How to become a Real Estate Photographer

How to become a Real Estate Photographer



When we create images for a property listing that a real estate agent will sell on the housing market, we call it real estate photography.

Guide on how to become a real estate photographer

Investigate photography. 

Photographers are well-versed in camera technology, composition, and lighting. They have a creative eye as well. Attending college, university, or art school and acquiring a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a specialty in photography might help you improve these skills. Professional training can assist you in understanding best practices and guiding you toward becoming an expert. A degree may also help you advance in your career and boost your confidence in your abilities. 

However, if you already have technical skills and natural aptitude, you can work as a real estate photographer without a degree. Some photographers are self-taught, and practice can help you develop and enhance your skills.

Purchase camera equipment. 

Because real estate photography involves a static subject, only basic photography equipment is required. With a good camera, lens, tripod, and suitable lighting, you can be successful. Here’s what you should know about photography equipment: 

Still photography, such as real estate photography, does not necessitate an expensive camera with numerous capabilities in order to generate high-quality images, so do some research to see which camera would be ideal for you and your budget. Multiple exposure bracketing and the ability to activate a remote flash are two things you must have. These capabilities can be found in a basic digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera, as well as interchangeable lenses, which can be useful for photographing different-sized buildings and rooms.

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Wide-angle lenses let you fit more into the frame, making them great for real estate photography. When you photograph houses with a wide-angle lens, they appear to be more expansive. For the best results, choose a lens with a focal length of 10 to 24 millimeters or 16 to 35 millimeters. 

When choosing a tripod, the sturdiness and maximum extension height are two crucial factors to consider. A strong tripod that supports the weight of your camera body and lens provides stability while shooting and prevents fuzzy images. To use the camera viewfinder without leaning over, look for a tripod that reaches eye level.

When possible, use natural lighting, but when shooting indoors, employ lighting aids like a softbox and a flash. A softbox can assist fill shadows and illuminate a room without overexposing it, whereas a flash can be mounted on your camera or utilized off-camera.

Learn how to use your camera and snap pictures. 

After you’ve purchased your camera, devote some time to learning how to make the most of its capabilities and settings. Learn how to change lenses and flashes, as well as how to adjust your tripod. Practice photographing property details in various lighting and perspectives. 

When you’ve nailed down your style, show it off to your pals for criticism. Offer to take free images for a local realtor or contractor once you’ve gained confidence in your skills. You can gain skills and experience, grow your portfolio, and form a relationship with a potential client while they get free marketing images. Practicing with your equipment can also aid in the development of a routine, which can help you become a more efficient photographer.

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Learn how to use editing software. 

Photographs may need to be tweaked and improved. Cropping, adding light or exposure, and sharpening photographs are all possible using editing software. Learning how to edit images gives your work a professional appearance, so mastering this program is essential for attracting and keeping clients. The amount of time it takes to post-process depends on your editing skill level. Clients anticipate a speedy turnaround time when it comes to real estate photography.

Make an online portfolio. 

A portfolio is a collection of your best work that shows off your abilities to potential clients. Keep your rights to the photographs you take when photographing a property so you can use them in your portfolio. Making your work available by creating an online portfolio is a terrific method to do it. With flexible layouts and imaginative designs, online portfolios are frequently free and simple to create.

Obtain customers 

Begin by marketing your portfolio to any firm that might be interested in your services. Whenever you complete a work, request a reference from the client so that you can include a strong verification of your abilities in your portfolio. 

Some real estate photographers provide an initial photographic service for free or at a reduced charge when building a customer base. This helps you gain a client’s trust while also adding professional work to your portfolio. The worth of the property and your job experience can influence how much you charge for your services.

Is Real Estate Photography a Profitable Venture? 

This is a difficult question to answer because the answer can be either yes or no. Yes, real estate photography can be a lucrative business, but it is more dependent on you than on the industry (unless there is a pandemic).

Allow me to explain. Gyms are fantastic for losing weight, gaining muscle, and getting in shape, right? However, many people go to the gym and their health does not improve. In this scenario, who is to blame: the gym or the gym-goer?

Real estate photography, on the other hand, might be a lucrative career for you. Even so, you’ll have to put in the effort and put yourself out there on a regular basis before you start seeing results.

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What Does a Real Estate Photographer Get Paid? 

This is one of those queries that is difficult to accurately answer. The average wages of real-estate photographers are easy to uncover, but they are unlikely to provide you with any insight into what you can anticipate to earn. Location, skill, experience, network, luck, and you will all play a role in how much money you make as a real estate photographer. 

But don’t worry, I’m not going to abandon you. According to real-world data, a real estate photographer’s annual salary ranges from $42,093 to $62,205. There will, of course, be outliers, and the more costly properties you photograph, the more money you make.

What about videography for real estate? 

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video will undoubtedly be worth many more. Despite its advantages, real estate videography will not be a service you will offer to all of your clients. The reason for this is that it is costly. 

