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In the modern world that vast majority of people begin their search for a property online and so good marketing and attractive images of the house or commercial unit is absolutely essential to attracting potential buyers. A picture says a thousand words and when it comes to advertising a property this is doubly so with the photography used in the listing being the most important single factor that will help to sell the property.
The Importance of Real Estate Photography.
A good real estate photographer knows exactly how to capture the house in its very best light and will be able to draw the viewer’s focus to the important features. This can mean showing off the spacious living room, portraying the bathroom from the perfect angle or making the kitchen look super appealing!
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Staging is Important for Real Estate Property.
- Remove all Clutter and Visual Debris. Some professional real estate photographers actually advise that you remove up to a third of the furniture from the property to reduce visual clutter and help to open up the space in the rooms. Of course at the very least, you should remove all personal items and possessions and pack them away in cupboards or storage.
- Make use of the available natural light by scheduling your photoshoot for the day time. This will make the property look bright and fresh and full of space. As well as making use of the natural light you can also turn on the lights in the house during the photoshoot; this will brighten the images and bring on attractive reflections on shiny surfaces that can be used by a skillful photographer to bring the space to life!
- A commonly used trick that is highly effective is to bring some fresh cut flowers with you in attractive vases that you can position around the property.
- For the exterior of the property staging is equally important. If the property has cars then either put them in the garage or park them around the corner! Also move any bins, garden tools and other clutter from the view of the property.
- If the property has a garden and it has not been well maintained then hiring a gardener to quickly tidy it up will be very worth your time. Nobody wants to move into a new property only to have to tidy it up!
Types of Camera and Lenses to Use for Real Estate Photography.
The camera and the lens that you use for real estate photography are the most important elements of your equipment and aside from your skills and expertise, they are essential to get just right.
When you are taking real estate and interior photography you will want to use a Full Frame Camera and not a Cropped Sensor Camera. This will allow you to make the most of the light within the property and display the property at its best. A full frame camera imitates the 35 mm film and uses a 36x24mm aspect ratio.
One of the best cameras in this class is the Sony Alpha a7 III Mirrorless Digital Camera. The camera is compact, extremely effective, will serve you well for years to come and with nothing but excellent reviews from real estate photography professionals it’s our tip pick.
The full frame camera sensor is better for wider angle photography which will help you to get the best interior shots. As well as this you can capture more dramatic images of enclosed spaces making it the go to choice for real estate photographers and when combined with a tilt/shift lens you can get some stunning results. Using a tilt/shift lens will minimize the amount of distortion in the image while keeping more than one subject in focus which is very useful for interior and architectural photography.
When selecting the best lens for real estate photography be sure to use a wide angle lens. There are many great lenses on the market but the Nikon 16-35mm F4G ED AF-S VR NIKKOR Lens is one of the best available at an extremely affordable price.
As well as your camera and lens a good tripod with a remote trigger will help you to take longer exposure photos while keeping your camera stable. A good flash can also be an invaluable tool, particularly if you are working in a poorly lit apartment or commercial property.
Real Estate Drone Photography.
If you can then using drone photography to show the exterior of the property is an excellent way to inspire potential buyers to sit up and take notice. Not only will you be able to show the property from multiple angles but it will help buyers become inspired by the property. In cities like Philadelphia you must be very aware of the laws regarding the use of Drones. There are two airports (Philadelphia International Airport and the airport in Northeast Philadelphia) and you have to abide by the laws when it comes how high your drone can fly when you are in these zones.
When utilizing drone photography ensure that you pick a day with good, ideally sunny, weather. If the property is situated in a lovely location then be sure to include this in the photography but equally, if the property is not situated in an attractive area keep it out of shot or crop it later.
How to Find Real Estate Photography Jobs.
Finding a regular real estate photography job can be highly lucrative and consistent work making it a popular career choice for professional freelance photographers. One route that you can take is to apply to jobs online via photography agencies however this is not usually the best way.
To find a good real estate photography job you can also build up a portfolio, taking photographs of friends houses or commercial properties to showcase your abilities. Then once you have your portfolio you can either contact real estate agents online or better yet, go in person, to speak to them about collaborating.
It may be that you will have to work for free or lower pay for a few jobs to prove your worth but in no time you will be earning a lucrative income. As a general rule, real estate photographers earn around $200 for a property that is under 3000 square feet and for bigger properties they can expect anywhere between $200 to $500 for the photoshoot (Rates will vary. For example you are likely to earn more in Rittenhouse Square Philadelphia compared to say University City).
Collaborating with a real estate agency as a freelancer will always get you higher rates of pay and so this is the best avenue for you to choose.
Step by Step Guide to Becoming a Real Estate Photographer.
- Correct Equipment for the Job including Camera, Lenses, Flash and Tripod.
- Practice taking real estate photography in your own home, your friends houses or anywhere that you can! This includes exterior and architectural photography.
- Put together a portfolio that shows off your skills and quality of work.
- Network and collaborate with real estate agents and others in the field.
How to Price Real Estate Photography.
- It’s important to find out what other real estate photographers are charging in your area. This will give you a clear idea of local prices and will mean that you won’t over or under charge for your services.
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- When planning your strategy decide whether you want to focus on a lot of listings or only on a few high end projects. Choosing between quality and quantity can be a tough choice though and so especially at first the best advice would be to take whatever work you can in order to build up a good reputation after which you can start to be more picky about what work you take on.
- When you are pricing your work remember to take into account things like the cost of travel, your time, client communications and your equipment.
Real Estate Photography is a Fun and Rewarding Career.
Working in real estate photography is a great way to earn a living or even as a lucrative side hustle. There will always be people selling property and if you can gain a good reputation for quality, affordability and reliability then you can really make a fantastic life on the back of this work.
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