Real estate photographers take photos for real estate listings. This is an important job, as the photos are what attracts buyers online. The difference between an awesome photo and a mediocre one is several thousand dollars. Trust us, the vendor won’t thank you for poorly lit and composed photos!
Some real estate agents have their own in-house photographers, but many more use freelancers. If you know one end of a camera from another and you understand the difference between real estate and architectural photography, here are some tips from the pros.
Don’t Work Without a Contract
Naïve photographers just starting out are often so eager for their first gig that they assume a contract isn’t necessary. Unfortunately, that kind of attitude will see you taken advantage of in more ways than one!
Contracts are essential in any business arrangement. A contract should clearly state the terms of engagement, what you are expected to do for the money, and how much you are being paid for your services, among other things. Look online for a standard boiler-plate contract and adjust it to suit your needs.
Don’t Work Without Insurance
Insurance is critical too. Imagine what would happen if you accidentally knocked over a priceless heirloom while taking a photo. It probably wouldn’t end well, and you could end up being sued for damages.
Look for insurance coverage that protects you in a client’s home and anywhere else you are working. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Don’t Leave Your Tripod at Home
Whilst it’s possible to take decent photos by hand, you will get far more professional results if you use a tripod, especially in low-light conditions.
Don’t Forget Your Wide-Angled Lens
Wide-angled lenses are a must. There are often small rooms in a home that still need a photo to show them at their best. Some photographers use fish-eye lenses to maximize space in a small room, but the end result can look rather strange. Instead, look for a decent quality wide-angle lens for your camera body.
Don’t Forget to Pack an Extra Flash
One flash is essential but having two flash units is desirable. You will definitely need one flash unit for small rooms and walk-in cupboards. However, extra light is often required in larger rooms, especially in less than optimum daylight conditions. Natural light is not always enough, so pack a second portable light, just in case, and if possible, bring light stands for your lights.
Don’t Send the Client Unedited Photos
Clients want to see the very best photos, not the almost perfect ones. Use editing software to adjust the color saturation and crop any unwanted details, like the client’s ferocious dog going bananas at a side gate. If you are doing this gig regularly, it is worth creating pre-set filters that you can apply to all photos, such as making grass greener and the sky bluer.
Lastly, don’t leave your sense of humor at home. Things will go wrong, so being able to laugh about it is a lot less stressful.