Anyone have any experience here? What are the advantages and disadvantages? What gear is needed? What kind of paperwork is involved? What kind of money can be made? Talk to me!
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When it comes to gear, the most important piece is a good tripod. It has to be sturdy but quick to use with spirit levels both for the legs and the head. I use a ballhead, others prefer a pan-tilt. A free-standing ladder to shoot exteriors handheld from can be used to get another perspective. You will need a body with lots of DR at base ISO, so a D810 or D750 are preferable over a D4 or D5. You will need lenses, either quality zooms or primes that cover at least 17-70, preferably the 14-105 range with as little distortion as possible. I use a 14-24 and 24, 35, 50, 85 and 105 mm primes.
You need a hefty chunk of third-party insurance and a property release from the house owner. The margin for shoots for real estate brokers is not large, but it doesn't take that much time either. If you can get a foot in with some architects, the margins are in a different league, but the effort needed is much greater as well. I don't know the pay scale in the US, but I suppose it doesn't pay that well.
I don't know the pay scale in the US, but I suppose it doesn't pay that well.
It probably depends on location, but in general it doesn't seem to. One of my P52 colleagues gets about $75 a shoot--and this is a skilled photographer. I think he must depend somewhat on volume because that isn't much when time and effort are factored in. I know a few others photographers who do this, and they complain about being undercut by newbies and about real estate agents who decide they don't want to pay for good photography and instead post photos they took with their phones. (Those agents are not smart agents--with so much of the real estate business being done online, the importance of good photos cannot be overstated.) Perhaps if you get in good with agents who deal in high-end property...but then you'd better be able to deliver high-end photos.
I've always found that, to make decent interior images, I've needed to light them. Just an off-camera strobe through a white brolly will do 'normal' sized rooms. Maybe that's just small Victorian houses here in dark, dreary England though
We do it here too. I have, and I know many others who do as well. (RE photography is not my gig though--I've only dabbled in it.) It sure makes a difference!
I was a professional photographer for 30 years but I had a real estate salesman's license for eight years, too. In the Olde Days a realtor would hire a professional photog who specialized in real estate photography and s/he had lots of equipment on hand, including several strobe heads and umbrellas. As mentioned before, some realtors these days will shoot photos with their pocket-sized digital camera or cell phone. What most of those items lack is a good wide angle lens and some small rooms cannot be shot correctly without the wide angle. I can understand a not-too-bright realtor thinking s/he can get by with highly inferior photos but why would someone trying to sell their $3 million home put up with such nonsense? Is there a general madness abroad in the land where everybody thinks a bad photo is good enough?
It's a tough racket for the photog wanting to get in. The billion dollar real estate company I worked for offered a very good professional photographer's service plus 50 4-color 8x10 high quality flyers for very little money. So cheap I hired him rather than do it myself.
just like other people said about gear. also going to take time and patience too. since your still learning for patience and time find work you want. like some people said not each area will same thing some city's you can make good money other place not so well. also fact with people wanting to use smart phones to save time and cash that other big issue. most people do not have time for patience any more. we live in world where people want something now instead of later. i just starting out learning my camera. when i get better i might try to see if can do photo work for people but since learning going to take awhile. not sure where you live but do research. since never know if their to many people fight for work or not enough people around to do work. so find what best suite you and not them. since your one putting all money in to camera and gear. that way you do not over spend when you find out this not what thought be.
Nikdood17, I think the strange mindset is—Grog have camera, plenty good. Why Grog pay others to take pictures? Grog do himself! Grog proud of result!
The problem is that the result is awful but the caveman realtor thinks it is good as it looks like nice holiday snaps.
What I don't understand either is the seller accepting that kind of unprofessional conduct when they pay a hefty fee for the help in selling their property.
I think the "good enough" mindset is one of the main things that's killing professional photography. People and companies who are more than willing to pay an exorbitant fee for a tray of mini hot dogs in a blanket, want a pro to work their party for nothing... and then hand over the memory cards. When the photographer balks, they get uncle Louie, who has a new iPhone, to do it and upload the images to Facebook. To their mind, that's good enough.