More people than ever are realizing that it’s possible to earn a decent living without working a 9-5 job. There will always be corporate positions, and offices won’t disappear anytime soon, but there is a lot of opportunities to explore your creative side and support yourself as well.
Real estate photography is one niche industry that people might not consider right off the bat, but it’s worth exploring. The hours are flexible, you get to choose your own clients and you also get to spend time behind the lens. For someone who enjoys visual arts and photography, turning their interest into a profitable career is a dream.
If you’re intrigued about how to become a real estate photographer, these suggestions will help you get started.
Get the Right Equipment
You don’t need a studio to do this job, but you will need a good camera, some lighting equipment and a decent tripod. A drone can also be helpful as it allows you to take panoramic images, which is especially important if you’re interested in photographing luxury real estate.
Beyond the tools of the trade, you’ll also need a web domain with a professional design and some good copywriting. This will be the main point of access for future clients, and you’ll want to include a link to your site/portfolio when cold calling real estate agents or individual sellers.
All in all, you’ll need at least $1,000 to get going, which might be out of your budget right now. There are funding options available, including leasing your equipment, building your website and even selling your term life insurance policy.
If the latter option interests you, check out this free guide to learn how to evaluate and maximize your settlement. If you decide to sell and meet the qualifications, you can expect a payout of approximately 20 to 30 percent. The exact amount will depend on your overall health, age and your policy. It’s important to note that some companies may not permit conversion or settlement after a certain age.
Research the Market
Depending on where you live, the demand for an affordable real estate photographer will vary. In cities like New York, people are willing to pay higher, but there will be greater competition. In the Midwest, there are many independent agents who need better photos for their listing, but they likely can’t fork out thousands of dollars to get them.
You’ll need to understand the market in order to identify your consumer base and get your prices accordingly. If you know any friends planning to sell their house, offer to take photographs for their listing. This will be a good way to start building your portfolio.
Study Home Staging
You’ll need to know the principles of photography as well as what makes homes shine in the real estate market. How can you make a small room look bigger, and what can you do to emphasize a home’s best features?
Staging is an important part of the job, even if you aren’t actually running open houses or have anything to do with the actual selling process. Learn as much as you can about this and you’ll be able to consistently wow your clients with amazing photos.