12 Impressive Tips for Beginner Real Estate Photography
Real estate photography is always in demand, with houses going on and off the market daily all over the world. Every agent is battling for homebuyers’ attention with the best real estate photos.
Shooting professional photography for real estate can seem a little tricky at first. But with these simple real estate photography tips, you’ll produce beautiful, consistent property photos. These will have your local real estate industry agents calling you back in no time!
What Is Real Estate Photography?
Hearing about professional real estate photography might be surprising for some of you. Why would people take photos of houses?
But the truth is, there’s a lot of demand for real estate photographers given the current housing market in many parts of the world. This specialized genre may seem simple, but it does require certain skills to take effective and compelling photos of homes for sale.
Is Real Estate Photography Profitable?
Since it’s a niche discipline, it’s not as popular as landscape or portrait photography. But this means you’ll have better chances of getting more clients and earning more than photographers in other niches, especially if you learn how to market your real estate photography business, too!
Also, as there are plenty of real estate agents, we know there won’t be a shortage of houses to photograph. Estate agents will sometimes keep old photos but are more likely to commission new photographs when selling a house. This is because changes may have been made to the building or garden, and they want to be as accurate as possible.
How Much Does A Real Estate Photographer Make?
Like any other type of photography, real estate photography pricing is tricky and depends on a few variables.
In real estate photography, the location and the size of the house play a significant role in determining the price. Of course, your experience also comes into play. It makes sense to charge a bit less than more seasoned photographers if you’re still starting.
On average, a real estate photographer will charge about $200 or less for properties under 3,000 square feet. For larger houses, they could charge between $250 and $500.
If your area is a prime spot for real estate (think major cities like New York, London, Paris, et al.), this could be the perfect photography career!
What’s Necessary for Real Estate Photography?
Real estate photography doesn’t require a lot of equipment with much of it being quite standard. Let’s go through the list below to see the tools you might have and might need.
You’ll need to have a camera that can shoot manually for real estate photography. Any crop or full-frame sensor DSLR or mirrorless camera would be perfect for the job.
A wide-angle lens helps you capture tight spaces. The unique optics tend to make rooms look more spacious. The best options you have are the NIKKOR 16-35mm for Nikon and the EF 16-35mm f/4 for Canon. You may want to consider the Sigma 12-24mm f/4 Art Lens known to be the current industry standard. Sigma produces mounts for both Nikon and Canon, so check them out before you buy!
If you have the budget, consider getting a tilt-shift lens. This option is perfect for real estate photography because it eliminates the distortion that a wide-angle lens causes. It tends to be more expensive than its regular counterparts. But you can always buy a used one.
The best lenses for real estate photography include the Rokinon TSL24M-N 24mm, Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L, and Nikon PC-E FX Nikkor 24mm f/3.5 ED.
A tripod stabilizes your camera and ensures you don’t have motion blur in your images. It also helps retain the perspective in your shots. If you set it up at five feet, all your images will be the same height.
Remember that consistency is a top priority, especially in real estate photography.
If you’re shooting with low shutter speeds, it’s best not to touch the camera. Even pressing the shutter to take a photo can introduce an unwanted camera shake. I suggest using a remote trigger for touch-free operation.
Strobes or flashes are among the most essential but often overlooked tools in real estate photography. They are invaluable, especially in poorly-lit homes.
There are two main types of flashes—monolights and flashguns. You can start with flashguns because they’re cheap. But as you photograph more spacious properties, monolights would be the best option since they have a brighter light output.
There are tons of choices, from the entry-level Godox TT600S to the top-of-the-line Profoto B10.
You’ll need a flash trigger when using an off-camera flash for your photography. You attach the transmitter to your camera’s hot shoe and the receivers to the flash units.
It’s worth noting that some strobes already have built-in receivers. Once you finish connecting all of them, press the shutter, and the flash will fire simultaneously.
Bare flash often creates unappealing results in real estate photography. In most cases, all you have to do is point them toward the ceiling to soften the light they produce. But what if the roof is too high or you’re not getting enough light bounce?
Then consider using light modifiers. In most cases, shooting umbrellas are enough to do the job. They’re small, lightweight, and portable. And they don’t get in the way when photographing in small spaces.
Of course, you’ll also need light stands to support your flash units. A regular light stand will often work for lightweight flash heads. But more rigid C-stands may be necessary for bigger monolights. Depending on the location, you may need one to four of these to light up an area.
All you need to start with real estate photography is a camera, lens, and tripod. All the other items mentioned will help you get better results and finish at a faster pace though. But you don’t have to acquire all these tools at once.