As a photographer, your growth opportunities are endless. You can dive into different niches at any time and stretch your creative legs throughout your entire career. But, real estate photography requires some getting used to. Photography is a hugely important part of the real estate industry. A listing with several photos spends an average of 30 days on the market, while one with only a single photo is typically available for around 70 days. For real estate agents, that makes a big difference.
Why are photos so important? The main reason is that more people than ever are starting their property searches online. If a property doesn’t have a variety of photos, it can be harder for buyers to see themselves there. So, they’ll move on to another listing.
Because there is such a demand for real estate photographers, it’s a great way to get steady jobs and break into a new niche all at once. But, to get hired, you’ll need to build up your real estate photography skills. This is a competitive market and realtors want the “best of the best”.
So, how can you build up real estate photography skills and land quality jobs within the real estate industry?
How to Find Work
Before you decide to dive into the world of real estate photography, it’s important to know where to look. Like any other niche photography, it’s often about who you know. So, make sure you take advantage of networking as much as possible. Connect with people within the industry, including:
- Individual realtors
- Real estate agencies
- House flippers
- Members of your local homeowners’ association
Like any other gig economy job, looking for job postings is a great place to start, especially if you don’t have much experience. Your goal as you get started should be to build a quality portfolio. Having an existing portfolio and an updated resume of all your achievements as a photographer can help. But, honing in on your skills in real estate will get you noticed faster within the industry. Building up your reputation with quality photos is the best way to get consistent work as a real estate photographer. If you’re not sure how to do that, let’s cover a few tips for the best possible property photos.
Knowing How to Set the Stage
When you’re photographing homes for sale, take a step back and think about what would be most important to you, as a buyer. You would want to see yourself being able to live in that property. So, staging has become a big part of the photography game.
Staging and decorating can be used to make smaller rooms look larger, or to give a big, open room more of a cozy, intimate feel. Some of the most common staging practices include:
- Adding decorative accents
- Utilizing throw pillows and blankets
- Rearranging furniture
- Adding “lived-in” touches
Lighting is another important component to getting the best possible pictures inside a house. It has a lot to do with preference, so don’t be afraid to play around with different options. Some people prefer using artificial lights in the home to add warmth. Other photographers only want to use natural light from the windows.
To successfully photograph different rooms, you should go into the job with some kind of artistic vision in mind. If you don’t have any experience in interior design, it can help to talk to someone who does to work on developing those skills. You can absolutely use creative freedom when it comes to real estate photography, and that’s exactly what will help your photos stand out and get noticed.
Getting the Training You Need
Even if you’re a seasoned photographer, real estate photography is different. You wouldn’t dive into a completely new niche without some kind of training or furthering your education, right? Unfortunately, some photographers do. Jumping from niche to niche can cause the quality of your photos to suffer, and make you seem inexperienced and stretched too thin.
When you take the time to get extra training in real estate photography, you’ll stand out from your competition.
Not only should you educate yourself on the best practices of real estate photography, but talk to homeowners and real estate agents as often as possible. People who work in real estate know exactly what appeals to home buyers. An agent can tell you about the small details that will take any house from something desirable to something a buyer needs.
Because the real estate industry is becoming such a hotbed for photographers, being able to stand out is important. Devote extra time and attention to learning how to photograph houses, especially if you’ve never done it before. Even a little bit of extra training and learning more about the industry will help you stand out from other photographers claiming to do the same thing.
This guest post was authored by Ainsley Lawrence
Ainsley is a writer who loves to talk about how business and professionalism intersect with the personal, social, and technological needs of today. She is frequently lost in a good book.