate Photography

01-07-2013, 02:11 PM
Is there anybody out there with any experience and advice about real estate photography?

I am seriously considering entering this area of work and would be very interested in learning anything I can about it.

Your experience, expertise and advice would be greatly appreciated. ;)


01-07-2013, 03:12 PM
I am a Real Estate agent that occasionally uses a photographer for my listings. If the home I am listing is selling for over maybe $400,000. I would be willing to pay for the photographer but anything under that price point, then I take my own photos. My photographer takes 25 shots and charges me $99. and includes a pasted together virtual tour. He is usually at the house at least an hour.

Not sure if this information is helpful or not. I am in the Tampa, Florida market so I am sure that the part of the country you are in makes a difference in the dollar amounts.

Us agents are really hurting financially right now so not a lot of extra money to pay for services.

01-08-2013, 12:02 AM
TommyH does this. Hopefully he will pop in and answer your questions!

01-08-2013, 12:36 PM
Thanks ccorrente! Very interesting and helpful!

Have a great day!

01-18-2013, 07:44 AM
Haven't been on here in a while. I shoot in the Florida area and 100 for 25 photos is about right. I will usually spend an hour shooting the house depending on size, and an hour at post. 24 hour turn around is a big seller for me. Agents want to get the homes up as quickly as possible. I also have a website that gives the agent a secure login to download the files so no need for CD's or flash drives. They like this especially because they can have their assistant get the photos and put them up on the site. I will invoice the agent so they get a hard copy for each property and it's a tax write off for them so it helps a little as a deduction come tax time.

Most the homes I shoot are in the 150k+ range. The agents I work with have come to realize that their time is better spent on other things then shooting photos and editing, and since it's per home they don't have to have me on staff. The ones I shoot with on a regular basis will now just have an assistant let me and and leave me to it, so they are not waiting for me to shoot the home.

If the agent feels that the price of the house is too low to justify having photos, I have an agreement with my agents that they will offer it to the homeowner and the homeowner can pay for it. They inform the homeowner either they or their assistant can shoot it for free, or they know a photographer that will come in and shoot the property. Because I bill the homeowner this makes me flexible. And they can see the difference with a point and shoot camera and what I bring.

Also adding features as you grow. I already provide HDR, twilight shots, and a few other options. This year I am planning to add virtual tours and HD video. Had a lot of requests for the video. Not the still photo tours, but actual live video through the home.

Go above and beyond what you state you will give them. This goes a long way, it doesn't have to be extra photos. I stop by their offices and drop off donuts, panera bread, etc. They will remember you for these things and think of you first. Also if you notice something about a house that might be a turn off, I double check with the agent to make sure they were aware of it. For example, I went to shot a newly listed remodeled house. I went to move an item and well there was roaches both alive and dead. I called her right away and let her know. She had no idea, I wanted to give her a heads up so if she went to show it potential buyers did not see this and get scared off. She had pest control out there that afternoon and was so appreciative that I let her know.

01-18-2013, 07:56 AM
Not sure how much text is allowed per post so to continue.

For equipment. You want a of course a DSLR, a wide angle lens recommend 11-16mm tokina, a good tripod and a flash at the minimal. Also a computer with photoshop, elements, or a good editing program. You can find programs for free online.

Shoot friends homes, your own, model homes, etc. Get you style, make a website to show your photos and market yourself.

Make a contract, This is important, you want to clearly state what you are offering, your prices, what they will receive, who has the copyrights, etc. This will make you look more professional and not so fly by night.

At 100 per shoot you really need to do at least 2-3 per day to make a decent living at it in my area. That means you need quite a few agents that call you. You will find during fall winter it tends to fall off, so spring summer you might be shooting 5-6 a day if you are doing well in your area. Make sure to plan ahead and set money aside for the slow months. This is also where having additional features can help, so if you only have 1 home to shoot, you can offer video, or panos, to help increase the value of that one shoot.

Look at other options to supplement the Real Estate market. I work with several contractors who remodel homes. They love before and after shots of their work. This gives them a great portfolio to show off. I charge more for this as they will be using for ads in magazines, websites, etc. I have 2 home builders that contact me for their new homes when they are built.

Once you are comfortable behind the lens and quality of work look for small businesses. Restaurants, gyms, hotels, etc. all need great architecture photos for their websites, billboards, ads, etc. I just shot a hotel here in town, which included 3 bedrooms, lobby, exterior, pool, breakfast area, etc.

Now I feel is a good time to get your foot in the door. While the market is slow for agents and hard to get agents to hire you, if you prove to be reliable and can deliver a great product, when it does pick up it will pick up for you as well

01-19-2013, 02:30 PM
Wow. What a helpful and thorough response. Thank you so much for taking the time and sharing all of this great information. I really appreciate it!


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