How I Became a Real Estate Photographer + 8 Tips to Help You Get Started
As I reflect on my 20s, I realize it probably sounds like the same story as a lot of other millennials: broke, confused, directionless, and full of wanderlust. Upon graduating with a degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences from Texas A&M University in 2012, I was having difficulty landing a job and honestly had no idea what to do with myself. So, I did the only thing I could afford to do, which was move home to my parent’s house in Beaumont, Texas.
I spent the next two years aimlessly working in a daycare and then as an administrative assistant in a private school. The wanderlust I mentioned previously became too much to bear, so I quit my job and moved to Rome, Italy for a year to be a live-in nanny. When I returned home again (this time with a belly full of fresh pasta, wine, and gelato), my wanderlust was temporarily cured, but I was still broke, confused, and directionless.
My dad, being a business owner himself, has always attempted to guide me in the direction of self-employment. I had a decent enough background in photography, Lightroom, and Photoshop, so when he suggested that I try my hand at real estate photography, I was up for the challenge. I spent the next couple of months attempting to wrap my head around this style of photography and have been photographing real estate ever since.
Before I get into the nitty gritty, I think it is noteworthy to mention that there are essentially three types of real estate photographers, and it is important to figure out what category you want to fall into. Keep in mind that there are no wrong answers and you can always evolve.
The first type are ‘run and gunners.’ They are in and out of homes in a matter of minutes and handhold their camera. They may or may not have a flash mounted on top and typically take one exposure. (High efficiency and low cost.)
The second type are the most common of the bunch. They use a tripod, take multiple exposures and are most likely using at least a bounce flash. (Average efficiency and average cost.)
The third type are the artists. They definitely use a tripod, make sure each shot is perfectly composed and level, use pops of flash throughout the space with the intention of manually hand blending multiple frames in post processing. (Low efficiency and high cost.)
I fall into the third category simply because I have goals of working exclusively with designers and architects one day and am working towards building a portfolio worthy of doing so. Moving forward, you have to figure out what works best for you and the market in which you are planning to build your business.
Here are 8 tips to get you up and running as a real estate photographer:(more…)