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You might be able to photograph a small or medium-sized home in an hour, but if you add video to the mix, your time and charge will skyrocket. Not to mention that collecting video, editing it, grading it, and creating a stunning film that highlights the house is a completely different skill than simply taking images.

Should you concentrate your efforts on real estate videography? It is debatable. It may be advantageous to provide this service to realtors who sell homes for more than a million dollars. Even so, the agent or the homeowner may not be able to afford to spend that much money on the listing. So, depending on the type of job you’re expecting, make a call.

Guidelines for Real Estate Photography 

The fundamentals of photography apply to real estate photography as well, but if you want to work as a professional, you’ll need to know a lot more. 

Although we already have a page on our website with real estate photography recommendations for beginners, it can’t hurt to learn more about the field you’re interested in. So, to help you get started, here are some real estate photography tips.

Consult your real estate agent 

You must communicate with the realtor about the shoot before taking the first shot. Remember that you know how to take pictures, but the realtor understands what to take pictures of. Speak with them about the best elements of the home they want to emphasize, the angles they require, the quantity of photos they require for each space, and so on. It will demonstrate to the realtor that you care, and you will be filming just what will aid in the sale of the property. Most realtors consider exterior shots, shots of the bedroom, and shots of the kitchen to be the most crucial.

Organize the House 

It’s certainly worth your effort to clean the house prior if you’re shooting a previously occupied residence. Take out the trash or put it somewhere where it won’t be seen. Make sure there is no trash or debris laying around. Also, make sure the toilet seats are down and that personal belongings such as toothbrushes, cosmetics, and family photos aren’t visible. When cleaning up, it’s completely conceivable that you’ll come across some questionable objects, so be prepared.

If you’re photographing a large home, it’s a good idea to bring along an assistant to help with the cleanup while you concentrate on the photography. It’s your job to portray the house in the best light possible (get it? ), and a little effort to make everything presentable will go a long way. Consider a great hotel room as a benchmark, and clean and present the house to that standard.

What are the types of Real Estate Photography 


As a real estate photographer, this category will account for the majority of your revenue. Condos, single-family homes, townhomes, multi-family structures with two to eight units, and luxury properties worth over a million dollars are all included in residential photography. 

The majority of photographers take exterior and interior photographs, with aerial and video pictures becoming increasingly popular. The standard practice in the US market is to offer 20-30 retouched photos. Five to fifteen altered photos are more usual in other more developed markets, such as Australia.

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Residential photography is the most popular of the four forms of real estate photography. Why? You’re likely to get a lot of recurring business from the same Realtor-client. Keep in mind that the United States has over a million Realtors. Every year, almost five million residences are sold.

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Commercial photography is less frequent than residential photography, yet it is nevertheless practiced by a number of photographers. 

What is commercial photography, exactly? In a strict sense, if you get paid for supplying images, it’s commercial. Real estate photographers and industry insiders, on the other hand, define the term differently: images taken for any commercial reason. 

In a few ways, commercial photography differs from residential photography. Residential photographers typically provide their clients with a limited license for their photographs. Realtors are the only ones who can use the photos until the house is sold. The images can’t be utilized for anything other than marketing and selling the house while it’s still on the market.

Commercial images, on the other hand, are subject to less license limitations. They have more flexibility in terms of permits and usage terms. Assume a photographer is hired to photograph a local favorite restaurant. It’s entirely fine if the restaurant owner plans to use the photographs for several years to promote his business through a variety of outlets (radio, magazines, print pieces, the web, etc.). This is something that most photographers think about.


Commercial and domestic photography are also included in this category. Architects, civil engineering firms, contractors, designers, and home builders are common architectural photography clientele. 

When we think about architectural photography, we usually think of exotic, modern structures. Architectural subjects for real-world clientele, on the other hand, rarely fall into this group. Architectural photographs usually concentrate on and emphasize the flow of a single space or structure, practical design, or construction quality.

Architectural photography cost and licensing are very similar to commercial photography. The main distinction is that with the former, the emphasis is on highlighting the structure and intricacies of each building. 

As a result, architectural photographers frequently collaborate with their clients to determine which elements to emphasize. They consider lighting, angles, and environmental aspects such as the weather and time of day when shooting.


If architectural photography is the older sister, interior photography is the younger sister. Interior design is concerned with the flow and design of interior spaces and rooms, as the name implies. The emphasis is on the emotional aspects, such as how color, style, furnishings, and other amenities elicit a particular atmosphere or experience. 

Interior photographers’ typical clients include architects, interior designers, periodicals, luxury house realtors, staging businesses, and property owners. Any type, size, or price of space might be the subject, especially if it has a unique design or story. An historic colonial home in New England with a history stretching back to the American Civil War years is a good illustration of this.Other topics could include businesses and items, such as high-end furnishings in a staging home, in addition to luxury homes.

Other topics could include businesses and items, such as high-end furnishings in a staging home, in addition to luxury homes.


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