Real Estate Photography: A Quick Guide for Beginners
Photography has been an important factor in the competitive landscape of real estate. The restrictions in movement these days limit us from personally visiting the property. We rely on photographs and videos online. These images open our doors to what to expect within the property. For real estate agents, it is critical to capture the interest of possible buyers through these images. Photographers are, therefore, more than storytellers. They are vital in closing the deal. If you are planning to pursue becoming a professional photographer in the future, here are some of the things you should know.
Invest in the right equipment
Just like a chef in the kitchen, it is not enough that you have the right ingredients.
You must equip yourself with the right kitchen tools to make your dish. The same goes with photography, you may have the skills to take great photos but having substandard equipment would limit other possibilities in creating an eye-catching composition. For a starter, these are some of the photography accessories and components you must have.
Of course, you will have to start with a high-quality camera. A good camera does not always have to be the most expensive. You just have to check the features and make sure that it is well within your budget. A large chunk of your financial investment goes out to the camera you will have to purchase. Your camera should allow you to manually set the ISO, aperture, and speed at the same time allows you to set it in automatic mode. Get something that can provide you a sharp photo even if you are using wide-lens. This camera usually has a sensor frame with a 1:1 ratio. Second, get some sturdy lenses for wide-angle shots and macro lenses for close-up images. For a beginner, a lens with at least a 16mm focal point is ideal. This will allow you to take images of an entire room. Using the right lens will prevent you from getting distorted images. If vertical lines look blurry and distorted, this could affect how your buyer perceives the property.
The third is a tripod. A good, lightweight tripod will help you avoid blurry photos due to a steady base. Tripods are also great in making sure your photos are sharp. There are several types of the tripod in the market. Make sure to get something good for both indoors and outdoors. Those with anti-slip rubber and with extendable heights will allow you to take photos at high or low angles. The fourth one is to get some lighting gears to help create photos using natural light. Ideally, natural light is preferred in photography but this is not always possible given the circumstances and the location of the shoot. You can use different light gears such as flashes, ring lights, light diffusers, and others to blend the light and make it look natural. Getting the right light is a skill. Some photographers prefer to switch off all indoor lights and work around the available natural light. Others, prefer to have indoor lights on and do the adjustment on lighting during the post process. These boil down to personal preference and the skills and time rendered when it comes to editing photos afterward.
Batteries and storage devices are also essential whenever you are shooting, especially in locations that are less accessible. Make sure you have extra batteries you can use and storage devices to save all your files.
Invest in yourself
Photography is a discipline that requires training and skill enhancement. Real estate photography is a competitive industry with new players joining the landscape due to its lucrative reward if done right. For you to stay on top of the game, you constantly need to enhance your skill and expand your network. Training programs, mentoring and practices will help you improve your photography skills.
Unlike other forms of photography, real estate photography is challenging as you are limited on your subject unlike human models where you can take a range of shots. With real estate as your subject, your skills in terms of composition, blending of light and editing can make you stand out from the crowd. As a beginner, you can take inspiration from professional photographers. But, if you want to make a name for yourself, you will have to develop your style. You will need to understand how to create an incredible composition from different angles.
As a beginner, it is also important to take time in learning the features and functions of your equipment. This will allow you to maximize the usage and save your time during the actual shooting. Knowing your gear works makes you look professional in front of your customer.
You should continuously learn so that selling your skills would not be too challenging. Your credibility will attract clients and you don’t have to be exerting a lot of effort on marketing yourself. Make sure you also have your website where your clients could leave feedback or reviews. This is one way of building your credibility. The website is also an excellent platform where you can showcase your portfolio. Since you are just starting in the business, you can direct your possible clients to your website to give them a better idea of what kinds of shots you can provide. You can also create a standard shot list page and walk your clients through it.
Build rapport with your client
Real estate photography is not just purely creative and art. The other side of it is the business side. If you are working with a real estate agent, a property developer or a homeowner take time to chat with them. Understand what is their expectation when it comes to your output and their preference in the execution. Different clients have different requirements. When it comes to real estate, you may be limited with a few shots of the property that could wow your client.
Chatting with them will also help you have a better perspective about the property, its history, and its connection to the person you are talking to. In addition, talking to your client for a few minutes helps you feel more relaxed and develop a rapport with him/her. Your interpersonal skills may also land you an introduction to another client.
Be clear about your service rate
Even if you are just starting, it is important to let people know that your output should be valued. Do not provide your service for free because you are spending your time doing the craft, your gears are being used as well as your skills. Stay open for negotiation when it comes to pricing but do not render service without any monetary compensation. If you are unsure how much to ask, check the standard price rate in the industry and discuss this with your client.
You also have to discuss the extent of service to be provided. Will you be doing a post-process across all the images for an extra charge or is the client happy with raw photos to be submitted? Cost coverage for things such as travel costs and food expenses should also be discussed. Clarify right away any question you have in mind to avoid confusion when it comes to the deliverables.
Clarify the deadlines
For a beginner, one thing that you want to avoid is missing out on your deadline. This will have a huge impact on your credibility and possible projects in the future. Some clients want a turnaround within two days while others could take up to a week. Make sure that you note when you are supposed to submit the photos.