Updated: May 29, 2018
Real estate photography may not be as exciting as let’s say modeling or event photo shoot, however, it is really interesting and particular type of photography that deserves exploring. I’ve worked for several Real Este companies in the past as marketing coordinator, graphic designer and photographer. During my career I learned few helpful tips and today I would like to share them with you.
Use A Tripod and Remote Shutter Release
#1 You must always use tripod. This is important because when shooting interior, you want to make sure your verticals are properly aligned and even though you may use the ruler system built in the camera, slightest movement from shutter release may shake your camera and create distortion, blurriness, and misalignment. And you will find yourself spending more time in Lightroom or Photoshop later trying to fix the mistake or even worse, unable to save the photo. #2 Another item that will save your life if you for example decide to give a try to HDR photography will be remote shutter release. The one I’m using is SMDV Remote Shutter Release, it’s easy to use, not too expensive and gets the job done. Why do I need it? Because by using it I avoid any possibilities of camera shake, and I’m sure I will get clear and sharp images with every click.
Bring More Than One Flash & Light Stands
This is really important because when photographing large rooms that lead to another room for instance you would want to illuminate both. Now how would you do it? The answer is: by using several flashes. I use 2 flashes, 1 speed light by YONGNUO YN560 IV Wireless Flash Speedlite and Neewer Battery Powered (700 Full Power flashes). These 2 lights work great together and I’m able to light up large rooms by placing them in opposite sides. That could be tricky at times, but little bit of imagination and creativity and you’ll be on your way to shoot some amazing photos. In addition to that don’t forget to bring some light stands to attach them to your speed lights.
Use A Wide-Angle Lens
Now let’s talk about the lens! In the world of real estate photography, it is important to use wide angle lens for couple of reasons. One – you will need to fit in tight rooms when producing interior shots and having wide angle lens will help you to capture most of the room as oppose to let’s say smaller angle lens like 35mm and higher. Ideal lens for real estate I have to say is EF 16-35mm f/4L, that is the one I use and result is amazing. I wish the aperture was wider than f4, to work better in low light situation, but the price for lens like Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM is double the price, so I will stick to mine for a while. Besides by using external flashes and tripod I can achieve amazing results, so there is no need to over pay.
Have A Contract
If you’re a photography business owner or freelancer like me it is a good idea to have document templates that you’ll use to run your business-like proposals, quotes, and contracts.
Some photographers skip the proposal or quote, and worse, they fail to require their clients to sign a contract. The problem with that is with informal agreements you have no record of the terms that you and the client are mutually agreeing to. Because of this, it’s unlikely that you’ll have legal recourse if you have a dispute over what was agreed to at what price, or if the client decides not pay the invoice. Plus, there are so many legal risks you may expose your business to, should you not have a strong contract.
So by spending a little bit of time now to create, customize, and set up quotes, proposals, and contracts, you’ll minimize the hassle and frustration of trying to do it all after you land a new client and need to get the client set up quickly while also fulfilling the actual work.
What is included in a Photography Contract?
Photography Contracts include the basics such as the names of both parties and payment information:
Contact information for both parties
Description of the service to be provided including time and location
Payment, deposit and cancellation information
Number of hours for capturing images and the number of hours for editing
Days the photographer has to present samples of the final proofs
Dates the contract is active
Number of days either party has to correct issues
A decision on who will own the images
In the situation when touching and moving the property of the home owner, what if something brakes? Are you covered by your standard liability insurance? As a photographer, do you even have an insurance? It’s something to think about before you agree to enter someone’s home and start touching their things.
This can mean few things. For instance, if lighting in the house is not ideal, but that is all you have to work with, try to do your best to complete the task without nagging about your low light condition. Most agents are not tech-savvy, so it wouldn’t matter to them. Also if weather conditions are not allowing you to shoot exterior of the house, be prepared to come back later to complete the task. You will earn agent’s loyalty and trust by doing so. Since life of real estate agent is high paste try to accommodate their schedule as much as you can, that will show your flexibility and help you land more jobs in the future.
Use Preset Editing
When using editing software Photoshop, Lightroom for example start building presets to streamline your workflow, shorten you editing time and quickening your turn around. Besides, your presets will add consistency and certain style to your images, thus making you stand out from the crowd.
Have A Quick Turn Around
Speaking of quick turnaround; it is absolutely crucial to be quick in delivering your images to real estate agents because it shows your efficiency and as you know the real estate industry is driven by location, price and timing. Communication with the agent who hired you is key to making sure you get your images to them in time for whatever deadlines they may have. Generally, the faster the better.
Well this is it for today, I hope you learned a lot and will apply some of these tips to your photography business! Feel free to ask me any questions.