How Much Are Real Estate Photographers Paid?

By Michelle Ecker on April 20th, 2018
How Much Are Real Estate Photographers Paid?

If you’re looking to make money with your photography but struggling to find the right niche, real estate photography is a field we highly recommend exploring. The truth is, people don’t shop for houses and apartments the way they used to. Anymore, there are tons of websites like StreetEasy and Apartments.com where potential home buyers and renters can spend hours scrolling through pictures of their next new place.

Anymore, expert real estate agents looking to compete in a market that’s increasingly moving online understand the importance of posting beautiful, professional photos that truly highlight the look, feel and size of the space they’re selling.

And most of these agents, unless they’ve received some formal photography training, are struggling to take these kind of photos on their own. That’s where you come in.

In truth, when it comes to photographing an awkward space such as a studio apartment, amateur cell phone photos simply cannot do justice to a room’s dimensions. It often takes a professional camera, the right lens, and the right person behind that lens in order to capture the kind of beautiful photos worth clicking on. That’s where a real estate photographer can help.

via StreetEasy
via StreetEasy

Look at the two StreetEasy pictures shared above. Both are photos of NYC studio apartments of extremely similar size.

One of these photos was taken on a camera phone, and one was shot by a professional, on a DSLR camera. If both apartments are equally priced, which picture do you think more buyers are likely to be clicking on and showing interest in? The value of quality photography is indisputable when it comes to real estate agent’s ability to draw clients in.

If you want to put together a basic pitch of your own (something you could easily share with local real estate agents), here’s what you should know.

Generally, real estate photography shoots cost anywhere between $110 and $300 per shoot- and that’s for photos only (no video). If you’re booked for this kind of job, you should provide the client with somewhere between 25-50 photos. These should be ready-to-post, fully edited deliverables. That number could easily fluctuate depending on the size of the space you’re shooting, but in general, $110 should be the lowest you’ll go for professional work.

Getting started, you should develop a simple pitch for your clients (a brief description of the services you can provide, how much they cost, and why they’re valuable). If you have any real estate photos in your archives, you might also consider putting together a small portfolio to give the client an idea of your work’s quality.

Take an Online Photography Course.

If you don’t have any such photos on hand, you might consider snapping some high-quality shots of your own place, a friend’s home, or even some nearby commercial interiors to use as a starter portfolio.

When it comes to making money in photography, real estate is a great side business worth exploring. Think about it- if you develop a working rapport with even one local real estate agent, you’ll likely become their go-to photographer every time they have a new listing. Soon enough, you could be making some nice supplementary income on the side.


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